New York holds a very special place in my heart. Other than it being one of the greatest cities in the world (FACT), it’s also where Sam proposed to me nearly four years ago – so needless to say, NYC will forever be one of my all-time favourites… In celebration of our two-year wedding anniversary (I still can’t believe how fast time flies by!) – we jetted off to NYC last weekend to celebrate…
First things first – my flight essentials. For long haul especially, I always prepare in advance (see all my top tips here) – as well as some essential reading, I always have a super hydrating serum with me, hydrating mist, calming lavender salve and lip balm.
We normally stay around West Village or Soho when we come to NYC, but were both pretty excited to stay downtown for once – an area we’ve never spent much time in. We stayed at the gorgeous Conrad New York, which as well as being surrounded by lots of great shopping, sights and the lively area of Tribeca, was conveniently located right on the Hudson River.
Our bedroom view was pretty spectacular!
After dumping our bags in our room, we headed up to Soho to grab some lunch. I think I’ve said this before, but every holiday we plan, especially city holidays, I spend months in advance researching and collating where to eat (the most important part, obviously). I hate arriving somewhere without having concrete reservations or a big list of good places to eat. NYC is one of the world’s top food destinations, and the choice is endless (if not, slightly overwhelming with all the amazing options). After narrowing it down and getting lots of great tips from locals and NYC regulars, I had my food itinerary ready!
First stop? Jack´s Wife Frieda.
After seeing countless amounts of Instagram snaps from this super hip all-day café, we were excited to see what all the hype was about. The food? Classic American fare with a Middle Eastern influence. It did not disappoint.
I had a stack of poached eggs with pesto, grilled halloumi and sun-blushed tomatoes, with a side of toasted sourdough and the crispiest french fries. Delicious. Sam ordered the chicken skewers and a moroccan salad, which was just as good. Washed down with iced peach tea and lemonade – we were ready to tackle NYC for the rest of the day!
New two-tone sunnies from Fendi. Obsessed.
A happy bunny with her Iced Chai Latte!
One of my go-to places to shop when in NYC, is in and around the surrounding streets off Spring Street. They have everything from high end luxury with Chanel, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, to more contemporary brands such as Maje, Sandro and The Kooples, high-street classics with H&M, Zara and Mango, and great lifestyle and interior boutiques (Kate Spade is always a must). Not to mention Bloomingdales is just around the corner. It didn’t take Sam long to pick up his first pair of trainers! He’s more obsessed than I am.
After a few hours in town, we headed back to get ready for dinner at Empellon Taqueria in Greenwhich Village.
Mexican was just the kind of food we fancied. Creamy guacamole, and a round of delicious tortillas (the grilled shrimp and lobster was incredible).
The challenge with the jet lag was to stay up as long as possible the first night, so after dinner, we headed over to Meatpacking District to Soho House, for a couple of rounds of Espresso Martini’s to perk us up!
Simple but scrumptious breakfast the next morning at our hotel – a big bowl of greek yogurt, with toasted quinoa and nuts (I’m so going to re-create this at home), topped with lots of fresh berries.
First stop? A large fresh green juice from Wholefoods.
We walked the 40 minute journey from downtown up to Chelsea, and hit the High Line (which is always a must). If you haven’t been before, it’s a 1.45-mile-long linear park built on a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. It’s so pretty, with lots of greenery and plantations, cafees, sun loungers and spots to sit with your take-away lunch.
Meatpacking District. This view from the High Line never grows old.
My main man.
We popped by Soho House for some coffees. This was the coldest day from our trip, so not surprisingly there weren’t many sun frolickers out as per usual!
After walking a big part of the High Line, we went across to Greenwhich Village. This is one of our favourite areas, it’s full to the brim of quaint and cute places to eat, drink, shop and serious street style spotting, especially on Bleecker Street, which is the main shopping street of the area.
We also stopped by Perry Street, which is the street where the infamous Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & the City resided… And of course, I couldn’t resist a little photo session here.
Love the juices from Sweetgreen on Bleecker Street.
After some serious house spotting and window shopping – we were ready for lunch and walked down to Lower East Side to grab some much anticipated grub at the iconic establishment, Russ & Daughters.
After being quoted over an hour wait (they don’t take reservations for tables under 6), we finally got a seat in the bar. Sipping on a crisp and dry Riesling (nothing beats this) whilst salivating over the menu – which was my idea of heaven; caviar, bagels and so many variations of smoked salmon and herring… I could literally eat it all (and I nearly did). I opted for the large herring mix – which was without a doubt, the best herring I’ve ever had – and Sam went for classic Salmon bagel. We also had the best Potato Latkes (potato and onion fritters) with salmon roe & creme fraiche.
This was my personal food highlight from the trip (and so worth the hour wait).
Royally stuffed! And ready for an afternoon exploring an area I’d never been too, the hipster hood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The plan was to walk across Williamsburg bridge, but after a really long lunch, we jumped on the short subway trip across.
A totally different vibe from Manhattan altogether, but I loved it! This is definitely where the cool cats are at. So many great little shops and places to eat. We walked up the main drag of Bedford Avenue and down towards the Wythe Hotel, where we were excitedly planning on having an afternoon drink at the rooftop (which apparently has the best view of Manhattan), but I stupidly forgot my I.D so we weren’t let in. Major schoolboy error.
Come dinner time we were excited to finally try Buddakan, an upmarket asian restaurant in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Their black cod was divine. The dumplings were good, but not the best I’ve had, but the atmosphere was electric, and a definite must if you’re ever in the city. After dinner, we headed over to The Bowery Hotel for a little night cap. So nice being back at this hotel, after getting engaged on top of the private rooftop here (yep, boy did GOOD). Naturally, this is one of my favourite hotels, but their bar (and cocktails) also happens to be excellent.
The jet lagged was killing us, so next morning we headed to a nearby juice bar and picked up a couple of Fireball shots to perk us up for our long walk towards uptown for some brunch.
On our way up we popped by the Farmers Market in Union Square. So many pretty flowers and foodie bits to sample.
We had brunch at ABC Cocina, a farm-fresh eatery serving Latin American fusion in a pretty glam space. It came highly recommended, so we were excited to try it out. Personally, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for brunch; rather a late lunch or dinner. The food we had was ok, but nothing to shout home about I’m afraid (we might just have been unlucky?).
ABC Cocina is part of the incredible ABC Carpet & Home store – which is stunning. So much interior inspiration to take home from here!
After brunch, we continued walking further uptown, through the super hectic and touristy area of Times Square, which was not a very pleasant experience… So.Many.People. We quickly rushed through, grabbed some ice coffees and headed straight into the more sanctuary space of Central Park.
The sun was shining and life felt good!
An afternoon snack at Blackseed Bagles – which is without a doubt, the BEST bagel I´ve ever had, and certainly hit the spot. The bagels were the perfect amount of doughy, yet crispy and full of flavour. We went for the sesame flavour, with a classic filling of smoked salmon, capers, red onion and cream cheese, and one with cured salmon with rocket, cream cheese and thinly sliced beetroot. Heaven.
As the weather was so lush on the Saturday, we walked over to Chelsea to the rooftop of Soho House, which was heaving with people, great music and a lot of skin! Finally, it felt like summer in NYC.
The moods were high, so we jumped straight up to the rooftop bar for the last hour of sun, and to try their infamous lollipop cocktails; you have the choice of white or pink champagne, with four different spirit infused popsicles. We couldn’t decide, so we went for three! Peach, Blackberry and Strawberry. Delicious.
That view though…
Then we spotted this little lady from the other side.
After drinks, we headed to Neta in West Village. Sushi is our favourite food, so we asked our equally obsessed foodie couple and NYC veterans where to go, and this was their number one tip. The excitement levels were high.
We had miso seared sea bream and lots of variations of rolls, nigiri and sashimi. The fish was out of this world, it just melted in your mouth. To top it off, when we went to pay, we were told that the neighbouring table with a party of ten (who happened to be quite loud), had already settled our bill! A great end to a great night.
We woke up to the only rainy day of our holiday. With sore heads from the all-day drinking the day before, we were ravenous and headed straight to The Butchers Daughter for some brekkie. Another popular place I’ve spotted on Instagram, offering vegetarian (mostly vegan) grub & juices.
Tired face and eyes. I had some lash extensions from Prima Lashes the day before I flew out, which were lifesavers the whole weekend.
As it was raining, we headed uptown for some retail therapy at Bergdorf Goodman. Love this place.
After a few hours uptown in and out of shops, we were starving again (yep, we love our food) and headed down to the Flatiron district for some lunch at Cosme – a contemporary Mexican inspired restaurant using local ingredients. I really liked the food, which was full to the brim with flavour and a lot of unusual flavours and food pairings. Sam wasn’t overly keen and thought it was a bit too fussy – but we both agreed that the Churros from here were the real deal. Butter soft with a crunchy crisp, with lots of sugar, cinnamon and a hot dark chocolate dip. Heaven on a plate.
The sun peeked out in the afternoon, so we decided to burn off that plate of Churros by walking all the way back to our hotel. All about balance, right?
We were pretty tired when we got back, so had an early evening nap back at the hotel, before heading out for a late dinner at Dirty French on the Lower East Side. This popular french bistro (located within The Ludlow hotel), was recommended by so many different people, and I had to book six weeks in advance to grab a table. Serving classic french cuisine with a flair, with chandeliers, banquettes and candles – it was typically French. Not usually our kind of food, we still wanted to try it out as it came so highly recommended.
The food was full of flavour. The oysters, which they proud themselves upon being the best, were nice, but not the greatest I´ve ever had. We both had two different types of fish (the meat selection was too heavy, even for Sam), which were both good. My only complaint is that the food was really rich, with a lot of butter and salt. It tasted great at the time, but we both left feeling quite uncomfortably full. BUT, the atmosphere and service was incredible at this place and we had a magical evening all in all, and for that reason alone, I would definitely recommend this place.
Last day in NYC… And it was a misty morning indeed. This is the bottom part of One World Trade Center!
We´re always excited for any kind of breakfast meal, especially when it involves eggs! So naturally, Egg Shop was a real winner for us.
It was Monday morning, so we only had to wait 15 minutes to get seated (this place usually gets rammed). I had the most insane savoury seeded jumbo scone with creamy scramble, cooked with smoked salmon and dill, with a mouthwatering horseradish cream. Probably one of the best egg breakfasts of my life. The scone and egg combo was just so good. Sam had a jumbo muffin with scramble and bacon, with a side of crispy hash browns. YUM.
We popped to Grand Central Station to catch up with an old friend over a quick cuppa.
She showed us this little hidden Oyster bar gem within Grand Central Station, which is apparently amazing for seafood and a real NYC institution.
There’s also an incredible food market here too. Who knew?
On the first day we stumbled upon this great little coffee place with the best coffee, iced chai and cookies we’ve had in New York. On the last day, we were determined to find it again, and after wondering around for a good twenty minutes, it appeared (hurray!).
Chewy, salty and sweet peanut cookies.
These ginger bread cookies were the nuts.
When in NYC, Dean & Deluca is a always a must! The boutique upscale version of Whole Foods. I love this place to sample lunch, snacks, juices and pretty kitchen essentials.
Chelsea Market in Meatpacking is a great place for food, and it’s become somewhat of a tradition of ours to head there for lunch, where we feast on sushi, lobster rolls and fresh seafood.
The perfect end, to the perfect long weekend…
Until next time, New York!
Thanks to Conrad New York for hosting us during this trip.