Spotlight on NYC
 

New York, New York.....it's a wonderful town!

 

Tonight's post is all about New York.  There's tons of wonderful travel books and websites recommending great places to go and things to do.  Personally, I'm a big fan of checking out blogger recommendations and Instagram as they feel more real and current.  All of the places I'm recommending are places I've discovered on my own trips and loved.  Last Spring I worked out there for a whole month and after a few weeks I felt like somewhat of a native and started to discover places that New Yorkers love....those little hidden gems.

New York is a magical, wonderful city.  I love that every time I go back I find something new to check out - it's truly progressive and massively exciting.  In terms of areas, everyone will head to Manhattan and it's a great district.  I particularly like Downtown Soho and Greenwich Village but enjoyed wandering around the Upper East Side then meandering down 5th Avenue.  Last time I was in the city friends introduced me to Williamsburg in Brooklyn which I loved.  Williamsburg felt so chilled and lovely, filled with gorgeous independent bars, cafes and amazing one-off boutiques.  I've found some of the places below just by wandering.  

 

Eating and Drinking 

 
  Obica, 928 Broadway   I'm not one for recommending chains, especially when they are in London but Mark and I found this after a day of walking round the whole of downtown Manhattan and it was a real treat.  The most fantastic, fresh food and a great wine list.  I went back when he had gone home and sat at the bar eating tuna salads as it was right opposite my office and loved it.

Obica, 928 Broadway

I'm not one for recommending chains, especially when they are in London but Mark and I found this after a day of walking round the whole of downtown Manhattan and it was a real treat.  The most fantastic, fresh food and a great wine list.  I went back when he had gone home and sat at the bar eating tuna salads as it was right opposite my office and loved it.

  Jack's Wife Freda, 224 Lafayette Street   New Yorkers love to brunch and if you're in the market for amazing, yummy food then get yourself down to Jack's Wife Freda.  It's really chilled and the service is fabulous.  The food is a gastric wonder and a fusion of American meets Mediterranean which is pretty blooming awesome.  I'd recommend the Mashed Avo on Seeded Bread - this is the best I've ever had.

Jack's Wife Freda, 224 Lafayette Street

New Yorkers love to brunch and if you're in the market for amazing, yummy food then get yourself down to Jack's Wife Freda.  It's really chilled and the service is fabulous.  The food is a gastric wonder and a fusion of American meets Mediterranean which is pretty blooming awesome.  I'd recommend the Mashed Avo on Seeded Bread - this is the best I've ever had.

  Sushi Samba, 87 7th   Avenue    Mark booked this for the Saturday night he came to visit me and we had a brilliant time.  Sushi Samba is a Brazilian-influenced sushi restaurant in the West Village.   Having seen it in Sex & the City, I was all about visiting the original one in NY rather than the newer one in London.  We had  cocktails, saki, an amazing Chablis and the tasting menu which was awesome.  The waitress asks you about what you like and how experimental you are then just brings you loads of food - a great night in a fun, lively place.

Sushi Samba, 87 7th Avenue

Mark booked this for the Saturday night he came to visit me and we had a brilliant time.  Sushi Samba is a Brazilian-influenced sushi restaurant in the West Village.   Having seen it in Sex & the City, I was all about visiting the original one in NY rather than the newer one in London.  We had  cocktails, saki, an amazing Chablis and the tasting menu which was awesome.  The waitress asks you about what you like and how experimental you are then just brings you loads of food - a great night in a fun, lively place.

  Hu Kitchen, 78 5th Avenue   This was literally my life almost every day for lunch.  Paleo is at the heart of what this healthy living cafe offers plus they have lots of great vegan, dairy free and gluten free options too.  I ate a range of things during my time in the city and loved everything.  Located on the lower side of 5th Avenue it's surrounded by great stores including a large Madewell, a great Club Monaco and Eataly which is an amazing food store with a nutella bar.  Well you've earned the treat after lunch at Hu haven't you?!

Hu Kitchen, 78 5th Avenue

This was literally my life almost every day for lunch.  Paleo is at the heart of what this healthy living cafe offers plus they have lots of great vegan, dairy free and gluten free options too.  I ate a range of things during my time in the city and loved everything.  Located on the lower side of 5th Avenue it's surrounded by great stores including a large Madewell, a great Club Monaco and Eataly which is an amazing food store with a nutella bar.  Well you've earned the treat after lunch at Hu haven't you?!

  Black Flamingo, 168 Borinquen Place, Brooklyn   So my friend Karinna was in NY at the same time as me and suggested going for a drink here as she's wanted to check it out.  She's pretty awesome at finding the weird and wonderful places.  Black Flamingo is a retro Latin bar with an amazing cocktail list.  We enjoyed some edamame and various tacos along with our drinks and had a pretty lovely time.

Black Flamingo, 168 Borinquen Place, Brooklyn

So my friend Karinna was in NY at the same time as me and suggested going for a drink here as she's wanted to check it out.  She's pretty awesome at finding the weird and wonderful places.  Black Flamingo is a retro Latin bar with an amazing cocktail list.  We enjoyed some edamame and various tacos along with our drinks and had a pretty lovely time.

  Cafe Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel, 35 East 76th Street   If you're in the market for a slice of old, grand New York and a flavour of it's infamous Upper East Side then I'd highly recommend dinner at Cafe Carlyle.  The Carlyle hotel is timeless Manhattan and everything you'd expect from a grand old dame of the Upper East Side - elegant, refined and the best people watching!  Start your evening off in Bemelmans Bar enjoying live music and a Seguinot Bordet amongst the art deco surroundings.  Then head into the restaurant where they offer a lovely menu.  I enjoyed the East Coast oysters followed by the seafood salad.  I had a lovey evening in gorgeous surroundings and even spotted two A-list celebrities!

Cafe Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel, 35 East 76th Street

If you're in the market for a slice of old, grand New York and a flavour of it's infamous Upper East Side then I'd highly recommend dinner at Cafe Carlyle.  The Carlyle hotel is timeless Manhattan and everything you'd expect from a grand old dame of the Upper East Side - elegant, refined and the best people watching!  Start your evening off in Bemelmans Bar enjoying live music and a Seguinot Bordet amongst the art deco surroundings.  Then head into the restaurant where they offer a lovely menu.  I enjoyed the East Coast oysters followed by the seafood salad.  I had a lovey evening in gorgeous surroundings and even spotted two A-list celebrities!

 

Shopping

 
  Barneys, 101 7th Avenue   New York is awash with gorgeous department stores from Bergdorf Goodman & Saks Fifth Avenue to Bloomingdales and Macy's but it was this particular downtown branch of Barneys that won my heart.  This new concept opened in early 2016 on the exact site Barneys was founded in 1923.  The store is very cool with an amazing central staircase but the brand choice and edit within those brands is cutting edge and fashion forward - a must see.

Barneys, 101 7th Avenue

New York is awash with gorgeous department stores from Bergdorf Goodman & Saks Fifth Avenue to Bloomingdales and Macy's but it was this particular downtown branch of Barneys that won my heart.  This new concept opened in early 2016 on the exact site Barneys was founded in 1923.  The store is very cool with an amazing central staircase but the brand choice and edit within those brands is cutting edge and fashion forward - a must see.

  Kith (Women's Store), 64 Bleecker Street    Kith is the brainchild of Sneaker guru Ronnie Fieg who is heralded as making Asics cool and  the  guy brands want to work with on limited editions.     His NYC store Kith is generally regarded as the go to for sneakers and urban wear.  With stores in Soho and Brooklyn, the company recognised their loyal female tribe and launched their womenswear store at the end of 2015.  Alongside their signature kicks, expect to find some serious cool activewear.

Kith (Women's Store), 64 Bleecker Street

Kith is the brainchild of Sneaker guru Ronnie Fieg who is heralded as making Asics cool and the guy brands want to work with on limited editions.   His NYC store Kith is generally regarded as the go to for sneakers and urban wear.  With stores in Soho and Brooklyn, the company recognised their loyal female tribe and launched their womenswear store at the end of 2015.  Alongside their signature kicks, expect to find some serious cool activewear.

  Henri Bendel, 712 5th Avenue   One of my favourite places in New York, I tend to go here every time without fail and have now amassed quite a collection of handbags, cosmetic bags and accessories.  Henri Bendel is a great accessories store filled to the brim with chic handbags, luggage, jewellery and girlie accessories.  Over the years I've acquired a large tote, a small cross body bag, a back pack, a few cosmetics bags and travel bags and they've all lasted and worn so well.  What I love most is that almost anything can be monogrammed or embroidered with your initials whilst you wait.

Henri Bendel, 712 5th Avenue

One of my favourite places in New York, I tend to go here every time without fail and have now amassed quite a collection of handbags, cosmetic bags and accessories.  Henri Bendel is a great accessories store filled to the brim with chic handbags, luggage, jewellery and girlie accessories.  Over the years I've acquired a large tote, a small cross body bag, a back pack, a few cosmetics bags and travel bags and they've all lasted and worn so well.  What I love most is that almost anything can be monogrammed or embroidered with your initials whilst you wait.

  Story, 144 10th Avenue   Story puts other stores that claim to be 'concept stores' in the shadows.  This place is like stepping into the pages of a glossy magazine.  With a new 'theme' every six to eight weeks the product offer of this store is the freshest of the fresh and the experience of shopping and being immersed in the concept of that time is unique and fascinating - don't go to New York without checking this out.

Story, 144 10th Avenue

Story puts other stores that claim to be 'concept stores' in the shadows.  This place is like stepping into the pages of a glossy magazine.  With a new 'theme' every six to eight weeks the product offer of this store is the freshest of the fresh and the experience of shopping and being immersed in the concept of that time is unique and fascinating - don't go to New York without checking this out.

  Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg in Brooklyn   This shopping district of Brooklyn's cool Williamsburg area needed it's own mention.  The the L train to the Bedford Avenue stop then just wander the length of the street and the intermingling areas around it.  You'll find gorgeous accessories at  Catbird , a mix of fashion at  In God We Trust , DIY jewellery at  Brooklyn Charm , hip get cheap clothing at  Fanaberie  and vinyl at  Earwax Records .

Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg in Brooklyn

This shopping district of Brooklyn's cool Williamsburg area needed it's own mention.  The the L train to the Bedford Avenue stop then just wander the length of the street and the intermingling areas around it.  You'll find gorgeous accessories at Catbird, a mix of fashion at In God We Trust, DIY jewellery at Brooklyn Charm, hip get cheap clothing at Fanaberie and vinyl at Earwax Records.

  Sephora, 45 East 17th Street   Sephora is hands down the best beauty store I've ever visited and no trip to New York is complete without a mega-haul!  I love being able to browse brands that we don't have here or brands that are more difficult for us to find but what I really love is the aisles leading up to the tills.  Weird I know but that's where the minis and exclusives hide and I've come away with some great travel sizes of my favourite products including the IT Cosmetics CC cream, Tarte Shape Tape Concealer and the Becca Moonlight Powder.  You'll need at least an hour...

Sephora, 45 East 17th Street

Sephora is hands down the best beauty store I've ever visited and no trip to New York is complete without a mega-haul!  I love being able to browse brands that we don't have here or brands that are more difficult for us to find but what I really love is the aisles leading up to the tills.  Weird I know but that's where the minis and exclusives hide and I've come away with some great travel sizes of my favourite products including the IT Cosmetics CC cream, Tarte Shape Tape Concealer and the Becca Moonlight Powder.  You'll need at least an hour...

 

don't miss these tourist attractions

 
  Strawberry Fields in Central Park

Strawberry Fields in Central Park

  The Top of the Rock

The Top of the Rock

  The Whitney & The Highline

The Whitney & The Highline

  9/11 Memorial And Museum

9/11 Memorial And Museum

  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  The Statue of Liberty Cruise

The Statue of Liberty Cruise

 

Where to Sleep in manhattan

 

downtown

 The Crosby Street Hotel, 79 Crosby Street

The Crosby Street Hotel, 79 Crosby Street

midtown

 The Roger Hotel, 131 Maddison Avenue

The Roger Hotel, 131 Maddison Avenue

uptown

 The Lotte New York Palace, 455 Maddison Avenue

The Lotte New York Palace, 455 Maddison Avenue

 

New York Street Style