Ever since visiting the New York a couple of years ago, my husband and I have been itching to go back (although in a warmer month the second time around!). We were lucky enough to get a reward flight, so we booked a long weekend in late April to visit friends, revisit some of our favorite spots, and see and do (and eat) a few new things too!
Once again we stayed in Brooklyn which has a calmer atmosphere than Manhattan (I don't know how New Yorkers can live with all the honking!) and is a bit more wallet friendly. From as soon as we landed through to our departure, our time was filled with great friends, food, and fun. Here's what we were up to during our long weekend in New York:
Wake up early and drop the cats off at the vet before checking in to our flight. Treat ourselves to some kir royales on-board (hey, it's a vacation!) and try to sleep as much as we can on the plane.
Take a yellow cab from JFK airport to our hotel, The Wythe (a place that I've been wanting to stay in, and it certainly did not disappoint!), check-in and freshen up. There's nothing quite like a hot shower after an international flight!
Meet up with a friend for a dinner at Sunday in Brooklyn. We share a selection of really tasty (and well presented) small plates. My favorites were the radishes with koji butter and the sourdough loaf with beer butter. I washed it all down with a 'champagne problems' cocktail.
Wanting to catch up for a bit longer, we took a short stroll to the Donna Cocktail Club for some seriously good tiki drinks.
After a long day of travel and a couple of stiff drinks, we take a long walk back to the hotel and head to bed.
There's nothing like a good donut (and they're just not the same here in the UK!) so I returned to Peter Pan donuts bright and early (thanks, jet lag) to be reunited with my beloved chocolate sprinkle treat.
After some much needed sugar, we took the train into Union Square, checked out the food and flower market and then strolled over to 5th Avenue for a spot of shopping at J.Crew.
With all our wandering around, lunch is soon on our minds, so we walked to Chelsea Market and had a bite to eat at The Green Table. This was not the best choice (I think we were drawn to the fact that it had seating more than anything else) and I wouldn't recommend it - instead grab some food to go at one of the more casual places in the market.
Determined to find a new pair (or two) of jeans, we strolled a short distance to Madewell in Chelsea - I got these jeans in two washes (and have been living in them ever since). No trip to New York is complete without a stop at my favorite jewelry store, Catbird. I got myself a little birthday present - a rose gold ring that spells out 'purr.'
After a quick stop at The Wythe to drop things off, we met a friend in the West Village and ended up at Bubby's for an early dinner. After eyeing the huge portions other people were eating, we decided to instead share some appetizers. It's not the typical fare I go for (hush puppies, artichoke dip), but if you're looking for a filling meal, it's a good spot.
Wanting to enjoy the last bit of daylight (and walk off a bit of a food coma), we strolled The High Line for a short distance before grabbing a taxi to our next destination.
When in New York, it's obligatory to visit at least one really good cocktail bar. For us, that meant Middle Branch, where our friend happened to know the bartender. It was an evening of really spot-on drinks, which might have also included popping across the street for some pizza slices.
My husband went with me to get donuts the day before, so I joined him at Bagelsmith. There was a bit of a line, but the employees were efficient and friendly, and we were out the door, bagels in hand, in no time.
We had a long day of shopping ahead of us, so we met up with our friend at Blue Bottle Coffee in Brooklyn for some caffeine before heading over to Manhattan.
Since I did my shopping the day before, it was my husband's turn to focus on finding a suit. Suitsupply in Soho had really great styles for him, plus amazingly helpful staff. My husband found a classic blue suit while I discovered their secret women's collection upstairs - I nearly left with a tuxedo jacket, but I just couldn't quite swallow the price!
In true New York stye, we grabbed a pretzel to go at a cart on the sidewalk as a snack before dinner.
London is great, but it just doesn't have true Tex-Mex. We needed our fix, so we went to Javelina where we went a little overboard. Tacos, guacamole, fajitas, rice...we left full and happy!
Since we were staying at The Wythe, we couldn't pass up the Ides Bar on the rooftop. The drinks are overpriced, but the view of the Manhattan skyline is really what you're paying for. The cocktails weren't great - I'd stick to wine or liquor.
Sundays are meant for brunching, which we did at Egg. It was a feast of carbs for me - little beignets (on the house), plus French toast and a hash brown - all of which were delicious!
In an effort to both walk of my carb-heavy meal and enjoy the sun, we wandered through Mccaren Park in Brooklyn for a bit, before taking the train to the Upper East Side.
We cut across Central Park, which was picture-perfect on a sunny spring day, to check out the Upper West Side - an area we'd not been to before.
While in that neighborhood, we of course had to try Momofuku Milk Bar, if only for a good Instagram snap. I got the cereal milk with sprinkles, which was a little underwhelming in flavor, but a good treat for a hot day.
Two days of walking, not to mention jet-lag, left us a little worse for wear, so we decided to get massages in the West Village at Renew Body Wellness. Wow, was this a good massage, and at a great price too! I'd definitely recommend, and be sure to book ahead, as it can get busy!
For a quick pick-me-up I got a 'sinus shot' aka lemon juice plus cayenne at Liquiteria while the husband grabbed a coffee at Toby's Estate.
Dinner was fancy (and it's hard to look put-together after a massage), so we stopped by the hotel before heading to Cosme, an upscale Mexican restaurant.
It was a group of six of us for dinner, so we ordered plenty of plates to share and washed it down with margaritas, palomas and more. The highlight for me was dessert as it wasn't the most vegetarian-friendly of places!
Monday meant it was time for us to start heading home. We packed up our bags and dropped them off at a friend's place, who kindly looked after them while we explored New York for just a little bit longer.
We wandered around Brooklyn for a bit before grabbing lunch from the hot bar at Whole Foods (it just isn't the same in the UK!) and a few treats for later.
We'd heard good things about Park Slope, so we took the train over to that side of Brooklyn. We found a park with plenty of blossoming cherry trees and had a little cookie picnic on a park bench.
I have a bit of a Cheetos obsession, so we stopped by Target to get a few bags to bring back to the UK.
Having just a bit more time before needed to head to the airport, we had a poker lesson at our friend's place (since we'd be in Vegas a couple weeks later). Who knew there was so much strategy involved!
It was finally time to say goodbye to our friends and New York. We took a car to the to the airport and I snuck some french fries into the lounge for one last American indulgence before the flight.
Until next time,