This was a really special trip to New York, twenty five years after my first visit, I returned with the same girlfriend, neither of us now working for The Dorchester, as we had been on that first trip. This time is was for an amazing treat and time to spend together. Five children later, two husbands( one each!), several jobs and many house moves, we returned to visit favourite and new haunts. Not deterred by a blizzard and a 25 inch snow fall on our first day, we donned on snow boots( thanks to Martine’s packing!) and walked miles, often with the cross country skiers, as they made their way along Park Avenue. New York had never looked more beautiful, the day after the storm, the skies were blue and the light from the incredible snow fall meant everywhere was bathed in the brightest glow.
It was a delight of food and experiences –
Twenty five years ago the only vegetables that you seemed ever to be served came in the form of a dinner salad – iceberg and a grating of carrot, if you were lucky! Not so now, we dined on the most delicious food – salads of kale, brussel sprouts, heritages carrots, roasted cauliflower- I came back inspired and feeling very healthy. Lots of great recipes hopefully to follow.
Restaurants to visit
Il Buco www.ilbuco.com The most delightful small Italian in Soho – just felt like we were in Puglia, with ceramics and flowers everywhere. Kale salad – was amazing.
Narcissa narcissarestaurant.com Farm to Table seems to be the buzz word in NY and this restaurant – sister to The Chiltern Street Fire Station in London, really did have amazing food – best brussel sprout salad and squash gnocchi here!
Claudettes claudettenyc.com The restaurant of the moment – great lunch menu. Delicious!
Loeb Boathouse www.thecentralparkboathouse.com Located on the lake in Central Park – sit on a table by the water and enjoy the view of the lake and the Manhattan skyline!
Untitled at The Whitney www.untitledatthewhitney.com The very best food I have ever had in a museum restaurant – inventive and delicious, small dishes of incredible vegetable combinations – Chef is the amazing Michael Anthony.
BG at Berdoff Goodman www.bergdorfgoodman.com Sat up here, on the top floor, with the amazing view of 5th Avenue and the elegant lady shoppers of New York – The Gotham Salad is it’s signature dish – a chopped salad of everything – dated but an institution!
Vivolo vivolo.vivolonyc.com Ate here the night of the storm with friends.Upper East Side It was a refuge from the blizzard – a warm, friendly Italian next to our friends apartment, so we could all walk! The chef cooked for the Pope on his recent visit – so has to be good Italian cooking!
Top things to do
The Metropolitan Museum My new favourite – it’s enormous so choose a period to concentrate on that isn’t too vast! I loved the early Europeans and Reimagining Modernism 1900-1950. On leaving I walked trough the African floor and another 2 hours disappeared. Just fabulous. The shop is like a department store – beautiful jewellery, books and rugs!
The Whitney Now located in The Meat Packers area at the end of The Highline, stunning contemporary building with constantly changing exhibitions. Fab restaurant
Walk the High Line Don’t miss this walk – even in the snow it was wonderful. Look out for the seats over the road and sculpture.
The Tenement Museum Interesting museum in Soho telling the tales of several immigrant families and traces their history to modern day. Reminds us what a melting pot of immigrants America is!
Walk in Central Park – Not to be missed
ABC Carpets A great and enormous shop just off Union Square selling gifts, clothes and interiors – Like a huge and special Anthropologie. Deepak Chopra has a centre in here for fabulous talks, guest speakers and yoga. Check out the time table before you go.Restaurant worth a visit too!
Barnes and Noble The very best of book shops – I love the one in Union Square – great selections of vinyls too, the stores are all over New York. If books are your thing also go to Mcnally Jackson in Soho – a great store where they also print books and have lots of really interesting evening events.
Union Square Market On most days – amazing farmers market in the very centre of New York.
Battle of the beards in Williamsburg Williamburg is the hot new spot, full of hipsters, cool street art – try a walking tour and vintage markets. In fact the whole of Brooklyn is an amazing story of redevelopment. Home now to lots of craft breweries, food producers and delicious cafes. Previously and still, where they haven’t been squeezed out, a very orthodox Jewish area. Read the fascinating story by Debroah Feldman of her life and escape from her Hasidic Jewish upbringing.
Bloomingdales A trip to New York would not be complete without a visit – try to get through the makeup hall without being ambushed for a make over!
Soho A great area of small and specialist shops and restaurants – don’t miss Jonathan Adler’s camp interiors store, McNally Jackson’s book store or it’s sister shops across the street for lovely stationary and prints or the award winner Longchamp store designed by Heatherwick Studio or The Fat Radish for a plate of steaming vegetables.
Upper East Side I just love this area, an apartment here would be just fine!
There is a little stretch of Lexington where I love the small shops –
Diane B at 820 Lexington – fabulous shoes
J. Pocker 135 East 63rd Street by Lexington. Go upstairs for the prints
Sara Japanese Pottery at 950 Lexington
Betsey Bunky Nini at 980 Lexington Great clothes – more casual
Dannielle at 1034 Lexington Great clothes/suits and trousers