NEW YORK NEW YORK
A few weeks ago Mr B and I jetted across the Atlantic for a few days of R&R – I’d just been through a mammoth fortnight working on the B.LOVED relaunch (don’t you love it?!), hosting the Flourish & Prosper Wedding Academy (more on that soon), a secret styled shoot (yup, more on that soon too!), oh and celebrating my birthday somewhere in the middle of all of that. Needless to say I was kind of ready for a break, and what with it being Mr B’s big 3-0 we decided it was about time for a trip to the Big Apple! Since I Instgrammed our whole trip so many of you have asked for the details, so here goes…
The insane amount of travelling we’ve both done this year meant we managed to get a cheeky upgrade on our flights to Business using some airmiles we’d saved. We travelled out on British Airways London City flight, which is certainly rather luxe being a business-only jet seating just 32 passengers on lovely fully reclining seat. There *may* have even been a well known British comedian on our flight, and I managed not to come over all fan girl on the poor man. For a special occasion I’d definitely recommend this route (although admittedly it’s not cheap!), stopping briefly in Shannon, Ireland to secure US Customs meant a super quick arrival into New York’s JFK airport and straight into a taxi to take us across the East River to Manahattan.
We decided to stay at The Broome in Soho , which we LOVED. The location was perfect – less touristy than uptown but still just a few stops on the subway from everywhere we needed to get to, plus it was super super trendy. Being both our first trips to NYC there were so many things we wanted to do, a mix of the sights, museums and slightly more quirky!
We headed up to the Rockafeller Centre just in time to see the famous Christmas tree arriving and being hoisted in to place. It looked tiny in front of that mammoth skyscraper! We rode the elevator to the top, and took in our very first views of Manhattan from the sky – wow! The 360 degree views are totally uninteruppted, and despite the chill, we spent quite a while circling around checking out everything from Central Park and 5th Avenue down to the skyscrapers of Wall Street and the World Trade Center. Top tip – we purchased a New York City Pass that not only saved us a heap on entry fees, but also lets you skip the queues in most places – a massive time saver especially in peak times!
The following day I was suffering hugely with jet lag (It’s a bitch. Fact) so we spent a leisurely morning exploring Brooklyn, heading to the hip suburb of Williamsburg to check out the flea market (full of awesome designer makers, things may have been purchased!) and Smorgasbord, a foodie market on the rivers edge with stalls from small producers of everything from burgers to cheescake to tacos to ribs… you name it! After lunch we headed back into town to check out the Brooklyn Brewery, where you can try their famous craft beer and tour the brewery. Oh and of course we had to pop into Catbird NYC as we were in the neighbourhood (top tip, this is a tiny shop and man it’s busy on the weekend!). After an afternoon nap at the hotel (jetlag…) we headed to the Empire State Building to take in the city after dark. This had to be my favourite experience – despite being bloody freezing! It’s not called the city that never sleeps for nothing, and after dark it certainly seemed to come alive.
The next day being Mr B’s birthday, we popped into to Dean & DeLuca gourmet deli for a yummy breakfast before heading to a secret location for Mr B’s birthday surprise… a private helicopter flight over New York! We were so lucky to have a beautiful clear and crisp Autumn day and the views were incredible, flying out over the Hudson, around Liberty Island and the whole of Manhattan! Definitely the highlight of our trip – and needless to say flying-fanatic Mr B was a very happy boy! In the afternoon we went to visit the Statue of Liberty, and wow she’s huge! Here we did the touristy thing and grabbed an audio guide as I was fascinated by the history and architecture of Lady Liberty herself. Next stop Staten Island, the first port of call for every immigrant arriving in the New World, super interesting for a history buff but perhaps even more relevant if you have family who you know made the trip many years ago! My final birthday treat for Mr B was the most awesome steak at Costata. Try the New York Strip – it still makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
We couldn’t visit New York without visiting the 9 11 Memorial and the brand new Freedom Tower which opened it’s doors to their first tenant, Condé Naste, while we were in town. I’m sure you will remember that day as clearly as I do, and visiting the museum, as well as the two pools which now act as a memorial over the foundations of the twin towers was an incredibly powerful and moving experience. I loved how a rainbow appeared over the pools as we watched the water cascading in the autumn sun. It was mesmerising and an utterly beautiful tribute.
We also wanted to visit a slightly more unusual attraction, the New York High Line in the Meatpacking District, where disused railtracks above the city have been transformed into an urban park with art installations from local designers and artist which change constantly, making it a super inspiring place to wander. Along the route is Chelsea Market, a very trendy food hall in an old butchers yard, boasting gourmet food stalls and restaurants from all over the city. We had amazing pasta here!
Our final day was reserved for shopping!!! With my faves Kate Spade, Anthropologie, J Crew, Bloomingdayles, Crate & Barrel and more on the doorstep I was in shopaholic heaven! Mr B even managed to pick up a few things in Jack Spade, but we just might have needed a new suitcase to get it all home; now that’s what I call a successful trip!