A few weeks ago, Chelsea and I booked a last-minute trip to New York. Definitely not the wisest financial decision we’ve ever made, but I fell head-over-heels in love with the city! Any New Yorkers reading are probably rolling their eyes, but the first time I saw the cityscape driving from JFK airport I had Taylor Swift’s ‘Welcome to New York’ playing in my head, and we put it on as soon as we got to the hotel room (which by the way was at a gorgeous hotel called The Roger).
Prior to this trip, the only NYC knowledge I had was thanks to Sex and the City and of course, Gossip Girl. In fact, Gossip Girl was in the back of my mind pretty much the entire time we were there. I pictured us sat on the steps of the Met with the Queen B lunch crew, attending swanky Upper East Side soirées, and Chuck Bass waiting for me at the top of the Empire State Building… Anyway, I know how helpful other bloggers’ guides are to me when I’m planning my city breaks, so I tried to take photos of absolutely everything we did that I thought might be useful to share here. Naturally, this mainly consisted of food spots. And I’ve come away with so many recommendations that I decided to break it down for you in a two part series.
Spring may well have sprung in the UK, but New York was still freezing! I didn’t really listen when people warned me about the snowstorm heading our way. ‘I can do cold, I live in England’ I thought… but Holy moly, I was wrong.
Eager to pack as much as possible into our first – and only – day of forecasted sunshine, we started off with one of Lonely Planet’s recommended walks through Midtown Manhattan. This ticked off all the major sights worth seeing here, and we loved walking around, taking in the buzz of the city. Had it not been so cold we probably would have done one of the open-top bus tours, but that will have to wait until next time.
Pershing Square, 90 E 42nd St
The walk started at the iconic Grand Central Station, so we took the opportunity to enjoy our first New York breakfast in Pershing Square Café just opposite. Of course, we had to get pancakes (truly living the American Dream), and they were delicious. The waiters were really friendly too, topping up our coffee whenever we got low, which was much appreciated after being awake at 3 am with jet lag.
Top of the Rock
A bit touristy, but you have to see New York from above and these views trump those of the Empire State Building by far. (Pardon the pun, completely unintentional I promise!)
We purchased a New York CityPASS here for around $120, which got us access to the Empire’s Observation Deck too. We decided to do this in the evening to get a different perspective; New York is beautiful at night all lit up. I’d recommend buying a CityPass if you’re mainly looking to do touristy things, it was really easy to use and we liked knowing most of our activities had been paid for up front.
The View Restaurant & Lounge, 1535 Broadway
Thanks to Storm Stella we spent the majority of our second day snowed in at the hotel. So, naturally, we ordered room service and had a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon! But the second the snow stopped that evening, we got ourselves glammed up and headed into Times Square.
The View is a revolving restaurant and lounge on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis hotel. It’s a great spot if you fancy something a bit more upmarket, and they have an amazing cocktail list. If you’re not a guest at the hotel there’s a cover charge of $8 per person, which is a bit excessive if you ask me, but the views are worth it as a one-off.
UPPER EAST SIDE & CENTRAL PARK
Cliché I know, but a total must. Especially if you’re visiting in the warmer months when you can rent rowboats and bicycles, and see Bethesda Fountain in her full glory. Luckily we squeezed this in before the storm hit, so we sat outside Le Pain Quotidien with a cup of tea just watching people jogging or walking their dogs. No surprise that Cockapoos and Cavapoos seem to be the breed of choice at the moment!
Side note: Can we just take a moment to appreciate this little pug enjoying the sunshine? He made my day!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
I’ll spare you any more Gossip Girl references, but sitting on the steps of The Met is a tradition that seems to have withstood the test of time. The museum itself was probably wasted on us, but entry is included in the CityPASS I mentioned before, so a good option if you’re looking to get out of the cold for a bit!
Beyoglu, 1421 3rd Ave
By the time we finished walking around Central park and the Met, it was well past lunchtime and we were ravenous. Luckily for us, we did a quick maps search and there was a place just around the corner called Beyoglu, which promised the exact Turkish/Mediterranean café vibes we were feeling!
I’ll save you the heartache of not knowing what to order, and tell you to get a meze plate to share (it comes with this amazing warm bread which literally gave me life), then maybe some falafels and filo pastries stuffed with feta cheese too. Apparently, I was so excited by the warm bread that I forgot to actually take any photos here. Ooops, bad blogger!
Serendipity 3, 225 E 60th St
I had my heart set on going to Serendipity 3 after seeing their Frozen Hot Chocolate in one of Tess Christine’s YouTube videos. They’re a chocolate lovers dream, and big enough to share if you’re willing! The shop itself is tiny, but despite how busy it looked we got seated straight away, so I’d suggest going in ‘off-peak’ hours if you can.
Keep your eyes peeled for part two, coming soon. And as always, please share any of your recommendations below. I’m always looking for new places to try and writing this post is only making me more desperate to visit New York again!
You know you love me, XOXO,