Visit New York

One thing everybody must do before they die, is visit New York. There’s no place like it and on my plane journey over to NY in September I read a fantastic article in The Spectator about the city and how it never fails to wow. There was a wonderful quote about how you don’t even realise the skyscrapers when you are wandering around the city streets, because there is so much else to look at. Its a feast for the senses: colours, smells and sounds mingle and delight. Below the photographs, I am going to include a few of my top things to do aside from the touristy favourites. If you’ve been once or twice already, and want to try out a couple of activities that are a little different then keep reading!

The Warwick Hotel

Steak Frites at Balthazar

Central Grand Station Market

Bread Paul Hollywood would appreciate!

A fabulous bookshop-come-gallery in Brooklyn

The River Cafe Restaurant

St Pauls Chapel which survived 9/11

The Little Owl Restaurant (at the bottom of the building featured as the ‘Friends’ apartment block)

The Highline

Brooklyn Flea Market

The best dumpling I have ever eaten

Central Park

♥ Stay in the Warwick Hotel – it is the hotel that Cary Grant made his home for many years and has recently been done up. It is beautiful and has all the amenities you need, as well as being in a great location: 54th and 6th Avenue

♥ For the best steak and chips I have ever eaten, stop off at Balthazar downtown. A French style brasserie, it is always bustling and a great spot for people watching. The staff are super attentive and charming

♥ Use the subway. Most other trips, my family and I hopped into taxis because they’re great value however due to it being the tail end of the UN meetings that took place in NY, the streets were horrifically busy and we opted for the subway instead. The subway is clean, speedy and dirt cheap – oh, and really easy to figure out – so don’t be afraid to give it a go!

♥ For the most incredible eating experience you will ever have – and I am not exaggerating – head to the River Cafe on Water Street in Brooklyn. Don’t trust me? Search for the restaurant on Trip Advisor. For $100 per head, you get a three-course, exquisite dinner in the most beautiful setting I have ever seen. Placed upon a static platoon, the River Cafe looks out across the New York City skyline and we were lucky enough to have one of the best tables in the house, with all of our backs up against the wall looking out across the water. On entering the restaurant, you are greeted by an abundance of fresh flowers and the soft tinkling of piano keys. I felt like we were entering a majestic ship and each course was sublime. Honestly, $100 is a bargain for the whole experience on offer

♥ If you fancy making a packed lunch to take to Central Park, head to Central Station Market and choose from the array of different types of food on offer. Fresh fruit, patisserie, meat, cheeses, desserts – anything you could dream of – is on sale there. We didn’t buy anything in the end, but just walking through the market was satisfying enough!

♥ The Highline, which runs along the top of a disused railway track, is a great way to spend an afternoon. The Highline is about a mile or so long, full of plants and flowers and other quirky bits of art and is a lovely way to see some of the city from a different perspective

♥ Walk around the East Village (my favourite place) and grab a bite to eat at The Little Owl. It’s very tiny, and it’s probably best to turn up, stick your name on the waiting list, and have a wander for 45 minutes, but it’s totally worth it. Tea comes in lovely mugs – which I know sounds unexciting, but it’s quite a rarity to get a steaming mug of tea in restaurants these days! – and the grub is simple but delicious. Its a small space, but that just makes it more fun, especially if you like people watching or ear-wigging. We were sat next to a couple that looked like they’d just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, and were eating a simple lunch of garden salad and diet coke, to boot. I think they were probably disgusted by our gluttonous meal of burger and chips, but God they were good! As well as that, the restaurant is located at the bottom of the building that was featured as the ‘Friends’ apartment block

♥ Go to BROOKLYN! It’s only a subway ride away and it’s full of character. On the Sunday, we headed to the Williamsburg Flea Market where we oogled gorgeous pieces of furniture, mad fur coats and more importantly, ate some of the tastiest street food I’ve tried in a while. Pizza and dumplings were the order of the morning and they were wonderful

♥ For a calmer and more relaxed shopping experience than Macy’s, go to Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. It isn’t as big as Macy’s, however it’s empty and you get to enjoy a Visitor’s 15% discount if you just ask