A huge City with lots to see and as I have just returned from another fabulous trip there let me try to encapsulate a great trip for you into a long weekend. The whole City was deserted when we went due to Covid numbers so we did not queue at all but as things return to normal you may find that you need to book in advance to avoid queues
Most NY flights get you in early evening and as it is 5 hours behind UK time you maybe feeling jet lagged. So this evening cocktails and a light dinner in the hotel. The LOEWS REGENCY HOTEL is perfectly situated on PARK AVENUE and has a famous restaurant and bar. Also Julian Farel has his hair and beauty salon within the Hotel . Maybe the wonderful Jet Lag Massage is all that is needed this evening.
The hotel does an amazing Power Breakfast in the Speak Easy style restaurant. But as we wanted to get out and experience life as a New Yorker we discovered Cafe Olympia on Lexington where the locals go. Every food imaginable cooked fresh to order. No frills , giant tables for everyone to share. Met loads of lovely people here and great egg white omelettes with any filling requested.
With my pedometer switched on we set off walking on our adventure. We love to walk in cities so you can discover hidden gems. I appreciate this maybe your first visit to NY so let’s walk to the ROCKEFELLER CENTRE . Here you can get tickets for the TOP OF THE ROCK where spectacular views of the City await. Also the world famous , as seen in many films the Ice Rink is here. Personally I prefer the ice skating in Central Park but this maybe something you would like to try today.
F.A.O Schwarz the Toy Store In Tom Hanks film BIG was filmed here with the giant keyboard on the floor. So take your footwear off and give it a tinkle. This store is stunning if you have any children with you.
Eddies Shoeshine is here too , the man in your life would love to have his boots shined like never before by shoeshiner to the stars Eddie. Eddie even gets his photo album out and regales you with stories of Presidents and Hollywood superstars.
Well girls as you waited for his shoeshine its all about you now ! We all need some shopping time while in New York to bag some bargains so lets head to Fifth Avenue to SAKS and BERGDORF GOODMAN. These stores are a little dated and shabby now so the shopping is not as good as London but with the weakened dollar you can certainly get items cheaper. However handbags that have to be imported into US are NOT cheaper even with the current exchange rate. American labels are much cheaper . I bought some St John pieces far cheaper than Harrods. So think Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nike etc rather than Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Bed Linen I find is gorgeous here I ALWAYS buy my bedding in the US.
So after heading back to the Hotel with all your purchases It is time to freshen up as i have booked a table at HARRY CIPRIANIS for dinner. Or take your shopping with you as you are just over the road at BERGDORF’S. It depends how hungry or how dressy you want to be. Most people were not dressed up on the whole, but mainly because it was -10 degrees. I actually went there in my Killy salopettes !! In fact I wore my Killys for the entire trip as you will see from the photographs.
Bellini’s are the order of the day here. Beef carpaccio to start and roast chicken for main ! Followed by more Bellini’s.
Cafe Olympia for breakfast.
Pre-booked tickets for the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. Lots of Instagram opportunities here. Including a King Kong Scene. It has to be done I guess. The art deco architecture itself is worth a look. There is a museum as you go up which is fascinating to see how this great monument was built. But be prepared for long queues as you go through all the security checks.
SEX AND THE CITY TOUR ! YAY! So excited. But let me tell you even if you are not a fan this tour was one of the most fun. On this 3 hour tour you get to see further South on Manhattan Island………..Greenwich Village, West Village, Soho. Visits to Carries house , Scouts bar for Cosmopolitans (lots of Cosmopolitans) Boudican Restaurant where Big and Carrie held their wedding rehearsal dinner. Magnolia Bakery for free red velvet cupcakes. SJPs Shoe Store for bespoke shoes at a discount. This was SOOOO much fun and for $50 pp a bargain.
As we met the tour at the fountain outside the Plaza Hotel at 3pm you may want to take a light lunch or afternoon tea prior to the tour. As we got back late to the Hotel and decided not to do dinner. Maybe just too many Cosmos !! Lol !
Sundays are made for Art Galleries and Central Park. So we headed to the GUGGENHEIM which is small and interesting enough not to take too much of your holiday time and is not too overwhelming. A small Soupcon of culture. The current exhibition of Gillian Wearing was fascinating.
We decided to stroll through CENTRAL PARK right to the other side to visit Strawberry Fields the JOHN LENNON MEMORIAL. Where we had a little sing a long to All You Need Is Love with a local busker. We had a lovely lunch of Lobster Mac and Cheese and lots of lovely Malbec to warm us up at The TAVERN ON THE GREEN an iconic landmark in Central Park.
As I had already reached my 20000 steps target we got an UBER to the business district to pay our respects at the 911 Memorial and the museum. Which had been completed since my last visit. We thought long and hard before deciding to do this but we are so glad we did it has been done so well and there is a calmness around the area. The horrors of that day should never be forgotten but the museum was sympathetically done and built within the foundations of the TWIN TOWERS
I booked you a table at ZUMA on MADISON with its unsurpassed Japanese cuisine. A big favourite of mine I visit Zuma whenever I know there is one in the City I am visiting. You will not be disappointed. Sexy and sultry, dark and moody , perfect if you are on a romantic getaway.
We are heading home today on a late flight so plenty of time for more exploring. After having a “Power Breakfast” at The Regency (cafe Olympia closed on Sundays ) we head to GRAND CENTRAL STATION to walk our breakfast off. This world famous landmark has featured in numerous Films and Tv Series and is the world largest working station with 44 platforms.It is remarkably clean and the architecture is formidable. It belongs in a bygone era , there is something very Disney about it. There are many retail and dining options on separate levels . So before we head home we head to anther NY iconic eatery THE OYSTER BAR AT GRAND CENTRAL it is a stalwart of the area being located here for 108 years. after our power breakfast alas we decide on OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER and Champagne to toast our wonderful visit to the City that never sleeps !
So there you have it a special long weekend in NY I hope it helps to have a skeleton outline and a loose plan especially if you haven,t been before. If I have got you all excited that you are going off to book a trip immediately, and I would as the planes and the Big Apple are beautifully quiet, but it is freezing cold so take your salopettes !!!!!!
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP : AS WITH ANY CITY PLAN YOUR SIGHTSEEING BEFORE YOU GET THERE SO IT FLOWS WELL. SECONDLY WALK EVERYWHERE AS THATS WHEN YOU SPOT THE HIDDEN GEMS THE FABULOUS EATERIES, THE GREAT PEOPLE………..SOAK UP THE ATMOSPHERE. THINK OF THE FITNESS !