It doesn’t get much better than a week in New York to brighten up a cold and dark February! We were long overdue a trip to our old city and had a huge list of restaurants, cocktail bars, sights and friends that we were excited to visit. A week of city life and Big Apple fun was on the agenda. New York, New York…we’re coming to get you!!
We stepped off the plane and into a snow covered New York City. New York winters are hard core and the below zero temperatures took a little adjusting to despite suffering through a chilly Irish January. Luckily the city is beautiful even under a few feet of snow and we wrapped up in our cold weather gear and hit the streets regardless!
Washington Square Park:
Where to stay in New York, the hotels we love:
We’ve stayed all over the city during our trips to NYC. Here’s some of our faves:
- the Courtyard Soho for its downtown location and price
- SIXTY Lower East Side when we want explore downtown with a bonus rooftop pool!
- Pod 51 is an awesome and funky option close to the Rockefeller Center
- Hi NYC on the Upper West Side is a great hostel option.
- the Knickerbocker and the Greenwich for unrivalled luxury
- the Renaissance Times Square for its Times Square location
- We use booking.com as it usually has awesome prices and flash sales on NYC hotels!
Food and Cocktails New York style!
New York food and cocktails rock and, with a wish list that would easily stretch for a month, we were determined to sample all our old favourites and discover some new gems. We opted for Michelin Star feasts, delicious burgers, lobster, cupcakes and Mexican goodness. Oh how we miss our favourite Mexican food since we left!
We started the week in style with a brunch date at Beauty and Essex, a very cool restaurant hidden at the back of a pawn shop in the Lower East Side. A get together with our New York gang was in order and we celebrated our reunion with cocktails and chatter followed by some beer pong and flip cup in honour of Superbowl Sunday!
The pawn shop entry to Beauty and Essex!
Our Central Park fave, Jean Georges, lived up to its memories (check out our first visit here!) and we enjoyed a fabulous 3 Michelin Star lunch for $50. Jean Georges is the owner of our favourite dish on the planet, tuna ribbons with avocado, spicy radish and ginger. Words can’t describe how amazing it is!
Burgers were high on our list of cravings and we hit the Spotted Pig (check out our last visit here!) for a blue cheese burger and some of our favourite fries in the city. Our next burger stop was our old neighbourhood and the Burger Joint, a dive burger bar in a 5* hotel where we really, really miss our Sunday evening trips for a pitcher of beer and an awesome burger. We weren’t finished there! Some googling of New York’s best burger led us to Minetta Tavern, an old school American restaurant, for a final burger fix! The $28 Black Label burger lived up to its reputation and we had a fun farewell brunch in the Village.
Spotted Pig burger:
The Black Label Minetta Tavern burger:
As if that wasn’t enough food, we spotted the most incredible lobster bar in Chelsea Market and, of course, had to indulge! It’s not every day you get to enjoy an entire lobster in an incredible setting and enjoy we did!
Chelesa market desserts make me very happy!
Our next stop is the gym to work off the approximately 20 million calories we consumed in New York!!
There ain’t no cocktail like a New York cocktail and we couldn’t wait to indulge! I’m not convinced anywhere else in the world will ever beat New York for consistently amazing cocktails and, after abandoning cocktails for quite some time, we were very thirsty!
We’d heard so much about the 65th floor Rainbow Room, a New York institution on top of the Rockefeller Centre, but its 5 year closure meant we never got the chance to visit. We couldn’t believe our luck when it reopened a few months before our trip and the dreamy views over the city made it worth the wait. The cocktails were good but the views were even better and we spent most of the evening lost in the beautiful panorama of the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center and Central Park. Check out our visit here!
Rainbow Room poses!
Cocktails, beer and cupcakes were the order of the day when we caught up with Katie from Stories My Suitcase Could Tell, a fellow travel blogger (and an amazing one at that) who we first met at the Cosmo Blog Awards in London last year. Cocktails, beer and cupcakes are a fab combination in case you’re wondering and the chats were even better!!
We hit up Lantern’s Keep for some sophisticated midtown cocktails with our old work crew and made a visit to our favourite Times Square cocktail bar. The views are really one of our favourite in the world! The Times Square people watching opportunities are immense and the bright lights still take our breath away.
Having spent a lot of time in New York as both residents and tourists we’ve seen all the big attractions and were determined to discover amazing sights that we hadn’t come across before. We embarked on our very own New York secret sights mission and had an absolute blast! Check out our round up of our favourite New York hidden gems here!
The JP Morgan Library was first on the agenda and we were blown away with the beautiful private library and the temporary Lincoln Exhibition. O Captain, My Captain…I can’t stop reciting Walt Whitman’s poem!
We have had a long standing love affair with Grand Central and The Whispering Gallery has been on our list forever. This trip finally allowed us to whisper sweet nothings to each other across the hall in between admiring the beautiful station. The sound waves travel through the ceiling diagonally and we had to giggle when we got some love from another tourist who thought she was talking to her boyfriend in the other corner!
Can you spy me? I’m the little one at the front!
A detox January combined with airplane champagne resulted in me confessing my desire to see the Brooklyn Bridge at dawn and thinking nothing more of it. Until the next morning when alarms started ringing at 6am with the husband declaring that I was too jetlagged to sleep (I wasn’t) and before I knew it I was standing in the middle of the Bridge in freezing temperatures while he indulged in some photography action. As with most of our early morning sightseeing escapades it was totally worth it and we enjoyed an hour on the Bridge with just a few lone runners for company. I couldn’t feel my frozen limbs for the next 7 hours but the views and pictures were worth every second! Anyway, it could be worse, the last time I had a bright idea while drinking champagne I signed up for the New York marathon!!
The best of the rest!
We walked miles and miles through Central Park, Times Square, the Village and Downtown just admiring the fun and quirkiness of the city! It’s one of our favourite New York activites and we never grow tired of walking around and taking it all in.
The Irish Hunger Memorial:
Jumping for joy at our waterfall discovery!
We rented a car and took a trip to the New Jersey shopping outlet, Woodbury Common. Of course we couldn’t just drive straight to Woodbury Common, we had to stop at Tom’s Restaurant from Seinfeld (so recognisable!), Pomander Walk ( a very cute old English style housing block) and the Cloisters. After all that, we shopped until we dropped and are now the proud owners of more clothes than we know what to do with!
Looks familar?! Tom’s Restaurant:
Our luck was in when we were invited to join the audience for a taping of the Late Night Show with Seth Myers. I hadn’t heard of the show but we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to sit in the audience and see an NBC show in action. We laughed, we cheered and we didn’t take any photos because they would chuck us out but it was a fantastic experience!
Leaving New York is never easy…
Our week was over in a flash and before we knew it we were on our way to the airport. It’s never easy to say goodbye to the incredible city that used to be home and the friends that were our New York family. But home is where the heart is, as well as our other amazing friends and family, and we can’t argue with that!
Farewell kisses to NYC!
Champagne and airplanes cheering us up!