A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Situated on the trendy Lower East Side, The Ludlow hotel has been highly recommended to us on numerous occasions – and for good reason. Rooms come with comfortable beds, bath tubs (with city views), and are tastefully decorated with a contemporary yet cosy aesthetic. We stayed in the mini studio rooms, which are perfect for one person. Pop downstairs to The Lobby bar for a cocktail, followed by dinner in Dirty French. Then in the morning head next door to Ludlow Coffee Supply for a mean flat white.
Clean beauty devotees will adore The Detox Market in NoHo, which is filled to the rafters with natural products. Stocking a multitude of brands, from global names to small independents, you’re sure to find something you’ll want to add to your bathroom cabinet. Our spree saw us fill our baskets with everything from bamboo wipes to exfoliating soap bars and dry shampoos in a stick. With the help of the very knowledgeable staff, Laura found her new favourite base product: Quinoa Water by Ere Perez, a water-based colour corrector with a dewy finish.
A friend took us to LA-inspired cafe West-bourne in SoHo, and we were immediately won over by the entirely vegetarian, and entirely delicious, menu. Dishes are packed with flavour and colour, and are as much a treat for the eyes as they are for the taste buds. We were also impressed by the great selection of raw juices and adventurous mocktails.
If you have a penchant for a patch, head to Stoney Clover Lane pop-up in SoHo. You can choose from all manner of bags and pouches, then customise them with quirky patches. Laura picked up a couple of wash bags for her daughters, plus one for herself, and adorned them with initials, slogans, glittery symbols and fun motives. Perfect for gifting, you can also buy online.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Everafter in Tribeca is the most stylish kids boutique in the whole city. Catering for girls and boys from toddler to teen, it stocks a plethora of cool US brands you won’t find in Europe, as well as some of the usual favourites. Once you’ve kitted out the kids, go next door to sister shop The Westside and find a few pieces for yourself.
DINNER AND DISHES
La Mercerie is a must-visit hot spot for foodies. The French SoHo restaurant is renowned for its delicious crepes, cakes and pastries, which are served in the stylish surroundings of the Roman and Williams Guild interiors emporium. After our meal we perused the selection of ceramics, dishes and crockery on sale, all the time wishing we had more space in our suitcases!
You can’t fail to be delighted by Flour Shop by Amirah Kassem in SoHo, no matter your age. A bakery-cum-sugary wonderland, it’s filled with rainbow sponges stuffed with sprinkles and covered in frosting. While Amirah’s signature explosion cakes were a little too large for our hand baggage, Laura picked up a couple of pretty cake pops for her girls.
Although the New York subway map takes a bit of getting used to, it’s certainly worth getting your head around, as during rush hour this is the speediest way to travel. For a true NYC experience, hail a yellow cab off the street – just be prepared to have the correct street intersections at the ready to give as directions. Uber and Lift are both available in the city, and can be booked using your UK account.
One of our favourite designers, we couldn’t come to New York without stopping by the Ulla Johnson boutique on Bleecker Street. Modelled on a 19th century brownstone, every element of the bright and airy store has been finished by local designers and makers, and acts as the perfect backdrop to Johnson’s exquisite pieces.
We happened upon Love Adorned on Elizabeth Street and immediately fell in love with its cabinets of curiosities. From vintage jewellery to one-of-a-kind accessories and handcrafted homeware, every surface is filled with treasures.
MoMA is one of our favourite modern art galleries and an essential stop for both of us when we’re in the city. As well as an impressive permanent collection, the space plays host to a regular roster of must-see exhibitions. Of course, we always make time for a quick spin around the gift shop, which is brilliant for picking up unique presents.
Our final foodie stop in New York was Café Altro Paradiso on the west side of SoHo – and what a meal to end on. Serving traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist, everything we ate, from the squid to the burrata and the pasta was sensational. As were the surroundings, an airy wood-accented space with a beautiful marble bar.
When booking flights to New York it’s worth choosing JFK over Newark airport, as it’s much closer to Manhattan so will save on time and cab fare. We flew British Airways, but several airlines serve the route, and many offer last-minute deals for those off-the-cuff long weekends away.
There’s no place quite like the Big Apple. We’ve long been in love with New York; the bustling streets, the dazzling lights and the impressive skyline never fails to set our hearts racing. Earlier this winter we were lucky enough to spend a week Stateside, interviewing some amazing women for The Icons Update and season two of ICONversations. In between our jam-packed schedules, we managed to find some time to explore the city, revisiting beloved spots, as well as discovering new ones along the way…
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