The more I visit New York the harder it gets to come home. It’s great for everything, from monuments and museums to chic hotels, shops and lively restaurants, particularly during the Christmas present buying season.
BA’s all-business class from London City Airport, clearing immigration in Shannon saving us an hour and a half queuing at the other end coming into the domestic terminal at JFK with an Irish Coffee for the way – it could be worse, but it only got better…
For anyone into design and people watching, The Chatwal on 44th street between 5th and 6th avenues is the new place to be. I was lucky enough to be one of the hotel’s first guests. Having cocktails at The Lambs Club bar we found ourselves standing only metres away from Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham.
After lots of sightseeing and shopping, where did the following day go? For the girls out there, don’t miss out on a visit to the new MAC flagship store on Times Square. Be advised on which colours work best – or in my case, what to avoid.
We had lunch at Locanda Verde, the Italian restaurant at The Greenwich Hotel. I opted for fire-roasted garlic chicken as a main and shared a platter of deliciousness for dessert. Robert De Niro is a regular. Oh, and he owns it too. Apparently it took more than 10 years to finalise the building to his taste. Each brick was hand-molded individually– now that’s what you call a work of passion!
The fun activity of the day was THE RIDE, a new technologically amped up vehicle that turns famous landmarks into backdrops as a live show plays out in front of you. It was thrilling and we even had a Frank Sinatra moment humming New York New York.
Back at the hotel – with a whole new make-up kit – I got ready in front of my very own art deco vanity table – how glamorous! And on our way out …. “was that Keanu Reeves?’’ my travel companion said – I still can’t believe I missed that.
At night, the city takes on a new attitude. New York City nightlife infuses its visitors and residents with a joie de vivre. Whoever said that New Yorkers aren’t friendly – try again. A lovely chap happily seemed to miss his train to show us the way. Oh wait…could it have been my new eye shadow?
After checking in to The Plaza Athénée, in New York’s most elegant neighbourhood on 64th street at Madison avenue, its sophisticated homey feel made me want to lounge in my room longer than I should. The Cosmopolitan cocktail at the leather-floored Bar Seine – featured in Sex & The City – is a must. Be aware, one is enough.
A great hideaway, we found ourselves having breakfast at the hotel with The Queen of Spain the following morning. All that goes through your head is, ‘’who else is in this room?’’ …no wonder my neck hurts.
I had planned a run in Central Park but ended up having a wonderful massage in the hotel’s new spa.
I love New York, how clichéd, but honestly, how could you not?