The Beekman

I knew The Beekman was opening in New York but I wasn’t sure when I would get the chance to experience it. When my friend Kate suggested we book a trip to New York in May tied in with my birthday I knew I had to find something different and exciting for her since she is an interior designer and always looking for interior design inspiration.

Now being back in London and looking back all I can say is that I have been thrilled with the experience of the hotel, the restaurants, the service and the ambience. It is a gem and has transformed the experience of being downtown. It is walking distance from Fulton Station – connecting you to most subway lines, walking distance to West Village and conveniently located to some great shops.

The 9 story atrium is one of the key features of the hotel. Every morning coming out of my room and looking down at the bar from the 5th floor was a treat. Though you may feel that rooms overlooking the bar would lose their privacy – it was right the opposite. You instead felt a part of a private residence with stunning architecture and connectivity between the spaces.

unnamed

The room itself was a great mix of vintage and modern furnishings complimented by a spacious marble bathroom. Our room overlooked Nassau Street with views of stunning red buildings making us feel a part of a neighborhood.

 

superior-king-bed

It is the small details that make a huge difference. The rooms aren’t equipped with coffee machines but the lobby offers a complimentary coffee service in the morning which you can help yourself too and it is great coffee! Additionally, the hotel is home to a stunning bar, Fowler and Wells (a Tom Colicchio restaurant) and Augustine (all of which I will feature in a separate blog.)

My advice to those who feel downtown is isolated or cut off from midtown and beyond – it is not. You must stay there next time – it is the place to be and definitely worth staying at for a few nights!

For more information visit The Beekman’s Website

I would definitely go back!

The Little Owl

Greenwich Brunch Places, The Little Owl NYC

The concierge at The Lowell helped me discover some new brunch places and one of those was The Little Owl. I wanted to explore some new places in Greenwich Village and I am so glad I came across this gem. A wonderful corner restaurant perfect for weekend brunch classics and some Mediterranean inspired dishes. I went for the safer option, the burger but the coffee, desserts and ambience were really nice. I would highly recommend to those looking for something with a local touch in Manhattan followed by a walk up Bleecker Street!

 

 

Minetta Tavern

Located in the West Village – this was truly the best New Yorker experience I had. Buzzing on a Wednesday night – the lighting and interiors stole my heart.
I especially enjoyed the ambience, the quirky village location and the steak was truly American. Big, juicy and with a massive portion of fries.
Thanks to my New Yorker friend Julie for introducing me to this gem.
The burgers here are considered to be the best in NYC. Too bad as I had a Shake Shack earlier that day.
P.S. Loved the Caricatures!
                                           More info at Minetta Tavern 

Cafe Lalo

Watched You’ve Got Mail a million times and just had to visit this cafe. Its all still the same! I was surprised it stays open till the early hours of the morning almost everyday. This was something on my bucket list I had to do.

Located on the Upper West Side, this is the perfect after dinner treat. Its buzzing, the service is quick and don’t think it could get any more Italian. The selection of cakes looks tempting. I just stuck to a cappuccino. Loved watching the world go by on a summer’s evening as this cafe rises above ground level. What really amused me were the actual snapshots of You’ve Got Mail hung outside the cafe claiming to be the most popular cafe in New York. I’ll take their word for it!

 

New York 2014

My New York trip that happened less than 15 days ago is something I obsessed over for weeks. I couldn’t wait to get my visit visa and actually land in the city. I am well acquainted with some of the best hotels and brands in London and just getting the experience of another city was something I have been hungry for ages. However, its not just the glamour. I have always wanted to visit the neighbourhoods, the cafes, bookstores and enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of the city.

I must say New York is much more relaxed overall as a city if you were to compare it to London. People tend to take life a bit more easy and the morning commuters to work seemed to be a bit more sociable even though they were equally in a rush to get somewhere.

My trip consisted of walking around for hours, just getting a feel of Madison Avenue, 5th Avenue, Times Square, the West Village, Upper West Side, Upper East Side and the list goes on and on!

I must recommend to all visitors and especially those who want to get a real New York experience. Dont plan everything. Let a few things happen naturally and stumbling upon little streets and stores is the most enjoyable part of NYC. I particularly enjoyed discovering The Plaza Food Hall! I mean, what an amazing idea! One of New York’s most iconic luxury hotels actually managed to open a very European yet stunning food hall in their basement open to foodies, guests and tourists.

My favourite building was The Trump Tower on Madison Avenue. The black exterior with the welcoming door men just does the magic. If you get a chance do walk through it. Do also visit the Four Seasons New York for a morning coffee. The cafe is situated right above the lobby so you get a chance to enjoy people watching and don’t feel too enclosed.

Above all, I love how New York does start coming back to life at 5:00 am. The Starbucks’ start opening up at 5:30 and that is the best time to take a walk around in your vicinity watching yellow cabs lining up and if you happen to be near Time Square, actually getting a sight of the lights without the crowds.

 

Bouchon Bakery and views of Columbus Circle

The Bouchon Bakery I went to is located in the Time Warner building that overlooks Columbus Circle and Central Park. I vowed to walk everywhere in New York even though everyone warned me that my feet would eventually kill me but I was quite adamant.

Took me 25 minutes to walk from the Paramount Hotel to The Columbus Circle which I very much enjoyed. I had a meeting at the Mandarin in an hour so decided to snoop around the shopping mall. The thing about American shopping malls is that they are very spacious. This is exactly what I felt about the Time Warner building. Very open aired, wide and it just allows you to breathe. The glass building is another plus point. You’re able to enjoy the views even from the 2nd floor as you face Manhattan, the CNN building and Central Park.

Bouchon Bakery’s restaurant was where I decided to have a bite. A bit on the pricier side but yet amazing service, a delicious salmon and good cold coffee had me sold. I enjoyed relaxing there and admired the views.

I do recommend this place as a meeting point but also as must go place for its baked goodies as it is New York’s gem.

I actually didnt get a chance to take a picture but this is a snap of the view from the same floor as Bouchon Bakery. One thing I regret is not checking out the massive Whole Foods below which I will do next time for sure!

Dont you just love the views?

 

My Stay at The Mark Hotel

I had heard a lot about the Mark Hotel from friends and colleagues in London and it was definitely on my hit list for places to vist/stay in NYC.
Little did I expect to be visiting in September and spending a night there. I have stayed at some amazing resorts worldwide and more recently the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
The luxury hotels in the UK offer the best service and quality that I have come across in recent years. I had also heard that hotel rooms in New York would not be spacious or as glamorous as those in London. The Mark Hotel experience proved all these assumptions to be wrong.
I was greeted with a very warm and elegant staff on the Friday morning I arrived there. It was 8 in the morning and I was definitely quite early before check in time. I was immediately escorted to the reception where they took my details and ensured that would call me as soon as the room was ready.
The entrance of the hotel is charming. Black and white marble flooring of the lobby gives it a very retro yet refreshing look. Despite being 3 years old the hotel still looks brand new!
I was headed to a meeting in Madison Avenue but before that I wanted to get a coffee at a local place. The Hotel Manager was kind enough to walk me over to Sant Ambroeus, a local and elegant Italian brasserie/cafe, a local hang out spot for those living and working on the Upper East Side.
The location of the hotel is definitely exclusive and very much has a neighborhood feel allowing you to feel at home instantly. The shopping on Madison Avenue is on your doorsteps.
When I returned I was escorted to my room, The Seventy Seven Kings Room. A beautiful room overlooking East 77th Street and featuring some of the best interior designs I have come across by Jacques Grange. The bathrooms were breathtaking! I say when you are on holiday you must get a decent and clean bathroom to ensure that you are pampering yourself and this was exactly what one needed!
The time I spent in the room was as enjoyable as in the surrounding areas. The advantage is you could go shopping down the road and come back for breaks. Central Park is 5 minutes up the road and the choice of restaurants is ample. At night time the serenity of the area really allows you to relax and enjoy the area.
My newspapers arrived with my morning coffee the next day at 6 am sharp allowing me to kickstart my day with great energy. The room service is of a high standard and the staff is super friendly and yet professional. My check out time was extended for my convenience and this really reflected that the hotel wanted to build a relation with their guests which is what one would expect from a 5 star property.
I couldn’t recommend this hotel enough. I would say that the service matches that of the Iconic London Hotels and is definitely going to take this hotel a long way!
For more information visit The Mark Hotel