Written by • Published 28th June 2012

Image Courtesy of Bertand P, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Bertand P, flickr.com

New York, it truly is a magical City; it’s one of my favourite along with Sydney, Barcelona and of course – London.

So when my boyfriend suggested an impromptu trip, I couldn’t wait.  Having been fortunate enough to have both visited a few times before, and done all of the tourist sites, we wanted to live like New Yorker’s, so we got down to the serious task of researching hidden gems off the beaten track. For those that know us as a couple, you will know that this basically consists of an Excel Spreadsheet outlining what we are going to do each day.  Hey, if it works!

We stayed at the gorgeous Mondrian Soho Hotel – in the hub of Soho, a really cool part of Manhattan close to the shopping Mecca that is Spring and Broadway – the hotel is gorgeous, you even get an iPad in the room (it’s the small things) but I would highly recommend the area too.

Our first stop was a stroll around the Lower East Side.  Orchard Street is a really cool shopping street which lies just north and South of Delancey.  There you will find some great vintage shops and urban streetwear for men.  If you walk up the top of Delancey and swing a left you even come across Katz’s Deli which is famed for the infamous seen in the hit film ‘Where Harry meets Sally’ – as you were.

That evening we went to a really cool bar in the East Village called the Blind Barbour.  The bar is disguised by a Barbour shop out front and you have to convince the hench doorman who wears an eye patch to let you in – we smiled sweetly, bowed, curtseyed, saluted and called him Sir just to gain access!  Out the back is a wicked Shoreditch-style bar with a little lounge that looks like your Great Granny’s – we loved it, and sunk down a good few G&T’s whilst listening to some ace 80’s disco classics a la Blondie and The Cure.

The next day we woke early and took an epic walk to the meatpacking district and walked the High Line.  I would recommend this as you get some great views of Manhattan.  We then walked to Central Park to Strawberry Fields and The Dakota building where the late John Lennon was tragically murdered.

After that we realised we had been walking for about a lifetime, so went to the Le Parker Meridien Hotel which hosts the most amazing burger restaurant aptly called, ‘The Burger Joint’ and it served the best burger known to man! To be honest, the thought of it now makes me want to fly back just to eat one – and that’s a pretty long way to go for a bun and a bit of meat.

The evening consisted of a lovely meal at a restaurant called Hudson Bluewater in the West Village followed by drinks at The Swanky Standard Hotel on a rooftop terrace looking over the Manhattan skyline.  I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good view, good music, and a relaxed vibe. It’s basically like a VIP area at a festival, live DJ’s, beds to crash out on and even a crepe bar – hey if you like a bit of Nutella at midnight then treat yourself, you’re on Vacation.

Image Courtesy of Manhattan4, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Manhattan4, flickr.com

The following day we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and then got the ferry to an area called Williamsburg for brunch at a really cool place called Eggs – you get to play with crayons whilst you wait for your food!  It’s the upcoming cool area of New York with a view back on the city is a view you should have to pay to see, and the vintage shops are incredible and so cheap!   I bought a skirt for five dollars – yes, FIVE DOLLARS!

That evening we ventured to Queens to see the Met’s Baseball game and it was SO fun!  Still totally unsure of the rules as they didn’t really hit the ball, but I really enjoyed watching the kiss cam, dance cam, and ALL the promos they do with the crowd every five seconds – it’s hysterical and they are all so hyped!

The next day was time to go home – boo!  But whilst there we both made a pact to visit every year….so hey, I guess it’s not long till I get that burger after all…