The Holiday Edit Part III: New York
It's a testament to New York's universal and timeless appeal that it has so many songs written about it. From Alicia Keys to Frank Sinatra, it's the palpable energy of the city that has inspired artist after artist to pen lyrics about its magic – and inspired a fair few tourists to try their own luck in the Big Apple along the way.
We thought we'd add to the buzz by making NYC the next city featured in our Holiday Edit, where we give you recommendations from the Arabella London office about where to eat, what to do and where to stay. We're firmly of the belief that there's no stronger endorsement than the recommendation of a friend, so if you've got any hidden gems you'd like to share then please let us know in the comments below!
Where to eat
Just like the other cities we've featured in our Holiday Edit, New York has its fair share of elegant bars and sophisticated restaurants – just read on for a few of them. It would be remiss of us however not to begin our food recommendations by starting with the undisputed hero of the NYC food scene, the stalwart foodstuff found on every corner and a pick me up that can be enjoyed day of night – the humble bagel.
There are countless delis and bakeries dotted around the city where you can enjoy a bagel, but we'd suggest you take the time to visit two bagel shops that do the classic meal, with a twist. At Tompkins Square Bagels, in the Upper East Side, the snack can also double as a dessert with customers choosing from fillings including the signature birthday cake cream cheese. Venture over to Brooklyn to Shelsky's Smoked Fish and the difference is immediately noticeable (hint: it's in the name). Customers are served up nearly 30 varieties of smoked fish including pickled herring, smoked peppered mackerel and pastrami-cured salmon.
In keeping with the seafood theme, if you're looking to enjoy something a little bit more indulgent then why not head to the Bay Kitchen Bar in Manhattan? Father and son duo Eric and Adam Miller based the restaurant on a sea-to-table concept, impeccably reflected in the fresh seafood and complemented by adventurous cocktails. If seafood isn't for you, then look no further than Beauty & Essex; the restaurant is not only rated one of the best brunch spots in the city but is fancy to boot, with free bubbles served while you wait in line for the loo!
The 21 Club, opened in 1922, is the last of the original speakeasies. Unlike during the Prohibition, today“21” is open to all, although the dress code is strictly no jeans or trainers. The BBQ Long Island Duck is a dish that comes highly recommended and you shouldn’t forget to sample their fantastic cocktails. For the meat lovers amongst you, Old Homestead Steakhouse is the oldest in the City and has been run by the Sherry family since 1868. Porterhouse, sirloin, fillet and a myriad of other cuts are on offer and the wine list is reassuringly thick.
Where to stay
Every girl wants a New York bolt-hole and 432 Park Avenue is one of our favourite residences in the city. The 96-story building designed by architect Rafael Viñoly is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere and is located on Manhattan's famous Park Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets. The building not only boasts luxurious residences, but also has 30,000 square feet of leisure facilities, including a spa, swimming pool and restaurant with an outdoor terrace. Did we mention it's also only one block from Tiffany's, and overlooking Central Park?
If you can't commit to more than a hotel room however, why not try the Whyte Hotel where you can pretend you're living the New York dream in a beautifully converted 1901 factory in Brooklyn? You can enjoy floor to ceiling views of the Manhattan skyline (only one stop away on the L train) and only need to venture within the building to enjoy a meal at farm-to-table restaurant Reynard or sip on cocktail at the sixth-floor bar.
What to do
New York is the global centre of fashion, media, finance and entertainment. There's too many things to do in New York's bustling streets to list them all, but we recommend taking your cue from all the iconic locations you'll already have heard of. Take the time to go for a stroll in Central Park, and head up the Empire State Building for the incredible views.
Other activities we would recommend you don't miss include making a trip to the Upper East Side to soak up all the art at the Met, and braving Fifth Avenue where the shops, such as Bergdof Goodman, are architectural marvels in their own right. Once you’ve had your fill of the shops, wander down to Washington Square Park, long acknowledged by New Yorkers and tourists alike as one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces. It’s located just at the end of Fifth Avenue, and within the trendy Greenwich Village neighbourhood of lower Manhattan which has a reputation of being one of the most bohemian areas of NYC.
Times Square is the centre of the urban buzz, with its massive crowds, flashing lights and general chaos. To get a bit of respite from the noise, you can make your escape across the Brooklyn Bridge; stretching over the East River and linking Manhattan and Brooklyn, you can take a moment to yourself to admire the amazing views.
Quirkier options include Mmuseumm - a curated display of artifacts housed in a freight elevator. Featuring collections which encompass the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored” the museum has been created by filmmakers Alex Kalman and Benny and Josh Safdie, as a home for object journalism. Be warned though, the museum only fits three at a time!
What to wear
New York is a temperamental city, climate-wise, and as such we’d recommend making layering the focal point of your holiday wardrobe. Our 9.2.9 Swimsuit in Navy is perfect for pairing with a chunky knit and dark jeans; wrap up warm for strolls in the parks, and instantly transform your look from day to night by revealing the elegant lace-up detailing at the back of the costume. For warmer summer days, wear the Modern Bustier under the blazer of a modern evening tux.