DestinationsTravel

Insider’s guide to…New York

e99f7e5260e37eab341d2fe7924f5ffbWe love New York here at W&W. I even went there for my minimoon (we planned to take a ‘proper’ honeymoon later. We are still planning to.) And New York fashion week is in full swing. What further excuse do we need to make New York our first-ever Insider’s Guide?

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Medini Ciavardone is a fellow GLAMOUR girl. As such, she is a. fabulous and b. currently resident in London, but if you cut her open, you’d see the words ‘New York’ (and, quite possibly, ‘Manhattan’ and ‘J.Crew’) running through her. New York will probably reclaim her one day – and I will only be able to forgive if she has an apartment big enough for house guests. Here she is, looking NY gorgeous.

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Your favourite neighbourhoods, please.
The West Village, the Upper East Side (the East 60s for all the Madison Avenue boutiques and cute cafes…), Nolita, and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn.nycPinkdetailWhich are your must-visit museums?
The Frick, MoMA, The Cloisters (out of the way, but totally worth seeing. It has the famous Unicorn Tapestries from the late 1500s.  A must see for medieval art).
And where does a girl go for coffee in this city?
Café Reggio near NYU on Macdougal Street. It’s a Greenwich Village staple and has been there for ages: my parents used to go there in the ’70s long before my brother and I were even a thought. Mojo Coffee in the West Village is my favourite little coffee shop in the city. It’s not a good place if you like strong coffee, but  regardless, everything is free-range and organic and they do good breakfast too, like steel-cut oatmeal and egg sandwiches. Babycakes NYC: for anyone with food allergies like myself this is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  A gluten free, dairy free, no refined sugar baker and the treats are actually delish!  It’s a little out of the way to get to down on the Lower East Side, but if you haven’t had a real cookie in years or simply enjoy staying on a health kick, this is a bakery worth visiting.
If you can’t make it to NY tomorrow, you can buy the cookbooks here and here.

 

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But what if my tastes err towards something longer and cooler?
Try Sweet & Viciousa fun bar down in Nolita. It’s pretty low key compared to the rest of NYC. The King Cole hotel bar at the St. Regis is a favourite of mine and epitomises old school New York.
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And for supper?
Café Cluny is a romantic little West Village restaurant serving French/European eclectic fare. Junoon is a fancy Michelin-starred Indian. I had my wedding dinner here so I’m a bit biased, but the food is delicious and service is great. Park Avenue Autumn: the name changes according to the season.  I have been for the Autumn and summer menus in the past and both times have been great.  All ingredients are sourced locally from farms in Upstate NY, and you can really taste just how fresh the food is.
Cafe Cluny

Cafe Cluny

Park Avenue (Autumn)

Park Avenue (Autumn)

Let’s cut to the chase: where do we go shopping?
Mint Julep sells cute clothing boutique filled with Tibi and Milly type designers. I have been going for years. Walk all over Nolita, it’s filled with all these cute clothing boutiques that you have never heard of (but will become obsessed with). Don’t miss Pippin Vintage Jewelery on West 17th street in Chelsea and ABC Carpet & Home I hate interiors shopping and even I love this mammoth store in Union Square.  If you have money to spend go and by everything, and if you’re decorating on a budget just go for all of the ideas that you will get there.
Get the NY look…

 

Tucker classic blouse, £245, Donna Ida

Diana’s Lucky Charm blouse, £245, Tucker at Donna Ida

Karina satin skirt, £320, Milly at Net-a-Porter

Karina satin skirt, £320, Milly at Net-a-Porter

What would you tell a first-time visitor to the city?
The best thing about NYC is that you can really walk all over!  On a Saturday, go to the Union Square farmers market – it’s nothing compared to a Borough, but it’s still pretty cool and then from there you can literally walk anywhere downtown. Take a stroll walking through the West Village, popping into shops and cafes as you go. Then take a $10 cab (tops!) over to the East Village and weave in and out of the streets between 3rd and Avenue A.  There are so many quirky shops and vintage stores and great little restaurants that are super cheap, but bound to give you a good meal no matter where you stumble into.  Catch a late night movie at the Angelika down on Houston Street, see a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror picture show in the village, and by all means go to the Frick. My favourite thing about NYC is that there is always something to do at almost all hours of the day. People think of NYC and they think of the Empire State Building or going clubbing, but the best thing about NYC is that there is so much more than that. Neighbourhoods melt into each other and you can walk just about everywhere as long as you’re in a section. (I.e. East village, Nolita, Soho, and West Village can all be covered on foot as long as you have some comfy walking shoes). All I can say is get out of Mid Town!
Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Describe your perfect New York day.
My perfect day in NYC would consist of brunch at Alice’s Tea Cup (the east 64th street location): It’s an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant with a ridiculous selection of tea, yummy brunch dishes and possibly the best scones in the city.  After that, a stroll through Central Park if it’s nice and then down to the Farmer’s Market in Union Square.  New Yorkers love to “meet for a coffee”, it’s what we do, so perhaps after that I’d meet a friend at a cute coffee shop, or nice hotel lobby/restaurant (try The Crosby), and I’d finish of the day with a dinner somewhere with my husband or some girlfriends. I love a wild night out in NYC, but my favourite thing to do is to get dressed up, go to dinner for about 9pm and then head home after a leisurely meal.
Autumn in Central Park

Autumn in Central Park

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What’s the NY look?

My NY uniform would be: J Brand dark skinny jeans, some French Sole ballet flats, a floaty blouse from J.Crew and a Brooks Brothers blazer.
Classic single breasted blazer, £349, Brooks Brothers

Classic blazer, £349, Brooks Brothers

Pleated silk cream blouse, £150.34, JCrew

Pleated silk cream blouse, £150.34, JCrew

India ballet pumps, £95, French Sole

India ballet pumps, £95, French Sole

811 Mid-Rise Skinny Leg, £148.45, J Brand

811 mid-rise skinny, £148.45, J Brand

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