So I’ve been back from New York for 2 days. I have a horrific mixture of jet lag and post holiday blues which have made me a treat to work with these past two days – soz, if you’re reading this.
I wanted to do a little run down of the trip in picture form before I put together a ‘what to do in New York’ post as not everything will appear in both posts. That’s not to say I didn’t bloody love everything about our holiday, because I did, but there were some proper cherries on top of this cake and I’d rather share those in a seperate post! So let’s begin…
We flew out to JFK from London Gatwick airport Thursday afternoon and arrived at our Airbnb at around 10pm after a surprisingly swift immigration and baggage claim into a beautiful little flat in Brooklyn. I’ll post a link here, as it’s definitely worth a look if you’re thinking of a budget holiday to New York.
After waking up on the Friday to a lovely, cloudy and rainy day we hopped straight on the subway into the city in search of breakfast at a diner I’d heard about called the ‘Tik Tok Diner’ just next to Penn Station. This was such a great introduction to a big, dirty American diner breakfast with bottmless coffee and a cheesy, sausagey, eggy mixture which as absolutely incredible. It didn’t really photograph well though, soz, so here’s a pic of my boyfriend, George, with his instead.
We then headed over to Times Square – still in the rain – to soak in all the lights and also enjoy a cup of tea because omg dehydration from earlier very salty but delicious breakfast. Then we hit up Grand Central Station, which if I’m honest, is really not worth the hype. It just looks like a train station, but it that floats your boat then go ahead. Sorry I think I’m sounding a bit too negative so far, I promise I wasn’t I was loving it – WOO AMERICA – see?
So for our first day we’d booked tickets to the Top of the Rock but with the rain and clouds there was 0 visibility so the kind lady behind the desk switched us for another day. So we then decided to go exploring, which didn’t quite kick off well because it was hammering down with rain so we decided to check out the tourist trap that is Bubba Gumps in Time Square. This is where I found this incredible drink and we also ate one of the largest portions of calamari I’ve ever tried. It was basically heaven.
Then we decided to walk down Broadway and explore downtown Manhattan, looking around Soho and the East Village which was actually a really nice way to see New York which isn’t swarmed with tourists and we ended up walking around until jet lag took over…
We had a pretty low key dinner on our first night as all the walking and the jet lag had left us both as pretty tired messes, but it was still incredible. We went to a small Mexican restaurant around the corner from our apartment in Brooklyn and loaded up on enchiladas and tacos and beer before falling into bed, completely defeated.
Kicking off Saturday morning nice and early we headed into Soho to try out Jack’s Wife Freda for breakfast which was recommended to us by several people. My breakfast was essentially a duck bacon and cheese sandwich made with eggy bread, with cheese and a fried egg on top. Just look at it, it’s amazing.
We then headed down to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge which had great views of the Manhattan skyline. We happened to walk across the same time as a charity walk which made it a bit crowded so maybe do this on a week day if you want to, you might have a few less walking pals then.
Once in Brooklyn we wandered along the edge to take in the Manhattan skyline, stopping to have another cup of tea because we’re disgustingly British okay, I’m sorry. We stopped at a place called Bareburger for lunch which was a place high up on my list of places to eat, you basically get to build your own burger and pick every part of it. My beef, gouda, red onion and ranch burger extravaganza was amazing and we also made a bit of a mistake with measurements when ordering a beer, but when on holiday and all that.
After a cuppa and a beautiful chocolate cookie sandwich – ate it too quickly to take a photo, soz – we headed up to the Rockafella centre. It had stopped raining, but it was still a bit grey but we went up anyway. You get a really great view from the Top of the Rock, both of the Empire State Building and also of Central Park. It’s also less busy than the Empire State Building and – especially if you pre-book your tickets, you don’t have to queue forever to get in! Also if you’re a bit scared of heights there are quite a few platforms and an inside bit to get a feel of the place if you need to.
So, as our airbnb had a roof terrace we went back in the evening to enjoy the sun that had suddenly appeared by having a few drinks on the roof. Below was the view, it doesn’t look much but it was pretty good at the time, and I had one of these Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita things which are seriously so good but so bad – it was truly a beautiful evening.
Then we headed out to this incredibly named restaurant called Pies N Thighs in Brooklyn for a good old Chicken dinner. I also had an American strawberry lemonade which is made of 500% sugar.
This is when the sun finally came out! We started off with breakfast at Bubby’s in Tribeca, and ate some amazing ‘Biscuits’ which by the way, are not biscuits, they’re scones. But they were great scones and made me feel extra full even after a fry up of kings. Just look at it. LOOK AT IT.
And this was by far my favourite day. We went to visit Liberty island to see ol’ Lady Liberty herself. We booked tickets ages ago to get a boat to the island and up into the top of the crown. I would definitely recommend this as it was such a hoot.
So we went up to the top of the Statue of Liberty and it was amazing. All the national park rangers are so friendly and it makes the experience so much better. I also bought a fabulous hat.
After a little pit stop to have an ice cream sandwich, we headed up to Manhattan to have a Mexican meal with some incredible frozen margaritas. When it hit the evening we headed up to the Empire State Building to look over the city in the night.
I would definitely recommend a trip up the Empire State building at night, I wasn’t expecting much but the views are amazing to see the whole city lit up at night.
On the fourth day of our trip we started off with ANOTHER amazing breakfast at The Egg Shop. Also I’m sorry not sorry that each day has started off with a rave review of breakfast but that’s just how it is in New York. It was a lovely sunny day again, and the windows were open and the tea was good and I had an egg and hash brown sandwich and it was just all the feels.
We then went on to the 9/11 memorial and museum, which we had already booked tickets for. I genuinely had no idea what to expect from this, thinking we would only be in there for a bit, but 2 and a half hours later you finish feeling pretty emotionally drained. I would definitely recommend this part, I’d say it was very tastefully done and also really informative – I think I was about 8 years old at the time of the attacks so I am not really clued up, but following the museum round like a timeline of the morning really brings home the human parts of the day that I didn’t even know about. The fountains that are now at the base of where the twin towers used to be are also a sight to see, they’re so big it’s kind of hard to comprehend, but overall I think it’s a suitable and also tasteful memorial. Check it out if you can.
After visiting Ground Zero we headed up to the High Line which goes up the left side of Manhattan. This had been recommended to me by quite a few people yet it’s mainly left out of any official guide books/websites I’d seen. It’s an old converted train track which goes above the streets, and you can walk across it – getting off at certain points across the way – for an alternative view of New York City.
After this we headed to a roof top bar called Gallow Green which is just beside the High Line. This was a nice stop for a drink and was a really pretty venue but it was also suppppeeerrr expensive. Tasty, but expensive – so be warned.
We then had a bit of a stressful dash to Central park to watch the sunset (long story short, we went in the wrong way of a subway, and I really really needed a wee). So we kind of missed the sunset, but once we found a good spot on top of a rock, and tucked into our doughnuts from Dough, we were back on track.
We then spent the evening at a steakhouse close to Central Park which was so good but we definitely ate way too much, and I also got my first ever taste of lobster and I actually liked it. So who knew. I didn’t take any pictures of this because I was in a food coma, but I promise it was good. Promise.
This was our last day and it came round wayyyy too quickly. As we’d ticked off all the big things from our to do list, we decided to spend the most of our day exploring Central Park. We headed back to our favourite breakfast place beforehand though, which was Jack’s Wife Freda, and whilst we were there I think they were having a photoshoot with the owner and all her pals. If you weren’t following them on Instagram then follow them here: she is a super glam lady with an amazing wardrobe, and ofc the food is amazing.
Then onto Central Park… in which we basically wandered around for a couple of hours, had several cups of tea and an insanely good brownie. We walked around the lake and up to the Jackie O reservoir to take in the views. We then happened to walk past the boat rental place where we realised it was only $15 to rent a boat for an hour so we decided why not and gave it ago.
In summary: SO FUN. This is probably one of my favourite parts of the holiday and I don’t really know why, it was just a super fun hour rowing around the massive lake in Central Park. Also never rowed a boat before so go me.
We then went to visit the SPRINKLES CUPCAKE ATM which I still can’t get over. What a time to be alive.
Then we finished off our time in New York by wandering down 5th Avenue, I popped into Sephora for a slightly-too-much spending spree and then into a bar for a final New York margarita. Then we stopped of at the Flat Iron Building and had a beaaautiful Shake Shack Burger to finish our intense American food experience off.
So that’s it! A big write up of our entire New York trip and all the pics to accompany it. I’ll be doing a few more posts about what to do and where to eat etc but wanted to get this up so I had a diary of our trip I can come back to in the future.