Our new Travel & Lifestyle editor Christine Warren-White takes a big bite out of the Big Apple
I’ll get right to the heart of it, I love New York, New York. Who doesn’t want to wake up in a city that never sleeps; especially when sleeping involves a twenty thousand dollar Duxiana bed, custom Sferra bedding with a selection of eight different pillows! Welcome to the perfect Surrey Hotel in Manhattan’s Upper Eastside.
Staying at the Surrey Hotel is like having your very own New York residence that happens to have an incredible wrap around roof terrace, serene Cornelia spa and Daniel Boulud’s eponymous Café Boulud. This discreet, desirable address, once the long-term residence to Bette Davis and JFK, now home to celebrities wanting a private stay, also houses an array of art including the fantastic tapestry of fashion icon, Kate Moss in the lobby. Steps away from the Surrey are some of the finest art galleries and museums in the world. Turn left for Central Park, and Museum Mile, or turn right for every fashionista’s dream with designer boutiques and couture creations in every direction. If you want to turn right please read Bahrain Confidential, as I’m turning left. Before I do, I pick up a City Pass.
A great way to see the best attractions New York has to offer is a CityPASS. I may be British but I really don’t love a queue so avoiding them, whilst saving money, works for me. Admission includes entry to American Museum of Natural History—I love a night at the museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim or Top of the Rock (I choose Guggenheim, well I did tell you I was turning left!), Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises or Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Armed with my CityPASS I happily skip off through Central Park and, even happier, skipping main entrance lines into the Metropolitan Museum of Art. VIP entrance gained— I now know how Anna Wintour feels and understand why it’s the annual Met Ball, the building is absolutely fabulous. Located on Fifth Avenue, over two million square feet houses 5,000 years of art spanning all cultures and time periods. Glad I’m not wearing heels, I head for the great Masters, they’re all here, and the Michelangelo exhibition. Breathtakingly beautiful beyond words. My soul sated, time for more earthly pleasures from favourite Italians, Dean and Deluca. Handily around the corner on Madison Avenue this delicious den of delicacies is just the ticket for a light lunch (that’s an oxymoron, there’s nothing light about NYC portions!) before heading Downtown.
Manhattan to Staten
Now if like me you want to see all five boroughs, three NYC rivers, all the major bridges, marvel at the majestic Manhattan skyline and an up close and personal selfie with Lady Liberty herself in just two and a half hours; you shall go to the Ball, well Pier 83 actually. My trusty CityPASS has come up Trumps as I choose the Circle Line’s Best of NYC Cruise. The only sightseeing cruise completely circumnavigating the island of Manhattan, taking in all of the above and more. Seeing this stunning city from the water is sensational. The sun hitting the skyscrapers of Wall Street as we sailed under Brooklyn Bridge was a perfect movie moment.
Back on dry land it’s now time to get high and the fastest way is to ask one of New York’s finest, a city cop!
Empire State of Mind
New York is one of the friendliest cities in the world and if you’re as geographically challenged as me, you’ll need directions. Cue the NYPD officer who even let me wear his hat! Directions given, selfie taken, now to the most iconic building in the world, the Empire State. This Art Deco beauty has the famous open-air 86th Floor Observation Deck, revealing incredible 360-degree views. I truly do want to be a part of it and, although not quite vagabond, my shoes are ready to stray to the dizzying heights of the 102nd floor Top Deck. The panoramic views, if possible, even more spectacular.
If instead of looking out of you’d like to look at the Empire State, the impressive view is from the top of the Monarch hotel. The Crown hotel bar in Bowery St, on the edge of Chinatown, is also worth a visit, especially at night as it gives a full panoramic perspective of that famous skyline. Sundowners had, time for dinner and for me it’s my favourite New York eatery—Mary’s Fish Camp in Greenwich Village. Lobster Roll, Louisiana Crab au Gratin, the stuff dreams are made of and I have the perfect New York residence to have them in. Taxi! Surrey Hotel, please.
For more information:
The Surrey Hotel
20 East 76th Street
New York, NY 10021
Dean & Deluca
1150 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10020
Mary’s Fish Camp
64 Charles St,
New York, NY 10014
Buy a City Pass
Circle Line Ferry
Pier 83, W 42nd St,
New York, NY 10036
Guide to NYC: