The NEW New Yorker Blog http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com From London to New York Sun, 08 Apr 2018 04:28:12 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Afternoon Tea at The Crosby Street Hotel, SoHo http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/afternoon-tea-at-the-crosby-street-hotel-soho/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/afternoon-tea-at-the-crosby-street-hotel-soho/#respond Sun, 08 Apr 2018 04:28:12 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=707 I have to tell you about the lovely little spot I went to for afternoon tea at a couple of weeks ago – The Crosby Street Hotel. My work colleagues and I decided to throw one of our colleagues, M, an afternoon tea by way of a baby shower/ send off as she approaches her maternity leave!

The Crosby Street Hotel, Soho

The hotel is nestled right in the heart of SoHo (which, in NYC is short for South of Houston Street) on a quaint street brimming with trendy stores and independent retailers. Shamefully I haven’t spent all that much time yet exploring SoHo, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. I’m going to wait for the weather to warm up a bit, as there seems to be a ton of cute bars and restaurants with outside space.

Anyway, back to the afternoon tea!

I really loved the interior of The Crosby Street Hotel. A melting pot of juxtapositions, it felt eccentric yet luxurious and meshed clean, modern spaces with nods to times gone by with ease. I’m hoping to be back soon to check out more of the social areas and specifically the patio, which is meant to be fabulous for spring.

The lobby

As we waited for staff to put the finishing touches on our table, we were invited to take a seat in the lobby – which actually felt less of a lobby and more of an art space. Loads of interesting things to catch your eye, including some of these kooky pieces of work….

Some of the quirky art work that greeted us in the lobby

And as we were shown to our table in the dining room, I spied my personal favourite, a very modern, arty salute to the Queen! I felt very at home!

How very regal!

As mentioned, the afternoon was our way of celebrating my colleague M’s impending motherhood. She’s absolutely glowing and is very nearly ready to pop! She is one of those women who clearly suit pregnancy really well, here she is looking cute as a button!

M at her baby shower

Here’s the rest of the team who came out to send M off in style! I’m super lucky to have great work colleagues – these guys are awesome!

My NY work colleagues

The service at The Crosby Street Hotel was top notch. Formal but friendly, and very efficient – nothing was too much trouble. I have to say great service like this is what really differentiates restaurants and hotels for me. You would expect great service as standard but sadly, I’ve been disappointed many times and honestly feel as though the hospitality industry is somewhat lacking overall. So when I do find awesome staff like those here, I always make a point of letting them know how much we enjoyed the experience!

We looked at a few options for afternoon tea whilst arranging this baby shower. We choose The Crosby Street as the menu looked delicious, it was reasonably priced and offered a gluten free variation – which was helpful as we had a couple of GF eaters in our party.

Everyone oohed and ahhed over the beautiful afternoon service…

Such a gorgeous afternoon tea service

The china crockery set was beautiful but not too traditional or dowdy. I really loved the design, and again it’s the little touches like these make your experience all the more memorable!

As the only Brit in the group, I was called upon to talk everyone through an afternoon tea menu, make some recommendations and demonstrate how to use a tea strainer!

Of course we opted for the champagne tea! Well, not M!

Whilst we waited for the food to appear, I recounted to my colleagues the two major afternoon tea related debates that could easily tear families apart back home!

  1. What is the correct pronunciation of the word ‘scone’ (should you rhyme it with ‘moan’ or ‘gone’)? AND
  2. Should you slather said scone with the clotted cream first and then the jam, OR jam first and then the cream?!

In case you’re interested, apparently the Queen pronounces ‘scone’ as it would rhyme with ‘gone’ and prefers her scones jam first, cream on top! I on the other hand can’t eat a scone unless it’s smothered with clotted cream first and dolloped with jam, preferably raspberry, on top! So there you go!

Luckily our tea arrived shortly after! And was definitely worth the short wait – take a look at this  lovely lot!

Afternoon tea – for two!

I believe the afternoon tea menu changes seasonally but when we went we were treated to: a mini toad in the hole, coronation chicken sandwiches, smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches (with the crusts cut off, obviously!) and a mini steak and stilton pie. The sweet course included: a raspberry victoria sponge cake, a pistachio and cherry bakewell tart, a strawberry and rhubarb cheesecake and an eccles cake. I know its a bit odd, but I always prefer the savoury bites of an afternoon tea and I wasn’t disappointed here.

And of course the scones! My absolute favourite part of the tea! Warm out of the oven and just utterly delicious! A real taste of home!

I have to say I was really impressed with afternoon tea at The Crosby Street Hotel – the food was lovely, presentation great and the service a dream!

I’d happily return for another scone…..or two!

Xoxoxo

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/afternoon-tea-at-the-crosby-street-hotel-soho/feed/ 0
A Birthday Weekend in London! http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/a-birthday-weekend-in-london/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/a-birthday-weekend-in-london/#respond Sat, 31 Mar 2018 02:56:01 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=680 Ok – sorry for the delay with posting this! My bad. Life in NY has been hectic of late, but in a good way. More content coming soon, promise!  

I was lucky enough to spend my 33rd birthday back home in London last month! I had to go over for some work meetings which just so happened to coincide with my birthday! So of course, I extended my trip for a few days so I could celebrate with friends in London, before heading back to see family in Kent.

I don’t know about you but I LOVE birthdays! Not just mine but everyone else’s too! I still get quite excited for birthdays even though I’m now far too old for that sort of thing! My family have always loved a birthday get together. So it was really special to be able to celebrate my first birthday since moving to NY back at home with them.

I touched down at Heathrow mid-week and headed straight to my hotel in Canary Wharf, grabbing some Percy Pigs from (the much missed) M&S for snacking in the cab!

I checked into the Novotel, Canary Wharf just in time to snap a quick picture of the beautiful London skyline at night before crawling into bed – ready for a full on two days of meetings and some catching up with London work colleagues.

Views from the Novotel, Canary Wharf

I’d been to the Novotel whilst I lived in London for drinks and dinner before, and never been all that impressed especially with the food in Bokan, the restaurant and the sweet, but very slow service. But I had never stayed overnight. Breakfast and the accompanying views are pretty darn good, I must say!

Bokan at The Novotel, Canary Wharf

After a crazy day on Thursday, my team and I headed for dinner and drinks at Sticks N Sushi, one of my favourite places to eat in Canary Wharf. My team’s pretty global (NY, London, Singapore) and we only come together in person once a year. So when we do, we try to make as most of our time together as possible – both at work and socially of course! We gorged on a ton of food and had a fair few cocktails to wash it all down with. It was a great way to gear up for the birthday celebrations!

My birthday fell on the Friday and my lovely work colleagues arranged for some yummy cupcakes (see the picture at the top of this post) from Hummingbird Bakery to be delivered mid meeting, along with a card and a sing-song – very sweet! We also finished up earlier than expected, so my boss, knowing I had dinner plans suggested we get in the mood with some later afternoon bubbles – who can say no to that?!

When I knew I’d be in London on my birthday, I decided to have a dinner for friends on the Friday evening before heading home to Kent for the rest of the weekend. I chose Baltic Restaurant in Southwark as I love the food – a mix of lots of different eastern European dishes – and the service here is really good. They were super helpful in advance over email and seemed fine with the fact we were a large and fairly loud group!

Baltic Restaurant & Bar, Southwark

You wouldn’t really know about this place if you didn’t already know about it! I stumbled into it one evening as I used to work just up the road and was looking for a quiet bar with a friend. We had drinks and I remember seeing the cavernous dining room at the back and thinking I must come back to try to food.

Which I did. And then kept coming back as it was so delicious! You have to try their pierogi and pelmeni – both types of eastern European dumplings and the ultimate comfort food. One of the reasons I love this place is that it reminds me of the amazing trip I took last year to Moscow with some friends. The food in Moscow – well, that’s the subject of a whole other blog post – was phenomenal and Baltic helps us re-live those memories a little!

The Bar

I can’t tell you how awesome it was to be in London and get to be with my friends and family on my birthday! I was buzzing in anticipation all day (or was that the sugar from the cupcakes and the afternoon bubbles?!) and on such a high all evening! As more and more people walked through the door, there was a LOT of high pitched shrieking, bear hugs and champagne glasses clinking! Sorry if you were a fellow guest at Baltic that night – we were probably quite annoying!

I took hardly any photos on the night and am so mad at myself! But I was having too fabulous an evening to remember to click much!

Here are a couple that were captured…

Two blondes and a brunette

I’ll apologise now for the bad quality – so annoying. I had my phone stolen in NY – even more annoying – just before I flew out, so was using an old one. Lucky I still had it but not the best camera at all!

Pretending to be the 4th sister with my gorgeous cousins

I was so happy my cousins also came out for the evening. I love these girls so much and miss them dreadfully, so I was supepr grateful to be able to spend some time with them. The entire evening just flew by. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I savour precious times like these. Everyone is so busy and life is usually chaotic – so I was desperately trying to cram as much time catching up with all my different friends as I could. It was never going to be enough, but it gave me such a boost to see them all and I felt so special they’d all made the effort to come celebrate with me. And to top it off, I got some gorgeous and really thoughtful gifts. Spoilt all round.

Thanks guys – you’re the best!!!

The rest of the weekend I spent with my mum and my two brothers back at my mum’s house in Kent. I think my mum was super pleased to have me home on my birthday, and although my brothers pretend like they don’t – I know they miss me too! Well who wouldn’t?!

We went out for a birthday lunch on Saturday to a local tapas restaurant. And my mum had made one of her legendary chocolate cakes for after – sooooo good! I miss my mum’s baking!

I was feeling a little more sentimental about leaving London this time round as I don’t know when I’ll next be back or when I’ll next see my family. I love NY but it’s hard to say goodbye to the people you love the most. And I hate the thought of missing out on family moments and not being physically there when they might need me. I did have a little cry over lunch, the emotion of being home, seeing everyone and not really knowing when I’ll next see them really got to me. But that’s ok and I think pretty normal under the circumstances!

I then got even more sentimental by looking through some old family albums and baby books later that weekend. Look at how cute my mum and me were!

Look at those cheeks!

By the Monday morning, I was a little sad but also ready to head back to NY. And I had one last little birthday treat from BA who upgraded me to business for the flight back – thank you BA! So there you go, a whirlwind few days in London and now back in NY, one year older (debatable exactly how much wiser) and ready to celebrate again with friends in the Big Apple!

Xoxoxo

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/a-birthday-weekend-in-london/feed/ 0
My Gift Wish List for 2018! Hint, hint! http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/my-gift-wish-list-for-2018-hint-hint/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/my-gift-wish-list-for-2018-hint-hint/#comments Sun, 07 Jan 2018 19:24:22 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=654 As the temperature plummeted in NY this weekend (seriously – I had no idea how ridiculously cold it gets here), I’ve been hibernating indoors and so, what better time to start thinking about one of the only things I like about this cold, dreary time of year – my birthday in February!

My work already (unintentionally) gave me an awesome gift – it turns out I have to be in London for meetings which happen to fall on my birthday next month! I’ll extend my trip for the weekend so I get to celebrate with family and friends back home – yay! And can then kick off NY celebrations when I get back! As you can probably tell, I like to milk my birthday for all it’s worth!

I love birthdays – not just mine but everyone else’s too! It’s definitely a family thing of ours to celebrate birthdays and make them special, regardless of age or whether you’re even all that keen on birthdays! Especially as we’ve all gotten older and busier, I really cherish my family and friends coming together and making memories.

And of course, who doesn’t like a little gift or two?! Here are some of the things on my wish list for this year!

With all of this cold as hell weather wrecking havoc on my skin, I’m definitely wanting to stock up on some calming, nourishing skincare. I usually use La Roche-Posay and have loved their Effaclar Mat Mattifying Mosituriser for years. Feeling the need for something a little more protective, but yet gentle in these harsh weather conditions, I’ve started using First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream which my skin seems to be loving. It’s a non greasy, super hydrating, relieves minor irritation from all this wind chill and is safe for sensitive skin with parabens, harsh chemicals or colorants.

First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Cream

Keen to try some of their other products like the Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream:

First Aid Beauty – Ultra Repair Sleeping Cream

I also like the look of the Triple Protection Skin Tint which comes with SPF 30 and is available in four shades.

First Aid Beauty – Triple Protection Skin Tint

When it comes to fragrance gifts, there aren’t many brands I love more than Jo Malone. A dear friend first introduced me to Jo Malone many years ago now when we blended our own custom fragrance at the Jo Malone counter in London’s Selfridges – what a fun afternoon that was!

I still to this day swear by these two Jo Malone scents, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily and Velvet Rose and Oud – they are gorgeous, both alone or layered together.

Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily and Velvet Rose & Oud

I definitely prefer the more intense, headier scents, so I’m keen to try out the Orris & Sandalwood Cologne Intense since I love anything with sandalwood in it! It’s such a shame they don’t have this in a candle as I’d definitely buy it as little gift for me, from me!

Jo Malone – Orris & Sandalwood Cologne Intense

And whilst I usually stick to the darker bottles denoting the stronger, more intense combinations, I also love the sound of this Amber & Lavender Cologne as I’m a sucker for anything lavender scented (I often burn lavender essential oil in an oil burner at home and sprinkle drops on my pillow for a restful night’s sleep).

Jo Malone – Amber & Lavender Cologne

I’ve been enjoying getting to know some new US clothing brands since I’ve been here and one of the companies I really like the aesthetic of is Madewell.  Dreaming and desperate for warmer months to come, I’ve fallen in love with this beaut of a dress. Anything with a star print has me automatically starry-eyed from the get go, but it can sometimes look a little kitsch / young. The gorgeous plum colour of this silk dress gives it a playful, flirty yet grown up vibe – definitely a winner!

Madewell – Silk Flutter-Hem Dress in Star Mix

The other clothing brand that’s caught my eye is Delfi Collective available online at Saks Fifth Avenue especially when I saw this cold shoulder, midi lace dress – so cute!

Delfi Collective – Angelina Lace Cold-Shoulder Midi Dress

I’m still slowly trying to get my teeny studio apartment to feel more home-y and I’ve spied these lovely velvet cushion covers at West Elm which will look great on my grey sofa. I also LOVE that you can get them monogrammed, what a great little addition! Trying to decide between the regal blue or the blush pink color. I’m usually not very girly at all when it comes to decorating but the blush is currently edging over the blue for me!

West Elm – Velvet Cushion Covers

And to cap off my gift wish list, I couldn’t resist a luxury candle addition! Like this one from Byredo with notes of eucalyptus, incense, amber and wild patchouli – yum!

Byredo – Incense Candle

Hope you enjoyed my first wish list! I’m looking forward to compiling more of these in the future!

Xoxo

 

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/my-gift-wish-list-for-2018-hint-hint/feed/ 1
Saying Goodbye to 2017 & Well, Hello There 2018! http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/saying-goodbye-to-2017-well-hello-there-2018/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/saying-goodbye-to-2017-well-hello-there-2018/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:49:18 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=641 Well, well, well – HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all!!! I can’t believe 2018 is upon us, I feel as though I blinked and somehow managed to fast forward through most of 2017 in a haze!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break, or as they say in the US, a wonderful holiday break! I flew back to London in mid December and got to spend the weeks before and after Christmas with friends and family. I’m so grateful I work for a company that allows me the flexibility to work out of any office and from home whenever needed, which made my Christmas travel much easier.

I can’t tell you how good it was to catch up with everyone back at home! I packed a hell of a lot in during my trip – seeing my best friends gorgeous new house and getting introduced to her two even more gorgeous fluffball kittens, meeting two new beautiful babies, catching up with loads of friends and work colleagues and of course helping (albeit not very much) with the all important Christmas preparations and spending Christmas Day with my mad, crazy family!

Here’s a few photos from my trip:

Our Annual Christmas Family Selfie!

 

Family….

 

Carnaby Street, London at Christmas – one of my favourite places

 

Love these girls

It was slightly harder to say goodbye this time around after such a fabulous time with everyone – especially as I was leaving on the 29th December. I booked my flights a couple of months ago and as I knew I’d need to be back at work on the 2nd I very sensibly decided at the time it wouldn’t be great to fly home hungover on the 1st! Obviously once I was home, all I wanted to do was spend New Years Eve with my nearest and dearest! Lesson to self for this year! I had a lovely New Years Eve back in New York with some new friends. Nothing too wild but it was nice to see in 2018 with some bubbles!

I’m not really one for making New Year resolutions – I guess I feel that you should make a resolution or a personal commitment at any point during the year depending on what’s going on in your life at the time. Instead what I prefer to do, generally snuggled up indoors one evening with a glass of wine (I never do dry January either, urgh!), is to reflect on the past year – what I was grateful for, what I achieved, what I didn’t quite achieve and what I learnt about myself.

Over the past couple years I’ve definitely done a lot of growing and although there were some tough times, I’m actually really grateful for some of the lessons I learned and for the person I think I’m growing into (we’re never completely finished versions of ourselves are we?!) today as a result. I don’t spend a ton of time doing this but it’s definitely been useful and interesting to see how the year’s ended and where I’ve ended up! Something I feel strongly about doing is taking stock of everything I’m grateful for and sending out a little ‘thank you’ to the universe for everything that’s come my way!

2017 was a complete rollercoaster for me! This time last year I had just moved into my new flat – after selling my old one which I had shared with my ex. I felt happy and settled personally, and really ready to put my foot down at work. I had no idea that in little less than three months time I would be offered a job in New York and the chance to move halfway across the world and live somewhere I have always dreamed about!

So if I’ve learned anything from my past experiences, it’s not to plan anything too much or too far in advance! Having a couple of goals or an idea of the general direction you want to go in is great but it’s so important to be open to – and ready for – whatever opportunities and madness life throws at you! Here’s to whatever 2018 has in store!

What are you most looking forward to this year?!

Xoxox

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/saying-goodbye-to-2017-well-hello-there-2018/feed/ 0
A Thanksgiving Roadtrip to The Hamptons! http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/a-thanksgiving-roadtrip-to-the-hamptons/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/a-thanksgiving-roadtrip-to-the-hamptons/#respond Sat, 02 Dec 2017 05:22:29 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=604 I celebrated my first ever Thanksgiving holiday (Thursday 23rd November) with an inaugural trip to the Hamptons with my new friends, L, H and T – collectively known as The Brit Girls! Roadtrip – yay!

Americans love the Thanksgiving holiday. It marks the start of the holiday season and is a time for family and friends to come together over a turkey dinner – of course – to give thanks for all their blessings and appreciate each other. Whilst people do go a little crazy preparing all the various traditional dishes that make up Thanksgiving Dinner, lots of Americans I spoke to say they much prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas because it feels more authentic – there’s no over the top gift giving or present wrapping stress, just time to be with your loved ones.

I met The Brit Girls quite soon after I arrived in NYC this summer. H had just started a Meet Up group (Brit Girls in Manhattan) to try to meet new friends, luckily I decided to give it a go and signed up for the first event, a Mexican brunch – which has been a consistent theme in our subsequent gatherings! I’d never used the Meet Up app before but had been told it was a good way to meet people in NYC. And for me it certainly was! H and L were at that first brunch and we clicked right away. T joined our second event a couple of weeks later and before we knew it, we suddenly had our very own modern take on Sex and The City – four single ladies, new in the city and looking to have fun! So to cut a long story short, they kinda are my loved ones in NYC!

And as such, we had to spend Thanksgiving together and thought it was the perfect opportunity to get out of the city for a couple of days (as most people here take the Friday off too and have a long weekend). So we decided to rent a car and find an Air Bnb out towards the Hamptons!

After a couple of hours driving east out of NYC and stopping for brunch (obviously!) en route we eventually arrived at our cute Air Bnb home (sadly not the only below – can you believe I didn’t take a picture of the front of our house?!) in a little town called Jamesport on Long Island. It was picturesque!

Picture perfect houses on the North Fork – this one was down the street

We completely lucked out with the weather as well! It was mild and crisp with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine every day we were there – we were definitely thankful for that!

And another one….

Our house had an outside deck that led down towards a good sized garden complete with its own firepit.

The gorgeous view from our deck

Perfect for wrapping up and enjoying the streaming sunshine with some drinks. If only we’d have thought to bring some mulled wine!

Fun and games on the deck

And to top it off, our house was only a short drive down to the beach. The lifestyle seems great out there, much more relaxed and slower paced than the city. Everyone seems to know their neighbours and there’s a real sense of community.

Life out in the Hamptons is also very much geared towards the outdoors – think beaches, sailing and vineyards. Honestly what’s not to like?! The Hamptons are most famous for people leaving the city in their droves during the summer to come to their Hamptons beach house for the weekend. But I have to say I loved it during the off season. Take a look at this beautiful, deserted beach we found….

Not a soul in sight

It was stunning and personally, I love walking down an empty beach when its cold out! It’s so peaceful! Well, until we got there, that is!

It was hard to tear ourselves away – the promise of wine made it easier!

Just at the end of our road we found a beautiful little body of water and as the sun was setting, it made for such a gorgeous photo. There wasn’t a soul in sight and everything was so still.

Still waters in Jamesport

We just couldn’t resist hopping into this moored up boat to take a cheeky photo! I hope the owners didn’t mind!

We couldn’t resist a boat pic!

And of course that turned into a mini photo call!

Some posing by the waterfront!

Well maybe more than a mini photo call…..

Boat selfie darling!

Let’s just say we were there for a while…….!

Last one I promise!

After a bracing walk and some games played back at our Air Bnb, we started to get ready for Thanksgiving Dinner! As we didn’t have much time on our trip, although cooking would have been fun, we wanted to explore the area a bit and so we booked dinner out in Southampton at 75 Main. It was so much fun getting ready together at the house and glamming up!

Well don’t we scrub up nicely!

After a 30 minute Uber ride – the poor guy must’ve hated us, there was a LOT of singing going on – we arrived in Southampton, the cutest little town.

Main Street in Southampton

How cute is it?!

Literally every building on the street was lit up

Dinner was lovely and included a slightly tipsy and very lengthy Thanksgiving toast given by moi – which unfortunately H filmed, much to my amusement the next morning! Like proper Americans we all shared what we were thankful for this year.

Ok , this was after quite a few drinks……!

The night ended back at the local bar in Jamesport where, let’s just say, we made both friends and enemies with several of the locals!

The next day we ventured out a bit further from Jamesport and explored the town of Matituck. It’s super quaint and there was one tree-lined street in particular that had beautiful shops a plenty and was called, Love Lane!

Love Love Market

I loved this beautiful church which stood at the end of Love Lane.

Church in Matituck

On our last day and on our way back into the city, we stopped at one of many vineyards in the area. Our pick was Duck Walk Vineyard but there are so many to choose from all along the North Fork.

It was a perfect end to a fabulous couple of days – sipping wine in the afternoon sun with friends. And a few photos of course! This is one of my favourites!

All in all, a fabulous way to experience my first Thanksgiving holiday! And so grateful to have found such a fun, crazy and adventurous group of friends to experience it with me! Thanks for an awesome weekend girls!

Xoxo

 

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/a-thanksgiving-roadtrip-to-the-hamptons/feed/ 0
My Top 5 Favourite Places to Eat and Drink in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/my-top-5-favourite-places-to-eat-and-drink-in-hells-kitchen-manhattan/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/my-top-5-favourite-places-to-eat-and-drink-in-hells-kitchen-manhattan/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 21:59:13 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=556 I can’t believe it’s coming up to 2 months now since I moved into my apartment in Hell’s Kitchen – how time flies when you’re having fun!

Sadly I haven’t spent all that much time in the neighborhood yet as I popped home to London right after I moved for my best friend’s wedding and then went on my awesome trip to Bali. But it’s slowly starting to feel more and more like home!

I’ll do a more detailed post about the neighborhood later once I’ve had more of a chance to explore but in the meantime, I thought I would introduce you to my five top finds when it comes to food and drink in Hell’s Kitchen!

In no particular order…

Ardesia Wine Bar

Ardesia – outside patio

I love this wine bar! I discovered it a couple of days after I landed in NY back in August, so I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for it since it was one of the first bars in NY I got to know! It just so happens that it’s super cute, makes for a great little date spot, the staff are friendly, they do an awesome cheese and charcuterie plate and to top it off, they serve my all time favourite wine from Protugal, vinho verde! And luckily for me it’s now right on my doorstep…… happy days!

Ardesia – interior

Ardesia Wine Bar – 510 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

 

Danji Korean Restaurant

Danji – interior

This place is a little hidden gem! It’s tiny, so don’t be surprised to be asked to wait on the street if you don’t have a reservation – but I promise you it’s worth it! I’ve been three or four times now and the food is simply delicious! The spicy Korean fried chicken is mouth-wateringly good…..! The cocktails are to die for too – my favourite being the Soju Sangria! And make friends with the awesome and friendly barman, Oscar!

Danji – sooooo good!

Danji Korean Restaurant – 346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

 

Taboon

Taboon – outside

Taboon is a gorgeous spot when you want to treat yourself to a fancy dinner – or better yet when someone else is treating you! A flavours and ingredients of the Middle East and the Mediterranean combine here and result in heaven on a plate! Below is pic of the lamb kebabs which come served in a pot pie – which is cut into at your table, I can’t even describe to you how good this is! I love the ambience too, dark and intimate near the wood fired ovens or more buzzy in the main dining area.

Taboon – seabass

Taboon – 773 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019

 

Puff Cha

Puff Cha – Tom Yum Cha Gung Lao

I have to confess, I’ve never been to Puff Cha’s physical location because it’s become my go-to when I order food delivery from Seamless. The ramen and especially the tom yum soup are soooooo good! I think they’ll definitely be staples as the winter weather sets in. You can also order crispy ‘puffs’ to go with your broth of choice – they might not look like much, but they are little flaky packages of delight! Choose from savoury puffs like Korean beef or even sweet puffs like apple strudel – I’m not 100% convinced on the sweet ones but you won’t be disappointed if you take a savoury puff!

Puffs from Puff Cha!

Puff Cha – 457 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

 

Il Baretto

Il Baretto – outside

Il Baretto is a great little find on 11th Ave – a family run, Italian style deli and cafe by day that morphs into a restaurant / wine bar by night. You can grab a beautifully tasting coffee and a freshly made panini with top notch ingredients at a great price. I’ve only been a couple of times to grab something for lunch but the service has always been friendly and it seems as though its a neighborhood joint with lots of regulars. I’ll definitely be back to try dinner soon!

Il Baretto – 750 11th Ave, New York, NY 10019

 

And whilst it doesn’t quite make the top five list, I have to give a shout out to Fika since I pop in pretty much every weekend post workout to grab a matcha latte with almond milk! Yum! The weekend wouldn’t be complete without one!

Xoxo

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/my-top-5-favourite-places-to-eat-and-drink-in-hells-kitchen-manhattan/feed/ 0
Adventures in Bali….aka PARADISE (Part 2) http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/adventures-in-bali-aka-paradise-part-2/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/adventures-in-bali-aka-paradise-part-2/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 22:35:34 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=519 So after the coastal beachy bliss of the first part of our trip in Canggu, we waved goodbye to the ocean and travelled 90 minutes by car inland to Ubud. My friends A and M had both totally fallen in love with Ubud last year when they visited Bali for the first time. So I’d heard lots of great things about this tropical, spiritual oasis they kept talking about and was eager to see it for myself!

It was amazing to see the landscape change as we drove further towards Ubud. The rice fields became more plentiful for a while and then gradually the brilliant bright green plantlife we were used to seeing morphed into deeper, darker green hues as we entered the jungle! The clear blue skies of the coast and the eternal sunshine started to slowly get blotted out by all the enormous trees and the forest canopy – but the heat and humidity remained intact albeit a degree or two cooler.

Our lovely taxi driver dropped us off in the middle of Ubud, in front of the famous Penestanan Steps. Our villa, it turns out, was all the way at the very top!

Penestanan Steps, Ubud

As we took a very deep breath and prepared for the climb with luggage in hand, we were beyond grateful to see staff from our villa bound down the stairs. Without a care, they heaved our cases onto their shoulders and trotted all the way back up to the top, leaving us trailing behind despite having nothing to carry!

Definitely a little bit out of puff at the top, we followed the staff as they led us down tiny narrow passageways high up in the forest. The views were breathtaking, but I was almost scared to look, in case I fell off one of the walkways and into a stream or down a cliff!

When we reached our villa and opened the door, we were greeted by the most amazingly beautiful garden I think I’ve ever seen, complete with its own little moat around the outside with stepping stones onto the veranda!

The welcome to our beautiful villa in Ubud

I’m not sure we knew where to look first! Our previous villa had been gorgeous but the garden here in Ubud was out of this world – on a completely different level!

Our first glimpse at our new home!

It turns out the villa is owned by a couple, one of whom is an artist. So there were pieces of her work literally everywhere…..

Just one of many pieces of art strewn around the villa and gardens

Every time we looked around, we saw another awesome piece of the garden we hadn’t noticed before. The attention to detail and effort that must have gone into creating this little oasis must have been huge. I loved all the water features in the garden. And of course the pool!

Such a cute corner of our garden!
Also loved this piece of art too
So tranquil

Just look at the size of the trees! They were gigantic! This bad boy was enormous and was right next to the pool. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. It was awesome to be paddling around, staring up at this…….

Definitely one of my happy places on this trip!

We didn’t even notice this gorgeous buddha sitting in the garden until our second day, but he turned out to be one of my favourites!

Loved this little guy!

Just outside our villa door we found vast stretches of fields with amazing houses dotted around on one side and then the impressive jungle canopy on the other. The scenery was simply stunning.

Beautiful vista right on our door step, imagine living here!
The photos don’t do justice to the size and scale of the trees – it made me feel so small in the grand scheme of things!
The plantlife was just insane…..!

Ever the amazing host, A had reserved us a table at Bridges Bali for our first lunch in Ubud. Top tip here, there are so many gorgeous spots, make sure you book lunch or an early dinner so you actually get to see your surroundings! I’m sure Bridges is still excellent during the evening but missing out on the sight of this natural beauty would have been sad!

Bridges Restaurant, Ubud

Bridges is set on seven levels and overlooks the gently flowing Wos River. It describes itself as casual fine dining and also has a wine / cocktail bar attached. I would describe the interior decor as colonial and the service was excellent.

It’s a fusion restuarant, Indonesian dishes and influences combined with western flavours – done well. The pasta in particular is really well made. I had the Lamb and Ricotta Raviolo to start which was delicious!

And the Pan Seared Barramundi for main which was served with spinach, mushroom, whipped mint-potato purée, Parmesan aïoli and chilli oil, topped with a Parmesan wafer…..mmmmmm!

Feeling full by that point, we  headed upstairs and retired to the lounge area to enjoy the last of our wine and of course, the view.

Enjoying a final drink at Bridges

Walking around Ubud was mesmerising. Temples, monuments and little havens on peacefulness were everywhere.

I was particularly taken with the lovliness of this statue in Ubud

And we found this piece of art when we popped in to take a further look at a temple which looked particularly pretty from the outside.

Art depicting the history of events in this temple complex

One thing everyone MUST do when visiting Bali, at least once if not more, is to book yourself a massage! Whilst in Ubud, I paid a visit to the stunningly gorgeous Taksu Spa.

Look at this beautiful, beautiful place!

After arriving and filling out some paperwork, I was whisked away through the different levels of the spa, gawking at all the beautiful pools, water features and the most enormous buddha statue I have ever seen! I eventually arrived at a little hut, like this one…. and was welcomed by my therapist.

Treatment hut at Taksu Spa

I loved that everyone had their own, personal hut to experience their treatments in. It felt very luxurious yet at the same time, you also felt very close to nature listening to what was going on outside.

Treatment hut at Taksu Spa

I decided to have a delicious coffee and cinnamon salt scrub which was very invigorating and left me feeling silky soft. After a hot shower in my little hut, the therapist came back in and I had an uber relaxing 90 minute warm stone massage. The therapist firstly massaged me with her hands, then used the heated stones to warm her hands to massage me and then finally used the warm stones themselves to massage me. Utter bliss and I was so sad when it was all over!

I emerged after a good two and half hours of pure ‘me time’ and self indulgence to find the sun was setting. I was offered a free drink token to use at the outside spa restaurant – which was a nice touch – so headed there to sit and savour the spa at dusk. All in all, a very relaxing afternoon!

I would totally recommend Taksu Spa if you find yourself in Ubud. You can of course find places that will offer you a great massage at a lower cost, but this was still far cheaper than you would pay in London or New York, and the setting and quality (of the therapist I had anyway) was excellent. You won’t regret it!

After a first day of lunching and indulging at the spa, we got our second day off to a cracking start by having breakfast at the Yellow Flower Cafe which was handily, right next to our villa. It’s the cutest, cosiest cafe with semi outdoor seating and a teeny, tiny kitchen that dishes up authentic Indonesian cuisine that’s absolutely delicious. And did I mention you get to enjoy this view whilst you eat….!

Yellow Flower Cafe

After breakfast we strolled through Ubud town to the Monkey Forest! Seeing lots of gorgeous sights along the way like these….

Yes that is a rocking horse in the middle of the jungle!
Holy Balinese Elephant Statue
Food stall in Ubud
Another beautiful temple on the way to the Monkey Forest

Honestly, you can get so (happily!) distracted in Ubud because there are so many amazing things to see and hear all over the place! Also en route, we got to hear some beautiful Balinese music from outside one of the temple walls, as practice was taking place for a festival later on that evening.

We loved the Monkey Forest! A and M had been before and couldn’t wait to take me! I have about 100 monkey photos on my phone, but these are a couple of my favourites!

Monkey Forest!
Monkey Forest!

It’s a huge area, with stunning scenery all around so you could spend hours here if its your thing!

Love this shot A captured of the Monkey Forest
A in the Monkey Forest

Whilst we were there, the heavens opened and the rain started to pour hard (and continued to do so for the next few hours)! I love a monsoon! Abandoning the forest, we ran to a nearby spot A and M had enjoyed on their previous visit, Bali Bohemia Cafe – which is actually a very cute artists hotel too.

Bali Bohemia Cafe

A tiny little bolthole, we ended up spending hours in this place as the rain fell around us. The food was so yummy and as this would be our last afternoon together, we decided to just relax and enjoy each other’s company. The vibe was so chilled out and the staff seemed happy enough to allow us to while away the afternoon with them.

Sadly I only had a couple of days in Ubud before I had to catch my flight back to NY. But its safe to say I loved it there!

Bali was an absolute dream holiday, I got to see so many things I hadn’t seen before and it was definitely an experience I’ll treasure forever. Not just because of the amazing country but also because I got to experience it with A and M – so special. Thank you both for inviting me along and for the most unforgettable holiday!

Have you guys ever visited Bali? What did you think of it?

Xoxo

 

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/adventures-in-bali-aka-paradise-part-2/feed/ 0
Adventures in Bali….aka PARADISE (Part 1) http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/adventures-in-bali-aka-paradise-part-1/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/adventures-in-bali-aka-paradise-part-1/#comments Thu, 02 Nov 2017 23:33:00 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=475 ADVANCE WARNING…….. THERE WILL BE LOTS OF PHOTOS OF GORGEOUSNESS INCLUDED IN THE FOLLOWING POST! 

Hey guys! Sorry for the delay in posting! October has completely flown by and I can’t believe November is here already!

Some of you will have seen from my Insta account that I jetted off last month for just over a week of bliss in Bali, Indonesia! It was one of the most relaxing, inspiring trips I’ve ever taken and just completely and utterly different to anywhere I’ve ever been before.

I was invited to join my close friends, A and M (thanks guys!), who  went to Bali for the first time last year and LOVED it so much they decided to go back again this year. Despite it being a killer 25 hours away from NYC and not having all that much vacation time left, I decided I had to take them up on their awesome offer!

And I’m so glad that I did. Bali is such a beautiful (that word doesn’t even do it justice), diverse country and the people are warm and seemingly happy all the time! There’s something for everyone in Bali – temples, beaches, jungle, delicious food, spirituality, yoga, bars, cocktails and monkeys, lots of monkeys! But more on that later!

A did an amazing job of finding us two awesome Air BnB villas to stay in during our time in Bali. The first one in Canggu, on the southern coast, was heavenly…..

Villa in Canggu – pool and gorgeous garden!

It was a huge, light and airy two storey, three bedroom home. Most homes in Bali have open style living quarters like this that open right onto the garden and pool….

Our villa in Canggu – living area which opens out onto the garden

I was lucky enough to have the entire first floor to myself! I absolutely loved waking up to the wonderful views of rice paddies and lush vegetation every morning, as well as the dawn chorus from all the wildlife – it was so tranquil and soothing, and felt as it we were in the middle of nowhere! Which was just what I needed!

Our villa in Canggu – view from the first floor terrace

I felt like Bali was a welcome assault on the senses. Everything around us seemed as though it was suddenly in high definition – the colours were so much more vivid, the noises were loud and surreal, the nature and wildlife completely unbelievable. If I’m honest it really helped me re-balance after a crazy year of work, a new job, moving to NYC and socialising way too much!

Canggu (pronounced Chen-gu) is in the south of Bali, a bit further on from the lively, more busy resorts like Kuta and Seminyak but still under an hour’s drive from Denpasar airport. Canggu is a quieter, smaller village with stunning beaches and amazing surf, making it a bit of a hippie, bohemian paradise! As well the beaches, there are sprawling rice fields and tropical plantlife as well as beautifully built houses and temples everywhere you look.

Canggu – amazing natural beauty coupled with exquisite architecture

And statues like this one on every corner….! The local women would leave offerings on these statues and on the sides of the road every day, sometimes multiple times a day. We even had a lovely lady who let herself into our villa and would leave one by the pool every morning! You know when one has just been placed there, as they leave a little incense burning in it – so lovely!

I’m so glad A and M decided to find a place in Canggu this year after being based in Seminyak last time they visited. We headed into Seminyak a couple of times and whilst its great for a night out, Canggu felt more authentic – there weren’t as many late night bars – or bars in general. Everything is geared towards early mornings, surfing and a healthy lifestyle. But don’t worry – you can still easily find a drink if you want one!

A picked a fabulous spot for my first dinner in Canggu, JI Terrace – the sushi was to die for (I am so sad I didn’t get a photo but we were ravenous and devoured it before I could even think to!) and the white wine sangria went down far too easily!

JI Terrace menu

Either come early on and bag a seat outside to watch the sunset or soak up the atmosphere inside at this table I spotted, how cute is it?!

JI Terrance inside

One of our favourite healthy finds in Canggu was Rise and Shine Cafe. Such a cool, cute little spot a ten minute stroll from our villa with some fabulous breakfast options and, no joke, THE BEST coffee we had whilst in Bali! Makes me want one right now, just thinking about it…..

Rise Cafe, Canggu

We loved the food and coffee so much, we visited a couple of times whilst we were in Canggu. And the staff were so lovely as well!

Breakfast Burrito at Rise Cafe

Fresh, tasty and filling breakfast burritos, smoothie and acai bowls all washed down with heaps of delicious iced coffee.

Breakfast Bowl at Rise Cafe

This was my favourite out of the bunch – gooey cinnamon banana french toast…..dreamy! Even A, who’s not all that keen on bananas loved it!

Banana French Toast at Rise Cafe

Two of the best days of my entire life so far were spent at Karma Beach Club in Ungasan near Uluwatu. This place is honestly my idea of heaven on earth!!! Just look at it! You have to take a cable car from the top of the resort down to the beach, through vibrant green cliffs. And you get to watch this vista slowly come into sharper focus as you descend…..!

Karma Beach – this is my happy place

I love a luxurious, lazy day on a beach and this one is pretty much perfect. It’s a small, fairly exclusive beach – attached to a resort but you can pay for daily access – with the clearest blue green ocean and powdery white sand. There are awesome rocks to climb on and loads of coral from the reef that washes up to find as you stroll along the sand!

Karma Beach 

Whilst it does feel exclusive, that’s more down to the fact that there aren’t many people around rather than it feeling pretentious. The music is chilled out and not too loud that it interferes with the sound of the ocean and the staff are perennially happy (I guess I would be too if this was my office) so nothing is too much trouble. Food during the day was top notch, we had the most beautiful lunch on our first day there but weren’t as thrilled with the dinner, so would suggest you find somewhere else for the evening. Cocktails were good and between the three of us we managed to work our way through most of the menu!

If you get there early you get to savour the view and the vibe all by yourself – honestly amazing!

Karma Beach – so many shades of blue in one shot

Saying goodbye and taking the cable car up and away was hard….. very hard! Although it’s a bit of a splurge – especially in comparison to everything else in Bali which is so cheap – I’d totally recommend a day or two at Karma Beach as a treat. It ‘s so good for the soul!

Here’s a snap of me and A chilled out AF after our first day at Karma Beach.

After our second day at the beach and some great research on A’s part, we headed to Single Fin’s – a really cool surf cafe/ bar/ roof terrace in Uluwato and about a 15 minute drive from Karma Beach. A had read it was THE place to go to watch the sun go down. I really loved this place from the moment we arrived. It was busy but despite not having a reservation, we managed to get an awesome little table on one of the roof terraces looking out onto this view…..

Watching the sun starting to set at Single Fin’s

After a day in the sun and in paradise at Karam Beach, we didn’t think it could get much better but clearly, when in Bali – it can! I’ve been lucky enough to see some totally breathtaking sunsets in some picture perfect places, but this one honestly tops it for me. Watching the sun cast its last rays onto the huge expanse of ocean in front of us, with loads of tiny surfers floating around watching too, was pretty unforgettable.

I just love all the colours….

As all sunsets do, it happened far too quickly and unfortunately my photos don’t do it justice at all but I hope you a get a sense for what we were so lucky to experience.

Watching the sun finally disappear for the day with sundowners – of course!

The whole day was magical. I feel most at peace when I’m by the sea (like mother, like daughter!) so it was peaceful,  relaxing yet at the same time so re-energising. And I was lucky enough to enjoy it with such special friends.

We also visited a holy temple, as you must do when you visit Bali! This one was close to Karma Beach so we decided to stop by on our way. We were given purple robes to tie round our waists before we entered and were warned to be careful of the mischieveous monkeys who roam the grounds!

I was expecting one large temple-looking building but in fact it was a huge, sprawling complex – again with magnificent views – with many smaller structures and statues dotted around the grounds.

This was just one of many incredible monuments we passed by and one I particularly loved.

How beautiful is this?

I totally fell in love with Canggu during my time there. It has such a relaxed vibe you can’t help but to slow down, de-stress and even re-evaluate your life priorities a little. After a few days there, I was feeling happy in myself and in my soul, grateful for wonderful friends and excited to travel inland to the jungle!

Stay tuned for part two of my Bali adventures in Ubud!

 

Where else we went in Canggu worth knowing about:

Finns Beach Club – liked it here, not as beautiful as Karma Beach but more of a fun party vibe beach club

The Lawn – we went for drinks in the evening which was lovely but you really need to go during the day to soak up the beach vibes – definitely on my list to re-visit next time!

Dandelion – one of my favourite restaurants, traditional Indonesian food in a beautiful setting with bunnies, yes bunnies!!! running around the place!

Motion Cafe – really good healthy, vegan friendly cafe attached to a fitness studio

Little Flinders Cafe – surprisingly great spot for a casual dinner, the Tom Yum soup was delicious!

 

A – am I missing any others?!

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/adventures-in-bali-aka-paradise-part-1/feed/ 7
London Calling Part 2 – A Baby Shower @The Dorchester & Brunch @Jikoni http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/london-calling-part-2-a-baby-shower-the-dorchester-brunch-jikoni/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/london-calling-part-2-a-baby-shower-the-dorchester-brunch-jikoni/#respond Mon, 02 Oct 2017 22:47:49 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=440 After B’s wedding I headed back home to see the family in Kent, then on Sunday was back in London for another close friend, M’s baby shower! It was a very civilised affair at The Dorchester.

An afternoon at The Dorchester

This is M’s second baby, she already has a beautiful baby boy who is nearly 18 months old and is now expecting a baby girl in October! So exciting!

The gorgeous mummy-to-be!

A group of us joined M to celebrate her impending new arrival. The Dorchester’s afternoon tea menu is delightful. A lovely array of delicate finger sandwiches, which were scoffed before I could even get a photo, and which will be replenished to your hearts content bu the handsomely dressed and uber polite waiters!

Baby Shower Guests

After sandwiches, two scones each arrive – one plain, one raisin. Whilst we were savouring them, we debated scone-eating etiquette at the table – do you slather your jam on first and then the clotted cream or vice versa? For me, its cream, then jam dolloped on top!

Tea and Scones!

Word of warning – remember to save room for the pastries! I actually didn’t and had to take mine away in a doggy bag for later as I was so full! Look at how beautifully they are presented….

Let the Sweet Treats Commence!

And who can resist a close up shot!

A Closer Look…..

We ended our sitting with the waiters bringing over a very cute Congratulations cake for M – nothing was too much trouble and this was a lovely touch which brought an even bigger smile to her face.

Congratulations!

I think it;s safe to say she had a fabulous afternoon with some special friends! I can’t wait to meet her daughter in the coming months!

The Mama-to-be!

 

Whilst in London over the weekend, I also managed to fit in a great brunch with some friends at a really lovely spot in Marylebone called Jikoni.

Jikoni in Marylebone – how cute is this place?!

It’s fairly new on the scene, less than a year old but already making waves due to its fusion rich menu, unpretentious, warm service and eclectic decor. Jikoni’s team describe it as…. A neighbourhood restaurant by cook Ravinder Bhogal. It’s food drawing on a mixed heritage of flavours from Britain, East Africa, the Middle East & Asia. I was quite excited about the mixed heritage as my mother’s family lived in India and East Africa before moving to the UK in the 70s.

Ravinder was previously a fashion journalist before finding fame in the foodie world after appearing on a Gordon Ramsay TV show and then publishing a number of cookery books. Jikoni is her first foray into the restaurant business and personally, I think she’s made quite an impression. Her fashion/ design background can be seem in the quirky yet cosy interior she has put together at Jikoni.

Soft furnishings, lots of textures, colour and prints – a feast for the eyes as well as the palate

 

I loved this rug!

The food was delicious and I had absolutely no complaints! The brunch menu is not your standard fare, so if you’re looking for Eggs Benedict you may not find it here.

Jikoni menu

What you will find is an assortment of tastes, spices and flavours. Some of the ingredients were new even to me, despite my family having a similar background. I thought it was exciting, innovative and more importantly, everything we tried worked. There’s nothing I hate more than a restaurant trying to be eccentric at the expense of taste.

Mmmmmm…….

My friends and I order a few dishes to share. All were very, very good and some exceptional. We all loved the Bacalao Fofos (essentially beautiful saltcod fishcakes) with Poached Egg, Romesco and Pickled Cauliflower. I loved the Prawn Toast Scotch Egg with Banana Ketchup and Pickled Cucumber, and the Chickpea Chips with Fenugreek and Bengali Tomato Chutney were totally moreish!

I just had to try the Mutton Keema Sloppy Joe with Pickled Onions – comfort food at its very best. This was definitely my favourite of the bunch. I totally devoured this and would happily do so again the next time I’m back in London…..

Mutton Keema Sloppy Joe in all its glory

Afterwards, we couldn’t help ourselves and had to try the Banana Cake with Miso Butterscotch and Ovaltine Kulfi! Let me repeat that one more…….. Ovaltine Kulfi! What an amazing idea!

Look at this beat…..

Jikoni banana cake

Honestly it was heaven in a dessert bowl. And I am still dreaming of that ovaltine kulfii and wondering where on earth I’m going to find something to replicate it in New York.

I was really impressed with Jikoni. Couldn’t fault a thing foodwise and the staff were so lovely and welcoming. I have recommended to all my family back home in London, so will keep you posted – hopefully they receive the same great service and taste the same amazing food I did.

I’ve also just seen that Jikoni is celebrating its 1st birthday later this week on the 8th October – happy birthday! They’re celebrating with a special 6 course feast cooked by Ravinder Bhogal and Observer food critic Jay Rayner. Tickets available on their website. 

Also, just to be clear, I wasn’t asked to write this review or given anything in exchange – these are my honest opinions!

Let me know if you go!

Xoxo

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/london-calling-part-2-a-baby-shower-the-dorchester-brunch-jikoni/feed/ 0
London Calling Part 1 – Wedding Belles! http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/london-calling-part-1-wedding-belles/ http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/london-calling-part-1-wedding-belles/#comments Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:22:01 +0000 http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/?p=415 I jetted back to London last week to see one of my very best friend’s, B, get married to her handsome beau, P! Despite now living an ocean away, I wasn’t going to miss this day for the world!

The reception took place in the beautiful Prested Hall Country House in the middle of the Essex countryside and close to where the groom grew up. The grounds were absolutely stunning and B was extremely fortunate that the sun shone down on us all day long – a bit of a rarity at the end of September in England!

I was so honoured, and ridiculously overexcited, to be one of B’s four bridesmaids! Don’t you just love our dresses?!

Our beautiful bridesmaid dresses

Despite having two blondes, two brunettes and range of heights, shapes and complexions in our bridesmaid quartet, the dresses suited us all perfectly. They looked great in the photos and were super comfortable – which was handy as it was a long day (we started hair and make up at 6.30am!) and we all wanted to enjoy the dancing into the wee hours!

I’ve known B since we were teenagers, we both attended the same all girls grammar school in Kent. B was actually one year ahead of me, so we didn’t really know each other at school but ended up becoming friends when we worked together at House of Fraser after school. Since then, almost 16 years ago now (how crazy is that?!), B has been one of my closest and most treasured friends. She probably knows more of my secrets than anyone else! We’ve seen each other through so many different chapters in our lives and it made being with her – and her family – on her wedding day all the more special.

Look how gorgeous the bride looked, pictured here with her Dad, just before we left for the church! B has always been fashionable (but not a slave to it), individual and quite daring with her aesthetic. Even when we were younger, B would always try a stunning hair or make up look and all her outfits were accessorised perfectly. She has always had an inate way of knowing just what suits her and is definitely someone who has fun with fashion.

Glowing bride and proud father!

So it was absolutely no surprise that she chose the most beautiful dress for her big day. It suited her so well, as if it had been made with her in mind. B decided to accentuate it, and her personality, with a stunning deep berry lip. Even our bridesmaid dresses complemented the make up scheme!

A couple of bridesmaids

After a lovely church ceremony, at a spot close to the groom’s heart, we all returned back to Prested Hall for photos, canapes and champagne which we enjoyed out in the glorious sunshine. Whilst B and P had thought of everything for their guests, I also loved how everything felt relaxed and everywhere I looked people were enjoying themselves!

The bride, her groom and the ushers!

The wedding breakfast took place in a marquee on the grounds. Although I had known how much effort B and P had put in ahead of time thinking about every tiny detail, even I was completely blown away to see how magucal it looked inside…..

Absolutely gorgeous marquee – all the bride’s hard work paid off!

Down to the sweet Memory Ladder the bride and groom had found and refurbished themselves, so they could pay tribute to and include in the celebrations, absent family and friends.

Such a lovely idea – a memory ladder to remember absent family and friends

The bridesmaids and I had gotten to know each other well since B and P’s engagement last year, especially as we planned B’s hen weekend to Edinburgh together earlier this summer – which was AWESOME, if I do say so myself! We couldn’t believe the day had finally come and it’s safe to say we partied hard, as you should if you’re a bridesmaid!

Bridesmaids!

The food was delicious, the wine flowed all night and I loved being such a special part of their day.

Wedding Table plus photobomb!

Lots of fun after dinner dancing, posing and taking numerous selfies!

Wedding Selfie!

As well as trying out the very amusing photo wall B had set up for wedding guests.

Photo Wall – endless fun!

It was such a magical day and I have so many amazing memories. I still can’t believe B is now all grown up and married! Wishing you both a lifetime filled with happiness, laughter and love!

Xoxo

]]>
http://thenewnewyorkerblog.com/london-calling-part-1-wedding-belles/feed/ 2