This is just the smallest of edits of some of our favourite moments in New York City. We came, we saw, we ate, we drank, we shopped. And, above all else, we pounded the sidewalks with our guide and New York correspondent Liz Hatton.
Our full reviews will be going live soon, but in the meantime, if you’re heading to Manhattan, here are our highlights.
1. Best Museum: 9/11 Museum
We had no idea what to expect. Our first sighting of the memorial pools was late at night – no-one around, just security guards meandering. The sight of the structures floored us. Not just what had been created, but also what had been lost; what was no longer there. The Museum itself is sensitively, interestingly curated. Don’t go before a big night out – you need time to quietly ponder what you have seen. Pre-book tickets and give yourself at least four hours to wander around slowly.
2. Go-To Restaurant: Bubby’s
We visited Bubby’s on our first morning in Manhattan. Liz Hatton, our New York correspondent, had recommended the pancakes. My god, they were good. We ended up visiting nearly day, whether it was for a beer, lunch, evening cocktails or dinner. There’s some seriously good home cooking, even home butchering and home curing, plus loads of New York state produce and a warm welcome. Bubby’s ticks a lot of boxes.
3. New Cocktail Obsession: The Manhattan
The Manhattan, appropriately. Making like true New Yorkers, we started and ended most meals with them. We especially liked the modern take on the Manhattan at Little Park, the Smyth Thompson hotel’s new bar and restaurant in Tribeca.
4. Best View From A Hotel Room: Hilton Millenium
We were forced to leave the intimate Smyth Thompson in Tribeca as the hotel was fully-booked for the last part of our stay. We decided to earn a few extra Virgin Atlantic air miles, so booked the Hilton Millenium. A sliver of a high-rise overlooking the 9/11 Memorial and the building work taking place at Ground Zero (including Santiago Calatrava’s amazing sculptural structure, pictured above), the views from the room are knee-knockingly astonishing, whilst every other aspect of the hotel screams, “Refurbish me.”
5. Best Service: Nomad Hotel
We spent Christmas Day at the Nomad Hotel: cosy, cool and clubby, we lounged in the library bar (above) with its crackling real fires, partook in far too many beautifully-mixed cocktails and indulged in a great value lunch. The staff at every single turn were attentive, passionate, fun and incredibly sweet. We’re heading back there for a stay in September.
6. Best Meal: Eleven Madison
Our New York correspondent Liz Hatton answered ‘Eleven Madison’ without missing a beat when we asked her to recommend a restaurant that would wow us – we were after one of those money-no-object nights where we’d be lavished with Michelin-starred fare. Not a single aspect of this restaurant disappointed. One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had, we were treated to liquid nitrogen-made cocktails in the kitchens after our meal.
7. Best Neighbourhood: Tribeca
Tribeca’s cobbled streets, soaring loft-style apartments and cast iron architecture make it one of Manhattan’s most picturesque ‘hoods. Great bars, world-renowned restaurants (we loved Locande Verde) and excellent boutiques are dotted around the streets – Steve Alan’s stores dotted around are a must. It’s also well located: within walking distance of SoHo, the financial district and the Lower East Side.
8. Best Lifestyle Store: Best Made Company
Best Made Company is the first shop we visited on the first morning of our stay and we walked out having dropped hundreds of dollars. It’s one of those new of breed shops: a lifestyle store packed to the rafters with beautifully curated objéts, from homewares to fashion. Best Made’s niche is a little more refined: a celebration of country living and functional products. We’re a little bit in love with our Best Made axe.
9. Best Walk: The High Line
New York is one of the best cities in the world to explore on foot – our Fitbit showed us that we averaged 18 kilometres a day. The High Line, snaking along the east side, gives storey-high views of the avenues and architecture. Even in the depths of a cold, bitter winter, the planting is beautiful. One of the highlights of our trip.
10. Best Side Dish: Shoestring Fries, Spotted Pig
After a freezing morning on the elevated High Line, being battered by a cold wind, we headed over to April Bloomfield’s famed Spotted Pig gastropub to fill up on the British chef’s lauded cooking. A regular haunt of Liz’s, this busy, cosy spot is renowned for its hearty cooking. Bloomfield’s famous shoestring fries should be washed down with a cask-conditioned ale or three.
11. Best Memento: Hillary Clinton mug, Fishs Eddy
Despite Fishs Eddy products now being available in Liberty London (we hate it when that happens), we always visit this store when we’re in New York. A touch hokey for some of the Resource team’s tastes, we couldn’t resist this Hillary Clinton mug.
12. Best Interiors Store: ABC Carpet & Home
ABC Carpet & Home’s vast spaces on both sides of Broadway are nothing short of inspirational. We were contemplating hiring a private jumbo after a couple of hours of perusing the store’s collection of high-end homewares. Be sure not to miss out on the rug and carpet collections, even if you’re not in the market for a $20,000 floor covering. Another highlight is Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s cooking in ABC Kitchen.
13. Best Bar: Salvation Taco
Some days, only a beer (or three), tacos and ping pong will do. Before braving the cold and the crowds at the Rockefeller (well, when in New York at Christmastime…) we spent a few hours eating more of April Bloomfield’s cooking, this time at her Salvation Taco outpost at the Pod 39 hotel. The Salvation margarita with chilli salt is a must. And if you’re in town in the summer months, make a trip up to the roof terrace: one of the best rooftop bars in the city.
14. Best Club: Birdland
Go old-school with a night of big band showtunes at Birdland, an intimate and legendary venue. Finish a night of well-poured cocktails and classic New York tunes with a walk through the madness of nearby Times Square.
15. Best Brunch: Minetta Tavern
Another venue in the Keith McNally stable, the Minetta Tavern, once a hangout for Village’s beat poets and bohemians, has had a trademark McNally makeover, whilst retaining the historical beauty of this traditional pub. McNally has put two of his Balthazar chefs in the kitchen who serve up brasserie-style brunches. Take your pick of brunch booze including a selection of Bloody Marys.
16. Best Fashion Store: Dover Street Market
Like its London counterpart, the Dover Street Market is a multi-floored superstore of brands including Comme des Garçons, Miu Miu, Junye Watanabe, Thom Browne and Nike.
17. Best Coffee: Blue Bottle Coffee
A very fine flat white indeed, just off one of Brooklyn Heights’ bustling shopping streets. For those with more refined/hipster tastes, there’s cold brews a-plenty and Kyoto-style iced coffee drippers on their drip bar.
18. Best Pizza: Frannys
A family-friendly spot in Park Slope, Franny’s is owned by husband and wife team Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg. Using the meticulously-sourced, locally grown food, this wood-fired pizza joint is widly popular with the monied inhabitants of this changing neighbourhood. The clam, chilli and parsley pizza is a deft lesson in the perfect Neopolitan-style pie.