Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A December Weekend in New York City - Days 3 & 4.

A few days ago I told you all about my first two days in New York City. I flew to NYC from Sydney for a weekend of festive feels, Christmas charm, and holiday happiness. And I was not disappointed! Days 3 and 4 were far more chilled out than my first two days, and I took things slowly as, to be honest...I was incredibly hungover on both my third and fourth days. Oops. On the plus side, I have more NYC nightlife tips for you, as well as a very special lunch.

Day 3 - Saturday

So I woke up around 10am Saturday morning, my head throbbing and my mouth parched. Yep, I was massively hungover from the night before. #YOLO. I dragged myself out of bed and got showered, then jumped in a taxi to Washington Square Park. To be honest it looks a lot smaller than it does in the movies...and the Christmas Tree wasn't anywhere near as impressive as everyone makes out :/ soz.

After feeling a bit disappointed, I wandered through Soho towards The Cupping Room Cafe for brunch. This is one of the most popular cafes in Soho, so booking is highly advised! Even with a booking I still had to wait 10mins for my table. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when they showed me to my seat...they had removed the seat opposite me and there was a mirror against the wall directly opposite, so I looked like the biggest loner sat having brunch staring at myself haha.

Photo from

Anyway, I chose the french toast and it was literally amazing. It was filled with mascarpone, granola, and berry compote, and oh my days was it delicious! I was so full afterwards though that I had to go back to the hotel for a nap as I felt so ill from the ole hangover. Plz don't judge me. I'm 26, I'm allowed to still go out partying. Anyway, I woke up from my nap around 4ish and decided to go and see the Bryant Park holiday market as it was nice and close to my hotel. I took a quick detour into Grand Central to take some photos and have a bit of people-watching time. Is it just me who loves people watching in busy locations?!

I was really happy that I made the effort to go out to the Bryant Park holiday market, it was SO CUTE. I loved it! It was full of people, there was Christmas music playing everywhere, there was a huge impressive Christmas tree, the stalls were all super adorable, and there was the ice rink! I feel like proposals were following me this trip (definitely not a sign fyi), as they cleared the ice of everyone and announced a 'competition' that a 'random' couple won...little did we all know that it was all planned, and instead of winning theatre tickets, the guy got down on one knee on the ice and proposed! It was pretty hilarious because the woman said yes, and then was all like "Wait, did we not win theatre tickets then!?" tbh I would have had the same reaction.

After the proposal everyone was allowed back on the ice after some kids performed an ice dance, and I sat down on a rickety chair and people-watched again. I couldn't wipe the grin off my face watching all these happy people skating around and feeling oh so Christmassy, and it made me REALLY excited to see my family just two days later after six months away from them. It gave me all the feels seeing all these happy families, and it was just one of those really lovely moments where you truly appreciate your family and friends.

I began to get a little cold sat out in Bryant Park, so I went back to Top of the Rock to attempt to see NYC at night again. I'd supposed to go the previous night but the visibility was too bad due to the snow. This time it was totally fine, and it was such a great feeling finally seeing New York at night from up high - it was exactly how it looks in those sweeping movie shots.

And then it was my 'cultural' time in NY, I walked up to the Lincoln Centre for their Big Band Holiday show. It was so upper class New York it wasn't even funny. Think older women with fur stoles draped over them, older gentlemen wearing camel coats and cravats, and picture-perfect young families with their 1-boy/1-girl children. I took my seat and looked around the room, and noticed how every single person in the audience aside from two families were white. The show itself was incredible, I loved every minute, but my goodness did the audience lack soul. Next time I go to NYC I'm going straight to Harlem to see some real jazz. I love big band, but it all just felt so 'nice' and lacked any real oomph.

Anyway, after all that upper class fancy swanky-ness I was in desperate need of some hip-hop. So I met up with three friends who I hadn't seen yet on this visit. After a quick change at the hotel I got  a taxi down to the East Village and started off with cocktails with Mercy and Amy at Flower Shop, a very trendy bar that is pretty much the epitome of East Village style. The bar is 70s themed and made to look like a classic American basement, and my goodness do they do GREAT cocktails!

After Flower Shop we walked to Esther & Carol for more cocktails, where we saw that dude off CSI who used to be really hot but now looks a mess after having a crack addiction. I can't remember his name. There were girls fawning all over him though and it was the most cringe and desperate thing I've ever seen.

And then it was time for hip-hop. We taxi-d over to Haus to meet Nii (in the below photo) who you may remember from my previous NYC posts. Haus is my favourite club in NYC, it's raw, gritty, and has THE BEST MUSIC. We walked in and after getting our multiple stamps for the VIP area, we went upstairs to our table and partied with some random basketball stars until the lights came on at 5am. Mercy came and rescued me from a dashingly tall basketball player, and we jumped in a taxi, which dropped her at hers, and then took me back to my hotel. What was supposed to be 'just a coupla girlie cocktails' turned into another epic night out...and another awful hangover the next day. Oops.

Day 4 - Sunday

So once again I woke up with a hangover. Sorry not sorry. But I managed to haul myself out of bed, shower and put my makeup on, and then quickly pack and check out of the hotel. I was having massive issues with my flight to the UK that was due to depart from JFK evening, which sort of forced me out of my hangover and made me concentrate. Icelandair were striking, and I was supposed to be flying to Iceland, having a day in Iceland, and then flying on to London. I had no idea if my flight would be cancelled, or if I was going to be stranded in Iceland as there were no flights departing Iceland, and Icelandair couldn't tell me anything.

So unable to do anything, I walked up Fifth Avenue towards The Plaza hotel, and discovered that you can only go inside The Plaza if you're a guest or if you're dining/using the bar etc. Luckily my intent was to use the bar for a 'hair of the dog' cocktail/de-stress from my stressful flight situation. I also had an hour to kill before my lunch reservation at Bergdorf Goodman's BG Restaurant. The guy on the door literally interrogated me, "Ma'am, are you sure you want the bar?" "It's 12noon, I've spent the morning trying to sort out my flight home because the airline are on strike, I really need a drink" "Ok, go on in...".

Feeling all festive from the pretty Christmas tree, I had the egg nog and cookie cocktail, which was...weird. I mean it was good, just weird. And probably one of the strongest cocktails I've ever had, which meant I didn't down it like I usually took me almost an entire hour to finish it.

Finally it was lunch time! I'd skipped breakfast to prepare myself as I'd already chosen what I wanted from the menu online. Although I find Bergdorf's an absolute maze to navigate, the BG Restaurant is absolutely beautiful, nestled on the top floor among the pretty home-wares and insanely priced kids clothing. I was lucky enough to get a coveted seat next to the window overlooking Central Park and The Plaza. The seats were ADORABLE. I quickly placed my order and sat back to enjoy people watching the groups and couples sat around the bar and restaurant.

I'd opted for the Lobster Mac & Cheese (hello, I was in New York!) which was gooey and delicious, and then for dessert I chose the most perfect Cheesecake with caramel sauce (again, hello, I was in New York!!).

(as an aside, in the above photo, can you spot the people dressed as santa claus riding motorbikes!?)

Lunch gave me a bit more energy and soothed my head after that crazy strong cocktail at The Plaza, and so I walked back down Fifth Avenue for one last look at the Rockefeller Tree and Christmas decorations. I also popped into the NBA store to get my brother's Christmas present, and then headed back to the hotel to pick up my luggage and get a taxi to JFK.

Thankfully when I got to JFK Icelandair had re-booked me onto a direct flight to London with British Airways. I was sad that I wouldn't get my day in Iceland, and lost money on the tour I'd booked to take me to the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik, but at least I was heading home and wouldn't be stranded right before Christmas!

Spending the weekend before Christmas in New York was the best lead-up to Christmas ever. Although I think nowhere can beat the Christmas lights and decorations in London, the overall holiday cheer I found in NYC was so special, and the entire city just had this festive magic about it that you don't get anywhere else. I hope I can go back again during December one day, but if not, I ticked a massive thing off my bucket list and ended 2017 on such a high!

Go have a read of my December Weekend in New York City - Days 1 & 2 post, it's my fave as that's the one where I did and saw LOADS (as I wasn't hungover).

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  1. Ahh this post is making me want to book another trip to New York! Looks like you had a wonderful time - all that amazing food! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  2. That French toast looks ridiculous Catherine!

  3. That french toast looked immense! Sorry you missed out on your day in Iceland! x

  4. I always feel New York is like a great place for a quick getaway. It`s expensive and not so easy to get to, but it worth it to try!

  5. It was sooo good! One of the best French Toasts I've had! x


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