To celebrate completing the London Marathon I wanted to treat myself and my girlfriend Emma to a break from the gruelling fitness training of the past three months.
So, at short notice I booked a long weekend in my favourite city in the world, New York. I fell in love with the place last summer when we were filming for Made In Chelsea there, and I knew it would be the perfect respite to 14-hours a week of running.
We booked some last minute flights and booked into my favourite hotel The Bowery, right opposite where myself and MIC co-star Stevie Johnson lived when we were filming. I’m also due to go over there later this year to launch a new fashion social shopping website called Shopa.com so I thought I’d use this as a quick recce for that trip.
Service in America is usually outstanding but The Bowery was in a different league. We stayed in one of the Queen rooms with views over the city. Shortly after settling into our room, a member of staff bought us a bottle of red wine, and so it began.
We were only in New york for a few days, so I wanted to try and pack in as much as possible, especially as this was Emma’s first trip. On the first night we met up with my good friends Brendan Fallis and Hannah Broffman, starting the night in the hotel bar with my favourite cocktail, The Mexican Mule: Tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar syrup, and ginger beer. The bar at the Bowery is one of New York’s hot spots, an intimate romantic setting with a traditional Parisian look, yet strangely English vibe - it’s relaxed yet exclusive.
We moved on to a new restaurant in the Meatpacking District called La Santina, a glass box built next to the Standard Hotel with a young hip vibe, and an exquisite menu that they coin ‘tropical Italian’.
We described what we were feeling and within 20 minutes an array of amazing dishes and cocktails arrived that suited our mood perfectly. We followed up with a night cap back at the hotel before turning in as we wanted to make the most of our first day.
The next day started with breakfast at Gemma’s, a restaurant connected to the Bowery with the same Parisian vibe. Then we spent the day exploring the city, shopping on Fifth Avenue, and lunching in Central Park at the Boathouse restaurant. That evening we met up with a couple of friends of ours from the UK who were also visiting NYC. We went to a new Mexican restaurant on Ludlow Street and enjoyed ‘mexican tapas’ joined by a team of New Yorkers who were keen to show us the ropes. Shortly after dinner they did so by taking us to the new clubbing hotspot called Happy Ending.
The next morning, hungover yet excited, we went to my favourite breakfast spot on Bond Street ‘The Smile’. Again the service & food was second to none and we felt ready to do some sightseeing before the big Mayweather vs Pacquaio fight night.
The weather was perfect, not too humid but still warm so we decided to walk the Highline checking out all the major landmarks including The Statue of Liberty. To treat ourselves, we spent the afternoon on The Standard rooftop with a bottle of looking over the New York skyline. In the evening we got into the American house party vibe and watched the fight sipping out of some red plastic cups.
I took Emma to The Waverley Inn on Sunday night, one of my favourite restaurants in New York - their truffle Mac and cheese is world famous. It’s such a romantic spot with an adorable outdoor garden covered in fairy lights. We enjoyed an amazing meal together with a beautiful bottle of red wine. It was the perfect way to end our last night in New York City together.
On our last day, it was a gloriously sunny so we decided to enjoy our last few hours by relaxing by the rooftop pool at Soho House. Now back to the grindstone - and the treadmill to burn off the thousands of calories ingested over the four days…
DETAILS The Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003, USA; theboweryhotel.com