Prada. Dior. Chanel. Champagne. Massages. Marc Jacobs…
Welcome to Day 3 in New York. Unable to sleep due to excitement we jumped on the subway and headed to Lower Manhattan for an early morning breakfast at Balthazars – another Ashleigh “must try” and dear god she was right.
Balthazars is a beautifully furnished bakery-restaurant in an understated elegant art-deco style which turned out to be a genius find for Ashleigh and her family when they last visited so she couldn’t wait for me to try it too. Their breakfast menu serves anything and everything you could possibly want, from boiled eggs and soldiers to hazelnut French toast and almond croissants and so much more. We ordered poached eggs that came cooked to sunny perfection, served with rye bread toast, fresh coffee and an almond croissant to share. After breakfast, we wandered our way around Tribeca, West Village, Lower Manhattan and more just taking in the view, popping in and out of shops before heading back up to Midtown, Manhattan do so some serious shopping.
We started in Saks, 5th Avenue working our way from the Louboutins to Lanvin and YSL. I dared myself to check out the price tag of the Prada saffiano tote I’ve got my eye on, but at $2,236 plus tax I think I have a little more saving to do! We had our makeup done at Dior, sat back while Pepé worked out the kinks in our back, neck and shoulders and drifted in and out of the various clouds of perfume, stopping to admire the beautiful Chanel Mademoiselle stand beautifully decorated with buckets of puffy peonies, their precious pink petals still tightly closed like a fist, stunning, sunny ranunculus, heavenly hyacinths and 12 dozen coloured roses.
The gorgeous man from Chanel must have sensed my love of flowers, and gave me a rose with a beautiful Chanel bow….
You never have a moment to get bored as your eyes are constantly looking up, down and around at the buildings, parks, people and places. Every few minutes Ashleigh and I would give each other this look as though to say – “how chic are they?”
I loved the seamless blend of high-end department stores and designer hotspots on every corner, jostling for space between high street favourites like Uniqlo, True Religion, Victoria’s Secret and Ralph Lauren. We happily switched from drooling over handbags and jewels we could never afford to snapping up the things we could – I’ve been doing some work for Lindt recently so couldn’t resist popping into the Lindt store and sampling some of the American flavours we can’t get over here (I won’t even tell you how divine their peanut butter flavour is).
Having never been to New York before, I wasn’t sure how much spending money I’d need. “Normal” food isn’t ridiculously expensive (though there are some beautiful places I’d loved to have tried), but I had to keep reminding myself that these prices don’t include your taxes or tips (customary in American culture). I took $1000 with me which was easily enough – but since this was my first trip to New York/part of Ashleigh’s 30th birthday celebrations we definitely indulged in a few things…
…Cue afternoon champagne in the Veuve Clicquot Lounge in Saks – a bloody lovely way to spend a Friday afternoon, I have to say.
I highly recommend a visit – no words needed really.
After discovering you could get 10% off purchases at Bloomingdales if you showed your passports to the concierge services on the 3rd floor (thank you Ashleigh!) it was time to get down to the serious business of handbag shopping.
If you know me in real life, or know me well enough via internet stalking then you know I have a soft spot for handbags. I’d spotted a beautiful navy suede Marc Jacobs bag earlier on in the day and headed over to the MJ concession to do a little shopping. I can’t tell you how much I paid for my new bag (incase my mother is reading this) but I can say thank you Bloomingdales for 10% off!
After a fabulous day of retail therapy, we decided to hire bikes and take a tour around Central Park. The sun was shining, our feet were killing so we needed a painless way to continue our sightseeing adventures!
We had such a good time cycling around the park, getting to take in much more than you would just on foot. Our heads flipping from side to side as we cycled past the Lower East Side and Upper East Side, the Guggenheim, the Chrysler Building and the park’s enormous fountain and lake really was the icing on the cake of an amazing day. I have to admit to having one or two silent tantrums as I struggled to pedal my bike up a few of the hills (Chloe + cardio don’t mix well) but I’m so glad we got to feel the wind rushing past our faces and feel the breeze in our hair as we cycled carefree around one of the most iconic parts of the city.
The days seemed to last forever here in New York, which was perfect for us because we never wanted them to end. We’d done almost 80,000 steps these past three days (according to Ashleigh’s fitbit) and though admittedly our feet were aching like crazy, we were having the best time. That night,we headed across to Brooklyn on the subway to meet a friend who lives Bushwick. Getting to see the less touristy side of New York was so cool! I seriously envied Jamie’s easy, breezy New York way of life and for one night only, Ashleigh and I felt like real New Yorkers too.
I could go on and on about everything we did, but I’ll move on to Day Four before you get bored…