Tag Archive: Postcard From

Feb 13 2015

Postcard From: New York – 7 Things I Love To Do

new-york-snowglobe-Another New York Fashion Week has begun and it’s another season where sadly I’m glued to the livestream and the social media commentary rather than being there in person. I’m lucky I get to experience London Fashion Week and I’ve even done Paris, although not as much as I would like, but NYFW always feels like the one that keeps getting away. I came close last February, but with the wedding planning it just wasn’t the right timing, I just keep hoping that the opportunity comes around again as it always seems so much bigger than LFW, not just in-scale, it has a lot more shows, but also the labels that present, and the characters that go just for the street-style. 

So to cheer myself up I thought I would revisit my snaps from November, when I got my married, which led me to this post sharing my love of New York and the 7 things I adore doing when I visit, which fingers crossed will happen next year during fashion week, well a girl can dream. 

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Of course, I enjoy doing a lot more than 7 things when I am in New York, to be honest the list is so long I decided for both my sanity in editing and yours in reading that I would just pick my fun things to do:

#1 Top of the Rock

I normally like to stay clear of tourist traps, they are generally expensive, and not normally worth the trip, however, Top of the Rock is one of my favourite things to do in New York. This city is like no other, the skyline is so memorable and the view from the Rockefeller Plaza is incredible. Don’t get me wrong, a trip up the Empire State Building is still an experience everyone should do, but Top of the Rock is less crowded as they do timed slots and it is bigger, and it gives you a new view of the Empire State building and Manhattan.

I suggest that you go on the cusp of the sun setting, then you get to see the cities lights go on, as well as get some incredible snaps of the city in the day, plus you might also be treated to a stunning sunset.  

Top of the Rock, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112new-york-top-of-the-rock new-york-empire-dinner

#2 Empire Diner 

Brunch is fast become my favourite meal to eat out, well after afternoon tea of course, and New York has some amazing spots, one of my favourites has to be the Empire Diner. They only do brunch at the weekends from 11am until 4pm so be prepared to queue, it is worth the wait but I would totally suggest getting there for when it opens as then you don’t need to worry. 

I love everything about this place from its Art Moderne exterior and monochrome decor to the food and service, and the brunch menu is delicious, especially the fluffy buttermilk pancakes, which taste even nicer washed down with a Pims cocktail.

Empire Diner, 210 10th Avenue, New York,  NY 10011

#3 Central Park

Granted not original, but if you go to New York without taking in the beauty of Central Park, you really have missed out. I go each time I visit, it is so big you can always pick out something new to see, as well as revisit memorable spots, and just sit back and take in the sights and watch New Yorkers going about their days. 

There are lot of spots I recommend from the Bethesda Fountain to the gorgeous Minton Tile Ceiling at the Bethesda Terrace, to a walk down The Mall and Literary Walk, which brings a Parisian vibe to NY, as well watching the model boats on Conservatory Water.

After a spot of lunch or drink, check out Tavern on the Green, which after a multi-million dollar renovation reopened last year and it is super. You can either relax in the gorgeous bar area with a cocktail or have a spot of lunch in the light and airy restaurant and in the summer you can even seat out on the garden terrace and look out into the park. The food here is amazing, I can’t wait to go back.  

Central Park, 59th and 110th Street between Central Park West and Fifth Avenue // Tavern on the Green, 76th Street and Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

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#4 Champagne Bar at The Plaza

If you are after someone to celebrate a special occasion, or to just toast an amazing trip in New York the Champagne Bar at The Plaza is a must. This place is pure luxury, I love the gorgeous chandeliers, the cosy seating, the vibrant atmosphere, and the views over Fifth Avenue. The menu is incredible from the various champagnes on offer to its signature cocktails, wines and if you want you can also get beer.

It’s the little touches that I adore at The Plaza from the impeccable service to the never-ending cheese, popcorn and pretzel nibbles, trust me these really add to the champagne flavour, and the fact that you never know who you might bump into, I ran into the lovely Serena Williams.  

The Plaza, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

#5 Sephora

When will Sephora make the jump to the UK? I love this beauty emporium, it basically stocks everything you can possible want, things you have never heard of that now you need, and most importantly things you didn’t think you needed. Its make-up counters are huge, plus I love that they give away samples a lot easier than here, but for me I always head straight to its perfume collection, especially its range of rollerballs, as I love handbag size versions of my favourite fragrances.

I also love that they do nearly everything in miniature, another addiction of mine – I love mini versions of everything, and it comes in handy when you want to test out a new product or looking for travel size versions of your favourites. There are lots of stores dotted around New York and I find myself popping into any I go by.

Sephora all over the city – check out the store listings on its website

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#6 The High Line

After some peace away from the bustle off the city then the High Line is a great place to recharge and see the concrete jungle from a new perspective. The elevated freight rail line has been transformed into a beautiful walkway, running from the Meatpacking District to the northern edge of Chelsea, and I love that it is sandwiched between buildings, sometimes so close you can spy into people’s apartments, and that it has gorgeous pieces of public art installations dotted about from sculptures to giant graffiti street-art and bleacher-like seating to view traffic, buildings and pedestrians.

I would recommend grabbing a hot drink before you go up on the High Line in winter as it can be a little nippy, also keep you eyes peeled near the Chelsea Market for a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in the distance, I don’t know why but I get giddy each and every time I see it. 

The High Line, Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues

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 #7 Jack’s Wife Freda

 

A photo posted by jackswifefreda (@jackswifefreda) on


Coffee is huge in New York there are tons of places to go but one of my picks has to be Jack’s Wife Freda purely because it is an instagramers dream, which can also mean that it is very busy and you might have to wait to get a table. If you go here and don’t snap your coffee, your pastry and the cute slogan sugar I don’t think we can be friends anymore!!!

As well as coffee, this place also does a great breakfast, the waffles are a favourite of mine, it also has a lovely dinner menu, I really wanted to try the vegetable curry bowl last time I visited New York but I didn’t have time. 

Jack’s Wife Freda, 224 Lafayette Street, SoHo, and 50 Carmine Street, West Village, New York

What are some of your favourite things to do when visiting New York?

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Feb 27 2014

Postcard From: Berwick Lodge Hotel In Bristol

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I am a huge fan of boutique hotels, I love staying somewhere with a touch of character, so when our good friends were getting married at the Berwick Lodge Hotel in Bristol I was excited to stay as it has only 10 suites, each with its own ‘signature’ style.

Of course before we arrived I checked out the hotel’s website, sometimes when places say individual style to each suite it just means a change in wallpaper, when it comes to Berwick Lodge is means that literally everything is different in each suite that before we left we all had to check out each others room. It was hilarious as some of the rooms are so big that we could have all slept in there comfortably.

We were in ‘Ionia’, one of the superior suites located in the eaves of the house and on one of the windiest nights it did sound like we might get blown away at any time, but that all added to the charm of this luxurious stay.

First thing we noticed when we entered the room was how huge the bed was, the hotel claims it is just a super queen size bed, but it felt so much bigger and was so comfortable I slept like a log. But what really wowed me had to be the stunning bathroom with its free-standing claw foot bath, unusual and gorgeous tiling, and the massage shower that was the perfect pick-me-up – oh and every bathroom should have underfloor heating it was lush.

When we arrived the weather was horrible so I didn’t really take notice of the fact we had a balcony, I would have probably blown straight off, but the next day was calm and sunny and it was nice looking out over the incredible garden and seeing across the channel to Wales. I just wish we had more to time to take it all in.

As well as loving our room, it was nice to wander around the 18 acres of garden and woodland, in the summer I bet this place is great to read a book and just relax next to the striking fountain. In February, when it is cold it was just pretty to look at and then retreat back inside the great house with its inviting fireplaces and dramatic chandeliers.

We didn’t have chance to have an evening meal here or afternoon tea, which was a shame as I have heard great things, but I did get to enjoy the blueberry pancakes which were delicious.

If you are after somewhere a little different just outside Bristol and close to the motorway definitely look into this hotel. If you live closer to Bristol that try out the extensive À La Carte menu, the chef was a semi-finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals.

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Berwick Lodge Hotel, Berwick Drive, Bristol BS10 7TD.

Oct 05 2013

Postcard From: Anglesey, Wales – My Top 5 Things To Do

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So I have shared where to stay on the beautiful island of Anglesey in Wales, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called home for a number of years, now here are my five top things to see and do:

South Stack Lighthouse

This lighthouse on the rugged coast of Anglesey is so close to Ireland that my mobile phone informed me I was in another country – not quite but the views of endless sea and cliffs is a spectacular sight. The lighthouse itself is on an island – 400 steps down, and when you realise that you are more unfit than you are you really can take in the beauty of this landmark attraction. The only problem is that once you are down you have to climb back up – thankfully there are a lot of resting points that I pretended were great spots to snap the horizon!!!

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Beaumaris Castle

Billed as the greatest unfinished masterpiece and the most technically perfect castle, Beaumaris Castle is full of history. This is one of the best Edwardian castles around due to its symmetrical concentric ‘walls within walls’ design and even though it was never finished as money and supplies ran out you can still see that this would have been a beast of a building to attack.

After you’ve climbed the walls, walked the full circle around the castle, and taken in the view head down into the cute town of Beaumaris which has a great selection of cute boutiques and cafes.

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Llynnon Windmill

I am kind of obsessed by windmills, I am not sure why, maybe it is the calm motion or the fact I have always wanted a round room, but if I know one is the area I have to go visit. This mill, built in 1775, is the only working mill in Wales and even with hardly any wind it still managed to rotate its sails around. I really could have sat there for hours watching. As well as still producing its own wholemeal flour using organic wheat it also has a great cafe – the food was delicious – so makes for a perfect rest spot.

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Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens

Overlooking the Menai Strait, this elegant National Trust house not only offers beautiful views but also a gorgeous 1930s restyled interior. As well as admiring the grandeur of the house, Plas Newydd has an exquisite romantic mural by Rex Whistler, which takes up the whole dinning room, but what I loved most about this place though are the gardens and outside space. There is a lot of explore from the ornate terrace gardens filled with wild flowers to the woodland walk along the coast.

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My fifth thing to do in Anglesey isn’t an attraction – just simple to admire the views, the scenery and the tranquil nature of the island. With views of Snowdonia, the Menai Bridge, the Irish Sea and the largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales there is always something to see from heather-covered cliff tops, cute coastal towns, sandy beaches, and you’ll be surprised by how blue the sea is!!!

Anglesey might not be large but it is beautiful and was the perfect place to take a relaxing short break.

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Want to see the island in 30 seconds? Well check out my HTC Zoe I made of my visit:

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Oct 05 2013

Postcard From: Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel and Spa, Anglesey

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Before the madness of fashion week I headed off to Anglesey, Wales for a mini spa break at the Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel and Spa for a spot of relaxation with my boyfriend. This luxury retreat has a touch of the Downton Abbey grandeur, with its mansion exterior, exquisite grand hall filled with a staircase made for Lady Mary to walk down, a grand piano, incredible artwork, and luxurious leather sofas to enjoy a spot of tea on.

This place is like stepping back in time with its traditional feel and elegant touches, huge rooms, gilded wallpaper, a library, and more clocks than I have ever seen before from ornate mantel clocks to a huge grandfather clock at the top of the stairs.

The outside of the hotel was just as exquisite with tranquil grounds filled with interesting sculptures that lit up at night to gorgeous flowers and even palm trees, which looked amazing in the sun. It really is the most beautiful location for a spa.

As well as possessing all the traditional elegance of a country mansion house this four star hotel also has all the modern comforts – with great size rooms, a spa with a thermal suite and a great selection of holistic and beauty treatments by Decleor and Guinot, as well as two restaurants – a fine dining experience and a more relaxed bistro, the hotel also offers a great afternoon tea.

If you are after a hotel with a touch of elegance, a tranquil location, but great amenities then you have to try the Tre-Ysgawen Hall – it really did act as the perfect base to explore the tiny island of Anglesey.

To show off all elements of my stay I have put together a short video on my HTC One:

Want to know what to do while you are on Anglesey? Well stay tuned for my second blog on my five things to do!!! 

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Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, Llangefni, Anglesey, LL77 7UR. Tel: 01248 750750.
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