Always on the lookout for new inspiration, brands and designers, I decided to visit New York in April, almost a year after my first trip. A bonus of visiting a city frequently is you can not only easily find your bearings, but also build on local knowledge and find hidden gems. This time round, we stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel.
The GPH is hip almost in an 80’s way - it is reminiscent of a Parisian Bordello with lots of tassels, long drapes and burgundy velvet. Last time I came, I ate at their restaurant Mailano’s. I loved it so much that it was a no brainer to stay here on my second visit. The hotel is right next to the Gramercy Park, New York’s only private park. The lobby is amazing - not my usual aesthetic but it’s inviting with a huge fireplace and the signature smell of Le Labo Santal 33 enveloping the atmosphere.
For this trip I got some great tips from a new concierge service I had heard about -gojourny. You tell them what you like and presto-they make a custom travel itinerary for you.
Here are my recommendations:
The Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel feels like something out of Studio 54. Its walls are covered with Damian Hirst originals. Be sure to make reservations as it is guest list only.
The Apartment by the Line: Easy to walk past. It’s not at street level but this is one of the most impressive retail spaces I saw. I love their product selection and how they display it in an lifestyle setting. Almost everything is for sale.
Byredo: Nice to see one of my favourite fragrance brands executed in a standalone store. The leather goods-which aren’t on sale in the UK-are amazing.
Cosme: This was on the recommendation of Alice Gao and was easily the best meal we had. Modern Mexican Inspired food done simply well. Try the Husk meringue corn mousse and the Branzino a la talla which is a whole fish served with soft tortillas. The interiors in here are not overdone but just right.
Mailano’s: We ate here a couple of times. The food is amazing, the atmosphere buzzy and I love the fact they are a non-tipping restaurant (even though it means the prices are pretty high). I thought the dinner portions were quite small however. If you want big portions, head there for breakfast and brunch.
The Restaurant at the Nomad Hotel: Skip the restaurant and have drinks instead. This was probably our most disappointing meal. We were distinctly unerwhelmed by their signature dish-a whole roast chicken.They show you the cooked bird and then cut it up. However it felt like we were mostly given dry chicken breast and then the rest was drowned in a creamy sauce. The bar was meant to have good reviews and it looked really busy but after a long day we called it a night.
Sweet Green: This wasn’t on our list but we walked past it and noticed a very long queue at lunch time. On our last day we decided to try it out. It's a casual salad place. You can choose salads from a menu or make custom ones. The ingredients are all fresh and in racks behind the counter. It was very good and the produce they use is first class which makes all the difference.
Shadow Box: I am a sucker for trying out the new sporting trends. I found out about this boxing studio Shadow Box round the corner from our hotel in the Flatiron district. It it was a fun and novel experience, despite being new to it.
The future perfect: An outstanding curated collection of home goods. Their Soho showroom is quite small compared to their selection online but definitely worth a visit if you like well crafted home interiors.