Rosie Paterson visits the Big Apple and reveals the best places, to eat, drink, stay and enjoy.
Where to stay:
Situated in the former tenement district of the Lower East Side, The Ludlow is our top pick if you want to experience some of New York’s characteristic gritty glamour. It’s proximity to Williamsburg Bridge, music venues and independent shops and restaurants should delight families travelling with even the most hard-to-impress teenager, and solo travellers and couples will appreciate its laid-back charm and friendly, rather than fawning, service.
You shouldn’t be put off by some of the hotel’s pint-size rooms. All boast factory style casement windows, quirky, vintage furniture and photo album worthy bathrooms-think muted mosaic floors, brass fittings and bare bulb vanity light bars. Much more importantly, the mini bar-the best we have seen-is crammed full of original and locally sourced products, perfect for midnight snackers. If you still needed convincing, opt for the Ludlow Double Loft-two conjoined bedrooms and large sitting area-or Penthouse.
If you are in town long enough, join the swathes of New York society who decamp to The Hamptons in the summer season-Memorial Day in May to Labor Day in early September. Recently renovated and occupying prime waterfront property, Baron’s Cove, in Sag Harbour, is the perfect urban jungle antidote.
A lesson in bare-foot elegance, the hotel’s 67 rooms are decked out in calming neutrals and whaling prints-a hint to the areas past-and boast beds so large, and ludicrously comfortable, that you are likely to lose your companion. Depending on availability-and we recommend booking early-request accommodation on the first floor, overlooking the seasonal saltwater pool and harbour beyond.
As well as the pool, which remains warm well out of season, there’s a tennis court, in-room spa service and regular barbecues on the front lawn.
The hotel’s real piece de resistance is its restaurant, popular with guests and locals alike, and overseen by acclaimed chef Matty Boudreau. The menu is unashamedly all-American and hard-to-choose from, our decision only made easier by someone on the adjoining table recommending the rock shrimp torchio pasta to her guest with such enthusiasm, that we had to order it too. All followed up by an equally strong wine list-including bottles from nearby Wölffer Estate Vineyard-and knowledgeable service.
Where to eat:
Somewhat of a New York institution, Sarabeth’s, overlooking Central Park, is the place to go for eggs Benedict-although the fluffy lemon and ricotta pancakes are equally tempting. Serious shoppers should head to SoHo and eat on the go. A sweet treat from Greek Pi Bakerie or Dominique Ansel should see you through till lunch.
TriBeCa hotspot Locanda Verde, part of Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel, serves up some of the city’s best Italian fare (the carbonara and lemon tart deserve particular mention). Reservations strongly encouraged. In favourable weather head to The Standard Plaza-The Standard High Line Hotel’s Amalfi Coast inspired alfresco dining spot-for a selection of moreish small plates.
Make supper reservations at Dirty French before you have even booked a plane ticket. Open for business since 2014, this chandelier and banquette bedecked bistro shows no sign of slowing down and is at full capacity most nights.
What to do:
Combine a visit to The Whitney Museum of American Art-too often overshadowed by the residents of Museum Mile-with a leisurely stroll along the High Line. The latter-a linear park built on a stretch of elevated 1.45 mile historic freight rail line-is a fantastic way to take in the full spectrum of New York’s architecture, both old and new.
Work off brunch at Sarabeth’s (above) with a cycle around Central Park. First time visitor’s are often taken aback by it’s sheer size and varied landscaping, so allow a couple of hours.
And finally, walk around West Village, popping in and out of the boutiques as you go before refuelling with delicious goat’s milk soft-serve, or frozen yoghurt, at Victory Garden.