As promised, here are my various NYC outfits and the details of our visit. It was just me and my older son, Alfie, a 50th/18th celebratory trip (told you I was milking it!), plus I had a whole load of British Airways Avios points that needed using up, so why not just go for it? I can’t really give you that many great restaurant or hotel recommendations as we were winging it on the food front and the Sonder hotel that I picked wasn’t the best. In fact it was distinctly average, but it was in a good location (Tribeca) and was one of the only hotels I found that had a double twin-bed room for a reasonable price. If I was going with the whole family or with my husband I might have splashed out a bit more. When we were there in 2017 we stayed at The Ludlow which I can highly recommend, but it’s not cheap!
Let’s start with what I took with me. I think I packed really light (for me) so I was pretty pleased with myself, and there was plenty of suitcase room for the Advil PM pills and the Crest toothpaste I planned to buy!
BASIC PACKING LIST;
Here are the exact items (where available) that I took with me. I always pack in outfits so I try to make sure that most things will go with each other. I find having a colour theme helps – for this trip it was basically white, some different shades of blue, and a khaki jacket that goes with everything.
- 2 x pairs of jeans – I took both my pairs of the Sézane ‘Le Crop’ because they are my current faves
- White T‑shirt and white vest top – both from Albaray
- Extra T–shirt – More Joy by Christopher Kane
- Denim shirt – Isabel Marant
- Cardigan – Sézane again
- Loose-fit, lightweight trousers – part of a set from Free People
- Nice blouse – Wyse
- Sweatshirt – Free People
- Jumper – Sézane (didn’t wear this, as it was never cold enough!)
- Lightweight cargo trousers – Zara
- Khaki jacket – old, but similar here
- My most comfortable trainers – Nike
- Belt and bag – both by Loewe
For the purposes of the tape I will do some options to these in various price points. All these outfits are so easy to do, whatever your budget. For the (almost) exact outfit links go to my Shop LTK page here.
We were straight off the plane, dropped our bags at the hotel and then out into town. We didn’t want to miss a minute. Luckily we were feeling somewhat refreshed due to both of us getting UPGRADED to business class! When does that ever happen? Not to me anyway, not ever. The lady at the desk told us when we checked in. No reason given, and no questions asked from our side.
- H&M Oversized printed sweatshirt
- Anine Bing Tiger cotton T Shirt
- River Island baggy Parachute trousers
- Ivy Ellis slubbed quarter socks
- Nike Court Royale trainers
- Hopeful London black embossed leather tote bag
We had pre-booked tickets to the Summit for the evening, so we wandered around midtown beforehand and ate some pasta at Eataly, which is a huge Italian food emporium. There’s one in London on Liverpool Street, but the NYC one is WAY bigger and more impressive. The Summit is a must-do, I’d say. It’s what they call an ‘immersive experience’ (basically lots of mirrors and lights), but also a 360-degree view of the city which looks incredible at night. Opening hours are from 9am till midnight. We bought our tickets online a few days before we got there. Also, when you’re there, pop into Grand Central Station as it’s right next door and really is a sight to behold.
- Albrary White roll sleeve T shirt
- M&S round cat eye sunglasses
- Loewe small sand puzzle bag
- COS wide leg high rise ankle jeans
- Loewe reversible logo buckle belt
- Nike Blazer low jumbo 77 trainers
Jet lag meant we were up and out of the hotel by 7.30am, and we’d walked over the Brooklyn Bridge before breakfast. It was a great time to do it though as there weren’t the crowds of people I’d imagine you get later in the day. We made our way down to Dumbo to get the iconic photo under Manhattan Bridge, then we hopped on the subway to the Lower East Side. The subway is great as it’s very easy to navigate and, like London’s Tube, it’s just a tap-in with your bank card to pay. For lunch we headed to Katz’s Deli for a pastrami sandwich, which Alfie proclaimed to be ‘the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten’. I wholeheartedly agreed. We shared one as they are massive.
After fuelling up, we walked some more. Definitely take your most comfortable trainers as you WILL be walking a LOT, in fact we covered 61.5km in four days. We made a beeline for Kith as a shopping destination. It didn’t disappoint. I bought a T‑shirt with their signature ‘K’ on it (as I’m never knowingly not monogrammed) and a pair of yellow Nikes. Nothing is particularly cheaper in the US anymore but I didn’t find it as eye-wateringly expensive as I had been led to believe, however we do live in London so maybe I’m used to the prices. I’d say the cost of most things was fairly equal to here.
- Arket boxy denim over-shirt
- Celine two-tone cats eye sunglasses
- Reiss ice blue linen wide leg trousers
- More Joy logo T shirt
- Adidas Samba OG trainers
- Arket leather crossbody bucket bag
We also clocked up a visit to Washington Square Park and Central Park before stopping for a burger at Black Iron Burger (I literally just googled ‘best burgers in NYC’ and it came up so we went there). The evening’s entertainment came courtesy of Depeche Mode at Madison Square Gardens. They’re still one of the best live bands out there, even after 40 years in the game. I worked on the promo for one of their albums years ago, and my abiding memory is of Dave Gahan asking for a very specific Japanese flower in his dressing room at the BBC. I got him an orchid from M&S instead…
Today started off in The Red Lion pub on Bleecker Street at 10am, watching the football with the New York contingent of Brentford FC fans. We lost, but I did have a great bacon and cheese croissant at half-time, so every cloud… At full time we got the subway over to the Bronx to see the Yankees game. I bought the tickets online while we were in the pub: they were only $30 each and well worth it for the experience. We love live sports but had no idea what was going on. Essentially, baseball seems to be like rounders but with more rules. Plus you can buy cocktails and hot dogs – I mean, what’s not to like?
- Albaray ribbed white vest top
- ’47 Brand NY Yankees cap
- John Lewis tan leather buckle belt
- Levi’s Dorsey western denim shirt
- & Other Stories wide leg crop jeans
- New Balance 480 leather trainers
After the game Alfie and I went back to the hotel to get changed and have a short lie-down. Then we were out again to take in a Broadway show. We ate at Alfie’s in Hell’s Kitchen first. I only booked it because of the name, but it was great. We sat outside and watched the world go by while eating enormous salads, and I might also have knocked back a couple of spicy margaritas.
We then walked to the show via Times Square, which has to be seen while you’re in NYC but I wouldn’t recommend staying for long. It’s packed, and the lights are so bright that they’ll burn your retinas. We saw the fantastic Josh Groban (and I’m not just saying that because I know him) in Sweeney Todd. Even Alfie enjoyed it, which I was surprised about as it’s a very ‘musical’ musical, but the edge of horror and having someone from ‘Stranger Things’ in it (Dustin) helped. Josh is in it until January so if you’re there, go see it. Five stars.
- M&S crew neck button front cardigan
- Monica Vinader Siren Muse large hoop earrings (use code KATEH20MV for 20% off)
- Whistles cropped wide leg jeans
- John Lewis light khaki cotton twill jacket
- Nike Dunk Low Citron pulse trainers
- Coach soft leather Tabby bag
Are you still with me? This is the last day, then you can carry on about your business. We started out at the 911 Memorial and Museum, which is equal parts fascinating and very moving. I bought the tickets online while we were standing outside, in fact a lot of this trip was done on the fly. I guess it would be more sensible to book things in advance, but I’ve never been one to be sensible.
- Wyse Brody corded detail blouse
- Monica Vinader diamond curb twist necklace (use code KATEH20MV for 20% off)
- Whistles Linden knotted handle bag
- M&S Wide leg ankle grazer jeans
- Levis 90s Mom cord bomber jacket
- Nike Dunk low white leather trainers
Brunch was the order of the day; it’s pretty much mandatory on a Sunday in New York. Once again I used the power of Google to find ‘best brunch spots in Soho’ and we ended up heading to Café Select. It’s next door to the almost-too-popular Jack’s Wife Freda. The food is just as tasty and there are no queues. Then we went deeper into Soho for a serious shopping day: Supreme, Golf, Arc’teryx, Palace, Stussy and Day 2 Vintage for him. And me if I’m honest, as I still think I’m 18 half the time. I saw a youth trying on a jumper in Supreme. I thought it looked good so I tried it too. Never seen a boy take something off so quickly after seeing a 50-year-old woman wearing the same thing. I bought it. He didn’t.
As a final goodbye I made Alfie come with me for a wander around Greenwich Village to find Carrie’s apartment of Sex and the City fame. We also passed by the Friends apartment and so many cute little streets. It’s a lovely area, and it would be my dream place to live in New York if I had a few spare millions.
To sum up, I highly recommend going to New York with a teenager: the one-on-one time was so beneficial. I feel like I know much more about my son now, and it’s something that we will both remember forever. I’m planning on doing the same thing with Edward when he’s 18 – I just need to start clocking up those air miles again.