I landed at 1245hrs at JFK last Wednesday, and shared a yellow cab straight to the Upper East Side with my friend Emily, who lives on the other side of the Park. Checking in at The Surrey (now on my list of all time favourite hotels) was a delight and, when they offered me a massage at the hotel’s The Cornelia Spa, I accepted with exhausted gratitude. (I’d had an hour’s sleep the night before.)
So between a sprint to T Mobile a few blocks away to buy some new Pay as You Go SIM cards, and a quick nose in the shiny new Caudalie store, that glorious massage was pretty much all my afternoon activity.
This was all the snow that there was in New York on Wednesday. It was hard to believe the weather reports that we would soon be trudging through a foot of the stuff.
I had a dinner date that night with my beloved Shayne, known to (very) long term readers of LLG, as Sexy S. He’s my closest (platonic) male friend in the city, and seeing him was a priority. He’s vegetarian, so he booked us in at HanGawi, a Korean vegetarian restaurant on West 32nd, in the heart of Manhattan’s Koreatown. (That’s right by Herald Square and Macy’s).
I have my NY bf Judy to thank for my love of Korean food. It wasn’t until I moved to New York and she took me to some great restaurants that I really learnt properly about the cuisine of South Korea (I blogged a bit about it here.)
For me, the best way to combat jetlag is to try not to kip during the day when you arrive, so I met Shayne at 830, but knowing I’d probably be face down in my Bibimbop within an hour or so.
Scallion pancakes are usually found on every Korean menu, but HanGawi also serves a leek version( below), and Shayne had pumpkin.
The next morning (Thursday) I woke up in my room at The Surrey Hotel to a clear sky, and a wonderful view over the roofs of the Upper East Side.
I had designated the day as errand day: if there was snow to come, then I was going to beetle around town getting stuff done whilst the weather was still good.
I headed over to DUMBO (Brooklyn) first thing for breakfast with my friend, the wonderful fashion journalist Lauren Sherman, and her husband Dan (@CityNotesTravel). There may also have been a Dog of the Day shoot with their Maltipoo, the luxuriant Ralphred.
I made a split second decision to hop off the train as the doors closed on the way back to the UES at 23rd street, lured by the thought of Shake Shack for lunch. As it turned out I ran out of time and there was no Shroom burger in my life that day, but I did manage to sprint to East 17th to Paper Presentation to stock up on my writing paper, (I’m using plain cream stock until my new logo is ready & I get LLG paper printed up),
to Loehmanns on Seventh Avenue to buy cashmere lined leather gloves, and to Williams Sonoma to buy washing up gloves for my mother. (She swears they are the best.)
Back to the hotel to check out, and then off to the Tribeca Grand Hotel to leave my suitcases, and sprint to designer Jen Kao’s studio to meet her for the first time, and get a run through of the collection before the show on Saturday.
After that I walked up through Soho for a very late lunch — at 4pm — at Spring Street Natural, which is the first restaurant I ever ate in in Soho back in 2006. I have a thing for their tofu vegetable plate.
I nearly ended up in La Esquina across the road for tacos, but resisted — Spring Street Natural is way healthier…
After checking in properly at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, I took a cab a few blocks up to Spanish-inspired Tertulia in the West Village to meet Judy & Lola for girls night. I knew I’d like the restaurant when I saw the sign outside.
The bartender there is a most serious man about his alcohol, and he served up the best Old Fashioned I have ever tasted. Also: do note the little squares of tortilla on the counter.
Drink of magic:
I liked the menu very much, with its clever juxtapositioning of flavours and textures, but there is a very, very heavy hand with the salt in the kitchen — and I say this as someone who licks Marmite off a spoon. I would probably have enjoyed the food more if I hadn’t had a tummy sloshing with endless carafes of water.
Service was cheery and kind, and I would return in a heartbeat for the drinks, the Remolachas (a salad of raw, pickled, and smoked beets, pistachios, Cañarejal cheese, horseradish vinaigrette), and the Ensaladas de Inviero (a salad of kale, smoked egg, wild mushrooms, squash, pepitas and Ibérico ham).
But I would eschew the salt slick patatas bravas and the raw-in-the-middle tortilla (boak) next time. (Apparently it was supposed to be full of liquid egg but I found that idea actively nasty.)
This weather forecast greeted me upon my return to the hotel. A 100% chance of snow. Brrrr.
12 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016v
359 6th Avenue, New York