Visit the same NYC places as the fashion foreward. Why? Because in a city that’s defined by style, if anyone's at the forefront of travel's must-see hot spots, it's the people who forecast trends on the daily.
9. The bar: The Ballroom at The Jane Hotel
This is what the very stylish are doing in New York City right now.
1. The breakfast: Rose Bakery
Before you descend on Dover Street Market (the flash NYC department store with an art gallery ambience and seven storeys of designer clothing) grab breakfast at Rose Bakery. Located in the basement, this industrial style café is owned by Rose Carrarini, an Englishwomen with a penchant for sweet treats and good tea. New York’s hippest individuals arrive here to see and be seen, while devouring pretty plates of perfect eggs and a cup of flat white. Distinctly gourmet, if shopping requires something a little sweeter, the cream teas and sticky toffee pudding is also splendidly British; providing plenty of kilojoules to fuel you through the minimalist racks of boutique clothing.
2. The bottomless coffee: The Art of Coffee
A small chain of boutique coffee shops called Joe the Art of Coffee deliver the perfect shot of espresso for your early morning caffeine hit. This is where the WiFi crew come - armed with Apple laptops, bookish good looks and an air of sophistication. Boasting 11 locations scattered across NYC, the café’s A-grade beans attracts an elite crowd of coffee connoisseurs and people so hip they order an “extra hot latte brev”. The locals also like to check that their cup of Joe is free of harmful hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. Which of course, it is. Follow suit and everyone will presume you’re also a high rollin’ big city fashionista.
*Breve is a coffee whereby the milk is substituted with half-and-half (literally equal parts whole milk and light cream).
3. The museum: Guggenheim
Anyone who’s anyone puts in a regular appearance at ‘The Gugg’, or The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as it’s formally known. As much about the exterior as it is the contents, this infamous art museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the 20th century’s architectural icons. Internally you’ll find exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, including whacky performances, film screenings and abstract installations. It’s the place where traditionalists question “How is this even art?” and everyone else rolls their eyes. We recommend you take a guided tour. As much as the fashionistas would recoil in horror at the mere thought of this, they’re free, roughly an hour in length, in-depth and hugely fascinating – you will learn a huge amount. Alternatively, if you’re dead-set on being part of the NY cool squad, The Gugg has been hosting the First Fridays' party series since 2005: after hours, free flowing booze and some mean beats played by multiple world-class musicians.
4. The art gallery: The Met
A mecca of inspiration, we defy anyone who visits The Metropolitan Museum of Art (or The Met as it's better known) and not leave wanting to create something cool, artsy and remarkable. And that’s exactly why the fashion leaders visit this art institute on a weekly basis. Between the collections, artefacts and textiles, there are incredible influences to be found. Make like the more creative of New York’s residents and go in search of the more scandalous (and often over-looked) objects of intrigue. On Fridays, the museum stays open late – until 8pm, so you’ll have plenty of time to find your favourite (naughty) pieces.
5. The lunch: The Mercer Kitchen
The Mercer Kitchen is conducted by world renowned chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and boasts an A-list clientele including Leonardo Dicaprio. It is resolutely New York cool. Located in the basement of the Mercer Hotel (in Soho no less) it’s a hipster palace spread across two incredible levels. The 40 seat street level overlooks Soho’s signature cast iron sidewalks, with enormous glass windows and masculine aesthetics, you’ll feel compelled to wear your brogues and read the New York Financial Times. Downstairs there exists a 160 seat master dining room. Dark and brooding, with exposed brick walls and mahogany leather seats, the ambience suggests you should drink Bourbon and be donning the get-up of a 1920s gangster. As for the food, the menu is an inventive arrangement of upmarket bistro fare. That means your pizza isn’t just pizza, it’s a horseradish pizza, or perhaps even truffle. The New York elite love it.
6. The boutique: Rick Owens
If you’re going to do New York properly; like a bonafide follower of all things fabulous, you have to step inside at least one ridiculously sleek boutique. As the world’s fashion powerhouse, there are plenty to be sought in NYC, but where to start? If you’re clueless but intrigued, try Rick Owens boutique on 30 Howard Street in SoHo. For the experience alone, the designer’s inner city enclave is more akin to a white washed art gallery. Minimal, modern and very New York, it verges on clinical, with knee high boots lining crisp white shelves and a blackened skull hanging like a multimillion Matisse hangs on a museum wall. It goes without saying, even Rick’s staples will set you back a pretty penny, but the boutique’s open relatively late: 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 6pm on Sundays, so swing by for an evening snoop - before hitting up SoHo’s impeccable bar scene.
7. The market: Chelsea Market
A bustling hub of chaos and commotion, the Chelsea Markets are a New York institution. With over 35 vendors all vying for your attention and plenty of native New Yorkers to stop and people watch, it’s part food market and part performance. As historic as it is chaotic, the markets’ roots date back to the Algonquin Indians who came to this very spot to trade game and crops along the banks of the Hudson River. These days the sellers are promoting anything from artisan cheese to wickedly sinful New York cheesecake. Fill up on flavours and then rest your feet (and your stomach) at the Corkbuzz Wine Studio. A cosy refuge with wine tastings and charcuterie pairings, flawless tipples are even more enjoyable after 9pm, when the bar hosts its daily ‘Champagne Campaign’ and offer 50% off all bottles of exquisite bubbles.
8. The dinner: Grand Banks Restaurant
There’s a yacht docked off Pier 25, around North Moore Street where New Yorkers go to socialise after office hours. Grand Banks Restaurant is a seasonal oyster bar housed on a 72-year-old Sherman Zwicker schooner; the largest wooden vessel in NYC and the last surviving salt bank fishing boat in existence. After a hefty refit a few years back, the old gal is now a classy food and wine bar, with stunning views of the New York skyline and equally pleasant views of chefs shucking oysters. Make a reservation for sunset and lap up the views while you feast on lobster rolls, oysters and scallops.
If rumours are to be believed, Harry Styles has frequented this hangout along with all his other ‘sleb’ mates who are fair of face (seriously, the punters here are New York’s most achingly beautiful) and Harry’s so stylish, his surname even spells it out for you. Maybe he descended on The Ballroom for its old world ambience; a décor replete with antique rugs and grand fireplaces. So opulent is this space, we dare you to wear tweed and smoke a pipe: your fellow revellers will likely applaud. Maybe Harry came to lock eyes with the giant stuffed ram – over an ostentatious cocktail or two. Or maybe, just maybe, he came for all the other pretty things in this hub of hotness: the big name celebrities and fresh faced models straight off the New York catwalk.
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