However many times you go and how long you spend in NYC, you always feel that you just scratch the surface and get a small bite out of the Big Apple. I guess along with its creative energy, diversity and evolvement, it is one of the reasons people keep coming back for more. we are lucky enough to have good friends in NYC and that means we get to see a more local side and have different experiences. In larger cities I tend to stay in one area and get to know it well - you'll see by my recommendations below that Downtown, mainly Soho is my area. It is almost impossible to cover NYC in a small guide like this but still, these are just some of my personal highlights, you may know some and hopefully discover some new ones that I hope will also become part of your Big Apple experience.
Public Hotel, 215 Chrystie Street, 10002
Trendy Soho hotel with lots of social spaces and small but modern rooms
Soho House, 29-35 9th Avenue, 10014
The original Soho outpost is still a great (yet sometimes noisy) place to stay in Meatpacking
The Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, 10003
Chic hotel north of Houston with comfy rooms and a happening bar.
11 Howard, 11 Howard Street, 10003
If you love downtown this is a modern hotel with a great location for shopping and restaurants
The Mark, 25 E 77th Street, 10075
If you prefer an uptown location The Mark has a great location on the Upper East Side with all the frills you can expect of a luxury hotel.
ABC Kitchen, 35 E 18th Street, 10003
My fave in NY and the one we never leave town without visiting at least once. Fresh and clean tasting, the beetroot salad is particularly divine. Make sure you check out the fantastic offering in ABC Carpet in the same building when you're there.
Carbone, 181 Thompson Street, 10012
Hard to get in to but worth it when you do. Great staff and food. I adore the spicy vodka rigatoni!
La Mercerie, 53 Howard Street, 10013
French and chic with great cocktails and fresh food. Also located in a store which is worth a peek.
Jack's Wife Freda, 224 Lafayette Street, 10012
My breakfast (or brunch) place of choice. Divine eggs and pancakes, coffee and Bloody Mary if thats your thing.
Sant Ambroeus, 265 Lafayette Street, 10012
The Soho outpost is lovely, the decor old fashioned and the staff lovely. The tagliatelle with veal ragu is delicious.
Bodega Negra, 335 W 16th Street, 10011
An institution in Soho. Its quite a revelation the first time you visit - once you're downstairs and through the kitchen you find yourself in an dark Mexican setting with great food, cocktails with a side of celeb spotting.
Beatrice Inn, 285 W 12th Street, 10014
Always lively and fun with an upmarket classic fare and great meat, lobster and oysters.
ATLA, 372 Lafayette, 10012
A small contemporary Mexican with delicious food and equally delicious margarita.
JULIANA'S, 19 Fulton Street, 11201
After crossing Brooklyn Bridge, make your way to Juliana's for a proper NY pizza.
Dos Caminos, 475 W Broadway, 10012
You'll find more Dos Caminos scattered around Manhattan, they are nothing fancy but think they do a cracking spicy margarita and guacamole chips. Perfect little pick me up to break up shopping and exploring.
Boom Boom Room, The Standard Hotel, 848 Washington Street, 10014
Probably the sexiest bar in Manhattan, with a funky lift to the 18th floor. There are plenty of the see and be seen crowd, but the best thing to see is reality the spectacular view both down and up town.
ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway, 10003
Floor after floor with everything you could ever dream of, for your home.
1st Dibs, 269 11th Avenue, 10001
Vintage furniture and decor giants Manhattan showroom is great to visit for inspiration (it is very pricey) or a cheeky purchase.
Glossier, 123 Lafayette Street, 10013
Their NY flagship is a fun stop to pick up a few of their little make up treats.
Marysia, 91 Crosby Street, 10012
In this beautiful space you can find iconic swimwear brand Marysia along with her favourite accessories like Marte Frisnes Jewellery.
Bergdorf Goodman, 754 5th Avenue, 10012
A classic NY department store which has amazing windows and are particularly magic before Christmas.
BDDW, 5 Crosby Street, 10012
Stunning interior store with an eclectic offering of artisan designers.
The Real Real, 80 Wooster Street, 10012
A stylish and well curated luxury consignment store in Soho. Pieces are beautifully displayed and it is fun to hunt amongst the rails to find that piece you didn't get 2, 5 or 10 years ago.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, check out Dumbo, grab a pizza at Juliana's and then jump on the East River Ferry back to Manhattan
The Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is an architectural gem and always got incredible exhibitions on. It should be on your to do list.
American Museum of Natural History has such a massive collection, everyone should be able to find something to catch their eye. I personally love the gem room but truly every single room is amazing and great for both kids and adults.
If you like me like graffiti you can walk around Soho and Nolita and look at the street art.
The High Line
I like running first thing in the morning when i travel. You can cover a lot of ground and explore more freely. To run along the High Line is a treat and you get to see a different side to the West Side River.
Do a class
I love pretending I am a local for a few days and like trying out different exercise classes around the hotel. I love Yoga Vida and their infra red yoga classes and The Class ( I normally go to Alo Yoga on Spring Street) to experience a different style of connection and work out.
Madison Square Garden
Find a gig, wether it is a concert or a Knicks game the Garden is a NY institution and a real experience.
I love David Zwirmer in Chelsea, a great gallery (of which there are so many) they always have interesting exhibitions and it is always worth a visit should you find yourself on that part of time.
I hope you have fun!