For my first blog of 2018 I knew I'd want to share my favourite moments from our trip to New York. I think I've been to New York at least 10 times since childhood - mostly for Fashion Week, (when I wasn't a child, obvs) - and it's one of those cities you never get bored of. The main thing I would say that's changed over those visits is that it's way more expensive than it used to be. But then my New York friends say that London is crazy expensive, so, instead of talking about costs, I'm just going to share places that stood out for a variety of reasons, mostly food.
I've long been an admirer of entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore (check her out on the How I Built This podcast now!). She's the woman who started Bliss Spa, and Fit Flop, and Soap & Glory, and Beauty Pie and she's about to unleash something new soon. She's someone who worked with what she had, and has done amazingly well from it.
Despite my 12+ years in beauty journalism, I had never been to a Bliss spa (although I've definitely formed an addiction to their Hot Salt Scrub with Rosemary and Eucalyptus) so I thought it was about time I spent some girl time with my NYC bestie, Natalie, and we booked in for a couple of treatments. I went for the Lime and Ginger Salt Glow, which for some reason, sounded familiar. Once I was lying down in the treatment room, (which basically looked like a scene from Dexter with all the plastic) Ivy, my lovely therapist, told me the treatment would utilise Elemis products. Then I remembered; Elemis' Lime and Ginger Salt scrub was another of my go-to's. It gives amazing results and smells divine.
The treatment lasts 45 minutes, and begins with some dry body brushing. This is something I try to remember to do at least once a week at home (I should really do it every day...) but it was so much nicer having someone else do it. After the dry brushing, Ivy applied the scrub and got to work. Once the scrubbing was over, she turned on the overhead showers - which means you don't have to get off the bed - and then I dried myself. To finish, Ivy applied the most amazing body lotion - which I really want to buy but can't remember if it was an Elemis product or not. Anyway, I went home feeling ready for bed and silky smooth, and would 100 percent recommend Ivy. In fact I plan on booking a massage with her when we go back to NYC in September.
12 W57th St
After starting out as a print journo, and reading glossy mags since the age of 15, I've always had an affinity for reading, and often collecting magazines (I've started collecting British Vogue again, since Edward Enninful's arrival). While I still wouldn't say print is dead, it's definitely going through some turmoil. In fact, back in 2012, Casa Magazines owner Mohammed Ahmed (named the Last King of Print in this New York Times article) said himself that 'everything is going digital'. But he's still here, and upon visiting Casa Magazines, a store literally overflowing with printed matter, you would think that magazines were in fact the very latest thing. Every possible space in the store is taken up with stacks of magazines from all over the world. If you're looking for a magazine, any magazine, in New York, this is the store to visit - plus it makes for a pretty mean background for style blog photographs! I would say this is a must-visit for anyone who is inspired by fashion, beauty, print, design, art, food, porn - anything basically.
22 8th Ave (West Village)
As a self-proclaimed foodie, sometimes you think you know something, really, really well. Like, I thought, that after Crosstown Doughnuts in London, and Ronald's Donuts in Las Vegas, that I knew all there was to know about doughnuts. But I was wrong. I hadn't experienced Dough Doughnuts yet.
Inspired by her Mexican heritage and European influences, Fany Gerson opened the first Dough in Brooklyn, in 2010. You can see, or rather, taste, the love and attention that has been given to the Dough recipe. The doughnuts are sizeable, to the point where you think you might not be able to handle a whole one (ha, who am I kidding?) but once you tear one apart and see how soft, fluffy and airy they are you could soon be persuaded to share a few. Daniel, myself and Natalie picked four to try on our first visit. We went for Gingerbread (a revelation but unfortunately only available throughout the Christmas period), Dulce de Leche, Cheesecake (probably their most popular doughnut) and the Mocha - which was my fave thanks to the nutty, chocolate-y topping. Unfortunately, the donuts were so good that in my haste, I forgot to pull out my camera. Hmm, I guess another trip would resolve that issue? Well, although we made another trip, I still didn't get the camera out - they're just too good. Luckily for us, we also had a third dose - Natalie bought us some goodbye doughnuts the night before we flew back to London. It goes without saying that over our three week trip coming up in September, we will be visiting Dough at least once a week, calories be damned. And I'll take pictures first this time.
14 W19th St (at 5th Ave)
Again, I don't have pictures for this one - I did take some but they do not do justice to the food on the plates, mostly because it's pretty crowded in there, and honestly, I didn't want to spend too much time taking pix while Daniel and Natalie got first dibs on the food.
If you've ever been left with food memories that have stayed with you long after the last mouthful, then you'll know what I'm talking about when I say that I can remember every plate we ate at Momoya. We started with tuna and crispy rice, which turned out to be sushi-sized rectangles of crispy rice, topped with the most melt-in-the-mouth tuna I've ever tasted. We also had the epic Black Cod with spinach and pumpkin. I never would have imagined that the combination of cold pumpkin puree and warm, buttery cod would work, but it did and it does. For mains we ordered a couple of sushi rolls and I also went for the seaweed risotto. I cannot say enough about this dish. The slightly sweet, slightly salty risotto was topped with scallops and prawns and parmesan - together they made one of the most amazing dishes I've ever tasted, and next time, I will not be sharing.
427 Amsterdam Ave
There's more to come - including my review of the Glossier store! For now, let me know where you think I should go on my next trip to NYC, in the comments!