New York, New York

How was this trip over a month ago?! I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks. After our trip, I was in full blown ‘job-search’ mode, and didn’t let myself get distracted by much else. Thankfully, this has paid off and I am now employed, hurrah! Anyway, let’s get down to business, yes?

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK

We spent 6 days and nights in the Big Apple. We managed to bag ourself a pretty sweet loft style apartment in Williamsburg. Right next to the subway and around the corner from a cute little coffee shop-come-bar – which incidentally turned out not to serve any alcohol!? The loft was spacious, with a huge open plan living room / kitchen area, lovely bathroom and some choice pieces of decoration (see second to last picture….!) The rooms were slightly odd, and paper thin walls, but hey, the beds were comfy and we were so tired everyday that we slept soundly. I’d highly recommend Williamsburg as an area to stay, the restaurants and cafe’s were plentiful, from French style brasseries to Jewish cafe’s. The first night we arrived, we were tired and jet-lagged, with growling stomachs. We found an amazing pizzeria called Motorino. It served wood-fired pizzas and a selection of salads. I went for the Kabocha Squash Calzone, YOU GUYS, this has to be one of the best (if not THE best) pizza dishes I’ve ever had. Moorish squash, coupled with gooey goat’s cheese and fresh thyme. I was in heaven. If you’re in Williamsburg PLEASE check these guys out!

The next day we spent the day making our way along the New York High Line, an old railway line that’s been turned into a beautiful little walkway, high above the streets. We ended up at Chelsea Market and spent an hour exploring the different food outlets. I managed to find a place that served ale in a little takeaway jar, how cool? We grabbed a snack from Amy’s Bakery, I went for the Coconut Dream Bar. It reminded me of a millionaires shortbread, sweet and gooey, but with added coconut. Delicious!

Saturday was a real highlight for me as we headed to Smorgasburg, an outdoor food market on the waterfront in Brooklyn, with MEGA awesome views across to Manhattan. I had read about Smorgasburg before we arrived in New York, and my high hopes were perfectly met. When got down there around midday, and although there were less vendors than normal, as it was the last one of the season, we were spoilt for choice. From lobster rolls, to duck wraps, mango lassis, to deep fried sprouts (they were insane!), Smorgasburg catered for all 7 of our varied tastes. I set myself off on a loop of the stalls before deciding which stalls were going to get my dollars. In the end I went for a Calexico Beet Burger from Chickpea and Olive, a delightful Mango Lassi, polished off by THE biggest Hibiscus doughnut from DOUGH. The day carried on with strolls around Brooklyn, and possibly too many drinks at The Blind Barber – a sneaky bar hidden behind a barber shop in the East Village.

Sunday was race day. My mum set off early to get to her start point. We headed to Brooklyn for breakfast. NYC Marathon has an app where you can track your friend / family member while they run (how cool is technology these days!) We’d noticed we were near mile 8, and upon checking the app saw Mum was coming up to mile 5. We headed down to surprise her and give her a cheer. We had agreed to wait for her at mile 23, but later in the afternoon. We spent the rest of the day until then walking what felt like THE WHOLE length of manhattan! We arrived at mile 23 and the app told us Mum was only a few blocks away. The atmosphere was amazing and there was so much energy from both the runners and the crowd. We spotted mum running and started screaming her name, she said she couldn’t stop, so my sister and I ran 100m or so with her, giving her one last boost to see her over the finish line. She did it, all 26.2 miles! Although that night she told us she’d never do a marathon ever again, I reckon by now she might be persuaded. Chicago Marathon 2016 Mum?? We celebrated the day with a delicious meal at a lovely French bistro in Williamsburg (more sprouts!) and a much deserved glass of red for my Mum!

The rest of the days were spent meandering around various NYC districts, checking out Greenwich, seeing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, battling the crowds in Times Square, picnics in Central Park, drinking cocktails on rooftop bars right next to the Empire State Building, and a fair bit of shopping. Memorable breakfasts at both Jack’s Wife Freda and The Butcher’s Daughter. Both had been on my ‘must-eat’ list and did not disappoint.

We crammed so much into our 6 days I feel as though I could write about it forever. It was such a great trip, and the memories will stay in my head for a long time.

Have you been to New York recently? What were your highlights? Do let me know!

You can see more of my NYC photo’s over on my Instagram!

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Here’s a couple of other fab New York round ups for you:

A Foodie Vacation – New York – Supper in the Suburbs

New York City – Sevengrams

 

Adventures of the French Kind

I had planned to get a recipe up tonight, but going through a gazillion photos on my camera, I couldn’t miss adding a little photographic homage to my French holiday.

I spent two beautiful weeks in the South West of France, in a little village called Azur. Tagging along on my parent’s  twice annual trip to this beautiful lake-side setting. Excited like a kid (or 27-year-old) at Christmas. It was intensely hot for the first week, which meant much pool-side lounging and hammock swinging (oh, life). I wanted to cram EVERYTHING into my two weeks there, making sure I wasn’t going to miss all the activities I’d been hearing about for the last 11 years. My parents weren’t quite prepared for this plan-every-day-down-to-the-last-second kinda deal. We swam, we ran, we kayak-ed, sailed, surfed and explored. However due to the intense heat, I had to give in and realise that I would have to just CHILL and RELAX for at least a little while. IT WAS FANTASTIC.

My brother, his partner and my little nephew joined us for a few days. Followed by my older brother and his (now) fiancée (WOO HOOO) a couple of days later. Those few days we were all (minus my younger sister) together are days I’m sure we will all cherish for a long time. We are so rarely at the same table all together. Much laughter and smiles were had, and a fair share of wine was drank.

I managed to take ZERO photos of food, but that’s probably a good thing, because we ate A LOT.

It’s safe to say, any ideas of a child-less holiday my parents may have once had in mind, will no longer be happening. Plans are already in place for us to take over Azur in summer 2016.

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