You met a group of strangers 37 minutes ago and now you’re drinking prosecco with them, and it’s 10.57am.
You know you are going to like these people very much.
That’s exactly how I found myself at Heathrow Terminal 3 in March this year, surrounded by fellow journalists, a PR and a warm fuzzy feeling that I was returning to my favourite place in the whole wide world for a third time. I know, I’m so spoilt right?
I ate that, and I wore this… For my trip. Rather thankfully, it turned out 65% of my fellow travellers were cat obsessed, which meant we spent most of our boozy brunch sharing photos of pets. Rudey came out on top, obvs.
My jumper is Etsy.com, dress is Topshop, jacket isMiss Selfridge and bag is Dune, My interesting mousey coloured roots are all my own. Cute.
I watched We Are The Millers on the flight – sort of funny, and The Book Thief – I sobbed relentlessly into my red Virgin Atlantic blanket. My bad. I also drank two glasses of red wine, one G&T, and a cup of tea. Love being a Brit abroad.
We stayed at The Loews Regency Hotel on the Upper East Side in Manhattan for the first two nights. A beautiful hotel that apparently played host to quite the celebrity circuit fifty years ago, counting Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as regular guests.
It’s just undergone a ridiculously expensive overhaul, that meant the entire hotel was closed down for a year and gutted, and now? Now it’s just dreamy.
I was even greeted with a platter of cheese in my room on arrival. Errr hello, BEST.THING. EVER.
Oh and there was a casual TV screen in my bathroom. AND I AM NOT ON THE TOILET IN THIS PICTURE, I AM SITTING ON THE BATH WHILST THE WATER RUNS.
Oh And there was this very impressive wall art in the lobby.
So picture this, our table is booked for 9pm New York time, and we’ve all been up since 6am English time. I pretty much wanted to die. Curl into the foetal position and just cry relentlessly into the sidewalk. Yup, sidewalk.
Except I didn’t.
I looked like this… (In a combo of Primark, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, M&S and Schuh).
And I drank a lot of wine. And champagne.
And I ate three courses.
And then I went back to my hotel room and drunkenly laughed at how pregnant I looked in the mirror whilst standing in my underwear. So there’s that.
I woke up ay 6am New York time, had a bath and went for a walk.
Manhattan at that time on a Sunday morning is insane. So quiet and surreal. I saw NYPD cops in kilts practicing their bagpipes for a festival, I saw the Rockerfeller Centre when I was the only one watching it, and I drank a good solid cup of Starbucks coffee.
And then I went to AppleBee’s in Times Square and ate Pancakes, obvs.
And then I went to the top of the Rockerfeller for the first time ever. And I nearly cried at the beauty. And I wished someone had proposed to me. And I took lots of photos.
If you haven’t been to New York – it’s Empire State by night (Oh Em Fricking Gee), and The Top Of The Rock by day.
Oh, and then I went off on my own for a few hours. I got a £20 mani pedi at Ace Nails between Lexington and Third, I rode the Subway, I ate a slice of pizza as big as my face, and I got fantastically lost in the Financial District.
And I took this photo of World Trade One.
And my battery was on 37%.
And then nothing.
I was in the middle of Lower Manhattan with nothing, except my Subway pass, and, get this… bum blisters. Actual bum blisters. Actual bum blisters from my new jeans chaffing over the course of my 6 mile walk.
So that was fun.
I went back to my hotel. Had ANOTHER bath (to soothe my poorly bum) and did this…
Oh, and Skyped my cat.
And then we went for dinner in the Loews Hotel restaurant, and my golly, what an absolute treat for the mouth it was.
Anna Wintour had been in the week before, so uh huh.
I ate calamari, followed by lamb shank and key lime pie, I drank wine matched to each course, and I wore a palm tree dress from Boohoo.
And I have a blurry photo of it because of the wine. All the wine.
But btw, back to that key lime pie, which was served with pistachio ice cream, and it was pretty much the best thing that’s ever entered my mouth. I just wanted to make sure you were all aware of that.
Then we went to bed.
Then woke up and got a bus to Woodbury Common Outlet Centre to shop, AND EAT MCDONALDS.
And yes, I ate a lot of Jolly Ranchers on the hour-long drive upstate to the centre, and no, I still haven’t actually finished the bag.
Yes, it was minus four degrees, and yes I only had a leather jacket, but it didn’t matter because I bought a pink glittery cat-themed phone case from Claire’s Accessories for £2.
I also bought two GAP shirts that I’ve worn approximately every 3 days since arriving home, for just £15 each.
Oh, and I bought these.
These Kate Spade wonders, reduced from $360 to $110.
They are amazing and they do come in a dust bag, and they don’t give me blisters. So yep, pretty happy.
We stayed at the Thayer Hotel for our final night. A historic building on the West Point military state, just on the edge of the Hudson River.
It looked like this…
And I posed several times in the great outdoors. Because who the Hell actually goes to New York and bothers leaving the city? The smartest people in the world, that’s who.
Excuse the thighs in this one, I was about 17 American meals down by this point.
Oh, and here’s Bear Mountain Bridge. Pretty much one of the most wonderful things I laid eyes on the entire time.
I’ll fast forward to the flight home. A lovely, empty night flight from JFK on an average Tuesday night in March.
I wore jeans.
Like a fucking idiot.
Approximately 7 minutes of being on the flight in said jeans I developed a master plan to take off my jeans and fashion myself a sassy little sarong out of the infamous Virgin Atlantic red blanket.
And fashion myself that sassy little number I did, even before take off.
Except then the air steward told me I couldn’t use the blanket during take-off.
But then he realised I was naked underneath, bar my pants which were digging into my newly acquired love handles and, for the love of Christ, he let me don a sarong for our take off into the lovely Atlantic air.
When I got back from the glorious NYC, I navigated two suitcases and a handbag from West London to East London at rush hour on two hours sleep.
I’m still humbly awaiting my medal.
I then slept for four hours.
New York makes me a haps little lamb.