The best bit of blogging comes when you get to meet your readers.
It might sound silly but as a blogger you’re sending out these notes, which have become almost a diary in my case, into the ether and complete strangers read them.
After a little time they come to know you and stop being strangers, they become your pen pals. They share thoughts and wishes with you and suddenly you find yourself with new friends all over the world!
Who ever said two people who’ve never met can’t be friends?
But the real fun comes when you do actually meet. There hasn’t been a day in the last year when I haven’t bumped into a blog reader, and it brightens my day like you wouldn’t believe!
In order to increase the chances of bumping into some friendly locals, I put a little post on Instagram saying I’d be at The Met for half an hour if anyone fancies a chat.
But that was in the afternoon, I still had a whole morning of adventures (and eating) to enjoy first.
Kicking off with a little rebellion.
Breakfast was a long, lazy affair at Jack’s. We sat outside with coffee and baked apple doughnuts.
Soaking up the winter sun (finally warm enough to remove our coats) and ignored jealous glares from people waiting for tables. After PJ’s third coffee I cut him off and we crossed the street to lunch.
Is that the ultimate decadence? Walking from breakfast to lunch?
Either way, we went to a veritable New York institution for further sustenace.
It’s an Italian place with a charming family of Italian waiters who aren’t afraid to tell you if you’re looking thin/fat/tired/happy and feed you accordingly.
The menu is hand scrawled in Italian, on a board they balance on your table.
We couldn’t pick just one of the treasures on offer… so went for lots.
As my mum always says “if a little’s good, more’s better”.
Meatballs, prawns, burratta & spinach.
The burratta deserves a close up. Just look at that beauty!
It’s a sort of creamy mozzarella, but much richer and with a deeper flavour. Served with tomatoes, fresh basil & a drizzle of olive oil.
All followed by truffle pasta (a portion split in two).
Easily one of my favourite places in the city. Please promise me you’ll visit?
In an effort to walk off some of lunch we headed up town. Starting at The Guggenheim.
Oh, there she is!
I love the space more than I actually love the art in The Guggenheim.
Even when it’s crawling with people it has a sense of calm. Whether it’s the light, the smooth white walls or the cavernous space, I don’t know… but it all works together to create the ultimate gallery experience.
The details are so great, even down to the bronze water fountains.
At the very top of the shell there’s a reading pocket.
(And a girl bathed in clouds.)
But the view from the bottom is my favourite.
I lay on my back and take this photo every time I visit. The view changes with the sky so it’s never the same picture.
There’s something lovely about familiarity and change coming together in one shot.
I should really get all the pictures together and put them on a wall somewhere.
Anyway, keen to make the most of the sunshine we moved on to the park.
We watched a brilliant, very funny street performance…
…but didn’t get to see the end because I was going to be late for a very important date!
We walked quickly to the steps of The Met, I was tingling with nervous excitement.
I hoped a couple of nice New Yorkers would come and give me some tips, so was completely blown away by all the girls who came. Before I knew it I was surrounded!
Of course I addressed them with all the beauty and grace you’d expect.
I think that ^ may have been my lobster roll explanation, but who knows.
We all chatted about London, New York, blogging, photography, baking (lots of Slutty Brownie chat!) and snapped a few cheeky Instagrams.
I even met the two youngest readers I’ve met so far!
They were witty, eloquent & impeccably dressed. One of the girls, Isabel has her own food blog.
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It was so lovely to meet like minded people with New York hints and tips for me to try.
I think I might need to work on my posing though, I always look a little stiff!
There were lots of hugs and a few slightly more formal handshakes, but it was so generous of everyone to give up a slice of their afternoon to say hello.
After a whirlwind half hour of constant chatter, I rushed off to a meeting buzzing with happy and a grin that stretched from ear to ear.
Later in the evening we watched the sun set and the moon rise from the top of The Standard.
The smile still hadn’t worn off.
Supper was at a place I’ve been wanting to try for a while, The Spotted Pig.
I’d heard rave reviews about their burgers so couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try them.
Starting with sheepâ€™s milk ricotta gnudi (a sort of pasta dumpling, a bit like gnocchi) with brown butter & crispy sage, which was unspeakably delicious. I’m not much of a gnocchi fan so was hesitant, but these were light and rich all at once. I may or may not have cleaned the bowl and spooned out every drop of sauce.
And oysters. Which were oystery.
FInally we moved onto the main event.
The Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestring Fries.
Served medium rare, in a brioche bun.
It was good.
Not mind blowing, not something I’d queue for again (no reservations, so everyone “queues” at the bar). It was a little under seasoned and the chef was mean with the roquefort. I’d much rather have a Five Guys.
But the banoffee pie we shared more than made up for the disappointment.
The creamy, caramel stuffed, bananary cherry on top of a kick-ass day in New York City.
Thank you to everyone who came to meet me, and those I’m yet to meet. I deeply appreciate you all and love sharing my escapades with you.
Final New York blog post tomorrow! *Sob*