Any time of the year is fun in New York but spring is extra special. Fresh crisp air, a slight chill in the shade and a quick thaw in the sun makes this time perfect for walking and exploring the city. This trip I took full advantage and spent a lovely few days with #missjane in Chelsea. The Baron was on his own adventure so it gave the girls a chance to catch up. And catch up we did! We’ll blame Stolichnaya Salted Caramel Vodka and first night excitement for our slow start on the first morning but we made up for it by walking the Highline to lunch.
If you’re not familiar with the Highline, it is a park and walkway of just under 2.5km built on a disused elevated rail line running from Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District to W34th Street. The Parisian Promenade Plantèe was apparently the inspiration. Construction commenced in 2006 with phase 1 completed 2009, phase 2 in 2011 and the final phase at the rail yards early 2015. Views from the Highline take in the Hudson River across to New Jersey, derelict warehouses, chic modern apartments and designer showrooms. Sun lounges, street art, coffee, gelato and snack vendors are all found along the path and the incredible array of self sown flora changes the scenery on a daily basis. With the bird life and the changing blooms it’s easy to forget you are strolling in a city of 8.4 million people.
The Highline put a ‘spring’ in our step and a Bloody Mary on our minds so on entering West Village we looked for somewhere suitable. There is an abundance of hipster hangouts in the West Village, Móle Mexican Restaurant and Tequileria being one of them. On the aptly named Jane Street, Móle lured us in with a smoked tequila Bloody Mary. The infamous free pours and a healthy dose of spice had us alive, kicking and hungry!
It is always a bonus to have a local show you around and #missjane has become a regular at Sant Ambroeus, a West Village institution. Open daily from 9am, they serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. On arrival we were greeted warmly, quickly seated and were ready to order. Scallops with leeks from the specials were perfectly cooked, 3 cheese risotto was accompanied by a drizzle of aged balsamic and the Veal Scallopini’s rich mushroom sauce was moreish. Sant Ambroeus bottle their own house white, red and rosé and the rosé complimented all 3 dishes. To finish, Enriqué’s espresso martinis with a dash of Bailey’s Irish Cream sufficed for dessert and, if you’re lucky, he may serenade you as he shakes. Sant Ambroeus can be a quick stop or a linger so check it out when you have the chance.
If it’s not possible to crash at a buddy’s place then consider these hotels in the area. The Gem on W22nd between 8th and 9th Avenues is a boutique hotel with well priced compact rooms. Recently opened on 10th at 20th Street the Highline Hotel boasts an enclosed courtyard with a Parisian inspired garden. The Standard Highline, a well established hotel and entertainment venue provides spectacular views from it’s rooftop bar.
Spending time in this corner of New York, that’s a thing we love….