New York, USA

I’ve lost track of the number times I’ve been to New York. It’s as familiar to me as London, and I love them both just as much. This time, however, I owe a debt of gratitude to my cousin Priyanka, who earned an expensed trip as a reward for her hard work. She kindly chose me, and our sister in law, Krupa, as her travel companions. This five day break was as therefore, as much about quality time with family, as it was the world class settings.

It wasn’t all perfect. Our Virgin Atlantic Flight was the worst long haul I’ve been on in years. They didn’t even have salt and pepper. On arrival, immigration took 2.5hours; I can’t remember it ever taking this long. But rant over, moaning out of the way, the rest of the trip was a truly refreshing break. I came back to England reenergised.

Over the course of the trip I got to catch up with relatives on both Hamel’s and my side of our family, as well an old friend from London. These connections made the trip that much extra special. But, on top of this, I also managed to find some time for myself. With some early morning runs, I pushed myself to strengthen both my mind and my body. ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere’, right?!

I’ve always loved the food in New York. This time, I got to visit an old favourite pizza joint, Rubirosa, and also got my Taco Bell fix before the end. I compensated for this indulgence by doing a lot of walking and rowing on the boating lake in Central Park.

On a trip where socialising was the focus, I’ve got to give mention to all the different eateries and drinking establishments I got through this time. In no particular order, I loved all the following: El Vez, Grand Banks, Juniper, Boqueira, Los Tacos @Chelsea Market, Buddakan, Baar Baar, and Mr Purple Rooftop Bar.

I’ve got to give a special mention to the Speakeasy at Beauty & Essex, in which you get a complimentary Prosecco in the female toilet (sorry gents).

In search of a unique view, we paid $44 to go up to the Observation Deck at The Edge. This was perhaps a little over priced for what it was. But if you do decide to go, then a free attraction next to The Edge, The Vessel is also worth a visit.

The other special thing I managed to do on this trip was take in a Broadway Musical. These are world renowned for a reason. Hamel was green with envy because somehow I combined Aladdin (no longer showing in London’s West End) with a date with one of his closest cousins, Shivani. We had an amazing evening.

Prices seem to have gone up considerably in New York, since I visited last. Despite this, the City still retains its magic, and I know it will draw me back again soon.