Foodie Heaven: The Best Diners In NYC

Whenever Pad and I visit NYC, our favourite places to eat are ALWAYS the traditional old-school NYC diners.We have nothing like that in London, so we always make the most of it when we’re over there…. trying to cram in as many of the best diners in NYC as humanly possible.

We’ve been so many times now, and each time we end up visiting 3/4 different diners, so I’ve put together a list of my favourites.

Tip: My favourite thing to order at diners are Buffalo wings and Gravy Fries. So if you’re after a food suggestion as well as a diner suggestion, there you go!

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

This might not be one of the best diners in NYC, it’s definitely one of the most well known! Head to Ellen’s at 1650 Broadway for American diner-style fare and delicious milk shakes in an authentic setting. This is one of the more touristy options on the list, which is why I’ve put it up top – chances are, if you’re stopping in midtown, this will be within a 10 minute walk. Be serenaded by your waiter or a visiting entertainer and join in too (if you want)! You may have to queue but it’s a reasonably speedy process.

best diners in nyc

Tom’s Restaurant

Suzanne Vega wrote a song about this well-known Greek-American diner in Brooklyn’s Morningside Heights, and TV’s Seinfeld used 782 Washington Avenue as the façade for Monk’s Diner. Sample a variety of home-made soups and specials, or join the ever-present Columbia students for gravy fries (MY FAVOURITE!!) washed down by a milkshake at 3 am.

best diners in nyc
Belaire DinerEat at this Queens location for a wide variety of classic dishes in large portions with vegan and vegetarian options. Child-friendly staff serve free nibbles while you check out the stunning chrome interior of this 24-hour railroad car-style Greek venue at 31-91 21st St, Astoria.

Opened in 1980, Astro Diner is where you should go for a typical NYC experience. Astro is open 7 days a week, and does breakfast, lunch and dinner.

best diners in nyc

Alpha Donuts

If you crave a donut you can expect the best at 45-16 Queens Blvd Sunnyside, but step inside and you’ll discover a classic diner where regulars are greeted 24/7. Choose chunky toast, fried chicken sandwiches or Irish breakfast. There’s no website but you’ll find plenty of information and reviews online.

Found on 210 10th Ave and serving up traditional diner food in a traditional setting, this place is exactly what you’ll be imagining when picturing an NYC diner – in fact, the place looks just like it’s come right out of a movie film set. The gorgeous art deco style is my favourite part!

best diners in nycCoppelia

For a change of diet, pick this round-the-clock Latin American version that will have you thinking you’re in a diner in Havana rather than at 207 W 14th St New York 10011. Eat South American or Caribbean cooking and nightly specials on swivel stools, and finish with Cuban coffee.

Gena’s Grill

Continue the Latin experience at 210 First Avenue Manhattan 1009 for Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban cuisine. Sit at the six-seat counter or upgrade to one of the three tables at this establishment run by mother and son. It’s the real deal!

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Lexington Candy Store

For me this is for sure one of the best diners in NYC. Despite its name, this is a well-patronised worker’s diner at 1226 Lexington Ave, New York 10028-14 with bread made locally. Open since 1925, its retro look matches its menu, and has earned it appearances in adverts and in the 1975 film Three Days of the Condor. Order the meatball sub – you will never look back! YUM.

best diners in nyc
Remedy Diner 

Grab the inevitable all-day breakfast with the usual refillable coffee, day or night at 245 East Houston St NY 10002. The new twist here is in the additional pasta and Mediterranean recipes offered by owners Peter and Anastasious Giannopoulos, alongside the southern fried chicken and steaks you’d expect.Brooklyn Diner

Savour Brooklyn’s diversity at 212 W 57th St, close to Carnegie Hall and situated in the Midtown hotel area. Go for Jewish, Irish, Italian cooking and more, but save room for the impressive desserts, freshly baked onsite. Try its outpost in the middle of the theatre district at 155 W 43rd St. More expensive than other choices on this list – but still fun!

best diners in nyc
Tibbett Diner 

Don’t leave out a trip to the Bronx at Riverdale and this favourite of restaurant critics at 3033 Tibbett Ave. From its extensive menu of above-average diner classics, make sure you don’t miss the instant pick-me-up of its chicken potpie or an indulgent slice of Boston cream pie.

Located on 174 Fifth Avenue, 212-675-5096, this diner is one of cities most iconic diners and has a fun vibe, and delicious food. Sit down and watch the world go by whilst munching on their toasted cheese sandwiches!

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Neptune Diner is located at 31-05 Astoria Boulevard in Astoria, Queens and is one of the best greek-run diners out there. This place serves up your normal diner food – but for something special, try the Greek items on the menu!

And one last suggestion… Katz Deli

Ok, so this might not technically be a diner – but it’s a deli – and THEY’RE AMAZING so you should go visit them anyhow. It’s where ‘When Harry Met Sally’ was filmed (that famous scene) and it’s been visited by so many celebrities you won’t be able to keep count of all the signed photos on the wall. If you want an amazing sandwich then this is where you should go. GO RIGHT NOW! It’s my favourite place in NYC for sandwiches!

best diners in nyc

Got some suggestions? Have I missed anywhere off? If you know any other diners that should be added to the best diners in nyc list – let me know!


The Ultimate Guide to DUMBO Brooklyn

The trendy DUMBO neighbourhood is one of the coolest places to visit in New York, and somewhere that is often overlooked by tourists, who may feel a bit overwhelmed or pushed for time to leave Manhattan.

DUMBO Brooklyn is an acronym for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’ – and now you can see why they shortened it! DUMBO is a little more catchy hey?

DUMBO brooklyn
This historic area brings together the old and new, resulting in an ultra-hip area packed with fun things to see and do. The area is best known for its charming cobblestone streets and waterfront access, as well as stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan island (I feel a bit sad thinking about it, because it makes me miss NYC so much!).
DUMBO brooklyn
Having undergone massive renovation in the last two decades, this one-time manufacturing district is now a thriving, up-and-coming art hub with classy studios, cute places to eat and designer boutiques.

Getting Around

DUMBO is fairly small and easy to get around on foot, as long as you can handle the cobblestones! There is plenty of public transport linking DUMBO with the rest of New York City, so whether you take the F Train or the East River Ferry, you should find it pretty easy to get here. It’s also worth downloading Uber (the taxi app) if public transport isn’t your thing.

Places To Eat

So what exactly is there to do in this attractive neighbourhood? One thing is for sure, you’ll find no shortage of places to eat! DUMBO offers up restaurants serving a huge range of cuisines from around the world. Whether you’re looking for somewhere special for a romantic meal or a quick bite before you head off sightseeing, you’ll definitely find something in DUMBO Brooklyn.

For fine dining…

The River Cafe

is a great choice. Boasting gorgeous views of the New York skyline, this upmarket eatery is especially wonderful at sunset and offers attentive, high quality service. Although the food isn’t cheap, it is of an excellent standard, and the menu encompasses all the most luxurious items such as foie gras and lobster. It truly is the perfect spot for a celebration, or just if you fancy living the high life! Take your camera too – to capture some photos of the amazing views on offer.

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If casual dining is more your thing…

You can’t go to Brooklyn and not have pizza. Juliana’s Pizza is the perfect choice, it’s old-school NYC pizza at it’s best and YUM. Great for families with kids, this restaurant serves delicious, familiar food in a friendly atmosphere, and you’ll taste the pizza (obviously) but you’ll also get a proper taste of NYC.

DUMBO Brooklyn
For something quirky…

Try Superfine, which is located in a former feather factory and still sports exposed brick walls. If you visit on a Sunday you can enjoy the popular bluegrass brunch.

Or, for something quirky (and posh) and for a taste of France in the heart of NYC, try Atrium DUMBO, Brooklyn. Beautiful, airy interiors, views over the water, and a pretty garden wall make this a lovely place to have a meal. They also have a living plant wall which is kind of cool. The French inspired cuisine is just delicious, featuring classics such as escargots, New York strip and brioche doughnuts (nom nom).


Cafes And Bars

If you’re not in the mood for a sit down meal, but would still like to enjoy a coffee or sip a drink while you watch the world go by, try one of the popular bars and cafes that DUMBO Brooklyn has to offer.

DUMBO BrooklynYou can enjoy some really great coffee in DUMBO…


is a wonderful French patisserie where all the baking is actually done on the premises and you can get a fantastic cafe au lait.

One Girl Cookies

is also a great choice if you have a sweet tooth. Cookies and whoopie pies are perfect when combined with a strong espresso or a syrup flavoured iced coffee.

If a cold beer or a glass of wine is more your thing, try Pedro’s, one of the oldest bars in the neighbourhood. With its unique graffiti adorned exterior, its the best spot to drink a margarita and perhaps sample some Mexican food.

More Things To Do In DUMBO

DUMBO brooklynDUMBO isn’t just about the food and drink, there is plenty to occupy you for a couple of days. Here are a few of my top picks…

  • Jane’s Carousel dates back to 1922 and has been beautifully restored to offer $2 rides to a new generation of kids. Brooklyn Bridge Park is another wonderful place to spend the day, with playgrounds for the kids and a cool rollerskating rink.
  • For lovers of classical music, Bargemusic is a great place to listen to a chamber music concert. Located on an old coffee barge, you can enjoy intimate recitals on the water.
  • Galapagos Art Space is another exciting venue which offers a host of entertainment in a stunning 10,000 foot performance space. Whether you love music, dance, comedy or even a circus themed cabaret, you can find it here
  • You can set off on your walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from DUMBO too – read my blog post (by clicking here) on how to get to the bridge and find helpful maps, etc.

DUMBO brooklyn

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park is another fun thing to do in the area, and the most obvious choice, perhaps! The park has incredible views over Manhattan and you can stroll around it, play ball, sit and have a picnic – whatever takes your fancy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll take a load of stupid self-timer photos.

DUMBO brooklyn

  • Ride a Citi bike – which is a kind of ‘rent-a-bike’ system they have in NYC. It’s a great way to explore Brooklyn, and there are a few stations in DUMBO Brooklyn, so it’s a good place to start your adventure.


The Neon Museum in Las Vegas – Lots of photos and tips!

I’ve been meaning to do a full photo-post of The Neon Museum in Las Vegas for ages now – and here it finally is!

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas is definitely one of the most unique and quirky things to do in the city, and it makes for a nice break from all the drinking and casinos (if you get me).

It’s found about a 15 minutes drive off the strip in downtown Las Vegas (the original city!) and it’s pretty easy to find, most taxi drivers will know where to find it, and if not just do a quick Google search and it’ll pop up straight away. I think the cab drive cost us about $20 from the strip which wasn’t too bad – but if you got the bus it’d be cheaper.

We got the taxi because it was mid-August and like a million degrees outside, and we didn’t want to chance walking too far at the other end. Have you ever been to Vegas in August? It’s basically like being on THE SUN.

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Anyway, onto the tour!

It’s a guided tour that lasts about 45 minutes (which doesn’t sound like much, but in the heat and the sunshine – it’s just the right amount). You’re given plenty of opportunities to take photos and you stop every couple of feet anyway to discuss a different piece of of neon, so you have plenty of opportunities to snap away (which was my main priority).

Just to prove this point more so, in our tour group there were 2 fashion bloggers, who had clearly paid the admission only to take some cool outfit photos in front of the neon art. They lagged right behind the group, not really paying attention to the guide and just did their own thing for the majority of the tour.

One thing it is worth noting too though, is that you’re not allowed any bulky camera bags of tripods, etc on the tour. So just bring along your camera and nothing else.

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Our group had about 10 people, so it wasn’t crowded, and you can always get up close and personal with the pieces (within reason). The tour guide is great, and super friendly and entertaining. I’m not usually a fan of tour guides, but this guy won me over and I found him quite entertaining.

Las Vegas Neon Museum

You can kind of see in the photo below, the little pathway that takes you through the museum. You’re not really allowed to venture from the path, but there are still loads of photo-opps and room to take them!

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

I loved the little dude behind me in the photo below!

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

And the big finale – the famous StarDust sign! This makes an awesome photo, so try and lag behind for this bit and catch a few shots without the rest of the group in it!

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

Las Vegas Neon Museum

If you’re thinking of visiting The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, I’d recommend booking a couple of days in advance, especially if you’re planning on visiting in peak season or at the weekend. I’d also recommend taking a couple of bottles of water with you for the tour – it gets hot!

Ticket prices for day tours are $18 for general admission; seniors 65+, students, active military, veterans and Nevada residents are $12 (valid ID required for each discounted ticket: must show current ID upon arrival). So it’s a pretty cheap day out in comparison to a lot of vegas attractions!

You can also visit at night (which we didn’t do – but I imagine would be gorgeous). You can view the fabulous neon of six restored signs and see the other ones lit up with colourful lighting. Ticket prices for night tours are a bit more money, at $25 for general admission.

Exploring Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

As a regular visitor to Las Vegas, I’ve done most of the city’s ‘big attractions’ and ‘tourist must-do’ things. One of my absolute favourites of these, has to be the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

If you are wanting to explore some more of the local scenery and the ‘outback’ (I guess you’d call it?) – but you don’t fancy the 11 hour round day-trip to The Grand Canyon, then the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a great option.

Who should I travel / tour with?

We booked our trip with Pink Jeep Tours, who are my favourite tour company in Vegas, they also took us to The Grand Canyon 3 years ago. They’re my favourite tour company based in Vegas, and I couldn’t recommend them more.

How long will it take to see the canyon?

It literally only took 30 minutes to get out to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area from a central Las Vegas Hotel (we were staying at The Cosmopolitan at the time), and about 3 hours to drive around it, so it’s a great little day trip you can do without it eating up your whole morning, day and night. In total, put aside 4 hours if you’re going with a tour group – maybe a little longer if you plan on driving yourself and exploring more, and maybe stopping for lunch.

You spend a few hours out of the city, and you get to see some incredible scenery and landscapes. It’s the perfect escape :)

Here are a few of my favourite shots from the day…

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas


What is there to see in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area?

The most famous part of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is the famous red coloured bit (you can see in the photos above). Your tour will definitely do a stop off here, and you can climb down to some great views and photo opportunities. There are also lots of rock climbers around this part of the canyon – try it if you dare (and only if you’ve done it before of course!).

Random fact 1… It’s this part of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area that was used during the filming of 127 Hours (that movie were he cuts his arm off).

Random fact 2… This part of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was also where Captain Kirk died (the character not the actor!) in Star Trek Generations. Apparently, every year, lots of Star Trek fans come and pay homage.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

There’s much more to Red Rock Canyon though – and it’s not just the small red-rocked area. There’s also a huge mountain range and beautiful desert too. You can see the sun over the mountains above, and the sparse area of woodland and Joshua Trees below.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

There’s no doubt the area is stunning, and it’s incredible to be stood there overlooking such a beautiful landscape, knowing the glare of Las Vegas is a short drive away.

The National Conservation Area works in a one-way road, so you enter in one place and exit in another – this means you can drive it yourself, but it also means you have to leave time to drive the whole way around if you plan on visiting. I kind of loved this design of the park, as it means the road isn’t congested, and it also means you get to see everything.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas




If you have any questions about visiting the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment or tweet! :)

Amazing Hidden Gems in NYC

I won’t deny how much I love the touristy things in NYC – but there’s something to be said abut discovering the lesser known places too. If, like me, NYC is place you visit time and time again, it’s always nice to have somewhere new to discover.


Here are some of my favourites…

The Old City Hall Subway Station

This old subway station is now closed off to the public – but remains in beautiful condition for the occasional tour (run by the folks at the MTA Transit Museum). It’s spookily beautiful and the perfect ‘unique date night’ idea.

The Highline Park 

This is gradually becoming more known amongst New Yorkers, but a lot of tourists still have no idea this place even exists. It’s a raised walkway above the city, with some of the most incredible views you can imagine. Perfect for photography lovers!

Part of The Berlin Wall 

Nestled into the small plaza on Madison (520 Madison Ave to be precise) are five slabs from the former Berlin Wall. One side is decorated by German artists Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny, while the eastern side remains blank.

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Whispering Gallery, Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal is known for holding several historical secrets. But the most romantic of them all is the Whispering Gallery, also known as the Whispering Walls. If you stand in one part and whisper a message, someone else in another part of the station will hear. Pretty cool huh?

Loew’s Theater, 4515 New Utrecht Ave

This old theatre is now destroyed and abandoned – however the auditorium is still intact and is a beautiful place to visit (just to see it!).

Secret garden at St. Luke in the Fields

Behind several tall brick walls, is a beautiful hidden garden. You’d never expect if, and you may have even walked past it once or twice before!

The narrowest house in NYC 

This one you have to see to believe. But even thought this house is mini, it still comes with a hefty price-tag! The house was purchased in June 2013 for $3.25 million. Where can you find it? 75 1/2 Bedford St., New York, N.Y. 10014.

What would you add to this list? I found a few extra suggestions on this blog post, if you want to keep reading!

Free shows in Las Vegas

It might be obvious by now… that Las Vegas is one of my favourite places EVER. I’ve been 3 times in the last 2 years, and we’ve got another visit planned for November (yay!).
Las Vegas may seem an unlikely city in which to find a bargain…. I expected to be paying out of my ears for everything when I first visited the city. After all, the self-proclaimed entertainment capital of the world has all the lights, glamour and glitter you’d expect…. And it’s true, some of that comes with a price-tag. But it is possible to do Vegas on a budget, and yes there are free shows in Vegas. Free attractions. Things which don’t cost any money at all.

You’ll find more free kicks in Las Vegas than in almost any other destination, and this article is all about the free shows in Vegas you can enjoy for free. Leaving you more money for beer, cocktails, gambling , shopping (or whatever else takes your fancy).

1. The Volcano at the Mirage

In terms of free shows in Las Vegas, the erupting volcano at the Mirage is where it all began. Hundred-foot high smoke and fire can be seen hourly from 8pm to midnight every night. Running since 1989, this landmark has been revamped to an all-new multi-sensory spectacular, with the help of design firm WET, and musicians Zakir Hussain and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. Unmissable!

free shows in las vegas

free shows in las vegas

2. The Aquarium at the Silverton

Within this charming hotel is a magnificent 117,000-gallon aquarium, this is more than a goldfish bowl – you’ll find colourful coral, and, among the 500 species of exotic fish, everything from sharks to stingrays.

free shows in las vegas

3. Circus Circus

As with many of Las Vegas’ best bargains, you need to be prepared to pass through a casino floor. It’s well worth it, though, for Circus Circus – this child-friendly circus show runs from 11am each morning, and includes all the jugglers, acrobats and trapeze artists you’d expect. A free treat for the family.

free shows in las vegas

4. The Fall of Atlantis at Caesar’s Palace

At one of the most famous casinos in Vegas, this free fountain-based show tells the myth of the lost city of Atlantis, in a performance replete with animatronics and special effects. Oh, and right next door to the show is The Cheese Cake factory – which is like AWESOME.

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5. The Rio Masquerade Show in the Sky

Carnival floats… that float? Hanging from tracks on the ceiling of the Rio casino are performances of music and dancing, with freebies cascading to the lively casino floor below throughout. The fifteen-minute show takes place hourly from 6pm to 11pm from Thursday to Sunday – and for a reasonable %12.95, you can buy a spot on a high-riding float and have the chance to take part in the show yourself!

free shows in las vegas

6. Sirens of TI

The newly-rebranded Treasure Island, TI, hosts a free 90-minute pirate show each night – with a difference. Alongside the stage fighting, explosives and British-on-pirate swordplay are the sirens of the title, who (so the storyline goes) attempt to lure their pirates with their powerfully enticing singing, and other barely-concealed charms. Music, sword fights and some added sex appeal – who could ask for more from Vegas than that?

free shows in las vegas

7. Bellagio Fountains

Save the best until last! I LOVE The Bellagio Fountains, and I make sure I spend at least one night visiting them. Go early (to grab a good spot!), take a bottle of Cola and some snacks, and just enjoy! The fountains go off every half an hour and last for about 5-10 minutes. You’ll end up watching 4/5of them without realising 2 hours have gone by!

top things to do in las vegas for couples

Famous Restaurants in NYC from Movies and TV Shows

I’m a massive movie and TV geek, and so is my fiancé (it still feels funny to say that!) so I wanted to make a list of all the movie and TV food locations for next time we visit NYC. So this blog post is part for my future reference – and part for your enjoyment!

Basically these are some of the most famous restaurants in NYC, as mentioned in TV shows and movies…

We’ve actually already been to a few on this list such as Katz Deli, which has to be one of our absolute favourite food places in the city. The others are places I’ve remembered from many a time when watching Friends, SatC, Will and Grace (etc) and a bit from research too!


21 Club

As far as legendary and famous restaurants in NYC go… This place has to top the list for sheer klout. This place first opened as a speakeasy many many years ago, and was also proud to boast regular visitors such as Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart and Joan Crawford (which is a pretty cool claim to fame). It’s also (warning… trivia alert!) where Michael Douglas tells Charlie Sheen to have the steak tartare in the original Wall Street movie. 

’21’ Club21 W. 52nd St.

famous new york restaurants

Katz Deli 

The diner / deli which featured in When Harry Met Sally – and where she famously faked a very loud orgasm right in the middle of the restaurant (video clip here!). Look out for the table where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal sat and chatted in the movie. (There’s a sign in the restaurant that reads, “Where Harry met Sally…hope you have what she had!”). This place actually features in many tour bus routes as ‘Most Famous restaurants in NYC’ so it’s well-known and often jam-packed. 

The food here is AMAZING though so it’s win win.

Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 Houston St.

famous new york restaurants

Coyote Ugly Saloon

Coyote Ugly is a classic NYC bar/dirty saloon where you can get cheap drinks and cheap thrills. It was made famous by the movie called Coyote Ugly (hey, go figure!) and is the bar where the main character Piper got her big break. Head here for a wild night, dancing on the tables and numerous shots. Sounds great! 

Coyote Ugly Saloon, 153 First Ave.

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The Rainbow Room 

Mentioned in most NYC TV shows (at some point) as the most romantic spot in the city, this restaurant is a part of the city’s history. It’s been name-dropped in many Friends episode (which is why I thought of it for this list, as a self-confessed Friends junkie!) as well as King of the Hill, How I Met Your Mother and Will and Grace (a few episodes were even filmed in there). If that wasn’t enough, Presidents have eaten there, actresses, actors, singers, you name it.

The Rainbow Room, 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

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Joe’s Pizza, Downtown

The pizza take-out chain has loads of different branches across the city, but the downtown one was where the fictional Peter Parker worked as a delivery boy. You know, before his whole spider bite and superhero thing kicked off. If pizza is your thing, try out Lenny’s Pizza (1969 86th St) too, which was featured in Saturday Night Fever.

Joe’s Pizza, 7 Carmine St.

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For Sex and the City fans (and yes, I definitely include myself in that category!), this restaurant and bar is where Carrie and Mr Big had their glamorous rehearsal dinner before their big day. If you plan on going, make sure you dress up – the dress-code is strict!

Buddakan, 75 Ninth Ave.

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Smith & Wollensky’s

This is the steak house that was favoured by Christian Bale’s character in American Psycho (you know, the absolutely mental serial killer guy with strangely exquisite taste in fashion, food and interior design) so I guess you can’t go much wrong with this place…. Fancy having what he had? Order your steak without hash browns.

Smith & Wollensky’s, 797 Third Ave.

Smith & Wollensky's

The Central Park Boathouse 

This place has been featured in countless NYC movies and TV shows, and remains one of NYCs most recognisable (and posh!) restaurants. Head there on a summer day to take full advantage – the view isn’t quite as good in the middle of winter!

The Loeb Boathouse Central Park, Central Park

famous nyc restaurants Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 18.01.27

Soho House

Made famous by an episode of Sex and the City, where Samantha sneaks in using some random person’s membership and then get’s thrown out soon after (video clip here!) – this place is one of the most exclusive clubs in NYC. It also has a rooftop pool.

So in short, it’s pretty awesome, if you can get in. Which you probably can’t.

Soho House, 29 – 35 Ninth Avenue

famous nyc restaurants

And one place I wish existed but doesn’t: Central Perk cafe from Friends. MAJOR SAD FACE.

Got any more famous restaurants in NYC that you’d add to the list? Leave me a comment! :)


The High Line Park, New York – The Ultimate Guide

In cities like NYC, it’s hard to stumble upon hidden gems, but The High Line Park New York is one of the best hidden spots I’ve found in the city. If you have a few hours going spare in NYC on a sunny day – walking The High Line Park New York is how you should spend them! And it’s free!

What is it? 

It used to be a derelict old railway which went unused and abandoned for years before a neighbourhood campaign turned it into the beautiful park and elevated walkway it is today. It is truly unique and a must-do in the city. 

The High Line Park New York

Getting into the park….

Whilst you can enter the park at several places along the route – but I’d recommend entering at the point on the map below (the bit in the red circle). The exact address for that spot is West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. You can then walk the entire length of the park from start to finish, if you get on The High Line Park New York here.

The two red arrows on the map are point towards the nearest metro stations; Times Sq 42nd St, and Penn Station 34 St.  There aren’t any stations super-close so you’ll have about a 10 minute walk to the entrance whichever station you choose.

the high line nyc

So you can see it in the grand scheme of things (and by that, I mean the whole of Manhattan) it starts and finishes around the points on the map below – although it’s not exact! So it is a fair distance you end up walking! Good boots / shoes are a must!

The High Line Park New York

What will I see?

So, say you start at the top, like I mentioned above – what kind of views can you expect to see? Keep reading to see! Trust me, it’s well worth, if purely for all the amazing photo opportunities! As you can see below!

The High Line Park New York

The High Line Park New York

The High Line Park New York

The walkway weaves itself in and out residential buildings and office blocks, about 30 – 40 ft off the ground ( I don’t know exactly – but it’s pretty high).

There are so many gorgeous spots along the walkway, and so many great views to look out for. Such as…

The Empire State!



New York’s famous street art scene…

The High Line Park New York

The High Line Park New York


The High Line Park New York

Famous avenues and streets (with great vistas!)….

The High Line Park New York

The High Line Park New York

Top tip….

Be careful of the breeze! If it’s a windy day you might find you get caught in the gusts of wind that run down the streets and avenues. Here’s Pad and I trying to save his hat from flying away mid selfie!


And another one, once it was safely on again!


Toilets and food….

Don’t worry there are toilets! NO PANIC!

There are also cafes, vending machines and restaurants situated along the High Line Park New York too.

And after you’ve walked it… 

Take a stroll around the local area, the West Village and Meat Packing District is known for being one of New York’s quirkier districts. You’ll find lovely apartment blocks, cobbled streets, coffee shops and boutiques a plenty! If you’re looking for somewhere to eat after the long walk, I’d recommend Mighty Quinn’s – best BBQ ever!!





My Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park (It’s Gorgeous!)

Central Park is pretty amazing, but Brooklyn Bridge Park has something pretty special going on too.

It’s a little bit more effort to get to Brooklyn Bridge Park, but (and trust me here!) it’s worth the extra time on the subway, because the views are just stunning.

We walked over Brooklyn Bridge, and then walked down to Brooklyn Bridge Park just in time for sunset, which obviously was beautiful. I thought I’d share my photos with you guys, because I just fell in love with the place and the view. It’s quite something special to see NYC from a distance – and you never realise how big everything is until you can take it all in like that.

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

I love the shot above, I’m not sure if you can see – but it has Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and even the Empire State Building in it. All of New York in one photo! (Almost).


This trip to NYC was the first time we’d visited with the Freedom Tower complete, you can see it just behind us in the photo below.

Each time I’ve come back to NYC, the Freedom Tower has grown a little bit more and a little bit more and my understanding of how much it means to the city has grown too. Now, on our most recent visit it was complete – and so beautiful. Everything it stands for, means so much to me – and I think it’s now the most important building in the skyline – simply because of everything it represents and every it was built to remember.

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pad looking wistfully towards the city… I tell myself he’s thinking about how much he loves me. He was probably thinking about the BBQ restaurant we’d be eating at later that night.

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

I had this habit whilst we were in NYC of taking ‘Engagement ring selfies’ everywhere we went. This basically consists of me taking a photo of my hand in front of something recognisable.

I’m still deliberating whether a blog post of all these ring-selfies would be funny or tragic.

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park


Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

It took us so many attempts to get the photo below. Luckily, I have an amazing fiancé who totally understands my need to take lame-ass photos. He very rarely complains actually, which is probably a good thing!

I had to keep running back and forth to the camera (which was sat on the grass about 15 feet away) and pressing the shutter button, then running back and jumping up in time for the self-timer. We did this about 6 times.

Anything for a good shot.

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Review: The Omni Berkshire Hotel, NYC

On our recent trip to NYC, we had the pleasure of staying at The Omni Berkshire Hotel. The hotel can only be described as a high-end (yet affordable), traditional New York hotel.

Located right by the Rockefeller Centre (just a blocks walk away) and next door to St Patrick’s Cathedral (another bit tourist spot in the city) you couldn’t get a better location than this. The hotel would be perfect for first-time visitors who want a lovely hotel, with spacious rooms, right in the heart of the city.

The following attractions are all within walking distance (I’d say all within a 10 minute walk or less); Rockefeller Centre, Central Park, Apple Store, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Times Square, 5th Avenue Shops, Trump Tower, the list goes on!

Now onto the rooms… 

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As you can see the room design is classic / modern and in lovely cream colour tones. I honestly couldn’t have been more pleased with the room, there was so much space, a lovely view and the windows opened too – which is always nice in NYC, because I love the city-noise of the streets outside.

The bed was HUGE too. I could sprawl across and not even touch the ends (which, by the way, is my marker for a good bed).

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The room was kind of in two parts, the bed side and then the living end, with a little sofa and coffee table. I always find in city hotels that this extra space is a total bonus. NYC is famous for having tiny hotel rooms – but the Omni Berkshire Hotel is definitely an exception to this rule.

The little sofa was perfect for watching a movie after sightseeing, or setting up a little in-room picnic when we didn’t fancy eating out (which we did on our first night!).

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The bathroom (pictures below) was also a good size, and had a bath / shower combo. After sightseeing and being on your feet all day in the city – it’s kind of amazing to come back to a hotel room with a bath. Such a treat for weary feet.

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See if you can spot me in the photo below. I look like an idiot!

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Here are some photos of the hotel lobby (looking all pretty and Christmassy – yay!) it’s not a huge lobby, but it has a nice little seating area and it looks beautiful – so I’m not sure what else you need. I always find it a bit weird when people comment on the size of a hotel lobby. It doesn’t matter really, you won’t be spending much time down there, except when walking through it!

But just for those people who do care, The Omni Berkshire has a lovely looking lobby!

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The outside of the hotel is easy to spot and easy to find – and there are a few different subway stations available nearby – which is good if you plan on using the subway to get around!

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How to Walk Across The Brooklyn Bridge… Maps, Route Suggestions and Photos!

When I first visited NYC, one of things I want to do the most was walk across Brooklyn Bridge. And then the second time I visited, I wanted to do it again. It’s the same story for the 3rd and 4th times too. It quite simply, is one of the best and most beautiful things to do in New York City.

But when you first visit it’s tricky to know how to walk across The Brooklyn bridge. Where do you go? How do you get on it? Do you have to pay? When is the best time to go? All those answers and more you’ll find here.

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to walk across The Brooklyn Bridge… Getting there!

First thing’s first, you have to decide which side to walk from. I’ve always walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn, but the other way is just as great. Either way you’re going to get some incredible shots, and you can always stop and turn around any time you like.

As you can see below, the closest Subway stations to the Manhattan entrance to Brooklyn Bridge are;

City Hall (N, R Trains)

Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall (4,5,6 Trains)

Chambers St (J, Z Trains)

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From the Brooklyn side of things, you have the following stations nearby;

High St (A, C Trains)

York St (F Train)

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I always think, if you walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn, you can then take a nice stroll around Brooklyn Bridge park too afterwards, which is beautiful too. So that route is probably my favourite.

But now onto some more photos…

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

When should you walk across The Brooklyn Bridge?

Try and walk across the bridge on a clear, sunny day – the view will be SO MUCH better if you do, and you’ll be able to see right off into the distance. It’s also much nicer walking across the bridge in clear weather than in the rain!

I’d also recommend setting off in the last hours of daylight, right before sunset – that way you get some beautiful sideways sunlight right across the city, which is just breathtaking.

How long does it take to walk across The Brooklyn Bridge? 

Probably about 30 minutes if you’re not the kind of person who stops to take photos.

If you want to take lots of photos and soak it all in (let’s face it – that’s probably the case!) I’d recommend putting aside an hour or an hour and a half to get across. It’s not the kind of thing you want to rush, it’s so beautiful, so just take your time.

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

Don’t forget to look behind you, and stop to look around! About halfway, this is the view looking back towards Manhattan! Now, you wouldn’t want to miss that right!?

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

I love the shot below so much, it’s just pure-NYC.

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

It can get pretty busy, so wait until there’s a lull in foot-traffic for when you take those all important photos. That way you won’t have lots of backpacks and heads in the background.

Also – don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most people on the bridge are tourists and won’t mind taking your photo for you if you ask nicely! It’s gets more in than a selfie!

How to Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge



If you’re reading this with plans to head over to The Brooklyn Bridge sometime soon, have an amazing time. Let me know what you thought in the comments below!


Review: The London Hotel, NYC

We stayed in The London Hotel for a few nights during our recent ‘engagement-holiday’ to NYC and I can honestly say it’s one of the most beautiful hotels we’ve ever stopped in.

You know when you walk through the door and your immediate response is ‘WOW’ – yeah, that’s the general vibe of this hotel. So get prepared for amazingness.

I actually took this video on my personal Instagram account (not my proper travel one) of the suite, so this might sum it up perfectly…

Checked into our final hotel of the trip…. All I can say is WOW. #cornersuite #nyc

A video posted by Elle-Rose Williams (@ellerosenz) on

The hotel is perfectly positioned for exploring the city, about 4 blocks south of Central Park, and 10 blocks north of Times Square. So when I saw awesome location, I mean it.

The room we were in was just lovely, and kind of felt exactly like the kind of apartment you’d want to live in – if you lived in NYC. There was an entrance hall, a lounge area, a bedroom and a huge bathroom (the bathroom was the best bit – but I’ll explain why in a second).

The Living Room… Stylish but minimalist, the living room made for a comfy break-out space from the bedroom – perfect if you’re ordering take-out or having room service, etc.

There was also a massive window with beautiful city views stretching right around the corner of the room, which is something you can’t put a price on.


The other side of the living area, looking through to the bedroom. There were glass mirrored doors to seperate if needed.



If it’s big enough for sliding, it’s good enough for us! 😉

We're just big kids.

A video posted by Elle-Rose Williams (@ellerosenz) on

The bedroom. Where we had many a perfect nights sleep.

ALSO the bed is huge. There’s another TV in there to the left, but it’s not in shot.



OK, now onto the bathroom. Not only was it gorgeous and all white and shiny and marble (like a spa) but it had a double shower. I’m going to try and describe the awesomeness of it, but you really had to be there.

Basically the shower which had two sides (one each!) was about 8 feet long and had two different types of shower heads in each bit. One was a power shower, the other was a big rainfall shower.




Oh, and not forgetting the view – which was pretty sweet too! We woke up on our last morning and all the rooftops were covered in snow which was so beautiful. I forgot to take photos though – because I was too excited about the snow and too busy jumping around shouting about it.



As I mentioned before, I learnt from our trip to NYC, that hotels like this don’t always have to be out of your budget too. On the surface this is a beautiful, luxury, hotel. I think if I was looking at photos of this hotel on someone else’s blog I’d assume it was out of my price range – which it isn’t.

If you book through websites like you can get hotels like this for great prices. Their London Sky Suite is currently discounted £1500 less than the normal rate on there at the moment – so it just goes to show you can find a great deal, and you shouldn’t rule beautiful hotels like this out, because it may in fact be in your budget after all.


Best restaurants in Manhattan – My ULTIMATE list

One of things I get asked most over email by readers and friends, is…

“What are the best restaurants in Manhattan?”

And it’s a good question. Manhattan is a huge place – and if you don’t go there with at least a few ideas, you fall into the trap of only eating at tourist places like TGI Fridays in Times Square. And no, that doesn’t make it onto my list. Sorry!

I figured I’d put together a list of what I think are the best restaurants in Manhattan, divided up into categories and food-types.

For the best steak in Manhattan… Quality Meats

This is Pad and I’s absolute favourite restaurant.  It’s definitely a treat, and it’s on the upper-end of the price scale…. But it’s worth every penny. It’s the most mouth-wateringly, delicious, amazing, drooling all over my keyboard as I write this, holy crap it’s so yummy, steak.

Also – we discovered a new gem last time we went too – which is the bacon and peanut butter thingy in the appetiser section of the menu. It’s was so good!



For the best deli in Manhattan…. Katz Deli

It’s where When Harry Met Sally filmed their famous ‘orgasm at the dining table’ scene – and that’s pretty much how you’ll feel after tasting their sandwiches! It’s pretty pricey for a sandwich – but when you see the portion sizes, you won’t be complaining.

Top tip – more right down inside the restaurant to find the smallest serving queue. 



For the best pizza in Manhattan…. RubiRosa 

Recommended to us by some friends, we would never have found this incredible pizza place on our own. Tucked away downtown, this is one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever eaten at. But don’t just turn up – it’s small – so you’ll need to book a table in advance.

We ordered a small portion of pasta to share for our appetiser (holy wow it was delicious!) and went onto share a HUGE pizza for our main course. We barely finished it, there was so much food. Seriously the most perfect pizza ever, and the best I’ve ever had in NYC.

Just see the photo below, to understand how over-faced we were by the size!

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For the best late-night street food in Manhattan…. The Halal Guys

The wild-card on the list, if you fancy grabbing something on the way home one night – this is going to be your go-to place.

They have two stands either side of the block, and there are always massive queues around peek times. The first time you spot them, you’ll be like ‘REALLY? A MILE LONG QUEUE FOR A STREET STALL?” but how can that many people be wrong?

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For the best Disco Fries in Manhattan…. Cosmic Diner

OK, if you didn’t know, Disco Fries are crunchy french fries, with american gravy and melted cheese. Sounds like heaven right? I KNOW.

These guys do the best Disco Fries EVER. Don’t order anything else – just have like 4 portions of Disco Fries. It’ll be like a disco in your mouth, trust me.

Oh, and don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. 

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For the best BBQ meat in Manhattan…. Mighty Quinns

OK, if you love BBQ food, you simply have to visit Mighty Quinns. They have a menu fit for BBQ kings, and you can literally go back again and again until you’ve had your fill. They price by the portion (which is pretty standard for BBQ places) and you can get as much or as little as you want. They have brisket, pulled pork, sausage, chicken, wings, ribs, burnt ends – you name it.

They also have a special thing called the Brontosurous Rib – which is this massive beef rib slathered in BBQ sauce and the most magical thing you will ever see.

It’s canteen style seating (sit where you want) and you won’t need to a book a table. Also – if you’re confused about what to order – ask the staff! They’re awesome and super friendly.



For the best Modern American in Manhattan…. Bo’s Restaurant

For somewhere a bit special, with modern, delicious food – Bo’s is up there with my top picks. Their food is traditional southern / american put with a modern twist – which is kind of amazing. I tried Alligator for the time here and it was great, and they have the most mouth-watering brioche bread EVER. I would go back just for that bread. Nom Nom.



The best hotdog in Manhattan… Madison Sq Garden Stadium 

OK, so this probably isn’t strictly true (I bet there’s an equally awesome hotdog somewhere on the island I just haven’t tried!) – but we totally raved about the hotdogs in Madison Sq Garden Stadium. They were one foot long of amazingness.



Want more advice about NYC? Check out the blog posts below!

10 things you just HAVE to do in NYC, and will regret if you don’t!

Seeing NYC from the air – in a helicopter

An email I sent to a friend about NYC

The best places for thrift shopping in NYC

Beautiful photos of Central Park in Autumn

The most romantic things to do in Las Vegas

Vegas might not strike you as the most romantic destination for couples – but I’ve always loved the city, and I’ve only ever been there with my boyfriend Pad – so for me it’s always been very romantic.

First things first, if you’re heading to Las Vegas as a romantic break – make sure you book a romantic hotel! That means no Hooters Hotel, or even Hard Rock Hotel. Pick a grown up hotel that oozes class and romance, and you’ll get things off on the right foot. I’d opt for The Aria Hotel personally (I fell in love with the place when we stayed there). A few other options might be The Wynn, The Bellagio or The Cosmopolitan (which is next on my wish-list).

Next you need to scout out the romantic experiences int he city – which is why I’ve written this post. I few of these suggestions will cross over with my ‘things to do in Las Vegas for couples‘ but not many. That blog post was more about day-to-day things and night-out ideas, rather than super romantic experiences.

1. Take a Gondola ride around The Venetian Hotel 

It should be pretty obvious why this makes the list! My only tip though, is making sure you get a private gondola ride and not a shared one! You have to pay a little more, but it’s worth it. After all, it’s not too romantic having some random tourist watch you while you try and steal a kiss! It would definitely be awkward though…

romantic las vegas

romantic las vegas

2. Take a helicopter ride 

If you’ve never done it before – a helicopter ride is exciting, fun and really memorable – making it the perfect romantic experience! There are a few ways you can mix this up too – you could watch the sunset over the strip – or you could take a helicopter out to the Grand Canyon and watch the sunrise instead. Oh decisions, decisions!

romantic las vegas

3. Take in the view

There’s nothing more romantic than enjoying a nice cocktail with an incredible view. One of my favourite views is from The Foundation Room in The Mandalay Bay Casino – it literally looks right down the strip and I’d challenge anyone to find a view quite as mesmerising. Book yourselves a private area in the bar – and just let the evening pass by.

romantic las vegas

romantic las vegas

4. Take a limo ride

Private limo + champagne = romance. Need I say more? Las vegas limos are actually more affordable than limos ANYWHERE else in the world – so you might as well take advantage of it!

romantic las vegas

romantic las vegas

5. Make your own ‘romantic VIP experience’ in your room 

OK, so your first step, is to upgrade your room to a suite, once you’ve done that go to one of Las Vegas’s many many dessert shops or chocolate shops and buy every single delicious thing you can find. Last step – buy some champagne (or order it from room service). There you have it – a super romantic evening-in right there in Vegas!

romantic las vegas

romantic las vegas

6. The Eiffel Tower Experience

I haven’t had the pleasure of doing this yet – but I can imagine it’s pretty amazing, and it’s definitely on my list for our next visit. Basically you head up to the ‘fake Eiffel Tower‘ and visit the viewing platform at the top – which has incredible views of the city and the Bellagio Fountains below. Sounds pretty lovely to me. You could even finish the night off at the restaurant they have up there too… cocktails anyone?


Haha just kidding.

Although, strictly speaking, that is amongst the most romantic things two people can do. So I’m keeping it on the list 😉

vegas wedding

My biggest piece of advice for taking a holiday to Las Vegas on a budget, is to try and save as much money as you can on flights, etc – so when you get out there you can do all these things and really splurge on your experiences. It’s one place you can seriously spoil yourself and your partner so don’t hesitate to visit – it’s one of my absolute favourite places to go.


My new year plans in NYC…!

If you didn’t know, New York City is my favourite place on earth. There’s nowhere quite like it.

Pad and I have been to NYC a few times now, we’ve been in Autumn and Summer, but never during the Christmas season – so this year is the year… and we couldn’t be more excited!


We’ll be flying out on the 29th of December and returning on January 7th 2015 – so we’ll get to ring in the new year in NYC, and see the last of the festive celebrations… ever since I first watched Home Alone as a 5 year old, I’ve always wanted to stand under the Rockefeller Christmas Tree.

On a side note… did anyone else know you could get flights to New York with Thomas Cook Airlines? I had no idea – and they’re REALLY CHEAP. Not an airlines I’d ever think to check (unless it’s with an all inclusive holiday) so that was a pleasant surprise!

So what do we have planned? 

Well, a few weeks ago I booked us tickets to see the basket ball (Harlem Globe Trotters to be precise) at Madison Square Garden – which is something Pad and I have always want to go see but never timed it right before. We have the crappest tickets in the stadium (I think we’ll need a telescope to see the ball!), but it’ll be a lot of fun and I’m so excited! Bring on the nachos and giant foam hand!

giphy (2)

I’m also desperate to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the new Broadway version of Disney’s Aladdin. I think it’ll end up only being one or the other, because the tickets are so bloody expensive…. so I’m going to have to make that tough decision at some point! Eeeek.

I have a feeling Disney will win out though (I’m a huge Disney fanatic) – and I’m so curious to see how they do the whole flying carpet thing… I’d probably go for that reason alone!

I’d also like to walk along the high-line this time we’re in NYC too, which is an elevated walkway on an abandoned old railway line. It’s something I’ve heard really great things about but never got round to, so this time it’s on my definite to-do list.

I feel like the more we visit NYC the more and more I fall in love with it. We know the city pretty well now, and whilst we still love the fun tourist things, it’s always fun to dig a little deeper and find those local attractions too, in neighbourhoods a little further afield.

Where will we be eating? 

We’ll be heading to lots of our old favourites, places we’ve been before and loved. These include:

Fette Sau BBQ in Brooklyn

Quality Meats (we’re actually going to be eating here on new years eve)

Katz Deli (best sandwiches ever….)


But we’ll also be trying out some new places too. I’ve booked us in for a meal at Bo’s restaurant (can’t wait to try the fried chicken) but I’ve also heard great things about Taureau too, which is a restaurant entirely made up of fondue menu items. Yum? Yes!

Where will we be staying? 

We’ll actually be stopping in three different hotels, all luxury, quirky and beautiful. I chose them all because they offer something a bit different and special – and I just can’t wait to reveal which ones they are! Stay tuned!

Anyway, I can’t wait to share more info with you about the trip – not long now! :)

Are you going anywhere exciting for New Years Eve?

If you want to read about my new years eve in Sydney, click here!


My photos of the (very beautiful) Central Park in Autumn

NYC is my long lost true love.

I think of the city as a person, and them and I are forever torn apart by this evil villain called ‘greencard’.

But just because I can’t live there, doesn’t mean I won’t endeavour to visit there as often as I possibly can. Pad and I are regulars in the city now – we’re actually heading over for new years eve this year (yay!) – so I’m mega excited for that. Sure it’ll be cold, but I’ll be the person I love in the place I love, so it doesn’t get more perfect than that.

For now though, here are some beautiful photos I took during a past visit to the city, taken in the middle of November – right in the height of Autumn in Central Park. It’s so stunning, it takes my breath away!

Central park autumn photo

Central park autumn photo

If you saw the photos above and thought ‘ wow they’re no even wearing coats’ – for some miraculous reason NYC was having a mid-November heatwave during our visit – so it was unseasonably warm for a few days!

I doubt it’s usually 15 degrees in November!

Central park autumn photo

Central park autumn photo

I love the shot of the bridge below – it must be one of NYC’s most romantic spots. I’d love to get a shot of it this year from the same spot, but covered in snow. (UPDATE Jan 2015 – I just did! Check the photos out by clicking here)

Central park autumn photo

Central park autumn photo

Central park autumn photo


Central park autumn photo

What’s your favourite season for taking photos? I must admit I have a weak spot for autumn! There are just so many beautiful colours (especially central park in autumn!) and amazing events to capture, I seem to always have my camera in my bag during October and November.

Central park autumn photo

Review: 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque by Holly Madison

When you’re in Vegas, there is no excuse for not sampling a little bit of the nightlife. There’s something for everyone, and for me the new bar 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque, was just what I was after.

I didn’t fancy anything overly rowdy or jam-packed (I’ve well and truly grown out of my nightclubbing years) but I do love music, cocktails, atmosphere and dancing – so I starting looking around to see if there was a bar that would satisfy all these cravings. That’s when I stumbled across 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque.

It’s a basement bar found hidden away in The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and it’s designed beautifully to resemble the secret Speak Easy bars that opened during prohibition in the USA back in the day. The stage for the dancers even emerges from a rotating wall, hidden behind liquor bottles and barrels of whiskey.

It really feels like you’re stepping back in time, and it’s perfectly executed.

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

The dancers perform every 20 – 30 minutes, and between performances the bar blasts out modern music to enjoy whilst you wait. The actual music the dancers perform to varies, some danced to modern music, some to old-school jazz, or remixed Motown. The reason it worked was because you never know what was coming next – but I must admit, I enjoyed the vintage-style dances with the old-school music much more.

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison


Sometimes the dancers would perform individual dances (each lady had their own specific style) and sometimes they would perform as a group – the group performances were the more typically-burlesque, but they were all incredible and captivated. The women are fantastically talented and you’ll be sat there in awe!

Tip: The dancers do occasionally come out into the audience, and dance on the bar, so if you’re not keen on being too close to the action (and the thought of audience participation fills you with dread) sit on one of the upper tiers as far from the stage as possible. We were sat pretty close to the action – and I loved it – but I can see how some people might shy away from it!

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison
1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

Is it sexy? Of course it is! The shows ambassador is an ex-playboy bunny!

All the dancers are absolutely beautiful and the show is equally tasteful and naughty – perfect for both burlesque beginners, or burlesque lovers.

Whilst the ladies don’t get naked (this isn’t a strip club remember, and the aim of burlesque is to be sexy, without revealing it all) the show won’t disappoint anyone who goes to watch it. The atmosphere is incredible and it’s clear everyone is having a great time. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see an equal number of men and women in the bar too – it seems most people there were either couples, or groups of women.

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

1923 bourbon and burlesque by holly madison

A quick note about the cocktails too – which were delicious! But you didn’t come here to read about cocktails, so let’s not pretend otherwise…!

Would I go again? Absolutely!

Here’s all the crucial info if you fancy popping in yourself: 

Hours of Operation Wednesday – Saturday 7pm to 3am

Phone: (702)912-4001


Which bit of Las Vegas nightlife is your favourite? Have you been to 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque?

If you found this blog post helpful – I’d love for you to vote for me in the Trespass Blog Awards. You can vote by clicking here  :) Thanks so much! 



The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay – The best view in Vegas?

Whilst we were recently in Las Vegas, we were lucky enough to be invited to The Foundation Room at The Mandalay Bay Hotel for an evening of drinks and food. Ever since I first visited Las Vegas I had been desperate to visit a rooftop bar with a view, and The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay was just that.

The foundation room mandalay bay

We started the night in a private room just off the main bar and overlooking the more suburban side of the city. The whole decor of the place is magic, with authentic carved wooden sculptures from Asia, and beautiful wooden panels and columns.

You can see the private room where we ate in the photo below and you see just how gorgeous the atmosphere, lighting and decor is. It felt cosy and luxurious all at the same time – which is quite a hard balance to strike.

The foundation room mandalay bay

The menu consisted of various posh bar snacks, and we tried them all. There were crab cakes (which I couldn’t have because I’m allergic, but Pad proclaimed his love for them instantly), pork tacos, a fish salad, mini BLT sandwiches and these deep fried chicken meatballs with dipping sauce.

The food felt more or less asian inspired – and it was seriously delicious.

Oh and the cocktails. The many many cocktails. They were pretty special too.

The foundation room mandalay bay

The foundation room mandalay bay

The foundation room mandalay bay

After our drinks and food, we made our way into the main bar and their famous outdoor terrace to enjoy more drinks and the amazing view. And passing through the bar, you get a taste of even more amazing decor too. The below sculpture was about twice as big as me, and absolutely breathtaking, it was so incredibly intricate and detailed. I could’ve stood and looked at it all night – but the cocktails were calling us to the bar so we dragged ourselves away.

The foundation room mandalay bay

The foundation room mandalay bay

As you can see from the photos above and below, the view was epic. Without a doubt the best view in Las Vegas and unbelievable. You can literally see the entire strip from their terrace, and the lights glisten and sparkle, and it’s magical. If you’re looking for somewhere special to go whilst you’re in Vegas, this is the place. There’s no where quite like it.

The foundation room mandalay bay

The foundation room mandalay bay

Pad couldn’t stop raving about the Old Fashioned cocktails (his all time favourite), whilst I moved onto wine, more cocktails and then Baileys to finish off the night. We sat in the bar for at least 4 hours after finishing our food, just to soak it all in, and it was perfect.

The bar is lively, yet atmospheric and friendly too. There were plenty of places to sit; from sofa and arm chairs to bar stools. It didn’t get over crowded the whole night, and we never had to queue too long at the bar either which was great. The bar had a great buzz, but one of sophistication – not manic or frazzled like you’d expect in a lively Vegas bar.

You know those nights you’d happily live again and again and again? This was one of those nights. Perfect in everyway, from the food, to the service to the view. Everything was mind blowing.

The foundation room mandalay bay

The foundation room mandalay bay

We basically had to drag ourselves away from the view when it was time to leave. But who can blame us when the view looks like that?

The foundation room mandalay bay

A bit of practical info about the bar…

Nightly Membership Admission: $30 per person (worth every penny let me assure you!) and nothing compared to admission fees in some of Las Vegas’s more high profile clubs and bars. 

Opens at 10:00 p.m. daily.

For more romantic things to do in Las Vegas for couples, take a look here at a previous blog post!