After an informal break from blogging to tie the knot (!!!) & go on honeymoon, I’m back & I have so much I want to share with you all! I’m going to wait until we have our professional photographs back before starting on the wedding content – mainly focusing on my experiences as a plus size bride – so today I wanted to offer up some advice from our trip to New York.
1. Ask for recommendations
The great thing about New York is that so many people have visited, meaning there’s no end to the advice & insider tips. As soon as we booked our flights & hotel, I started collecting every recommendation I saw – from friends & colleagues to Twitter threads & sponsored content on Facebook. I cut out the things I figured just weren’t for us, & then split the remaining recommendations into two categories: things to do & things to eat, & starred the ones that seemed like must dos. In the end, we barely made a dent in the list, but it was a great place to start & some of our favourite meals including Halal Guys & Hometown Bar-B-Que were suggestions from friends.
2. Plan ahead
I’m aware that what I’m about to describe will sound like hell on earth to some people, but bear with me… Our list of recommendations was incredible, but as it grew looking at it gave me heart palpitations; there was just so much there, & being totally new to NYC I had no idea where anything was in relation the other items on the list. So, I added everything to a custom Google Map (instructions on how to do that here) & suddenly I could see at a glance how close things were to each other, which activities it made sense to do together, & when we might want to take a little detour to cross another thing off the list. I know this kind of planning isn’t for everyone & it might be a bit OTT if you’re not a first-timer, but we found it really helpful (for reference, you can see our map here).
3. Stay somewhere central
Again, for New York veterans, the idea of staying centrally – by which I mean around Manhattan or Midtown – might sound ridiculous, but I’m so glad we did it. Yes, you’re going to pay a premium for the location & you’ll probably end up staying in a chain hotel, but I reckon it’s worth it. We booked in at the CitizenM Times Square – which I’d massively recommend – & being able to wander straight out of the doors into the heart of the city was perfect for us. Towards the middle of our trip we were both feeling a bit tired & run down, so being just a ten minute walk from Broadway & some of New York’s best restaurants meant that we were still able to do things without having to worry about the Subway or how we’d get back.
4. Google “the best x in New York” & go
On Sunday evening, we were sitting in our room, starting to pack & debating where to go for dinner when we realised we hadn’t had a pizza in New York! I quickly Googled “best pizza in New York” & found Don Antonio’s which was less than a five minute walk from us. It was late so we didn’t have to wait long for a table & we had two of the best Italian-style pizzas we’ve ever eaten – the crust was perfectly chewy, the tomato sauce was sweet, & the home-made mozzarella was incredible. With such a huge number of options to choose from & sites like TripAdvisor & Yelp at your finger tips, it’s hard to go wrong.
5. Trust the weather forecast
Despite Bethany being in NYC just a week before us & repeatedly posting about how wildly hot it was, I just couldn’t shake romantic images of autumn leaves & crisp mornings from my mind. I therefore arrived in the city with a suitcase full of knitwear & heavy velvet to find 30 degree heat & 80% humidity, & spent the next week disgustingly sweaty. Not good. Always double check the weather before you go & remember that you’ll likely end up doing a lot of walking so layers you can strip off & a pair of comfortable shoes are key.
Hopefully this has given you a taste of our trip, but if there’s anything else you’re curious about just leave me a comment below or HMU on Twitter. I also stitched together all my Instagram stories from the week here, if you want to know what we got up to in more detail.
These photos were all taken at Top of the Rock at sunset, an experience I would highly recommend – especially if you’re looking to kick off a romantic evening.