In February this year, we accompanied four of the UK's top style bloggers to New York Fashion Week. One of our glamour gang was Charlotte Smith-Galoul, who not only heads up cool blog-zine StyleCartel, but is also a native New Yorker. Who better to give us an inside guide to great eating and shopping destinations in Manhattan?
"If you find yourself uptown near the Lincoln Center and want a chic, old style New York saloon meal, pop into P. J. Clarke's. I recommend the Raw Bar sampler (4 oysters, 4 jumbo shrimp, 3 littlenecks, 3 cherrystones – and add lobster). The appetisers are also great for a quick snack with friends. My favourites are the homemade Potato Chips & Maytag with Blue Cheese Dip, 'Hand Picked' Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, the Mediterranean Third Avenue Chopped Salad - and nobody makes a better Classic Caesar."
"In SoHo the shop to check out is (the biggest and best branch of) Round About Resale. With a 50/50 mix of high end designer consignment pieces, and new "off-price" closeouts obtained from the best boutiques and showrooms in the country sold at 60-70% off regular retail, this is definitely my kind of place. Whichever fashion capital I visit, I always try to search for a bargain – I’d suggest leaving enough time to go through all the racks.
"High-end designer consignments are always welcome at any of the Roundabout Resale locations with no appointment necessary. Next trip I might bring that Dior bag I want to get rid of; maybe I can trade it in for some Hussein Chalayan. You can never get enough couture!
"For one-stop shopping I would check out Scoop NYC, a premier boutique for men and women, they offer a highly edited selection of the season’s best items from both internationally acclaimed and young emerging designers. They carry merchandise from Citizens of Humanity, Theory, Jimmy Choo, IRO, Alexander Wang and many more. The store is merchandised as the "ultimate closet", offering style savvy customers the season's best fashion all under one roof. They have the best sales too..."
"If you're still in the neighbourhood, a great place to taste the culture of NYC is Café Habana, a traditional chic dive in Nolita. This Cuban/Caribbean eatery, located on a residential corner off Elizabeth may be a little off the beaten track for some but soworth it.
Café Habana is known for people watching and its superb street food - the Mexican-style grilled corn is a must: a gooey mixture of fresh corn topped with chilli powder, melted cheese and lime, yummy. I recommend following it with the marinated skirt steak with rice and beans or the or the Arroz con Pollo, both classic Latin staples."
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About the author: andrewAndrew Bowman
Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.