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Monday, 27 April 2015

Williamsburg Wonderland...

When we last headed to New York, at the start of 2014, for a little NYC sister time, we stayed at design jewel, The Nomad. On previous trips we'd tried out the achingly cool Ace Hotel and the trad-luxe Soho Grand, but this time, we decided to be brave and branch out on our own... No hotels, no turn down service, no bell boys to lug our back-breakingly heavy suitcases to our rooms - we wanted to stay in a real NYC apartment and play at being local New Yorkers for the week. Step up Airbnb and our palace in the sky

Nestled in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we handpicked an absolute beaut of an artist's loft space with breathtaking views across the Brooklyn and Manhattan skyline. The space boasted floor to ceiling windows which not only meant you ended your days swooning over the twinkling lights of the city but that you also were coaxed awake by the city sunrise streaming in as dawn broke each morning. As such the apartment has earned and very much owns a fitting nickname - 'eagles nest'. We knew we were going to be very happy here when we arrived and were greeted with open arms by the warm and wonderful owner, Bryn.  














We didn't think things could get any better until Bryn filled us in on the apartment's shared rooftop and not one of us were prepared for how frickin' OMG awesome it was in broad daylight...









We settled in immediately, bagsied our beds and unpacked our NYC wardrobes. Next up was to explore Brooklyn and uncover all of its hidden gems but before that, we needed a hit of all-important caffeine - Toby's Estate it was! 

Top of the list was to check out as many Brooklyn coffee joints as humanly possible. We had definitely picked the right neighbourhood to reside in seeing as every street we browsed seemed to be blessed with a corker of a coffee shop! Blue Bottle and Marlow & Sons serve up particularly great cups of the good stuff but our top caffeine fixer-upper of this trip has to be Toby's Estate. Pocket sized, cool and rough-round-the-edges interior, this cafe serves up proper coffee that has the ability to make your mind spring into action at first sip! 






Now we were set for the day, but were hankering after something sweet before hitting the cobbled streets to explore - cue bright idea - Mast Brothers of course! We've raved about this born and bred Brooklyn chocolate heaven before but couldn't resist a trip down memory lane to relive it's awesomeness all over again... 




Good news for us Londoners, there's now a Mast Brothers factory on Redchurch St in Shoreditch - not only can you wander around the working space and watch how the chocolate is made but you can also chill out in a bar and sample the goods in all their glory. Read more about the delights here.

Next up to walk off all those calories - Williamsburg Bridge it was and we couldn't have picked a better day for it. En route we snapped away at the graffiti-clad streets and walkways...








After all that walking, we were in major need of filling those walking boots with more delish food. We had read great things about Diner which is run by the same people as the legendary Marlows & Sons. Apparently their burger is the dubbed the best in the city - we huddled together and decided it would be rude not too so off we waddled to try for ourselves...







Yep, we concur - the best bloomin' burger ever! 

After all that excitement, we very much needed to sit, wind down and reflect on the day's events and what better place to do that than on the Wythe Hotel's rooftop bar, which promised a view almost as good as from our apartment (!) and killer cocktails to boot. We had to queue for about 45 mins for the honour but it was totally and utterly worth it...  




Other Williamsburg foodie delights we taste-tested over the next six days were Five Leaves where we wolfed down the best pancakes of our lives - ricotta pancakes with honeycomb butter, banana, blueberries and strawberries doused in maple syrup...






And how could we forget the unforgettable Michelin-starred Meadowsweet and its 5-course tasting menu. Dressed up and ready to own the night Brooklyn style, we got a snap happy in our NYC pad before working up our appetite for the mammoth meal ahead...








Dish after dish we were wowed by the kitchen's culinary brilliance and, five courses down, full-to-the-brim beyond belief, we toddled home to our palace in the sky to catch some much needed zeds before the next leg of our NYC adventure!


Williamsburg we heart and salute you x

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