Brooklyn Bridge - NYC - Girlglobalising

During our visit to New York in November it went without saying that Dom and I wanted to explore Brooklyn.

As the more laid back little sister of Manhattan it has a completely different vibe to Midtown, mostly because of the slower pace and less crowded pavements.

Starting off in DUMBO – or Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass for those who were thinking of a big eared elephant – we wandered down under the bridge, stopping for photos until we reached the Brooklyn Bridge Park. From here you get the most incredible and completely uninterrupted view of the financial district, and further along, Lady Liberty herself.

Brooklyn Bridge - NYC - Girlglobalising

Brooklyn Bridge - NYC - Girlglobalising

Stopping in West Elm for a coffee to warm up our cold hands and look around their beautiful homeware, we then headed out to catch a water taxi up the Hudson river to our next destination, Williamsburg.

Home to the Brooklyn Beer Brewery and many other hip and trendy shops and eateries, take some time to wander the wide streets and enjoy the quieter side to life in New York City. The Brewery offers free tours between 12-8pm on Saturdays if you fancy seeing how the golden stuff is made.

Brooklyn Brewery - NYC - Girlglobalising

Follow your feet to Bedford Avenue when you start to get peckish, and treat yourself to some brunch or lunch. We happened upon one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soups ever. Just what you need on a chilly day.

Brooklyn - NYC - Girlglobalising

Brooklyn - NYC - Girlglobalising

Once you’ve explored Williamsburg and are ready for a little pick me up, hop on the metro back to Brooklyn and stop for coffee in one of their many independent coffee shops.

If you are wandering around on a Saturday, why not partake in a little browsing at the Brooklyn Flea Market?

Brooklyn Flea Market - NYC - Girlglobalising

Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn is one to the main streets to find something tasty for dinner, so you won’t be wandering long before something takes your fancy.

There are plenty of other things to see and do south of the river in NYC, but sadly this was the end of our day. All the more reason to head back, right?

Brooklyn Flea Market - NYC - Girlglobalising

Sadly this brings my New York posts to a close. I hope you liked each one (catch up here and here). Next up Dom and I are heading for a little staycation as a birthday treat, so I’ll be sure to put a little something together to show you what we get up to.

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

What better way to spend a Sunday than to drive through the Somerset hills and countryside. A relaxing Sunday drive no less.

Just short of an hour away from Bristol and Bath you will reach Bruton, a small and very picturesque village.

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

Bruton itself is small, quiet and unassuming, but hidden in plain sight on the high street is At The Chapel – an old chapel converted into a boutique hotel, bakery and restaurant serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

Everything from avocado on toasted sourdough, to woodfired pizza, to a roast dinner is on offer. All locally sourced and very reasonably priced. And what a setting to sit back and relax in.

Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

The space is light, bright and airy. Giant windows let in the winter sunlight and if you fancy, you could enjoy your coffee from one of the plush green velvet armchairs. I must get one of those for my flat…

Kind of rustic, but also modern enough that you know Instagram would love it, At The Chapel comes up trumps with delish food and all the interiors inspiration.

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

But now for the real reason we were there – the food. Having seen many a baked good and pizza on Instagram, I already knew for certain what I was ordering.

Although I was swayed slightly by the look of Dom’s roast pork, I put my food envy aside once my Taleggio and wild mushroom pizza arrived.

There was pudding as well but… they didn’t last long enough for a photo!

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

If you’re not stopping for food, then don’t forget to swing by the bakery for a loaf of freshly baked bread and a take away coffee. We didn’t leave empty handed and the Spelt loaf we chose must be a favourite at At The Chapel, as we just about snagged the last one.

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

Although Bruton may be a quiet Somerset village, it’s packing a top player in amongst the antique and interiors shops on the high street.

One more leisurely drive back home and it was a Sunday well spent At The Chapel.

At The Chapel - Bruton - Girlglobalising

Rockafeller Center - NYC - Girlglobalising

NYC street - Girlglobalising

Writing a city guide for a place like New York is quite the feat. With a city so large and with so many different things to see, there is simply no way you can cover all the bases.

As this was both mine and Dom’s second trip to the city we decided to take things at a leisurely pace, ticking things off as we hopped between coffee shops and walks in the park. Since we were there for a good five days instead of our usual long weekend adventures we managed to see all the things we wanted and not be completely frazzled by the end of a day in the city.

NYC Night - Girlglobalising

Grand Central - NYC - Girlglobalising

Here are a few things I would highly recommend if you’re visiting NYC sometime soon.

Where to stay:

We had a little hiccup with our  Airbnb on this trip, so much so that we didn’t stay for the whole trip and decided to move to a hotel. I have since heard that Airbnb is now illegal in NYC and so for the first time ever on Girlglobalising I’m not going to recommend using it for your trip.

Hotels don’t come cheap in the city so shop around as much as you can to find a good deal. We almost opted for the Hudson Hotel which looked fairly reasonable (price wise) and very nice (interiors wise). We ended up in the Nu Hotel across the river in Brooklyn which has to be one of the nicest, most stylish hotels I’ve stayed in. After the debacle with our Airbnb it definitely turned our trip around once we were settled there.

NYC - Autumn - Girlglobalising

Twin Towers Memorial - NYC - Girlglobalising

Twin Towers Memorial - NYC - Girlglobalising

What to do: 

There doesn’t really need to be a list of what to do in NYC – I’m sure everyone has things they want to tick off their bucket list and don’t need me repeating myself over here. So I will give a brief overview of the things we did that are slightly less obvious than Liberty Island and the Empire State.

The High Line – This is one of my favourite things from our trip. The old highrise train line has been converted into a walkway and garden passing right down through Manhattan and ending in the Meatpacking District. A lovely way to see the city from a different angle and an unexpected garden in the concrete jungle.  And completely free of charge.

Central Park – A slightly more obvious choice, but I missed out on this on my first visit to the city, so made up for it this time. Enter in the bottom corner of the Upper East side and follow the park round to the Boating Lake for the express tour of the park. It was absolutely beautiful in the Autumn and clearly a favourite for all the couples having engagement photos taken. Also free of charge.

American Museum of Natural History – One for a rainy day. A huge museum that takes a while to get around, but have some great exhibitions, particularly the Mammals sections and the Gems and Minerals section. A bit pricey at $22 but the price is optional and you can pay less if you choose.

MOMA – The Museum of Modern Art is a popular choice again and one that we didn’t actually make it to. A top tip is to go on Friday between 4 – 8pm when entrance is completely free of charge. Make sure you don’t have a backpack though, as the queue to check it will be very long and this was our downfall on our trip.

Soho and Greenwich Village – Two places to just wander around and take in the sights and sounds of NYC. Not too far is West Village as well, perfect for a leisurely day of shopping!

Brooklyn Bridge – Heading across the water I highly recommend taking a scroll across the Brooklyn Bridge to take in the skyline of the financial district. Time it either in the early morning or at dusk as the sun is setting to make the most of the photo opportunities.

Brooklyn and Williamsburg – Explore the quieter side of NYC – as quiet as it gets anyway! Wander around the unique independent shops and maybe head to a flea market. We went to Brooklyn Flea which is hosted in an old bank and is worth it just to take in the setting.

Brooklyn Brewery – Another Brooklyn based attraction. The Brewery offer many tours to learn how the popular beer is produced, but if you head there between 12-6pm on a Saturday then it’s completely free. Be prepared to queue for a little bit though.

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM – Worth it for the Instagram opportunity, but that cake is pretty tasty too. It only takes card, but the shop just next to it will take cash.

NYC Night - Girlglobalising

NYC - French Toast - Girlglobalising

What to eat:

It’s hard to pinpoint good places to eat in a city so big and varied as NYC. But I have a few suggestions, mainly brunch, lunch and snack places but they’re everyone’s favourites, right?

Dough Donuts – Literally the size of your face. They come in all the flavours under the sun and you may be best to share these (only if you want to though…)

Jack’s Wife Frieda – A hugely popular choice, so much so that we couldn’t get a table. But everyone must go there for a reason, so try and squeeze in if you can.

Blue Stone Coffee –  Where we actually ended up after the Jack’s Wife Frieda debacle. We had massive chicken club sandwiches and coffee, so nothing bad to say here.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Found hidden away in Greenwich village, Stumptown came to the rescue when we were looking for somewhere to hide from the rain. Very nice coffee indeed.

Brooklyn Heights Cafe – In Brooklyn (duh) serving everything from burgers, to salads, to seafood and in very atmospheric surroundings. Make sure to wander down to the river front afterwards.

The Butchers Daughter – A recommendation you will have no doubt seen on Instagram. We popped in for breakfast on the first morning and had soft boiled eggs and coffee, but they also had some very nice (and healthy) looking juices.

Other places that we didn’t make it too but were noted on my list – Egg Shop, Buvette, Black Seed Bagels, By Chloe, Cafe Henrie, Meatball Shop, Union Fare.

NYC - Autumn - Girlglobalising

Central Park - NYC - Girlglobalising

Central Park - NYC - Girlglobalising

I think this may be the lengthiest of my city guides so far! But there is just so much to see and do in NYC that it was never going to be a short post. Feel free to add any more recommendations in the comments, in case anyone is heading off there soon – and for my next trip too!

Dom John - NYC - Girlglobalising

Rockefeller - NYC - Girlglobalising

Rockefeller - NYC - Girlglobalising

NYC - Girlglobalising

Is there a better way to start the year than to make a plan of all the places you’d love to visit?

I made a similar post last year – you can find it here if you can look past the unformatted mess of pre-redesign Girlglobalising – and I’m pleased to say that I managed to tick off a fair few.

The most recent being our adventure off to NYC, which is also the biggest trip I have done in a long while. But we also made it to Berlin, Copenhagen and Cornwall. So not a bad year for someone trying to fit travel around a full time job!

Let’s see what’s on the travel wishlist for 2017.

Canada

Canada - Girlglobalising

Canada very nearly made it onto the list last year, but it felt a bit of a stretch when I knew I wouldn’t be doing both NYC and Canada. It seemed silly to set my heart on something that was 99% not going to happen. But this year who knows, and since I’ve crossed America off the list (but only for the time being!) then Canada is looking even better than before.

Bali

Bali - Girlglobalising

I may have added Bali to the travel wishlist because I’ve been reading Eat Pray Love (it’s taken me forever to finish), but also because of the content coming from the Little Magpie and Sinead Crowe, who have both been to Asia recently. My desire to visit Asia has grown in recent years – the more travel I do, the more I’d like to visit those destinations that seemed too adventurous before.

Majorca

Majorca - Girlglobalising

The majority of the holidays that Dom and I have been on have been city breaks. Almost always over and long weekend to avoid cutting into my annual leave too much. They always go at break neck speed, both time and sightseeing-wise and are over before we know it. Even our trip to Italy involved racing around Rome during a heatwave! This year I think we are both in agreement that a much slower paced summer holiday is in order. With limited city exposure and snorkelling and watersports and time by a swimming pool. I’ve got my heart set on Majorca.

The UK

Pembroke - UK - Girlglobalising

Although we’ve done pretty well for little weekend trips in the UK, ticking off Norwich and Brighton, not to mention daytrips to London and my most recent trip to York, there’s always more to see on your doorstep. A travel wishlist wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t include seeing as much of your own country as you can!

There’s always more I can add to the list, but it might be best to leave it there for now. It’s my birthday in a few weeks, so maybe I’ll even arrange a mini getaway for then. Let me know what’s on your travel wishlist for 2017 – I’m always game for some more inspiration.

The Ivy - Clifton - Girlglobalising

Christmas Tree - York - Girlglobalising

Christmas Wreath - Girlglobalising

York Minster - Girlglobalising

Betty's Tea Rooms - York - Girlglobalising

All photos taken on my iPhone

Once again, as happens with most years, Christmas has sprung up on us quicker than anyone expected. I for one am certainly looking forward to having a break, catching up with family and friends, eating all the pigs in blankets…

I had a few days in York with my Mum at the start of December, which is where the majority of these festive photos were taken. York turned out to be a very attractive little city, with the friendliest of people, and one that I intend on seeing more of in the future. I’m sad to say that my Christmas spirit diminished a little on my return home and hasn’t found it’s way back just yet. Because of this the complete lack of any festive posts on here is hardly surprising.

2016 has been a bloody odd year, with more world changes than any other year that I can remember. But its not been all bad – I started a new job and me and Dom moved into a cosy little flat after the debacle of having to move again. We went on some amazing trips, from Berlin, to Copenhagen, to the long awaited New York adventure. I can only hope that I’m as fortunate in 2017 and that my travel buddy is still as keen as me.

There will be some changes around here in the next year. I feel a little refinement and evolution is in order. Something to get my motivation back on track. And a couple of personal improvements as well – namely learning to live in the moment more, rather than worrying about what will happen next!

I wish you all the merriest of Christmasses and hopefully I’ll see you back here in the new year!

xx