The Travelling Prince: Bites the Big Apple (Part 1)

Mimi ON Nov 18, 2008 AT 3:29 pm

New York

New York

His Highness decided we should fly to New York for a spot of shopping. We arrived on the Friday morning and our apartment for the weekend was situated in Central Park West.  As one stepped out onto the roof top garden the view was quite breathtaking, looking out over the elegant ‘tree topped canopy’, its really no wonder Central Park West, Park and Fifth avenues are known as the Gold Coast in New York.        

That afternoon The Prince expressed a desire to visit his good friend and restaurateur Henry Mure, so with a quick call to Henry we were soon heading downtown to his City Hall restaurant. Located in Tribeca this fine establishment delivers classic New York cooking and Henry’s devotion to working as a chef in his home town is clearly illustrated by his flourishing business and loyal patronage from real New Yorkers. 

The Prince’s favourite dish is Henry’s homemade New York Style Cheesecake with a ‘Shlog’ of whipped cream which I have heard him speak of on numerous occasions. So with a great deal of catching up, an update on local politics and a few glasses of wine to suit, the afternoon soon passed into early evening.  I suggested His Highness should perhaps retire early if one were to get the best out of the following day ahead.  We said our goodbyes to Henry and headed back to the apartment for a good night’s sleep.

City Hall Restaurant

City Hall Restaurant

Next morning His Highness arose early, eager to begin venturing onto the streets and avenues of NYC. Shopping in New York is a must at least once a year and it’s the thrill and romance of the larger Manhattan department stores and the collection of connected villages with their diverse retail offerings that bring such fun and enjoyment.  Whether you travel by limo, taxi, subway or indeed decide to walk the blocks, there’s so much to experience in this nostalgic city. His Highness tends to walk a great deal and also finds good use for one of the local chauffeur services too; I’ll explain why later.

First in line was Barneys, the perfect destination for the  discerning, fashion savvy shopper and clothing connoisseurs. Sarah Jessica Parker is quoted as saying, “If you’re a nice person and you work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys. It’s the decadent reward.” 

Next was Bergdorf Goodman, a department store that caters for a very sophisticated clientele. One might recall the scene from the hilarious movie Arthur, where Dudley Moore first meets Liza Minnelli who has just stolen a men’s tie…and yes, my life is rather like that of the butler, played by Sir John Gielgud in this movie. Bloomingdales proceeded; The Prince loves the store for its nostalgic appearance and of course its famous brown paper bag. 

I personally love Bloomingdales as they have a rather nice café where I read the New York Times whilst His Highness roamed free.  From one store to another, the Prince steadily handed me his purchases; this is where the chauffeur comes in.  I would then call Samuel on the mobile and within seconds he would sweep up in his Mercedes to our location allowing me to appreciatively off load The Prince’s most recent collection of shopping bags to the assurance of his care. Thankfully we interspersed the department stores with various designer boutiques which is always a good idea if only to take a brief rest from the Manhattan masses. Gracious Home, Daum, Lalique, Steuben and then Fortunoff Wempe jewellers were all on the list.

Henry’s Homemade New York Style Cheesecake

Henry’s Homemade New York Style Cheesecake

Soon we returned once more to the larger stores; Saks Fifth Avenue, an elegant department store, provides a legendary service, and has been dressing the well-heeled since 1902.  The main floor of Saks bustles with activity from the parade of counters featuring accessories galore. One of course can never forget the greatest and largest of all department stores; Macy’s which boasts nine floors and 33 elevators, thank goodness.  A must for shopaholics and with an extensive range of designer products Macy’s is hard to compete with. So with numerous stores having been thoroughly explored and His Highness ready for a break, it was time for lunch. 

There’s one place The Prince will always head for if given the chance, and that’s the secret Burger Joint located in Le Parker Meridian Hotel.  Modest in size and with a non-pretentious approach, the process of eating burgers here is quite acceptable.  The freshly homemade burgers, served straight from the hotplate, are eaten in abundance by New Yorkers ‘in the know’.

His Highness took great pleasure in ordering what he called a “Scooby snack”; a quarter pound burger topped to the brim with cheese, bacon, lettuce, onion and ketchup.  This was of course accompanied at my insistence by a large glass of water. Saturdays are great for the ‘independents’ as they take a little more searching out and one can easily spend much of the day leisurely doing so. 

So a quick ride on the subway and The Prince was heading for Ellen Christine’s adorable boutique.  Curious, chic and classy these are just a few words to describe the best ‘Hats in the City’.  Ellen has a bespoke service and even recreates worn-out hats on request.  Ready to wear, antique and vintage, all have that ‘Try me and you’ll want buy me’ signature. A subtle selection of elegant vintage clothing and accessories are also available.

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