The second day of our travels dawned bright and early in Central Valley, NY and with a really, really great breakfast at our hotel (great relative to the fact that it was free and actually included much more than diluted coffee and two dried up muffins, as free hotel breakfasts usually tend to consist of. No really, it was great!).
On a fragrant note (this being a perfume blog and all), the perfume I wore almost exclusively on our trip was a refreshing little number that has proven to be a cheap thrill that is well worth your attention: Roger&Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus, a pretty floral with impressive lasting power for an Eau Fraîche (Eau de Cologne strength, I assume). Perfect in the heat, it has really grown on me and is a favorite of Dr O as well. It comes in a travel-friendly 30ml flacon and a 100ml size plus body products, proper review to follow.
We spent the early morning hours trawling the premises of the local Target, an activity I adore, because where I come from, things are smaller. All the things are smaller. From the store itself (you could easily house a small Austrian town in there with room to spare) to the appliances, the food, the clothes even. We always stock up on essentials not easily available in Austria. Yes, we are the kind of people who regularly import toothpaste. spices, Blue Cheese salad dressing and vitamins that masquerade as fruit gums to the European Union.
As soon as they opened for the day, we took our second sojourn to Woodbury Common completing our shopping list for the boys at the Disney store and Gap and having a look at the luxury shops, which in an outlet center are a contradiction in themselves, in my opinion.
Lunch consisted of fare at the food court, but Nathan’s hotdogs and Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches are actually quite exotic delights for us, that we never get to eat anyway, so we thouroughly enjoyed them.
After lunch we hopped into our hearse to drive to Manhattan, where we promptly got rid of it and found our hotel only a few blocks farther on 40th Street/5th Ave. We always stay somewhere in Midtown, because it feels familiar by now.
After checking in, we strolled up Fifth Avenue (no, to be honest we schlepped up Fifth Avenue, it was hot, remember? Very, very hot!) and decided to treat ourselves to drinks at the Plaza Hotel.
The Champagne Bar at the Plaza is a glorious place where I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life. Failing that, an hour there was fine too.
On our way home, intoxicated by a Martini cocktail and the heat, my dear husband – without prior warning – dragged me into Bottega Veneta on Fifth (there was not much actual dragging involved once I clocked in on my surroundings, I came pretty willingly). There he gifted me with a gorgeous handbag, one I’ve been dreaming about for the past ten years actually. I was floored. Our seven-year wedding anniversary was coming up, so that was the reason (and let’s not forget the beneficial and wallet-releasing powers of a good Martini cocktail!!!)
Skipping to the hotel elatedly, we had time to quickly beautify ourselves before our date for the night was to commence. We met the lovely Daisy of Cool Cook Style, a native New Yorker, fabulous food blogger, Perfumista, fearsomely intelligent academic and all around lovely person for an evening out at the famed barbeque restaurant Fette Sau in Brooklyn.
It was my first ever trip to Brooklyn, Williamsburg to be exact, and it is a different world indeed. Hipster cool and fabulous.
To tell you the truth, I only quickly glanced at the restaurant’s website on my phone a few days before, and I was not at all prepared for the scene. It is pretty rustic, you have to line up for food and then hope for the best finding a seat on the long trestle tables inside or out, while balancing your tray full of meat in the 100 degree heat. Dr O was in heaven as you can imagine, and I, getting over my inner prissy little lady, ended up enjoying myself very much too.
Yes, we ate all that. At least we attempted to.
Filled to the brim, swearing off meat for the next two months (well, me at least) we headed back to Manhattan under Daisy’s guidance to have drinks at the Milk&Honey bar in the Flatiron district (behind an unmarked door I will never in my life be able to find again – so NY!), where Daisy is a longstanding member and friend of the owner (which garnered us not only a table and extremely friendly service, but also a very good discount).
Cocktails at Milk&Honey are serious business. You just say how you feel, what you want in terms of experience (like refeshment, calming, an adventure…), maybe you add a preferred spirit and possible dislikes, but that is it. Regular cocktail ordering is not the done thing here. The waitress seizes you up and brings a concoction totally unique to you and the occasion. I received a gingery, fruity gin and vermouth drink that was frankly awesome, after having asked for something cooling and refreshing (it was hot, very hot, remember?). They use only top quality ingredients, fresh fruit, even the ice-cubes are hand-cut!!! This bar is an experience I can highly recommend.
Daisy was wonderful, she showed us such a good time, and hadn’t it been for our massive jet-lag and heat-induced fatigue, we would have happily spent the whole night at Milk&Honey.
Thank you for your time and hospitality, Daisy!
This having been another looong day, we were glad to fall into our hotel bed and sleep the sleep of the righteous, some of us snoring that the walls shook, some of us clutching new handbags to their bosom…
If you are not bored yet, join me soon for the tale of our weekend in Manhattan!