Christmas Time in New York City

Good morning loves!

We officially only have five more days until Christmas!! How amazing is that? I feel like this month has completely flown by, but only because I’ve been so busy doing so many fun things! This past weekend to celebrate being done with finals, Jacob, Tessa and her fiancé Doug, and I all went to NYC for a little holiday getaway! I had been to the city several times before, but never during Christmas time so I was super excited.

Not only was the entire city decked out in lights, but everyone seemed to be in the holiday spirit. I planned out each day with what we would be doing, where we would be exploring and where we were going to eat. Here were all of my favorites!

Where to stay:

Park Lane Hotel. This is where Jacob and I stayed over the weekend and it was fabulous. We had a stunning view of the Upper East Side and Central Park from our 32nd floor room, and it was amazing waking up to it every day. The grand staircases in the front and back of the lobby were beautifully decorated for the holidays, which made me so happy to see it each time we walked in. My favorite part of the hotel was the location. We were within walking distance to almost everything! If it hadn’t have been so chilly on some of the days, I’m sure we would have never needed to take a taxi very far at all.

The Plaza Hotel. The epitome of Christmas in the city. From Home Alone Lost in New York, to my favorite childhood movie, Eloise at Christmas Time, The Plaza is the most popular hotel to stay at during this time of year. Jacob and I tried to get a room there back in September, but they were fully booked already for those weekend dates! The exterior of the hotel has extravagant lights and decorations, but it doesn’t stop there. The lobby is so stunning that there are hotel staff escorting people through so that they can get their pictures and go without disturbing guests. If you can swing it, I would highly recommend staying there!

Lotte New York Palace. Where are my Gossip Girl fans at?! Okay this was another hotel I was considering for this past weekend. I mean, who doesn’t want to spend a weekend feeling like Serena Van Der Woodsen? It’s a NYC icon, with the location being right across from St. Patricks Cathedral and being right on Madison Avenue, it’s the perfect for sightseeing and shopping!

JW Essex House. This hotel is absolutely amazing! I stayed there for Bridal Fashion Week in 2016 and it was like a dream. It’s right across from Central Park, just like Park Lane and The Plaza, so it’s a great location. You can wake up and have the amazing breakfast they provide there, and then head out to any of the top attractions NY has to offer! I would definitely recommend staying here, as I will be back in the near future as well!

Where to eat:

Le Pain Quotidien. Okay this place is hands down my favorite place to go to for brunch! I’ve been to several of the NYC locations, as well as one while I was in Paris. The food is always delicious, always fresh, and I am always craving their waffles! If you haven’t been there yet, you absolutely need to!

La Masseria. This Italian restaurant is one of the best I have ever been to! It has a quiet and cozy atmosphere with delicious, authentic Italian dishes. I first went there with my bosses and coworkers for Bridal Fashion Week, and now every time I visit the city, I have to stop in for the amazing ravioli.

Gelso & Grand. Little Italy’s own treasure lies within the walls of Gelso & Grand. Every single meal they have is to die for, but it’s the dessert that will give you major heart eyes; The giant cannolis! Every month or so, they switch up the flavors of this beautiful dessert. In the summertime, they had a unicorn cannoli, around Thanksgiving, they had a pumpkin themed cannoli, and for the month of December, it’s the cozy cannoli. Believe it or not, I ate almost the entire thing by myself!

Eataly’s Baita. I stumbled upon a photo of this rooftop restaurant while on Pinterest one day and it looked so cute, I just had to make a visit! It feels like you’re walking into a real ski lodge in the middle of the city! There are lights hung all throughout the ceilings, Christmas trees, and fur throws. As for the food, it’s just amazing. You have to try the grilled Waygu bohemian steak if you ever go! It’s to die for!

Ladurée on Madison Ave. This is just a must whenever you travel to NYC. The Ladurée on the Upper East Side is my personal favorite one to visit because it’s not as busy as the one in Soho. I love collecting the little gift boxes that the macaron come in, (I think I have at least ten now haha) and I decided to get the holiday box this time around with some of my favorite flavors; Rose, Salted Caramel and Pistachio!

Uber Eats. This was my life saver during the late nights at the hotel when I was craving a little snack. One time I ordered Panda Express (a guilty pleasure of mine), and then cheesecake on a different night. The fact that I didn’t have to leave the comfort of my hotel to get it was my favorite! If you follow me on any form of social media, then you saw first hand how happy I was when it arrived!

What to do:

Christmas Markets. On the first day, the four of us wandered over to Columbus Circle to explore one of the cities’ best Christmas Markets. I loved seeing all of the little displays of food and trinkets to purchase. One of my favorite things that I got from the market were these little chocolate French Truffles. They were called “No Chewing Allowed” and they were unbelievable! I think Christmas Markets are a perfect way to pass time in New York City during the holidays. I hope to get back next year to visit a different Christmas market!

Ice skating. Unfortunately, it was so busy at Rockefeller Center, that Jacob and I did not get a chance to ice skate. He was also feeling a little under the weather during the weekend trip, so we had to pass on it this time, but I highly recommend going if you can! Whether you go to Rockefeller, or you go somewhere else, like Bryant Park, it’s just something fun and carefree to do around the holidays in the city.

Top of the Rock. Out of all of the times I have visited NYC, I never got the chance to go up to the Top of the Rock, so I was determined this time to get up there. Jacob and I decided to go one morning and it was magical. It felt like we were on top of the world up there. The views were out of this world!

Brooklyn Bridge. If the weather permits it, because it can get pretty cold in the city around Christmas time, definitely take a walk to see the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s such an iconic landmark in NYC and it’s great for pictures. I’m so happy the four of us were able to check it out and stop in Brooklyn for a little bit.

9/11 Museum. Hands down my favorite and most memorable part of the trip was visiting the 9/11 museum. From the moment we walked towards the memorial, I felt the heavy emotions behind it. The museum was breathtaking too. Every artifact and every piece had a story to tell. It was beautiful. It’s a definite must see if you ever find yourself in NY.

Shopping. This is a given because NYC has some of the best shopping in the world! I loved peaking at all of the extravagant window displays too. Saks never disappoints, but I also loved Ralph Lauren’s window displays on the Upper East Side. They were all stunning! Some of my favorite places to shop when I’m in the city are Bergdorf Goodman’s and Sézane.

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This little weekend getaway was one for the books! I hope someday we can all go back together in the near future!

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