Secondly I wanted to mention Marriott East Side in Manhattan officially the cleanest, politest, nicest hotel I've ever stayed in. They were so helpful providing things we needed for Ned and getting us adjoining rooms so he could charge around our room and his grannies and the amazing Midtown location meant we were never too far away from wherever we wanted to be which was great for minimising the possibility of any baby grumpiness. Highly recommended.
Having been on a diet to get the last of the baby weight off for some time before our trip I was ready for some serious eating when we got there and eat we did. We managed to be quiet varied in what we ate although it did end up being slightly bagel and sushi (not together) heavy. New York also turned out to be incredibly baby friendly and 98% of the restaurants we visited had a high chair even if they had to dig it out from the store cupboard.
|Bull and Bear Steakhouse at the Waldorf Astoria|
The Americans are not like us Brits about drinking and this became fairly obvious as soon as we arrived. We met a cousin of Joe's on the first day for lunch at the Brooklyn Diner on West 57th Street - amazing food, great atmosphere, incredibly American, not too expensive, huge hot dogs, worth a visit - he ordered a coffee, we ordered wine, he changed his order to wine and then drank more than us. The next day we met up with my school friend who has lived in Manhattan for the past five years. She gave us a walking tour of downtown and while we waited for lunch we sat down to feed the baby. She ordered coffee, we ordered wine, she said 'thank god' and changed her order to wine. Then explained to us that it's not really the done thing to order wine without food and she says she gets funny looks for ordering a bottle even if she's with four girl friends all wanting to drink the same wine!
We took this to heart and saturated ourselves for the rest of our time there. I did notice that when we went out in the evening there were more people drinking, even on a Monday night, than I expected, but mostly men in suits. My absolute favourite place to go for a drink (we went twice) was the Waldorf Astoria. If I lived in Manhattan this is where most of my money would go. The Bull and Bear bar is the most atmospheric fun, luxurious and friendly place to have a drink - the first time we turned up we had a baby in a pram and they didn't bat an eyelash though I'm sure that was not really ok. Their martini's (made with Grey Goose if you prefer vodka to gin) are lethal and the St Champagne (my choice - champagne, St. Germain and a lemon twist) is probably my new favourite drink. Definitely worth going to but the bill may be eye watering. The Campbell Apartment looks like nothing special during the day but is great fun at night and apparently has secret holes in the walls from prohibition. My mumma and I had a drink at the Algonquin - famous for housing such literary types as Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward - but it wasn't quite up to the Bull and Bear for us. If you are a fan of the 1920s and 30s which I am then these bars are heaven.
|Breakfast at the Rock Centre Cafe watching the skaters|
|The boys having lunch at the Oyster Bar and Restaurant|
|The sushi sashimi mirowaise at Tsushima|
On the last night Joe and I went on a hot date to Smith and Woollensky where my husband had been 10 years before and where we were served by the same waiter. Now my husband had built this place up and although my eyes watered at the cost of our New Yorker steak it was incredibly delicious, cooked how we'd asked for it and in no need of any starters, sides or puddings. It also had an wonderful buzzy atmosphere and was jam packed on a Thursday.
|The bar at Smith and Wollensky|