18 August 2022

The famous lights of Times Square
How to do New York in high heels
On her first trip to the Big Apple, Korin Nolan glams up for serious shopping and champagne
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e pulled up in a yellow cab and were mgreeted by them supersmart staff at the Ritz Carlton, only to find ourselves checking in at the same time as Jerry Springer - just one of several celebrities we would see. Outside, snow had started to fall softly. What a way to begin a trip to New York City. I was travelling with Sasha Parker, my best friend and coauthor of our book How To Cook In High Heels.

After tipping the bellboy who delivered our bags to our luxury suite overlooking Central Park, we became so excited by our first trip to the Big Apple that we couldn’t resist jumping up and down on the huge beds. Then we headed down to the hotel’s Club Lounge, which serves complimentary champagne and canapes virtually around the clock. That night, we also managed to acquire free tickets to a concert by the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theatre. Sasha and I were told they were hugely famous, but I must confess we didn’t have a clue who they were.

Sitting a few seats away from us was Kelsey Grammer, who starred in the hit American TV comedy Frasier. I was more excited about seeing him than the band. Early the next day, we took a cab to Macy’s department store. I wasn’t that impressed, to be honest - perhaps I’ve been spoiled by having Selfridges and Harrods on my doorstep. I was much more excited at finding a super-sized Victoria’s Secret lingerie store on the opposite side of the road. I bought a few things for myself - it just had to be done. Sasha and I were so engrossed in the city that we had neglected to buy a map to help us get around. Still, we managed to stumble upon Times Square, where we stopped for lunch at The Brooklyn Diner.
Famous Central Park
The rooftop bar area of the uber-cool Ink48
That evening we took a cab to the trendy Bubble Lounge bar in the Tribeca area. We sipped on some lovely champagne cocktails and munched our way through the entire canape menu, which included tuna tartare and mouth-watering mini-burgers.

The Bubble Lounge is apparently a cool and sophisticated place for New Yorkers to chill out after work. With more than 300 champagnes and sparkling wines on offer, I could see why it’s so appealing. On our third day, we decided it was time to get to grips with the subway. Actually, it was far less daunting than we imagined (mind you, I just let Sasha lead the way). We were heading to a meeting with a New York agent about our cookbook and to explore the possibility of doing some TV work in the United States. In the waiting room, we indulged in yet more star-spotting - sitting alongside us was a very glamorous American TV presenter. When we saw the agent, he told us he had trouble understanding our accents - now I know how Cheryl Cole felt when she met TV executives before landing a judging role on the US version of X Factor.

Afterwards, it was time for our spa treatments at the uber-cool Ink 48, where award-winning ‘facial therapist’ Kristie Orosz pampered my skin until I positively glowed. Sasha, meanwhile, had a deep relaxation massage. Pure bliss. There was just enough time to swap notes on our wonderful treatments before we checked in to our second hotel, The Kitano in Park Avenue, and then headed to one of the hottest restaurants in the city - 21 Club. Since it opened in the Twenties, everyone who is anyone has dined in the legendary Bar Room, which is understandable as the food is simply exquisite.
This restaurant probably serves the biggest portions I have ever seen in my life. If you know the scene in the film Matilda, where Miss Trunchbull makes a boy called Bruce Bogtrotter eat an entire chocolate cake, you’ll get the picture.
"Since it opened in the Twenties, everyone who is anyone has dined in the legendary Bar 21."
The Bar Room is renowned for its toy collection, which adorns the ceiling. Each toy is a gift from actors, sporting legends and even US Presidents. John F Kennedy donated a model of a PT-109 torpedo boat of the type he commanded during the Second World War. Sasha and I both felt we couldn’t come to New York without seeing Ground Zero.

We paid a visit to the Memorial Museum and, thanks to an audio commentary via headsets, we heard the heart-rending stories of survivors and the families of victims. It was incredibly moving and I’m so glad we went. New Yorkers are now building Freedom Tower on the site, which at 1,776-ft will be even taller than the Twin Towers - I’m not sure I would like to work there.
"Then it was back to our hotel, glam up and make our way to another New York institution - The Four Seasons restaurant."
Go on a shopping spree at Macy's
The land of the free: the famous Statue of Liberty
Under starters orders: The 21 Club
That afternoon, we went to the cool and trendy SoHo district, where we ambled around the eclectic shops and gazed at some of the jewellery on sale at pavement stalls. Then it was back to our hotel, glam up and make our way to another New York institution - The Four Seasons restaurant.

My main course of duck was absolutely delicious – and just when I thought I couldn’t manage another morsel, the waiters brought out a humongous ball of candy floss for us to share (you normally have to say that it’s your birthday to get one). Sasha and I agreed we could happily live in captivating New York - all we need is to land our own TV show. Time to practise our American accents perhaps.

Original article published in Jul 2011. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
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