You probably already know (because quite frankly, I haven’t shut up about it), but I recently went to New York City to celebrate my 21st Birthday. I’m very lucky that my sister, Emma, and her husband live there, so rather than fork out ££££ for a hotel, I get to crash in her apartment, meaning more dollar to spend on activities . As this was my second time visiting The Big Apple, I knew it was going to be a birthday to remember and have been so excited to share what I got up to!
We started off the day lounging around in our PJ’s as we did most mornings, but rather than a cup of tea in hand, we had champagne! My sister had baked a boozy triple chocolate roulade which was insanely delicious and incredibly photo-worthy (shame on me for not getting a good pic – sorry Em!), so it’s safe to say I had the best birthday breakfast EVER!
Being our first full day in New York, we thought it would be nice to get out and enjoy the sunshine and go for a walk – we went down to the piers with views of Brooklyn Bridge, walked past the Stock Exchange and ended up in Little Italy where we decided to grab some lunch on one of the cute little Italian restaurants with outdoor tables. With a bellini in hand, I enjoyed a chicken, tomato & pesto flatbread sandwich to fuel me for the day ahead.
We then went onto our first activity of the day – Meow Parlour! Meow Parlour is a ‘cat cafe’ – basically, it’s a room full of cats with toys, cushions and tables all free for the cats to roam. What’s even better is that the cats are all up for adoption, meaning rather than being stuck in a cage they have a great home, and it also lets people see the cat’s personality better. You can also choose to purchase bakery goods from their partnered cafe to consume in the premises, but we didn’t do that – I just wanted to pet the kitties!! This was so fun, especially as some of the cats were really playful and slept in the cutest places – my favourite had to be the cat who decided to make the shoe rack his bed!
After the cat cafe, it was time to head home to relax a little and get ready for the night ahead – Emma had booked us a table at the gorgeous Top of The Standard bar, so it was full glam in terms of my makeup and outfit! I wore a Missguided dress, New Look shoes, the Tiffany necklace Emma had given me earlier for my birthday and an Accessorize bag, and opted for a smokey eye with a pop of glitter and a dark red lip.
After a bit of a disaster with my fake eyelashes and an uber that never turned up, we eventually made it to The Standard before our time slot ran out, and boy am I glad we made it. This bar is just WOW. Beautiful. I felt like I’d walked right into a set in The Great Gatsby! The waitresses are all wearing the cutest little metallic outfits, the bar men are in white tux’s and as you sit and sip on your fancy ass cocktail overlooking New York City, a live band and singer are playing in the background! Although we only had two drinks here due to a dinner reservation, it was so amazing and I would highly recommend it!
The best uber of my life took us on to our next location; Olio e Piú, a gorgeous Italian restaurant where I experienced the best carbonara to ever grace my taste buds. Our waiter was super fab and upon realising it was my 21st birthday, he sorted us out with Mozzarella sticks and ice cream on the house. I also loved the feel of this restaurant – plants everywhere, folding doors open onto the outdoor seating on the street – it was just so lovely!
Our main activity of the night (apart from dinner – food is always the main activity in my life), was to go and see Shane Hampsheir perform at a Jazz Club. Emma was lucky enough to find out about the show due to mutual friends – it turns out Shane often performs around my local area back home in the UK and it was actually his first ever NYC show! How exciting!
The Jazz club was exactly what I pictured a NYC jazz club to look like – dimly lit, well decorated, fancy red curtains and intimate. So intimate, in fact, I think the boys were glad to stretch their legs and get out of our small booth after the performance! I’ve always enjoyed Jazz music, but I wouldn’t say I’ve ever actively gone out of my way to listen to it, but Shane’s performance has made me fall a little bit in love! Shane was a great host flowing between songs with ease and making the crowd laugh and his voice – well, it’s amazing! DAYUM that man can sing! Highlight of the night had to be when Shane walked into the crowd, grabbed my sister’s phone as she was recording him, took it onto stage and proceeded to film himself singing! Hilarious! I can’t wait to find out when Shane is next around in my local bars so I can see him perform again!
After maybe one too many at the jazz club, we made a group decision that our night could not end there, and proceeded to grab another uber. We went to Jimmy at The James – a trendy rooftop bar that had some serious vibes going for a Thursday night! This bar had awesome views, awesome cocktails and awesome music! As it was quite late, it was fairly empty, so we managed to get a nice seat for a final cocktail and chat before heading home for the evening.
I had such an amazing birthday in New York and it will definitely be one to remember! If you’re going to NYC anytime soon, I highly recommend ALL of the places mentioned above – not one disappointed. A massive thank you to Emma & George for putting together such a perfect day!
Pssst – grab your first £15 & under ride with uber for FREE with the code ‘JODETOPIA’