Bar Car Nights at the NYBG Holiday Train Show

The annual New York Botanical Gardens’ Holiday Train show is a delight for both children and an architecture junky like me. Over 150 scaled historic, iconic New York buildings and bridges are recreated by Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination with stunning detail in leaves, twigs, nuts and bark, set amongst the tropical landscape of the Enid Haupt Conservatory.


It’s really quite magical. This year for the first time, I attended one of the Bar Car Nights – strictly adults only! Continue reading

Afternoon Tea at The Mandarin Oriental

I’ve not had afternoon tea for several years so while my Mum was here in New York a few months ago, I thought it would be fun to try out somewhere new. I settled on The Mandarin Oriental because their menu sounded interesting, afternoon tea with an international twist, and I knew the view from their lobby lounge over Central Park was perfect for the out-of-town visitor – to give them a real “New York” experience.


It was a delicious and memorable afternoon. The staff was terrific – friendly, professional and accommodating. We turned up late in the afternoon without a reservation, but they quickly seated us and pulled the afternoon tea together in a matter of minutes. And the view did not disappoint. In late September, Central Park was still a carpet of emerald greenery.

The scones were a particular favourite – partly because I haven’t had a proper scone since leaving Sydney seven years ago. Light, warm, crumbly with a hint of ginger. I also loved all the savoury sandwiches. The flavours were perfectly balanced. I chose to drink English Breakfast tea, the Rose of New York tea was very tempting, but I wanted to make sure the flavour of the tea didn’t interfere with the other delicacies.

Definitely somewhere I will go back to. Continue reading

Taste the Village West

The Crowd at PS 41's Taste The West Village

Thanks to a great tip from a fellow foodie friend, I spend a delightful couple of hours this afternoon stuffing my face with delicious food, cocktails  and wine at PS 41 in Greenwich Village. This is a mini food festival that supports PS 41’s Green Rooftop Program.

I sampled a number of tasty morsels from establishments like One If By Land, Two If By Sea; Commerce; The Highlands; Mae Mae Cafe and August. Milagro had a delicious agave juice and raspberry margarita and then I sampled a keg Semilion which was surprisingly drinkable. Crisp and summery and did not remind me of apple cider like most Semilions usually do.

The Aussie Chef at One If By Land, Two If By Sea preparing the tasty morsels (a Melbournite & Collingwood supporter)

The finished product

Corn Vanilla Pannacotta

A Ditch Dog: a mini hotdog on a Brioche bun topped with mac & cheese

A yummy apricot 'newton' from Mae Mae Cafe

Perfect New York Satuday

I had the most wonderful new York Saturday yesterday. I met an acquaintance to visit some Chelsea Art galleries, in particular to see the Lichtenstein and Monet exhibits at the Gagosian Galleries. We also stumbled across some beautiful Chagall sketches in another gallery that were surprisingly affordable ($1,200 – $1,500) and a collection of Richard Avedon’s iconic photography from the Avedon/Paris portfolio. It was one of those moments I was so grateful to be living in this fabulous city. Only in New York could you get museum quality exhibitions of priceless works of art for free.

We then strolled along the Highline which was lushly planted with native grasses and wildflowers. With a gentle breeze blowing off the East River it was just lovely.

To top it all off we had a great bruch at Calicchio & Sons splitting breakfast pizza with sunny side up eggs, prosciutto, fontina and spring onions and then brioche pain perdu with smoked maple syrup – so good!