Firstly, New York is the best quick city break... It really is not that far and if you are only there for 56 hours.. then you never really get jet lagged, just tired but you are in the land of great coffee..so go for a double shot!!
Secondly, so I have basically said what is the point in going anywhere else in New York City other than SoHo and of course, I would be wrong.. ALL of New York City is amazing!!!
But if you have a limited time and you have not been to NYC before, you cannot go wrong with SoHo. Away from the trappings of Mid Town and the expense of the Upper East Side, SoHo has a cool vibe...it is where all the cool New Yorkers hang out. It is perfect for small eateries, great selection of hotels and just the best shopping along the infamous cobbled streets and squeezed between the legendary fire escape ladders. I mean, if you want to feel like Carrie Bradshaw (and tbh, don't we all secretly??) you can wonder the streets in whatever takes your fancy.... ANYTHING goes and no one blinks an eyelid!
Where to stay
The Crosby Street Hotel if your budget allows...it is amazing and after all, it is designed by the fabulous Kit Kemp.
The Citizen M Hotel Bowery was where I stayed. Rooms are small but perfectly formed and the art was very cool if Spiderman and quirky dogs are your thing. I really enjoyed my stay there immensely and the roof top bar was a perfect sundowner spot!
AirBnB can never be ignored. I have seen a two bedroom apartment available and if there were 4 of you, it is £50 per person per night!!
(this image is taken from the @airbnb website.)
Where to Eat
Balthazar is an institution and stalwart of SoHo. It is where all the New Yorkers go to get a taste of France. This pastiche of a Parisien Brasserie is always rammed but the atmosphere is really fun and the steak frites is always delicious!
Sadelles for brunch. The queue is down the street but it is worth the wait. The only problem was that I couldn't decide what to have. The New York Bagel with salmon or the french toast...so I had both...greedy I know but delicious!!
Upside Pizza for those slices that you can cram into your mouth at a moments notice when flagging from slight fatigue.
Jack's Wife Freda is one of those places where you can just watch the world go by, either sitting on the street or perched at the bar. Great salads and delicious fries.
Where to Shop
Not only is there a mini Bloomingdales on Broadway just south of Prince Street but there are all the other shops and brands that you expect to see when in America that include Banana Republic, Lulu Lemon and Nike. Sadly gone are the days of buying everything so much cheaper with the strong pound against the dollar, so you have to be careful! But here are my top shops that I loved visiting.
Sea by New York is a small brand from NYC. Visit their shop and you can hear and see the commotion of their head office in the back.
Unfashional is on Broadway and has amazing vintage finds.
Loeffler and Randall was annoyingly shut when I tried to visit but thank goodness they have a website!
Jenni Kayne for both a wonderful home store but a matching clothing store not that far away.
Supreme for that skater boy in your family. I have one and he is very lucky as the t-shirts were quite punchy!!
Crate and Barrel is always on my list.
Aritzia will hopefully have a store opening in the UK but until then we will just have to wait and hope that they ship to the UK!!
I have missed many shops and restaurants and pizza spots and hotels BUT that is what I love about the area...there are just too many to choose from. Head into Little Italy for pasta, walk up through to Bleeker St and the Meatpackers District for Johns Pizza and more shops.
And please do not forget the High Line as this is one of the only ways you can hear the birds.