One of my ongoing resolutions for the past four or five years has been to shake up my wardrobe a little, and I’m predicting somewhat of a seismic shift come Spring time; with a new season comes change, or so they say.
I figure the best way to get the ball rolling is with small changes, and if there’s one thing I can’t seem to get enough of in my wardrobe, it’s the pleated skirt. This metallic beauty from RUBY has definitely upped the ante; it’s just enough out of my comfort zone to feel different while complementing what I wear on the daily. It makes the wardrobe classic anything but basic, and definitely one of the ‘new’ essentials that I think you need in your closet.
Paired with an off the shoulder wrap top – which are so ubiquitous at the moment that they’ve basically become a wardrobe necessity – it’s a little more ballet beautiful than the simple (read: rolled out of bed and threw on a plain sweater) nonchalence I typically go for, but it’s the kind of romantic pairing which has me feeling excited about experimenting with my wardrobe again.
Even though I’m basically still on lockdown until the wedding (which is frighteningly only two and a half months away…), I’m looking forward to branching out and really, truly exploring the boundaries of my personal style.
* The cecelia pleat skirt in blush will be launching this October, so keep your eyes peeled on the RUBY new arrivals section if you’re keen to get your hands on one of these beauties alternatively you can pick it up now in black which is equally stunning!
San Francisco is the type of city that you really need to discover, to truly fall in love. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of home; and I mean home home. The windy little city of Wellington, whose residents are its most loyal and staunch supporters, cheerleaders, and fans.
For me, it wasn’t until my second trip that I discovered the magic of the Bay, and while our time in the city was short, it was definitely sweet. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share how I’d spend a day in San Francisco…
Breakfast at Plow
I typically like to start my day with a simple bowl of steel cut oats – the breakfast of champions! – but breakfast or an early brunch at Plow (1299 18th St, San Francisco CA 94107) is definitely excuse enough to mix things up a little. Their menu is simple, organic and locally sourced, and despite the queues (the wait for a table can often be up to an hour), it’s definitely well worth the wait.
Spend the morning browsing the racks of the Everlane Fit Studio
San Francisco is home to one of my favourite labels, Everlane and I was lucky enough to drop by their light-filled offices while I was in the Bay area, ahead of the launch of their new Fit Studio. If you’re the type that likes to try before you buy, it’s worth dropping in and having a browse through the racks before pulling the trigger on those pieces you’ve been eying up; shopping online can be a tricky affair as it is, without having to question which size to get! If you can only nip away with one piece, I’d highly recommend investing in one of their cashmere sweaters, without a doubt a firm favourite of mine, and unlike cheaper (and sometimes pricier) alternatives, it’s really gone the distance.
Grab lunch at a Tacqueria in the Mission District
The heart of the Mission District is conveniently located about two blocks away – give or take – from Everlane HQ, making it the perfect spot to rest your feet after spending a couple hours browsing through Everlane’s complete catalogue.
La Tacqueria (2889 Mission St, San Francisco CA 94110) comes highly recommended for some authentic Mexican fare. It’s definitely a no frills restaurant (but let’s be real, all the truly authentic spots typically are!) and if you drop in, be sure to order one of their famed traditional style, rice-free burritos.
If you’re feeling like something a little lighter, or completely meat – and dairy – free, Gracias Madre (2211 Mission St, San Francisco CA 94110) is an excellent option (they also have an LA outpost which is excellent). Grab one of their eggplant tacos and a bowl of their homemade tortilla chips with guac, and be sure to add some of their home made salsas. If memory serves me correctly, their red pepper salsa has a nice amount of kick to it!
Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
This is an absolute must if you’re in San Fran, and it’s such a rewarding experience, especially on a particularly foggy morning. Personally, I’d recommend walking (it’s much easier if the bikes only path has been closed off) as it allows you to really take in the scope of the bridge, and the sweeping views of San Francisco, submerged in thick fog. For a truly spectacular view, take the tunnel which tucks under the base of the bridge, and trek up the mountain ahead – the hike is a lot shorter than it looks, and the payoff is incredible. Keep in mind that if you do decide to walk, it’ll take you a good three hours to get across the bridge and back, and be sure to have a thick scarf and a warm jacket as the winds can kick up around the Bay.
Stop by the Painted Ladies…
And have yourself a Full House moment… It’s quite possibly one of the most touristy things that you can do in San Fran, but one of the only ones that will fill you with a huge sense of nostalgia. Because everywhere you go…
Having a refreshing drink (and an oyster or two) in the Ferry Building
An afternoon of sightseeing is enough to get my apetite going, and Hog Island (located in the Ferry Building) is the perfect spot to kick off your evening with a glass of bubbly and half a dozen oysters or so. Aside from acting as a terminal for ferries that travel across the bay, it’s also home to an indoor marketplace, which is well worth browsing. If you’re pressed for time, I’d highly recommend taking five minutes to have a gander round Heath Ceramics which is overflowing with incredibly beautiful servingware and vases.
End your day with a meal at Twenty Five Lusk
With brick walls and exposed beams, Twenty Five Lusk (25 Lusk St, San Francisco CA 94107), located in an old brick warehouse is like a little slice of New York in San Francisco. The space has a great ambience, and with an extensive cocktail list you’re bound to find a drink (or few) to unwind after a day spent exploring the city.
A few parting thoughts
San Francisco can get extremely chilly, even during the summertime, so be sure to bring something warm to wear with you. As the fog does burn off over the course of the day, you’ll find it’ll heat up in the mid-afternoon, so having layers that you can take off definitely helps.
Cab drivers might not necessarily know where it is that you want to go, so do yourself a favour and book an Uber instead (they have GPS!). If you do find yourself in a cab, be prepped in advance with which cross streets you need to be dropped off at.
Even if it isn’t your thing, the Hop On Hop Off buses are a great way to get to all the key areas of the city. Most buses depart around Fisherman’s Wharf, and you can pick up a ticket on the day if needed.
If visiting Alcatraz is an absolute must for you, then do be sure to book in advance. While you can try your luck on the day, there are limited places on the tours and these often do sell out so if this is do or die for you, it’s best to get in early.
Lastly, one of the things I found is that eating out in San Fran tends to be a lot more expensive than say… New York or L.A. I’d suggest adding $50USD or so to your daily budget just to cover any additional expenses so that you don’t find yourself blowing your budget!
It may be completely out of my comfort zone, but there’s just something about this dress. It’s not often that you’ll see me wearing a ‘pop’ of colour, or any colour at all, truth be told, but I couldn’t help but make an exception for this little red number. It’s a classic with a twist; a simple shift style cut with a knot detail adorning the hem of the sleeves.
From RUBY’s new spring collection, ‘No Drama’, it seemed to be the perfect piece to throw into my suitcase for a special night out, and a dress that I wouldn’t mind reaching for more than once. Keeping things simple, I opted for a pair of low heeled sandals (which in themselves make a statement…) and a small black bag, as the dress really does seem to speak for itself, and stand on its own in the busy streets of New York.
We took these snaps right before heading up to A60 (60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012), a rooftop bar in Soho. As it turned out when we arrived – because I’m never one to check this in advance – access to the bar is for hotel guests only, though the concierge was kind enough to swipe us up to the roof. The rooftop bar overlooks the city, and is a spectacular vantage point to watch the sun set over New York, if you can manage to sneak yourself in…
Not being ones to end the night there, we left as the sun had almost set, for a dinner reservation at Nobu (105 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013). For those of you planning a trip to New York in the near future, I highly, highly recommend booking in at Nobu; it’s a meal that you definitely will not forget! x
Walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in the bitter cold, with wind whipping our hair and lapping at our jackets, was completely worth it just for this view alone. There’s a certain kind of magic in the air, as the thick fog sweeps across the bay, engulfing the bridge and the city around it; you can’t help but fall in love with San Francisco.
Be still my beating heart. New York; it’s a city that never sleeps… and a city that steals my heart and takes my breath away in one fell swoop.
The first stop on the US leg of the trip, we walked the city until our feet were tired and our bellies were full. We stayed for just under a week, which is just long enough to take in everything that this magnetic city has to offer.
E A T & D R I N K Egg Shop | 151 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
After a week of eating pasta, pizza and cheese, Egg Shop was a welcome reprieve and one of our first stops upon arriving in New York. Queues for a table can get up to 90 minutes (or more) on the weekend so drop in on a weekday morning to avoid lining up.
The Butcher’s Daughter | 19 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012
Just across the road from Egg Shop is the Butcher’s Daughter, which was recommended to me by my cousin. The menu is simple – egg soldiers with toast, granola with coconut yoghurt, and avocado on toast – but they do they basics well, with a little twist. Oh, and did I mention that the menu is almost completely vegan and 100% dairy free? Try one of their almond milk shakes.. they’re some of the best that I’ve tried!
Luke’s Lobster | 26 S William St, New York, NY 10004
I’m always impressed by how generous the lobster servings are in the US, and Luke’s Lobster is no exception. Refreshingly simple and utterly delicious, a combo meal (with a drink and chips) will only set you back $18. There are a few locations round the city but we dropped in at their S William St store, a stones throw away from Wall Street and Battery Park.
Shake Shack | Madison Square Park, Madison Ave & E.23rd St, New York, NY 10010
It’s true what they say, Shake Shack really does live up to the hype. Opt for a classic burger with fries and a shake, or the shroom burger if you’re a vegetarian, and you won’t be disappointed. There are a couple of Shake Shack’s around the city but if you ask me, I think you’re best off going to the original in Madison Square Park, if just for the ambiance alone. There’s usually a bit of a queue but don’t let that deter you – their burgers are definitely worth the wait.
Katz Deli | 205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Katz is a New York institution, and the place to go if you’re craving a pastrami sandwich. It might not look like much from the outside (or the inside, if I’m being honest!), but this deli is serious about its sandwiches and should be at the top of the hit list for a sneaky sarnie after a big night on the town.
Momofuku Milk Bar | 251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
If you have a sweet tooth – like I do – then Momofuku Milk Bar should definitely be on your hit list. Pick up one of their cookies to nibble on as you wander the streets of New York, or grab their infamous cereal milk soft serve; it’s definitely worth the wait.
Doughnut Plant | 220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
While I’ll usually grab an ice cream over a glazed doughnut any day, Doughnut Plant takes doughnuts to a whole other level. Seriously. Do yourself a favour and order a half dozen – they’re that good. My favourites were hands down the Tres Leches – which is as decadent as it sounds – and the Blueberry Cream – with enough fresh berries tucked into the dough to convince yourself that it’s a “healthy” treat.
Nobu | 105 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
If there’s one place that I had been absolutely dying to go to, it was Nobu. After reading some reviews I was feeling a little bit hesitant about our choice, but trust me when I say it more than exceeded my expectations. The food is mouth-wateringly delicious, and the portions are generously sized. For a party of two, you can expect the bill to set you back about $300 (including tip) – give or take – and you’ll leave feeling blissfully content. The restaurant is typically packed every night so make sure to book ahead; reservations open one month in advance, and you’re more likely to get a reasonable time on a weeknight. If you do make a booking, be sure to order the rock shrimp tempura in a spicy sauce – you can thank me later!
Happy Bones | 394 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Good coffee isn’t hard to find in New York these days, and one of my favourite coffee spots is hands down Happy Bones. Located a hop, skip and a jump away from Egg Shop, this tiny coffee shop makes a mean flat white and is a great place to rest your legs and refuel before hitting the pavement of New York, hard.
S E E & D O Ride bikes through Central Park
If there’s one way I’d describe Central Park, it’s as an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle; lush, green and calm, it’s a stark contrast to the frenetic energy of the city that never sleeps. While you can walk the park by foot, the best way to take in the size, and the greenery is by bike. Bike hires are available from the southern end of the park or from Tavern on the Green. I’d recommend hiring your bike from the latter; a full lap of the park will take you just under an hour with no stops, and the Tavern on the Green is the perfect place to refuel and rehydrate (with a glass of Prosecco!) after doing a lap (or two!) of the park.
Take in the view from the Top of the Rock
One of my favourite ways to see the city is from above – it has a charm and a beauty that just can’t be captured when exploring the city by foot. I’ve been to the top of the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock and if you can only do one, I’d recommend the latter as it affords you the same stunning views, but with the iconic Empire State Building in the skyline. The best time to visit is during sunset – the view is absolutely spectacular!
Visit Lady Liberty
There’s nothing more iconic in New York than Lady Liberty herself, and if you have time, it’s worth taking a few hours out of your morning to head across to Liberty Island. A reserve ticket will get you across to both Liberty & Ellis Island, and a round trip takes approximately 1 hour, give or take, with boats departing every 20 minutes. The base of the statue can get a little crowded to say the least, so for a great vantage point be sure to be seated near a window or outside on the side of the boat closest to the dock as you enter.
See a Broadway show
In a city like New York, you can usually get away with taking each day as it comes – no reservations necessary. However probably the only thing that I would recommend booking ahead, is a show on Broadway. After hearing incredible things about the Book of Mormon, we decided to book in and I don’t think we could have picked a better show. Prepare to spend the entire evening in a fit of laughter!
Drop by the New York Public Library
You could easily spend an entire afternoon wandering around the New York Public Library, though if you don’t have time, it’s still worth dropping by the lobby just to take in this beautiful building – especially if you’re a Ghostbusters fan.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
While we didn’t manage to fit this in on our trip, but a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge during sunrise or sunset is definitely worth squeezing in to your itinerary.
Go back in time at the Museum of Natural History
When it comes to art, history and culture, you’re spoilt for choice in NYC, though if you’ve only got time to visit one museum, then the Museum of Natural History is an absolute must. It’s practically impossible to see the entire museum in one day, so use the map you receive upon entering to plan out your route. If you’re short on time, I’d hightail it up to level 4 to see the dinosaur exhibits (there are four halls in total), as the entry fee* is worth it for that alone.
* While it’s not overly clear, the entry fee is a suggested price so feel free to pay as little, or as much, as you’d like.
Explore the Highline from start to finish
Once an old railway line, the Highline has since been converted into a park and walkway that spans from 11th Ave & 34th St in Hells Kitchen to 14th St in the Meatpacking District. The park is 1.45 miles long and from start to finish, will probably take a good 30-45 minutes to walk, depending on your pace. It gets incredibly busy on weekends so try pop by early on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
S H O P
Even though I had thoroughly convinced myself that a trip to the shops was off the cards, no trip to New York is complete without an afternoon (or a day!) spent browsing – and purchasing the odd ‘souvenir’ – from some of the incredible shops scattered around the city.
Some of my personal favourites include…
The Apartment by the Line | 76 Greene St, New York, NY 10012
Come for the apartment, stay for the shoes… The Apartment by the Line was everything that I’d expected, and then some. This light filled Soho apartment is a must see, and be prepared to spend some serious time browsing – everything in the apartment (except for the kitchen and bath) is entirely shoppable; transforming a typical shopping experience into something that is entirely unique. I almost had to restrain myself when I reached the closet – it’s all Tabitha Simmons, Acne Studios and Proenza Schouler. I’ll take one of each, please.
Opening Ceremony | 35 Howard St, New York, NY 10013
I could quite easily whittle away an entire afternoon browsing the racks of Opening Ceremony. With so many incredible designers on their racks, you’ll find everything from Kenzo, to Proenza Schouler, to Commes des Garcons and Opening Ceremony’s own brand. Make sure to check out the sale section before you leave – OC have some of the best sales I’ve ever come across (think 70-75% off RRP).
Acne Studios | 33 Greene St, New York, NY 10013
Need I say any more? A favourite of mine in Sydney, I can’t resist popping into their stores while travelling too, even though a leather jacket from the iconic Scandinavian label will set you back the cost of more than a month’s rent.
Madewell | Broadway & Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Probably best known for their iconic transport tote, Madewell is one of my first stops when looking for timeless basics and easy throw on pieces for the weekend.
J. Crew | 91 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003
While I can shop from J. Crew from the comfort of my bed at home, it’s still a favourite of mine to pop into. The store is always beautifully and colourfully merchandised, and as sizing can vary between styles (shoes included), I prefer the experience of shopping instore before making my purchase.
S T A Y
While both times I’ve visited New York, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay with family away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I thought I’d share a couple of hotels worth staying in if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple…
NoMo Soho | 9 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013
Conveniently located in the heart of Soho – and a short walk to Canal St station – this contemporary and decadent hotel is the stuff that dreams are made of. Bar the fact that the entrance alone is spectacular, the hotel has some of the best panoramic views in the city.
Wythe Hotel | 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
If Manhattan isn’t really your thing, the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn can’t be beat. Housed in a historic 1901 factory building in Williamsburg, the hotel has great views of the Manhattan skyline and East River.
While I feel it’s completely impossible to even scrape the surface of everything that New York City has to offer, this is definitely a good place to start…