New York Hotel Elegant Luxury

As those that have read the other New York posts will know I was there over Easter and had a truly magical time. Another place I now adore and want to return to (eek nobody tells you this about your bucket list that when you tick them off you actually want to put them back on!!!)

We stayed at a wonderful hotel called The Surrey. It had a real old school charm. After I wrote this statement I decided to check back over the website and the history of the Surrey and it is there that I discovered it was built in 1926 as a residence hotel and that it was home to many of New York’s most eccentric celebs over the years- JFK, Bette Davies and many more! It was also interesting to read that the hotel collaborated with the acclaimed interior designer Lauren Rottet (I am always fascinated by interiors working for a luxury interiors brand). The Surrey was clearly along this journey bought by the current owners as they talk about maintaining the integrity of the history of the building whilst modernising at the same time. Rottets inspiration was a New York City townhouse passed down through the generations, the keeper of a lifetime of memories. Whilst staying there you certainly feel like it is a home from home. We encountered a couple of times and adorable tiny dog that we got the impression called The Surrey home.

The hotel based on The Upper East Side is perfectly located for exploring Central Park and walking to lots of the key attractions or just a short cab ride away.

Our room was a little on the small side but and my only other regret within this beautiful hotel was that we didn’t have a room with a view however I mustn’t grumble as we weren’t even in the room hardly at all and when we were as soon as our heads hit the pillow we were asleep.

After checking in I decided I needed to sample my first New York Cosmopolitan- divine!

Another area of the hotel I just adored was the lobby, there was always lots happening here and you could hear the tinkling of the piano in the bar. There was also a huge painting of Kate Moss which was a really interesting addition to the lobby.

the doormen at this hotel were absolutely adorably friendly. The concierge were also outstanding and managed to get us 5th row seats at Denzel Washington on Broadway ‘Raisin In The Sun’ that had been sold out for months.

A beautiful, classic hotel I would love to return at Christmas time…fingers crossed!

132_180_b 132_208_b

Final night in New York

Before I tell you about my latest travels I realised I hadn’t yet written about the final evening in New York and the amazing bar I discovered! After a dinner at a ‘locals’ restaurant called ‘The Union Square Café.’ It pulled at my heart strings because we were seated next to a lady who was celebrating her 80th birthday and was out with her friend and she was blind. The staff recognised her and said they hadn’t seen her for a while (I overheard them talking to her.) Old age makes me sad. I know how quickly years go and you never feel older than in your twenties but unfortunately you just are!

The food was delicious, the staff super friendly and there is beautiful art on the walls. From here we had heard of two secret bars. Here is the link to the restaurant if you want to check it out! http://unionsquarecafe.com/

Now we had heard about speakeasy type bars being ‘the’ thing to do at the moment in NY. It was our last night and last chance to get out and about and try these. So first we went to Raines Law Room. Unfortunately it had a 45 minute wait. I think this is A) down to the locations being small and B) to keep the mystique. So the doorman offers to take your number and text you when you can comeback. We had to decline due to worrying about our early flight and so we went on to PDT (Please Don’t Tell).

Same thing a 45 minute wait but this time with no other options nearby I was determined to experience a secret bar before we travelled home.

So we went next door, a wonderful jazz bar called 10 degrees http://www.10degreesbar.com/) by interrupting some locals and asking them the best place to go for a drink (one turned out to be the owner.) So inside we sat next to the jazz band and enjoyed a wine (well I did Mr CD went for beer.) 45 minutes went quickly and we went back in to the hot dog joint. Oh yes this is the bit I haven’t told you yet. The bar is inside a hotdog place but not just a hotdog place a hotdog place with a secret bar. You go into a phone booth inside the hotdog place and dial an old fashioned dialler phone in the booth and speak to someone who adds you to the list. When it is your time you go back into the booth and dial through and the door lady opens a secret door and lets you through. The bar is bigger than you would expect and really cosy you feel like you are part of a secret scene and that’s a super cool feeling. http://pdtnyc.com/

Please-Dont-Tell

 

 

 

 

 

Humpback whales in Sydney

If you regularly read the blog you will have read my post about finally seeing whales near Bondi beach whilst they were migrating. Now on our trip I only saw one breech out of the sea very far from the boat but the company who took us out also had pictures of the whales they had seen on previous trips and the pictures were really special so I thought I would share some with you. Although it would of been even more amazing if one had breeched near the boat I didn’t mind that it didn’t because it’s just precious to be seeing whales in their natural habitat something I had always dreamed of doing.

2 13 24 16 40 48 22

 

Jewellery for sale

I have intended to set up a jewellery site for a while but for now I am putting some of the items on my blog. Below is a small variety of the pieces I have available. Each piece has been hand picked by me and I adore every item. For any questions please email amandacouzensdavies@aol.com items will be sent first class and I accept payment by paypal or bacs.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think! xXx

Lily Bracelet  Also available in Black and   Electric Blue.  Shown here in Silver Grey.

Lily Bracelet
Also available in Black and Electric Blue.
Shown here in Silver Grey.

Lily Bracelet In Electric Blue.  Also available in Black and Pale Silver.

Lily Bracelet
In Electric Blue.
Also available in Black and Silver Grey.

These bracelets are also available with gold beads and charm.

Lacey Necklace Also available in Black leather or Tan leather.

Lacey Necklace
Also available in Black leather or Tan leather.

Beautiful Love Necklace with the caption on the side 'Love is all around'.

Beautiful Love Necklace with the caption on the side ‘Love is all around.’

Love Necklace side view with the 'love is all around' engraving.

Love Necklace side view with the ‘love is all around’ engraving.

Wondrous whales in Sydney

On my bucket list for a while has been whale watching. I wanted to do it when I noticed you could whale watch in Cabo but it wasn’t the season. So when I was off to Sydney for work and I noticed I could whale watch it had to be done! I had one weekend in between the two weeks I was there and so I booked to do a whale watching trip. It seemed at the time a good idea to go on a small boat, the rationale- I would have more chance of seeing them on a smaller vessel from the Cabo pictures – I was wrong!

Now the waves were incredibly choppy (understatement) and everyone was incredibly nervous. You can hear on the video nervous laughter. It started so calmly but as soon as we got out to sea it got rather scary. The waves were crashing against the boat and water was flooding in. Below is a short video of this trip!

A couple of hours of painstakingly keeping our eyes peeled we still hadn’t seen a whale (sob!) but by this point with one contact lense having been blown out I was just glad to be nearly back on dry land in one piece! The boat was stopping at the area where I needed to be next but I had to get back and get a new lense as I couldn’t see!

The funniest thing about the whole whale watching adventure is that I had been doing a walk one morning and asked someone to take a picture for me and they asked if I saw the whale. Of course I had missed it and been completely oblivious whilst changing the settings on my camera!

On the Sunday I hadn’t given up hope and I was allowed to return for free as we hadn’t seen any whales yet! This company offers a guarantee which is really good. This time I chose a larger boat as it was the bigger boat the day before that had seen a whale. It was near Bondi Beach that we first set eyes on two whales swimming along, breathtaking! These whales were humpback whales. Whilst we were with the whales they didn’t breach fully out of the sea but as the boat left the area I was watching from the back of the boat in the direction we were moving away from and saw one breach out of the sea. We were the last boat to leave and it was as though the whale was saying I wont perform for you when you’re there but now you have gone I will pop out of the sea.

It was so beautiful even to see what we did of the whales. I will never forget it! Pictures below.. I also bought a memory stick containing images from the other trips the company has run where they have had whales breach and in a separate post I will share some of those pictures as well. Bucket list…tick! Let me know what you think!

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

AY9U7582

Whale Watching

 

 

Magnificent Maleficent

Maleficent is a fictional character from Walt Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty and the name of the latest Disney movie that I have wanted to watch for a while.

I wanted to go to Disney my whole life and it’s every little girls dream and now at 32 it finally came true! I had a magical day at Disney Florida on Saturday and it was as amazing as I thought it would be (but more of that another day.)

Everyone knows a Disney movie will be outstanding and this completely delivered. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent a vengeful fairy that is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to her troubled land.

At one point the film features Jolie’s own daughter as no other child actor could play the role as they were too frightened by Jolie as the Maleficent character. The soundtrack was as fabulous as the effects and the acting. A truly magical movie A+++.

Disney-Maleficent-Angelina-Jolie

MaleficentJolie’s daughter in the film.

MaleficentOne of the stills from the film.

 

 

The Fault In Our Stars

I’ve just flown back from the US and my summer vacation and watched two superb movies. The first- A fault in our stars. I wanted to see this when it was in the cinema. I have the book ready to read but I couldn’t resist watching the movie first. I’m kind of glad I watched it on a plane in the corner by the window as it was SUCH an emotional film. I challenge you to watch this and not shed a tear as I just don’t think it’s possible. We saw a little girl at Disney who was in a wheelchair and you could tell was very sick and it kept making me think of that. Everyone now has lost someone to cancer and this film pulls on the heart strings.

It follows the story of Hazel on her journey with cancer and her relationship with Augustus Waters. It is beautifully written and has so many special and poignant moments. A never forget it film.

The Fault In Our Stars

Cute Koala’s in Sydney

I have soooo many amazing Aus tales to tell but first I’ve got to pack as I go on holiday V early Thursday and I’m totally unprepared this time! So for now just one of my favourite snaps from my last trip! This little chap was super cute! You can’t hold a koala now in Sydney and I was kind of glad because apparently they have a longer life span! He was super sleepy and slept the whole time completely oblivious! I can’t wait to share my other pics. I was lucky enough to go whale watching which I will also never ever forget and to see an amazing musical. I definitely made the most of having a weekend in Sydney.

20140826-210324.jpg

 

gb

So I am off on holiday soon and so if you spot this during the weekend and would like to guest post on my blog just drop me a comment on here with your email and I will drop you a mail with my details.

I am happy to take articles about restaurants, hotels, travel destinations, fashion, beauty or anything else you think my readers would enjoy!

 

 

 

Just a little in love with Liberty

I still have soooo much to write about including Sydney and I have so many pictures to share but for now as I need to pack for Miami just a quick post about this week! I have had a super busy working week. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a quick lunch in between meetings at the wonderful Bluebird Café. I spotted Louise from Made in Chelsea and one of the male members of the cast I think it was Alex but he had sunglasses on. All of the young girls wanted to get a picture with her and she graciously posed in between her lunch.

My other highlight of the week was a stroll around Liberty and the scarf hall. I had forgotten how amazing it is in there. The scarves are beautiful and displayed so carefully. They were steaming the display whilst I was there. They also show you exactly how to tie a scarf and they have videos on how to tie your scarf in multiple ways. I got to see the digital Burberry store and was wowed by the size of the huge screen in the main hall it would be wonderful for events. Best window display went to Selfridge’s where there was an amazing sparkly Magnum display that shone in the sunlight and drew the eye.

More from me very soon!

 

bluebirdchelsea

 

Liberty-London-1024x773

Never be a superhero…

Oh no who wants a flat car battery when they have work tomorrow… then knocking a candle off and getting wax all over the laminate flooring…not the best when all I want to do is relax!

Oh well at least I have found that I have downloaded a song that I ‘heart’ from a fellow blogger before I went away that I had forgotten about.. check it out on itunes it’s called ‘Super Hero’ you’re going to love it! It is the soundtrack to his girlfriends blog tour travel video and reminds me of adventures..let me know what you think!

Playlist

 

I’m home!!!

As some of you will remember I have been to Oz for two weeks for work! What an AMAZING adventure! I am rather suffering from jet lag today and can’t see me venturing much further than the sofa and the coffee machine! (Oh how I have missed my magical coffee machine!) Why don’t hotels have coffee machines in each of the rooms! It only costs around £35.00 to get one if you buy on an offer and the pods come out at 50p at time and with the buying power of hotels i’m sure they could get an even better deal… the 5* hotels have them the 4*’s need to raise their game!

So hence why I haven’t written for two whole weeks! In between working during the day and cramming in the sites of Sydney during the evening and weekend there hasn’t been a spare moment! It also kind of felt like the odd hastily put together post on the move wouldn’t really do the adventure justice. So look out for some lovely Sydney news in the coming weeks..

Lots of lovely social things coming up to a 40th birthday glam fest to look forward to and then my holiday to Miami and Orlando woo hoo! It’s going to be a busy few weeks! I will also draw the competition and hopefully start a new one in between all of the craziness and mayhem!

I can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s blogs and news!

Map of Australia

Map of Australia

 

Final day in NYC

I know it was yonks ago I went to NY (Easter) but I didn’t want to end the chapter! The final day was spent hoofing it round a number of areas we hadn’t yet had chance to see…

So much walking was done that my espadrille pumps were completely worn out by the end of the day! I saw Carries apartment and hung round outside you almost half expect her to come out even though it is very clearly just a set and is actually someone’s home! Other girls hang around outside taking pics and marvelling at the iconic steps! The Friends apartment which has a restaurant (red building) below, it and looks like any other apartment building but I was sooo thrilled to get the chance to see it! I also bought a pen in the Kardashian’s Dash store.

Some of my favourite things within the day were seeing puppies (but not nice seeing them in cages) people with a skipping rope in the park offering anyone the chance to jump rope. The lady who jumped rope for 5 mins then announced she was on her lunch break and had to get back to work what a cool way to spend lunch! The group of people with blow up sofas and refreshments bd a cardboard sign offering ‘free chat!’

Let’s face it New York is just so damn cool! A selection of pics below and I’m going to save one last post for the final night in New York!

20140713-224436.jpg

20140713-224445.jpg

20140713-224453.jpg

20140713-224500.jpg

20140713-224506.jpg

20140713-224521.jpg

20140713-224514.jpg

Knutsford gem!

A few weeks back I wrote about a great lunch in Knutsford at Gusto but I didn’t share all of the pics at the time so here they are in all their glory! I totally love the fried courgette probably the most unhealthy way to eat courgettes but it is immensely tasty!

How delicious do the cocktails and pud look too! They were as good as they look!

20140713-220332.jpg

20140713-220345.jpg

20140713-220352.jpg

20140713-220358.jpg

20140713-220405.jpg

20140713-220412.jpg

20140713-220419.jpg

20140713-220448.jpg

20140713-220426.jpg

20140713-220440.jpg

20140713-220454.jpg

20140713-220732.jpg

A bit of a random one but do I have any readers in Sydney?

Now a bit of a random post! I am going to Oz for my day job in marketing in 2 weeks (to Sydney). I have one friend in Sydney but typically I am going as she is back in the UK…we will catch up in my second week but I will have a whole weekend on my own.
The weekend of the 2nd and 2rd of August..

So I thought I would do a quick post in case I have any readers in Aus who fancy dinner/a drink on the Saturday night.
I know this is a little random but I thought why not! When I go to UK blogger events or marketing networking events I have to go on my own so it seemed worth a mention!
Thanks for reading xXx

Top Trainers

There are some immense trainers around at the moment and they have had a real make over! So here is my guide to my favourites around at the moment or coming soon!

First Adidas Farm collaboration, these are just so pretty! They are inspired by Brazil and fuse vibrant colours with inspirational prints…

My fave is called the ‘Gazelle OG’ and at present they are in the sale there are three colours and I love all three!

Adidas

I love the indigo shorts and sweatshirt too! http://www.adidas.co.uk/on/demandware.store/Sites-adidas-GB-Site/en_GB/Search-Show?q=farm

Next up are trainers that are not launched yet but I totally LOVE the concept! Adidas are really coming into their own this year with their trainer ideas and collaborations. I also adore their range with Stella McCartney. So these new trainers are only ones that you can personalise! Personalisation has been around for a while as a trend but with these trainers you are only going to be able to put an instagram print on them! I am already day dreaming about what picture I would use, the problem is going to be picking one!

Adidas instagram

http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/fashion/fashion-news/adidas-to-launch-photo-print-app

Finally my Nike brights, these have become real wardrobe staples and just make me smile! Amazingly comfortable and brightening the most boring of gym outfits. They are gym wear elite! You can also personalise your Nike trainers by picking colours and coloured laces! Super cool!

Nike

What is your trainer of choice?

 

Fabulous 40 for one of my besties…

Had a wonderful nightout last night for my friends 40th… we stayed at The Hilton on Deansgate in a room nice and high up on the executive floor with an AMAZING view of the city! 

We were all at our ‘swankified’ (a word I invented in Australia) best! With sparkly shoes and our nicest ‘frocks’.

(Pics to follow soon!) Dinner was at my favourite San Carlo which is always glamorous and busy..I had my usual which I need to stop having, chicken caesar salad and a side of zuccini. 

Next stop my first time at the bar at Manchester House. Again wow what a view! We are spoilt with amazing bars at the moment in Manchester and this could be easily my new favourite. A really chilled Ibiza vibe for the music and an outdoor balcony with heating. The decor is sleek and leather booths overlook Manchester. Every detail of the venue has been cleverly thought out and it is uber cool. 

Our next and final stop was Neighbourhood where there was live musicians playing and a fab DJ that looked like Will I AM.. all that we were missing was somewhere glam to dance so if anyone has any suggestions for next time drop me a note..

Happy Saturday readers! xXx

 

 

 

 

 

Summer fun

Sorry I have been quiet for a few days it has been super mega busy! I am going to Australia on Friday woo hoo! So lots of preparation to do for that and then when I come back I have a couple of weeks and then off to the US so I will have lots to tell you! I have also just had been a mega lovely weekend. Friday we were invited to a BBQ at our friends in the countryside we had really tasty lamb koftas (home made by our friend who used to be a chef, sausages and burgers and eton mess courtesy of Waitrose.. Saturday I was at the most beautiful of weddings and Sunday was lunch for my dads birthday and delivering his new birthday present a bread maker (I am hoping for lots of lovely home made bread!) I will share some pics in the coming days and all of my exciting news from Sydney! Don’t forget to enter the Mr Sherick’s competition on my blog for July!