A shopping guide to New York & Brooklyn
Hello everyone! I hope you’re all so well. I’ve just returned home from the most amazing, Christmassy trip to New York with Simon Shopping Destinations.
We were invited along to experience some serious shopping destinations in a few locations across New York. Each destination offered something different and we were all super excited to have some designated shopping time!
The Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg was our base and what a cracking Hoxton that is. It might even be my favourite one outside of London. I hadn’t been to Williamsburg before and I absolutely loved it- and will be back pretty soon.
We arrived around lunch time, a little bedraggled from the flight and checked into our amazing rooms at the Hoxton. We freshened up for half an hour or so, then met in the lobby to go out and explore Williamsburg. I asked for some recommendations in Williamsburg over on Instagram stories and you all outdid yourselves so thank you very much! The hotel is so close to so many amazing and cool spots; coffee, vintage stores, restaurants- you name it.
We wandered and found a great coffee place, Toby’s Estate, and grabbed coffee and a cronut (my first ever and it didn’t disappoint me). On our way out of the coffee shop some American guys said “that is the boujee-ist coffee shop I have ever been in” and we all laughed and I shouted “we’re tourists” and they said they’d let us off. Funny!
Next up lovely Liv was on a mission to get to Catbird, which is the most amazing fine jewellery store that actually also sells really cool beauty bits, accessories and fragrance too. I got sucked into the most amazing perfume and I left thinking “I’ll have to go back for that”.
Liv, Sophia & I wanted to make the trip to Ludlow Street in Manhattan so we could tackle Reformation and The Frankie Shop all at once so we hopped in a cab which took about 15 minutes. Sophia and I were so sleepy and not in a spending mood (which was a shock to us all!) but Liv had such good luck with her purchases for Christmas presents.
Dinner that night was so much fun- regardless of how shattered we all were we lasted until around 10pm. We ate at a place called St Mazies, which is a dark candlelit, romantic place that plays live jazz and offers a selective cool little menu. It was such a gorgeous vibe in there. And as I say, we were all in bed for 10pm.
We were up bright and early; 4am for me.... jet lag, for our first trip to our first Simon Shopping Destination; The Mills at Jersey Gardens which is a huge place, 1 mile to be exact! This was a great place that offered some full price stores and some outlets too. There was something for everyone and some options of places to stop for a coffee and some proper American food at a place called Chili’s! I’ve never seen as many nachos in my life.
From The Mills at Jersey Gardens we headed into Manhattan for a couple of hours. I’m a big big fan of CVS; which is a massive pharmacy that sells EVERYTHING incase you didn’t know. So I always go to get Crest teeth whitening strips, all the American chocolate I can carry, pain killers that you can’t get in the U.K. and lip balm. Strange I know, but traditional for me. Sophia bought, no joke, 6 bags of these sweets called Swedish Fish and was absolutely made up! We saw Time Square- which again is one of my faves to see, just to walk through and feel small.
We got the subway back to Williamsburg which was an experience to say the least! I’ve never taken the subway before as I try to walk everywhere but this walk would have taken 2 hours and I was not about to endeavour to do that in 0 degree weather. I went straight to Catbird for the perfume that I couldn’t stop thinking about and then I felt whole again.
Dinner was at the most amazing place, I still dream of it now. It was called Sunday in Brooklyn and it was so flipping cool inside and split over 3 levels. The concept was sharing plates and everything was just amazing, whether you wanted something fried or something healthy you are covered. I also had some beautiful orange wine which I’m going to try and find at home. Bed time was 11pm on this night which I felt we all navigated well after another tiring day of walking for miles x jet lag.
The Hoxton offers a brilliant breakfast and I adore being in the lobby/chill out area there so we started with breakfast at the hotel. We had a train to catch to Philadelphia at 9.30am but missed it because New York traffic is its own beast. So we hopped on the 10.30am instead and arrived at our next shopping destination; King of Prussia. It’s around 1 hour 40 minutes to get to Phili.
King of Pruissa is an incredible place. I’d say take your comfy shoes because it is beyond massive with so many great stores to visit. We had such a fun couple of hours exploring, with the most delicious lunch at Mistral halfway through. I had a good shopping day on this day, I bought some AirPods because Lizzy has been banging on about how good they are and now that I’ve got them, I agree! I also bought the fleece to top all fleeces from Madewell, a fleece so cool that my pal Kim asked me to bring her one back via Instagram stories.
Once again the traffic was against us on the way back to the train, so we absolutely legged it and caught the train just in time! We were all pretty sleepy on the way home so most had a power nap before dinner at Juliet.
Dinner was super close to our hotel in Williamsburg and I got so many recommendations for it! I had an incredible cheese burger and the vibe was so great.
Again, bed by 10pm.
It was our final full day in New York and we had one last stop to make at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets which is an outdoor premium outlet, a bit like a village. We took the bus there which is 1 hour from Port Authority, and is actually quite a nice drive. As we arrived it started snowing a little and it was so pretty. There were so many incredible stores here including old Céline (!), Acne Studios, Loewe, Prada, and all were so discounted, it was amazing. I got my dad a Bose speaker for Christmas, which I need to relay to him just how much it added on to my luggage on the flight home, Steve! We had a big ol’ lunch at Shake Shack within the village which was classic good American food, with a side of bacon cheese fries which changed my life that day.
At 1.30pm we caught the bus back into Manhattan so we could wander around and visit Greenwich too. I really wanted to visit Apartment by The Line, as I always do when in New York, and it was just as chic as ever. There’s also a store I shop online called The Real Real and we walked past it by accident so headed in there- it’s a vintage and pre-owned designer fashion store so it’s always worth a look! Afterwards we walked up to Greenwich and wandered around where SJP’s apartment is in Sex and the City which was cool to see.
Once we got back to The Hoxton we met with one of the amazing team for a drink, who then took us up to the rooftop to see the views. It was so beautiful and the NY skyline was all lit up. It’s closed for the season now but will be open for the summer again.
Dinner was at a place called ZiZi Lemona which is a Middle Eastern restaurant with a sharing plate idea. We had eaten so much that we all skipped starters and ordered mains, and didn’t share, which was not the idea! The music and vibe were amazing and I’d absolutely go back.
We left New York for London on the 10.30am flight the next day and landed to an equally freezing cold climate.
The trip was absolutely amazing, The Hoxton made the perfect base for our shopping trips to all the Simon shopping destinations and we got to experience some great shopping days out! The food during the trip was honestly so good and the other touristy bits we did in between were so much fun. What a trip.
Thank you so much to Simon shopping destinations for having us and to The Hoxton for letting us stay.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you. Xx