Every girl has her favourite city. And I wish I could say mine was a little less of a cliché. But, despite my best attempts to be different, one will keep me coming back for more until the end of time: New York.
That’s not to say I don’t love sampling new cities – there’s nothing more exciting than getting lost on new streets, watching a new brand of city dwellers from behind the rim of a coffee cup, feeling the birdsong of an alien language gliding across your ear drums.
The chocolatiers and beer-worshiping of Bruges; the cigar smoke filled jazz clubs of Havana; the barely dead sushi of Tokyo’s fish markets; and the chic romance of Barcelona’s bars – all are among my favourite travel memories.
But will I ever enjoy these cities, these new voices, more than when I hear a New Yorker order a slice of pizza? Or feel the same rush of delirious happiness that cycling through Central Park brings me?
In a way I hope so, but I have my doubts…
After all, everyone likes to read new books, to see new plays, to listen to new music. But equally we like to be embraced by the warmth of the ones we already fell in love with.
So I spent this weekend in the arms of my beloved Big Apple. Strolling past the shops I’ve already spent far too much in on 5th Avenue, gossiping in the cafés of the East Village and staring out across the water at the Statue of Liberty.
And it made me very happy indeed.
I stayed, you’ll not be surprised to hear, in a beautiful boutique SLH hotel.
But can you guess which one? The photo should give you an idea…