Midtown Manhattan houses some of the country’s most prized scenic attractions and landmarks. Amid the hustle and bustle of New York City’s busiest neighbourhood, I found that there are still some spots and experiences just Chic enough for a little Valentine’s Day romance, tucked away in Midtown Manhattan.
What to do
No matter what time of year, a stroll in Central Park is a must-do experience for any traveller visiting Midtown Manhattan. Particularly during the winter months, the snow magically elevates the romance factor to another level. With an abundance of snowflakes fluttering in the still air, this transformation of New York’s most loved parks, unquestionably takes another face. To add further pleasure on Valentine’s Day, you can also witness ice-carving artists transform more than 3,000 pounds of ice into a replica of the Park’s most romantic statue. Any guesses of what it could be? This event forms part of the Annual Ice Festival, where you can also take part in a Silent Disco.
What to eat
For a truly iconic Midtown Manhattan dining experience, make your reservation at La Grenouille; a gourmet institution serving traditional French cuisine for over four decades. The design and attitude of the restaurant evoke the charm of old-world New York; a time when proper attire for dining was obligatory, and guests treated with the utmost respect. As for the interiors, think rich mahogany detailing, spectacular floral arrangements, and a formality that lets you know you are somewhere special. For a traditional romantic dinner, this restaurant has everything you could hope for; from a melt-in-you-mouth plate of foie gras to a flirty Gran Marnier soufflé. A night at La Grenouille is sure to set any couple in the right mood.
For a less traditional date night, I love heading to Eataly. Coined “New York City’s love letter to Italy,” by the New York Times, Eataly is a real local favourite. This expansive market and eatery are the perfect spots to feel a touch of European sophistication in an environment where food is the main event. There are seven sit-down restaurants within the market walls, but my absolute pleasure is to take a culinary voyage. Wondering around trying small plates of whatever looks good, with a hardy glass of Italian red wine in hand and my charming date on my arm (of course).
Credit: Flickr/Jocelyn & Cathy
What to see
A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is always fascinating and full of discovery. With a seemingly endless collection of art, artefacts, and more, there is enough to enchant you for days. Insiders know that every Friday and Saturday evening from 4-7pm (including this upcoming Valentine’s Day), you can experience live music, along with drinks and appetisers, served on the second floor balcony, overlooking the Great Hall. The majestic vaulted walls and ancient stones that make up the museum unquestionably transports you to a different place and time.
What to sip
Before the evening is through, go see the stars at Grand Central Terminal’s Main Concourse. The astronomical ceiling is an elaborate reproduction of the night sky that serves as an impressive alternative to the real thing. Once you are finished absorbing the mural, I would suggest sneaking upstairs to The Campbell Apartment Bar. This heavy-weight New York City institution was formerly the private office and salon of 1920’s tycoon, John W. Campbell. The cocktail offering is outstanding, and décor harkens back to the prohibition era of flatters and jazz music, brushed with a hint of danger. I highly recommended this chic hideout to experience some fun behind closed doors before wrapping up for the night.
Where to sleep
After a full day of romance, you will want to rest your weary head at Chambers Hotel. By reputation alone, Chambers is known as the “downtown hotel with an uptown address”, and this couldn’t be truer. The hotel’s design reflects a laid-back sophistication that makes a refreshing change from the still, corporate hotels of the area. For lovers, the fireplace in the lobby is a great pit stop before heading up to bed. I prefer curling up on one of their plush leather sofas on the second floor.