Balthazar, New York City

Before going on our latest trip to NYC, I got this pretty amazing tip for a restaurant from the owner of the Bentley’s in Ostend. Remember the review I wrote about his restaurant? Bentley’s Ostend review Jean-Philippe made me promise to stop by the Balthazar restaurant in Soho. Since it was only a block or two from the Soho Grand, it was an easy promise to make. He was pretty lyrical about the place, telling me it was one of his favorite restaurants of the city, it’s décor so similar to a French bistro. On our last day, we decided to go there and have breakfast before heading off to the airport.



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Restaurant review: Quality Meats, Miami Beach, Florida

quality meats miami beach florida

Always keep the best for last, that’s what they tell you. Well, at Quality Meats in Miami Beach, they give you the best they’ve got the moment you walk in. My mom and I wanted to go for a good steak the last night we were in Miami. My trusted Yelp directed us to this restaurant that had opened not too long ago. The reviews were all raving about the place. I should warn you though, this restaurant doesn’t come cheap. But it’s oh so worth it …

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Trip to New York: January 1st, 2015, shopping time!

January 1st. The day most people walk around in a haze of too much food, too much alcohol and not enough sleep. Not us though, not during this trip. Today was a day for shopping and revisiting shops and restaurants we’d been to before which we loved.

Onto 5th and into the Apple store. Once we figured out on that the dollar is actually pretty strong against the euro, we decided not to get that new iPad mini. Always download that XE-app on your smartphone, it comes in pretty handy if you’re not the mathematician like I am.

From the Apple store on 5th it’s only a few steps to the iconic FAO Schwartz store. I know I am not a child, but this store always fills me with happiness, so a trip in here is mandatory. I always start on the bottom floor with the stuffed animals. The biggest one gets my cuddles. Tried the puppy look on my husband again, again to no avail. One day you will be mine big pink dog!

fao schwartz new york nyc pink dogfao schwartz new york nyc pink dog

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Trip to New York: New Year’s Eve.

There were two reasons why I wanted to go to NYC this time. One, as a present for my husband’s 40th birthday. Two, to scratch off “going to NYC on NYE” from my bucket list. I prepared nothing for this trip due to huge amounts of work at the office, so we thought we’d just see what we’d get up to on NYE. Times Square was out of the question because tickets would set us back more than the actual plane ride to get to NYC and I didn’t feel like standing in the cold for over 10 hours just to see the ball drop.

Anyway. We got up, got dressed and our plan was to go to the Guggenheim today as we’d never been there before. As the weather was so nice, we changed plans quite quickly and set onto Battery Park to take the boat to Ellis Island. Tip: most attractions are open during the holidays, apart maybe from Christmas Day. Check the websites and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you can visit.

christmas lights in new york nyc


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Trip to New York: jetlagged and hungry

The first morning is always the most difficult one. We’re quite experienced travellers by now from Europe to the States, so we know how to avoid the worst kind of jetlag. We managed to sleep until 6AM (which is noon where we live!) instead of 4AM like on our first trip to NYC. We know we’re up very early the first day, so book in an early morning trip to something you really want to see. In our case, that was the 9/11 Museum which finally opened it’s doors in 2014.

9/11 museum new york

But first: breakfast!

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Trip to New York: day 1

So we made it into the country and into the city. Time to get moving to 310, West Broadway and check into the Soho Grand Hotel. Like last time, we were joyfully greeted by the ever present doormen who took over our luggage and guided us to the reception on the first floor. Check in was really smooth, like last time, but unlike last time we didn’t get a glass of pink champagne. I guess the check in policy must have changed. Too bad.

Soho-Grand-Exterior SG_CORNER_KING

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Trip to NYC: checking in to the USA

So you’ve made it safe and sound onto the other side of the ocean. If you’re flying into NYC, you can go to Laguardia airport, Newark or – as we did – JFK. Doesn’t really matter which airport you fly to, I always select the flight with the best prices. Now, one thing you have to do before departure as a Belgian citizen: get yourself an ESTA-visum. Otherwise, you can’t get into the country. Apply for your ESTA via this link

ESTA visum


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