NEW YORK - Atelier Cologne

Oh looking back on this is giving me such warm nostalgic feelings... we're really missing our time in New York and Brooklyn and wish we could be back there already - how has six months passed since our trip? In a blink of an eye, I tell you. But I'm excited to share some more of this trip with you!

Prior to stumbling across the beautiful store, Atelier-Cologne, during a wander around our most favourite spot - Boerum Hill - we hadn't heard of this Parisian brand. And goodness, were we missing out! We are both pretty big fans of fragrance, and are fascinated by the processes that go in to designing a scent - from trend prediction, to narrowing down your notes and blending to packaging design and the campaign to promote it. Such a fascinating and interesting industry, and one we absolutely loved getting an insight in to when we worked for Jo Malone London a few years ago!

In addition to their beautiful scents, Atelier Cologne have a beautiful USP that I was just in love with - when you purchase a large size of one of their perfumes, you get a miniature hand-bag size scent, beautifully packaged in a little leather pouch. So dreamy! What's even more adorable is that they monogram the pouch for you with gold or silver foil... to the design of your choosing. I decided to mark the occasion and get something that would always remind me of our wonderful trip - A&RBKLYN2015!

The store manager Robert, was absolutely charming, and we had such a lovely time chatting to him and learning more about the brand. You can read all about the story behind Atelier Cologne, here...

We really loved the soft industrial styling in the store, and the beautiful merchandising, paired with the simple and elegant packaging. Parisian chic in Brooklyn? Yes, please!

In case you're wondering - here are the two fragrances I chose - Oolong Infini & Bois Blonds - and they're both beautiful. I usually go for a floral (me, imagine?!) but these really tugged at my heart-strings.

All in all, a most beautiful shopping experience, and one we could heartily recommend! Click here to find your nearest stockist... you'll thank me later.



NEW YORK - Mile End...

We tried quite hard to keep off the traditional tourist track while in New York and Brooklyn, and really wanted to get at the heart of what it was like to live in the city (why not try it on for size, right?)... so we did a lot of online research and spoke to locals on our meanderings and researched tips from bonafide New Yorkers before heading off in search of things...

Must Eats: While in New York, you have to get a hot meat sandwich, right?

Well, the obvious choice is going to Kat'z Deli - the crowded tourist trap of 'Where Harry Met Sally' fame - but the more we dug around and read through reviews, the more we felt it wasn't perhaps the BEST that New York had to offer. SO, after reading about it in a few places, and in the NY Times, we set off in pursuit of Mile End Deli, situated in Boerum Hill (which was such a lucky pick, as this turned out to be our favourite area, and one which we spent a few days exploring!)...and not too far from our apartment by bus.

Their story is thus: "Mile End is a Jewish delicatessen in New York City committed to breathing new life in to old-world traditions." 

I don't know about you, but we thought that sounded fairly delicious! ;)

We ate at Mile End twice, and frankly, it was worth it just for the pickles alone... which are, my God, to die for. The first visit, we had the smoked meat sandwich, and it was very yummy - delicious tender meat, great mustard and fresh bread. And then, after having a lovely lunch with Paul Lowe from Sweet Paul, he said we just had to go back for the Poutine (the founder of Mile End is Canadian, hence the new spin on this classic French-Canadian dish) and who are we to argue with the King of the NY food scene?! 

The Poutine was pretty dreamy... incredible skin-on fries, cheese curds, roasted chicken gravy and chunks of delicious smoked meat. It was worth every calorie. We also ordered pickles on the side, which are just divine, I could eat them all day long.

We would love to have had room for the Mazzo Ball Soup, which looked delicious, too. A good reason to go back, for sure.

Couldn't recommend this lovely little spot highly enough, and the wait staff were absolutely charming.

There are two locations for Mile End: 97a Hoyt Street, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn & 53 Bond Street, Noho, Manhattan.


NEW YORK - ABC Carpet & Home...

Brace yourself, this is a long one...

After we had whiled away a few hours in Chelsea Market, we ventured outside, and the blizzard had thankfully subsided a bit - we thought the market was going to be bigger than it was so hadn't planned something else for afterwards (we were wi-fi-less, thanks to 02 and no international data bundles, so we couldn't even google-map it) - but we just started wandering and adventuring! No bad thing.

A friendly local in a store en route sent us on our way in a good direction, headed for Fifth Avenue, which wasn't really too far... and we couldn't believe our luck when we stumbled upon ABC Carpet & Home, which was top of our list for checking out what was what and who was who in the NYC interiors and home scene. Ahh, it was so lovely! Quite different to what I expected (a lot more bohemian, and less slick, maybe?), but really fab and an amazingly conceived concept store. All five floors of it. Yum.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the in-house florist ABC Blooms, at work, and seeing all their gorgeous arrangements peppered throughout the store. I especially loved the installations where they had shone neon pink light on the plants - it was such a gorgeous pop of colour and created amazing contrast within the merchandised sections.

So much beautiful colour, texture, layering and curation going on... a fantastic place to while away the hours and discover new brands, designers and artist's creations...

On the ground floor, we were greeted with a very bohemian, feminine, delicate and layered-up vibe - lots of small items, grouped, casually scattered (seemingly) with sage bundles, pretty messes of ribbon, incense, beautiful fragrance brands and Astier de Villatte pieces peppered through and grouped with little hand thrown and pinched ceramic pieces... confetti... glitter... faux flowers petals... really incredible how many tiny little curations you could find in every corner. A feast for the eyes, and something quite different, from what we saw, for the NY interiors scene!

On the mezzanine level, there is the deepak centre, where they hold seminars and talks - the day we arrived in NYC, Joe Cross had been there, and we were so sorry to miss that one, as we have been so inspired by his work and it's really changed the way we eat. There's also a lovely boudoir area, where they sell silk jammies and negligee's etc for the stylish ladies of NY... and then there is the work station of abc blooms. I had a lovely chat with the head florist, and really loved the beautiful undone arrangements that she creates for around the store, and for sale, so casual and special. Aren't those little blue flowers incredible? She told me the name of them, and that they are Japanese, but I can't recall- I think I wrote it down but can't find it - any help would be greatly appreciated. It's SO rare to find a truly bright blue flower, they were quite breathtaking!

(You will see a theme developing in these posts, with my lust for NY florist's and their stunning stores!)... 

The basement had an incredible array of ceramics, glassware (arranged in colour and hue order, be still my heart!), linens and gifts... and I spent a lot of time drooling and taking a million pictures. I was incredibly restrained and didn't buy anything - Ryan's lucky I wasn't 100% when I visited this store, or else I might have done some serious damage - but the fine pastel coloured thrown ceramic bowls really tugged at my heart-strings... aren't they gorgeous? What you can't tell from the photo is how HUGE they were... almost the size of a torso... so incredibly beautiful. One day I'll go back for one of them, and take extra luggage especially.

The upper floors are furniture, and interior design led... with concessions for bedding and linen brands - from the well-known, to the less well known - there are racks of fabrics, and incredible ranges of very expensive and stylish furniture. We sat for a good wee while, resting our weary feet, in a few very comfy sofa's, imagining how quickly we could become accustomed to being very well-to-do wealthy new yorkers living on the upper east side... ;)

All in all, a really gorgeous store, and one I'm so happy to have visited. It's one thing experiencing something online, through social media shares, and another to actually visit a place... touch the beautiful products, drink in the lovely scent in the air, and appreciate all the hard work the Visual Merchandising team have gone to in order to create such an interesting and layered shopping experience. A must do for NY-goers!

Abigail x





NEW YORK - Chelsea Market...

We arrived in to Brooklyn on the afternoon of the 3rd of March - during the craziest winter weather NYC had experienced since the 1920's. We had never seen so much snow... perfect, laying, drifting snow... to say we were really glad to have brought those snow boots and puffa jackets, is a serious understatement. The locals weren't exaggerating - I'd seen exhausted New Yorkers bemoaning the weather on social media since early February - and it really was the kind of weather that cramps your style, gung-ho attitude or not!

I got pretty sick upon arrival, and spent the best part of a day and a half feeling appalling, so we didn't venture to Manhattan until the Thursday (this was okay, though, as we had a gorgeous airbnb apartment in Brooklyn, so we felt right at home)...

Chelsea Market, and the High-Line were high on our itinerary, so we thought something indoors was a good idea... and it was a good bet. We exited the subway in a total whiteout blizzard and could barely see our hand in front of our faces, but we managed to follow our noses to Chelsea Market - where I had read (via Love Taza) that the Lobster Rolls were a must-eat, and the shops a good way to while away some hours...

The fish counter at The Lobster Place and C&P was pretty incredible, and I loved watching all the skilled fish-mongers at their craft. We ordered a Lobster Roll and a Crab Sandwich, which were honestly just okay, not mind-blowing... maybe we had expected too much after reading rave reviews? Maybe I just really wanted sushi and sashimi instead (like every other meal-time opportunity when I'm faced with it's gorgeousness - it's my favourite food in the whole world)? Ha!

There's also a lovely wee anthropologie in Chelsea Market, which was great to poke around, and we enjoyed wandering around all the other food shops and markets, and the Brooklyn artists & flea area, too. I think we perhaps peaked too soon, hitting up the Lobster Place immediately, having arrived starving, as it would be an awesome place to just 'graze' and try a little of everything between two of you - that would be my tip for anyone visiting, anyway.

We never did make it to the High-Line, because of the weather, so that's at least one good reason to go back (not that I'm lacking any)!

Apologies for my exhausted looking face - in the context of a very long haul flight and then 24 hours being sick, I'm rather pleased I didn't look worse! ;)

More from our NY adventures soon.

Abigail x