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The insider’s guide to New York

Thanksgiving heralds the start of the holiday season, when Manhattan is at its most magical. CATHERINE FAIRWEATHER has the upscale lowdown on what to see and where to be seen

Lifestyle
ROOM WITH A VIEW
The Manhattan View King Room at the Wythe Hotel has spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline

The Brooklyn bedroom with a view

For postcard views of the Manhattan skyline, shimmering on the other side of the Hudson River, book yourself the Manhattan View King Room at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, a vibrant hotel in a century-old industrial building. This month sees the launch of its much-talked-about restaurant, Le Crocodile. Meanwhile, the hotel’s rooftop lounge, Lemon’s, strung with bistro lights and garlands of greenery, is another superb spot for more breathtaking views. From breakfast through to dinner, the live sets and visiting DJs deliver a sharp hit of holiday high.

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The downtown art trail

The Whitney Museum of American Art decamped to the Lower East Side four years ago – to a light-filled multi-story space by Renzo Piano at the foot of the High Line, the disused railway track repurposed as an elevated park and walkway by garden designer Piet Oudolf. A new exhibition of craft opens this month, covering works by more than 60 artists. Elsewhere, Chicago-born Rashid Johnson’s paintings and sculptures, as well as a filmed ballet shot in Aspen, feature at nearby Hauser & Wirth, the largest gallery space in Downtown New York.

The snow-topped restaurant

Everything we love about winter – cozy surroundings, steaming drinks, comfort food – is here at Eataly NYC Flatiron’s rooftop restaurant. The Serra Alpina is a snow-themed ‘winter greenhouse’ with a menu that is focused on truffles and seasonal favorites like fondue. For foodie gifts, explore the philanthropic food emporium and marketplace below.

ART OF GLASS
The Whitney Museum of American Art, housed in a light-filled multi-story space by Renzo Piano, is an architectural highlight in itself
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The Top of the Standard is one of New York’s most magical lounge bars, while the hotel itself has rooms with spectacular views to wake up to the morning after the night before…

The place to party (and wake)

The Standard High Line Hotel’s Top of the Standard is one of New York’s most magical lounge bars, which comes alive in the evenings with live jazz, cocktails and dramatic city views during its sunset service. This Meatpacking District hotel is also year-round party central with its rooftop nightclub, Le Bain. Alternatively, you can round off a day of culture with an eggnog or hot chocolate at The Standard High Line’s tiny but fun winter ice rink.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
The magnificent ceiling at New York's Albertine bookstore is a hand-painted marvel of constellations and planets

The heavenly bookstore

Browsing Albertine, home to the largest collection of French literature in America, is an otherworldly experience. Housed in the 1902 Payne Whitney House, and decorated by the famous Jacques Garcia, the ceiling is a hand-painted marvel of constellations and planets, while the walls are lined with busts crafted by the ateliers of the Louvre.

The celebrity dining spot

For Thanksgiving, there is no more elegant or celebratory place to be than at the Mark Hotel’s legendary The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges, feasting on peekytoe crab cakes and Maine lobster or wagyu beef. There’s always a crowd at the entrance of this uptown classic, jostling alongside paparazzi eager to get a shot of the next celebrity to cross the black-and-white checkerboard marble reception.

ART AND SOUL
SoHo’s 101 Spring Street is one of the best addresses in American art

The restored SoHo art gem

101 Spring Street (which many will recognize from the Kim Basinger classic 91/2 Weeks) is the only cast-iron single-use building left in SoHo. It houses 200 artworks that minimalist artist and former resident Donald Judd personally created or collected and installed in what is now one of the best addresses in American art. After three years of closure, the restored collection has been returned and the doors of 101 have opened once more. Look out for a Judd retrospective at MoMA next spring.

BACK TO THE FUTURE
For a retro yet futuristic experience, book yourself into the ’60s-inspired TWA Hotel at JFK airport

The space-age airport hotel

The new TWA hotel at JFK is entertaining for a layover if you have an early flight. Its futurist architecture and space-age design capture the hedonistic fun of the 1960s with a bar and swimming pool on the roof, a Jean-Georges restaurant and music tracks and library from the era. Be sure to have cocktails (to Nancy Sinatra on a loop) inside Connie, the vintage Lockhead Constallation airplane that’s parked up on the runway outside.

The bijou botanical tea store

This month, actor Waris Ahluwalia, whose screen credits include Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, opens Manhattan’s smallest tea store, The House of Waris Botanicals. Visit this little oasis, shoehorned into a tiny carriage house in Chelsea (463 West 24th Street), for a feelgood boost of what Ahluwalia calls “functional beverages for a dysfunctional world”. On weekends, herbalists will personalize an organic tea blend to suit your mood and energy.

CULTURED COCKTAILS
The King Cole Bar at New York’s St Regis hotel is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary and home to an eye-catching mural by American painter Maxfield Parrish

The old-world cocktail bar

The flamboyant and famous mural by Maxfield Parrish above the bar at the St. Regis depicts the antics of Old King Cole. America is the birthplace of the cocktail and King Cole Bar is the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. If there’s a more festive place to enjoy happy hour after a stroll in nearby Central Park, we would like to know about it.

WHAT TO PACK FOR NEW YORK

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