Thinking about honeymoon ideas? The city that never sleeps. The Big Apple. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of… Whatever you call it, it’s the ultimate city location and Wedding Ideas’ Rachel Southwood reveals the unique allure of Manhattan for a honeymoon destination.

A city that offers everything… romantic getaways, hen parties, shopping trips extraordinaire. Oh yes, that city is New York. There’s something about NYC that makes it one of our favourite places, and once you’ve been you, too, will be coming back again and again.

We arrived in NYC on a Friday evening. We like doing this, because we can check in, dump our bags and get the party started. We stayed at Ink48 in the Hell’s Kitchen district, where Alicia Keys is from. And actually, the hotel is a bit like something Alicia Keys would sing about (you know that song…), with an ultra-cool rooftop pool and cocktail bar, huge rooms with views across Manhattan and the Hudson River, bathrooms big enough to party in, iPod docking stations and other quirky little touches.

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Where to eat

To celebrate our first morning in the city that never sleeps, we lounged around in our animal print bathrobes – you’ll find tiger and zebra designs hanging in your wardrobe – and ordered a huge breakfast to set us up for a hard day’s shopping. The most important thing to remember when you come to New York is to set a budget and stick to it, allowing for the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you simply have to have.

We enjoyed eating at Olives in the W Hotel in Union Square and drinks at The Underbar. We adored the ambience at The Atlantic Grill uptown, where the seafood towers were incredible and finally, for a bit of fun, we enjoyed shrimps and Forrest Gump overload at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Times Square. For lunch, we just grabbed something on the go from one of the famous New York delis.

 

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Chilled-out Sunday mornings are best spent over a jazz breakfast at The Garage in Greenwich Village. If we ever felt cool, it was then. There was a live band playing and we did what the New Yorkers do – order a huge breakfast, and wash it down with a Bloody Mary.

Love this idea

Sex and the City fans must visit Carrie’s steps at 66 Perry Street in the Greenwich Village area.

Where to party

We’ve always had a good time in New York, so knew that it wouldn’t disappoint, but nothing had quite prepared us for the experience that is Hogs and Heifers. This is the bar that Coyote Ugly was based on, but it’s infinitely better than the film. The décor is crazy, the barmaids are loud, funny, occasionally abusive and prone to sporadic dancing – on top the bar, that is! It’s a fun place with an old-fashioned biker vibe that can be found located in the famous Meat Packing district, where, if you don’t find a place you like to party in, you’re never going to. Amazing!

Wow weddings

I have often said that New York does it best… Halloween, shopping and Christmas being just three of those things. But nothing beats a New York wedding. Crowds will gather to see a bride, and on this visit we were swept up in the crowd to watch a couple emerge from the incredible Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. Stunning venue, stunning setting and a super-beautiful bride who was greeted by cheers from the onlookers outside.

 

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I won’t bleat on about the Top of the Rock viewing centre, or ice skating in Central Park, or bore you with details about the designer shopping, the visit to Ground Zero or the Staten Island ferry that takes you round the Statue of Liberty for free (not a word you often hear in New York). I could tell you all about the awesome food market at Grand Central Station, but you need to discover it all for yourself. My advice? Book a trip for your honeymoon destination, and combine it with a week in the Caribbean (because I love that, too) and as soon as you’re home, book your next trip for your first anniversary because you’ll want to go back – time and time again. Just like me.

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