Traveling to cities without discovering new places ain’t travel to me. In between the chaos of New York and London fashion week, I discovered a few places that I wanted to share with you – incase you’re visiting New York or London anytime soon – I’ve got you sorted for salons, your salad stops and the IT restaurants.
Quick salad stop: Chop’t
I love making my own salads, and I never really visit NYC without stopping at one of those make your own salad chains – Chop’t (that’s because they chop all your greens and add a warm pita bread) is probably my favourite.
Stay: West House hotel
There are a ton of hotels in New York, and I’ve stayed in my fair share of bad ones. This trip, I stayed at West House hotel, situated in the Mid town area. They have their own customised scent and hands down, one of the comfiest beds around.
The city is home to the best blow dry bars, I constantly discover a lot of different ones on different trips. During my NYFW trip, I got my hair done at Glam & Go – they have several branches around the city (and 10 around the US) but went to their first flagship one at Exhale Spa on Madison. Their concept is ‘You shower, we blow dry’ and they even do some express styles using dry shampoo but do everything from different styles to braids and buns. I got a ‘Hot body, serious curves style. The costs for styles depends on the time the stylist takes – $20/15 minutes, and $35/30 minutes. Perfect on the go option.
Recommended stylist: Taashera
One of the most popular dining options and one of Midtown’s most happening spots – Asian bistro, Tao reminds me of the likes of Nobu and Zuma. Make sure to order the chicken gyoza and crispy orange chicken.
During my trip, I discovered this sleek chic salon in the heart of Soho on Spring street – A Tigi exclusive salon, they really have the best team of master stylists and colourists. I booked in for a hair reborn treatment – With all the travels I do, and the colour on my hair, it ends up getting dry and dehydrated very fast so it was a great way to restructure the hair and add protein. The 3 step treatment began with the awakening shampoo filled with proteins, followed by conditioner and ended with a mask where my stylist worked into my cuticles. My hair felt, smelt and looked amazing.
Recommended stylist: Pravanna
Drinks: Standard Roof Top
Lastly, there’s no other happening place to grab drinks at before heading to the Boom Boom Room than drinks at the Standard Roof top at Meatpacking district’s Standard Hotel bar. You might remember it from Gossip Girl… (PS their sliders on the snack menu minus the foie gras are the best.)
Quick blow dry: Leticia Haute Coiffure
If you’re looking for a majorly quick blow dry that leaves you looking fab, this is the place to check out. It was probably the closest looking salon to the ones I’m used to in the region (the owner and creative director, Pierre Doumit is Lebanese after all). Located on Chiltern Street, you can get your nails/hair/massages under one roof. If you like a good head, neck, and shoulder massage, expect to be pampered whilst getting your hair washed. (Pierre’s speciality)
‘IT’ Restaurant: Chiltern Firehouse
The hottest restaurant of the moment in London is Chiltern Firehouse – Kate Moss and Rita Ora are just a few of the celebrities seen leaving the restaurant. Getting a table at this former firehouse is one of the toughest, but definitely worth trying – especially during Fashion Week. Incredibly cool, and don’t forget to order the fried chicken starter.
Blow dry bar:
I am a blow dry fanatic so when I came across this one in King’s Road, I was over the moon. I’ve been to blow dry bars around the world and this has to be one of the coolest looking blow dry bars. Looks like something from NYC, it was started up an inspiring woman from a Finance background. Gorgeous space, adorable quotes all around like ‘Fine feathers make fine birds’, menu with chic choices from 60’s siren to a side style with waves and retro curls to nibbles and a coffee bar. They use brands such as Moroccan oil, Davines and Original & Mineral (O&M). I left with bouncy, beautiful hair and a huge smile. Highly recommended.
Luxury Stay: Knightly Apartments
If you’re extending your stay or coming back during the summer season, a short term apartment would work out cheaper with a group. During my last stay, I stayed at one of Knightly Apartment’s homes on Kensington Church Street. Knightly have apartments all around the city in the most expensive areas to live in from Mayfair to Knightsbridge. Incredibly spacious, fully equipped and serviced – it’s also a lot more convenient feeling at home. The apartment we stayed at was a two bedroom filled with the most luxurious and high quality furniture, the loveliest natural light and squeaky clean (yes, wifi, a flat screen TV and speakers are all there at the ready.)
For more details, Solly, the director at Knightly at [email protected] – he’ll make sure to cater to your needs.
Living in London for four years, I would constantly see RUSH salons, but little did I know they have a flagship called House of Rush on Picadilly – home to a hair salon, Essie bar and skin clinic with a hair retail area (that they also sell on e-commerce). I booked in for a Kerastase conditioning treatment – which included a shampoo, conditioner followed by a booster spray. (They also use L’Oreal and Redken) This was followed by the most beautiful blowout filled with volume and shine – highly recommend you book in with Mark.