Our month of Holiday fun continues on with The Paris House's NYC Holiday Travel Guide!
Each Holiday season we spend a day at the world-famous Rockefeller Center ice skating under the most famous tree in the world. I book an early morning brunch at The Sea Grill, which is straight out of an enchanted Hallmark Christmas show. We prefer the 8:30 am seating while the city is still somewhat quiet on a Sunday morning. Christmas carolers serenade the guests while they enjoy a fabulous brunch and a visit from Santa complete with a gift, gingerbread cookies, and cocktails for the adults. The tickets to skate are included in the price. You can bring your own ice skates or rent a pair for around $12. Brunch includes everything you could possibly want to eat, from a decadent chocolate fountain, an omelet and crepe station, smoked salmon, assorted pastries, fresh fruit, beverages, and much more. Santa comes out to skate with the crowd making the experience even more magical. This ticket lets you get directly on the ice from the restaurant door bypassing all the lines. Another option is the Rock Cafe which offers a more casual breakfast at a more affordable price. If you really want to do it up, reserve the private warming igloo hut where you can enter at any time during your skating to warm up with a hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and homemade cookies. For more information visit therinkatrockcenter.com
After a day on the ice, we enjoy going around the block to see the Saks windows and St. Patrick's Cathedral. This year Saks paid homage to Snow White’s 80th anniversary with windows that are straight out of the iconic fairy tale. I enjoyed the designer's fashionable interpretation of Snow White through their designs.
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I brought along my vintage ice skates from when I was 13 years old. My fitted black jcrew.com pants were super comfortable and warm. My sweater is the cutest I have ever seen, adorable nutcrackers with subtle hints of gold from boden.com, my red faux fur jacket is from revolve.com, and the darling bow clutch is the cocktail clutch found via the "dressforcocktails" Instagram account. dressforcocktails.com the fur hat is from saks.com, my ring is from theparishouse.com.
The Paris House Crepe Recipe
Make crepes using any batter recipe of your choice, it is very important to not burn the butter, clarified butter typically works best and try to make them as thin as possible. Then, after they are cooked spread with a thin layer of Nutella and top with fresh fruit and fresh whipped cream.
Looking for the perfect hostess gift, we provide an overnight concierge Couture Flower Delivery service at flowergirlnj.com our flowers arrive in a chic box complete with garden clippers, instructions, and a satin ribbon.
The Upper East Side during the Holidays is a feast for the eyes and a culinary treat to be savored over a long leisurely lunch. We started our day at Bistro Chat Noir, for an old-school vibe with fabulous food and equally fabulous cocktails. I absolutely love this quaint sized bistro on 66th and Madison. Not only is the food delicious, the service is fantastic. You are encouraged to relax over a glass of champagne and convivial conversation. I book almost all of my reservations on Open Table. After lunch, we walked through Central Park to the famous Bow Bridge with a view of The Dakota and The Boathouse restaurant. You might know this famous bridge and spot from the many movies that were filmed here over the years. It is even more gorgeous in person. The icing on the cake was the snowfall that took place as we walked along our way to our next stop. It was spectacular.
After Bow Bridge, we headed about 15 minutes up to The Metropolitan Museum Of Art to see the beautiful Christmas tree and nativity set. It is my favorite tree in NYC. The nativity sits at the base of the tree and the quiet Christmas music playing in the background makes you stop and reflect on the meaning of Christmas. We also went into the modern art section on the first floor to see Soutine’s oil painting of interior designer extraordinaire, Madeleine Castaing. If you enjoy design as much as I do you most likely have heard of Ms. Castaing. She was incredibly talented that many saw her as not only an interior designer but a true artist. She notoriously wore a wig with a chin strap. At the young age of 16, she met her husband, an heir to a vineyard in Provence, who was many years her senior. They married and he bought her a home she had coveted since she was a little girl. They stayed happily married until his death many years later. They were friends of and patrons of the French artist Soutine. It is rumored that he would enter their manor home in the middle of the night and take a butcher knife from their kitchen drawers and slash some of his painting, saying they were not worthy to exist! On our way back to our car we stopped at Laduree French Patisserie on Madison Ave for coffee and pastries. I adore this petit charming shop. It was a lovely respite from the chilly snow outdoors.
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My faux fur coat is from coosy.com, which is based in Madrid Spain (a favorite place of mine). My plaid tartan pants are from jcrew.com cocktail ring theparishouse.com rose velvet shoes coosy.com black suede pumps with crystal detail anntaylor.com
Grape Pizza with Roquefort
1 cup grapes, halved
6-8oz. blue cheese, I used about 6oz. Roquefort, use to taste
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
A sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper
Splash good quality olive oil (EVOO)
1-2 thin crust pre-made pizza crusts, I used Boboli whole wheat naan bread or homemade pizza dough works great too!
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Brush your pizza shells with olive oil
Layer halved grape slices over pizza shell/shells
Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese over pizza shell
Sprinkle chopped rosemary over top
Add a little sea salt/kosher salt and freshly ground pepper over all ingredients and bake until bubbly
** When you remove pizza from oven lightly drizzle a small amount of honey over the top of your pizza
cut into triangles and serve with wine.
**Please note, rosemary is a strong and flavorful ingredient so a little goes a long way as does the Roquefort cheese