We’re filled will excitement (and pride) because it’s June and we’re vaccinated and finally able to travel to see our adult kids. Laura’s off to England where her daughter Emmie has been studying at Oxford and I’m going to New York City to see my son Nick. Not only are we planning to enjoy some cool activities and fantastic food, we’ll be checking out where they live and meeting some very important people in their lives. Our challenge this week was to get busy on our itineraries—we’ll follow up later this month with a post about how we packed and what we wore!
Laura: London and Oxford
Emmie and her girlfriend, Maisie, (who we haven’t met yet, because, pandemic!) live and study in Oxford. It’s Emmie’s second time at Exeter College, one of the more than 30 colleges that make up Oxford University, but this time she’s back as a graduate student on a one year fellowship. I’m most excited to meet Maisie and their friends; see her room in person, not over FaceTime; and to take a trapeze class with them. I’ll be staying at the Old Bank Hotel, which we’ve found is Oxford’s nicest mix of history, luxury and convenience.
I’ve already done all the touristy stuff in Oxford, so this visit will be about taking her friends out to dinner, strolling along the canals and taking some short day trips. One we’re planning is to Bath, which is about an hour train ride away. I’ve always been a Jane Austen fan, so if it reopens we’ll visit the Jane Austen Centre, or just soak in the sights and then literally soak in their famous hot spring baths.
In London, we’ve got a bigger itinerary, including some must-do foodie stops, like a reservation at Rovi, which is Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest veggie-focused place. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’m an Ottolenghi stan (fan + stalker), so we may also have to eat at Nopi. My other must-do stop is a trip to the Margaret Howell boutique (8 minute walk from Rovi!). Howell is a London-based designer, and while her boutique finally ships to the U.S., I’ve had a few glitches with orders and sizing, so I’m beyond excited to shop in person and try everything on.
Marjie: Weekend in New York City
Nick and his boyfriend Daegan have a cool new apartment on the Upper West Side. On Friday we’ll get to see it and (bonus!) meet Daegan’s parents for the first time over dinner at Eléa, a Greek restaurant on West 85th that looks simply yummy. Liam and I are staying at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which is a short walk from the guys’ pad but definitely pricey. (I’ve always liked staying at the Lucerne, but like a lot of hotels, it’s still closed.) Since this is our first trip for pleasure in a long time and it’s just two nights, we’re going to enjoy our luxurious digs to the max.
Saturday, we’re going to explore Chelsea and the West Village, starting with Artechouse , an immersive art experience at Chelsea Market, and Little Island, the stunning new floating park off Chelsea Piers. We’ll dine at Market Table, a seasonal American restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows. I’ll let you know how we like these places, they’re all new to me.
On Sunday, we have to head for the airport around lunchtime, but we’ll definitely walk through Central Park and grab a bagel along the way. If I have time, I’d love to shop at & Other Stories, a cool mid-priced Swedish boutique owned by H&M. They only have a few locations in the USA. I actually discovered the chain when I was in London a few years ago. Laura, you and Emmie should go!
So there you have both of our itineraries for our June trips. Our next step is to figure out what to pack! We’ll report back in a couple weeks. In the meantime, where are you off to? We’d love to hear about your plans.