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New York, New York

PUBLISHED: 08:31 27 January 2015 | UPDATED: 08:31 27 January 2015

EXG FEB 15 TRAVEL

EXG FEB 15 TRAVEL

Julienne Schaer 2013

One of the most iconic cities in the world or simply 'a hellava town', New York makes a very positive impression on Rebecca Underwood

On the Town, Broadway’s latest smash hit musical, has opened at the Lyric Theatre on West 42nd Street. Accompanied by the exhilarating music of Leonard Bernstein and in the words of Betty Comden and Adolph Green the talented performers burst onto the stage singing ‘New York, New York, a hellava town’,...and it sure is!

New York is an exciting, vibrant, cosmopolitan metropolis that pulsates with life and offers plenty of attractions including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, museums galore, first class dining and you can shop ‘til you drop!

New York City attracts 55 million visitors per year and you may well think that they are all standing in Times Square, at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue at the same time! This is the centre of the razzle ‘n dazzle with huge imposing billboards surrounded by glittering lights demanding your full attention. Towering skyscrapers festooned with advertising abound and on the ground is a swirling mass of people dodging the traffic and yellow cabs and buses squeezing past sleek limousines.

For weary explorers there is an endless choice of high-end hotels, but for those keen to keep a tight grip on the finances, the Wolcott Hotel on West 31st Street is just the ticket. This hotel, once a glamorous landmark, dates back to 1904 and many of the striking features of a bygone era remain. The accommodation is comfortable and the service is good.

If you like to have your head in the clouds, head for the open air observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building on 5th Avenue. Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson and East rivers are laid out in style at your feet.

Be sure to visit the Statue of Liberty, presented as a gift from France to the American people in 1886. Recognised worldwide as a symbol of freedom and opportunity, the iconic statue towers over 150 feet in the centre of Ellis Island.

For an ideal way to see all the landmarks, consider a dinner cruise onboard the European style Bateaux New York, sailing from Chelsea Pier. Take in the 180 degree views while you dine and you’ll be entertained by the live band. After dining you can take to the dance floor and show off your moves or take a stroll around the deck and admire the New York City skyline.

Or if you prefer to remain on terra firma, dine in style at the Lamb’s Club on West 44th Street. The property dates back to 1905 and was once home to Lambs, America’s first professional theatrical club with members including Irving Berlin, Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne and Fred Astaire.

Or you may prefer the BLT Steak House on East 57th Street. The level of comfort and service is excellent and the 28-day dry aged NY strip is absolutely mouth watering.

And be sure to visit Le Relais de Venise on Lexington Avenue for an exceptional pre-theatre dining experience. Flurries of waitresses in crisp black and white uniforms serve with aplomb. There is one option only — a fresh green salad with walnuts dressed with a mustard vinaigrette followed by a juicy steak and frites served in a delicious house sauce — and it’s a hit. Sample the Chateau La Tour Cordouan-Medoc 10 and raise your glass to New York. It’s an exhilarating experience that’s hard to beat.

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