ACCESS ALL AREAS
THE FRICK, NEW YORK
ABC FURNITURE AND HOME, NEW YORK
THE GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL, NEW YORK
BALTHAZAR, NEW YORK
LA POSTA VECCHIA, ROME
CENTRAL PARK CARRIAGES, NEW YORK
I know it’s tragically touristy but whenever I am in New York I go on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park. I am that person with a rug over their legs in the over-adorned carriage. I make the driver stop so I can have a cup of tea in a cafe by one of the ponds and then I hop back aboard. It’s a Big Apple bargain at $US45 ($46). www.centralpark.com. Sharon Fowler AUSTRALIAN fashion designer Alannah Hill is known for her feminine, romantic and quirky designs. Born in Tasmania, she launched her signature lines 12 years ago and now has a dozen boutiques across Australia. Her label is also sold in Britain, Asia and in David Jones stores across Australia. She travels frequently for work and always seeks out markets and vintage clothing stores. www.alannahhill.com.au. The Frick Collection includes some of the bestknown paintings by the greatest European artists but this residence-style gallery also has a lovely cafe with lots of arty books to browse. www.frick.org. This is my favourite interiors store; it has nine floors of antique and modern furniture and quaint and delicate items for the home. The ground floor has a chandelier area and candles, candles and more candles. www.abchome.com. The lighting at this department store is calming and everything seems as it should be. Staff welcome shoppers with a bow and sometimes even hand out a lolly or a sachet of tissues. I love fashion tights and there is an entire floor of these, ranging from everyday wear to sexy little after-five fishnets. www.isetan.co.jp. Gramercy Park is a small, fenced park in the Gramercy neighbourhood of Manhattan; it’s one of two remaining private parks in New York. The Ian Schrager-designed Gramercy Park Hotel promises it has a key for guests but I’m not sure I believe this. The hotel does have a giant foyer with beautiful furniture; there is a huge open fire and it smells like fresh sponge cakes. The suites are in royal blue, deep greens and reds and with so many little comforts it’s hard to go out. www.gramercyparkhotel.com. My favourite restaurant changes all the time but at the moment it’s Balthazar, a Paris-inspired bistro at 80 Spring St (between Broadway and Crosby), which does lovely French onion soup and French desserts such as tarte tatin. I love mashed potato and here it’s served remarkably creamy and soft. www.balthazarny.com. I visited Rome for the first time about two years ago and enjoyed the usual sightseeing: the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Colosseum. We also stayed at La Posta Vecchia, a seaside villa in the hamlet of Palo Laziale just outside Rome. It was built in 1654 and was owned by John Paul Getty. During its restoration, two ancient buried villas were uncovered and so Getty created a private museum to hold the incredible antiques that were found. www.lapostavecchia.com.