Now I like a cookie as much as the next girl…but when I saw the queue for the Levain bakery I thought twice and Mr H was already backtracking half way down the Upper West side street!
But before that…brunch!
I had planned a day of exploring Central Park ahead of us and one cannot explore on an empty stomach. I love a good brunch, the one meal of the day reserved for weekends and holidays in which I can basically eat whatever I want. Savoury, sweet – there are no boundaries when it comes to brunch. I am a little bit spoiled for great brunch spots being lucky enough to call London home but a little searching and a reservation later, we arrived at Sarabeths, Central Park south. It is a good job I had managed to reserve with the manager as they told me on the door whilst passing by the growing queue that they do not take reservations at this location. Inside was a hive of activity trying to seat people and take names of those waiting. The smell of fresh coffee and various delicious varieties of egg dishes flying past filled the air. We were seated and ordered lemon and ricotta pancakes with blackberries and a steaming coffee. The real star of the show was the crab cake eggs Benedict which was loaded full of beautiful fresh white crab meat. Yum!
Following brunch we trucked back up to mid town to go to the Top of the Rock to get amazing views of the Empire State building and our first glimpse of Central Park.
We made our way to Central Park on this beautiful wintery day and began to explore. Once inside and out of the way of traffic and various horse and carriage’s, this place is truly like an oasis.
We ventured around The Pond, Strawberry Fields, Sheep Meadow and the Lake among others.
The Sweet Treat Trail
After thoroughly freezing ourselves, we emerged from the park in the Upper West Side to find Levain. As I said there was a huuuuuuuuuge queue and we were waiting to get inside this tiny bakery for a good hour. It was really really cold. This cookie needed to be good.
An hour waiting for a cookie does give you plenty of time to consider what flavour you might opt for. Levain only make four flavours of cookie – chocolate chip, chocolate and peanut butter chip, dark chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. In the beginning I had thought we would just buy one (chocolate peanut butter obvs…), but after an hour in the cold and on Mr H’s recommendation, we decided to purchase four, one of each of their delicious flavours. With our bag of swag, we scarpered to find a coffee shop to devour them in. The sun was setting and we got a seat by the window to watch the snow flurries descending.
How do I rate these cookies?
Errrrrrrrm…a little piece of cookie heaven as they suggest on the bag actually! Neither of us are massive oatmeal raisin fans however, their version may have both of us converted but really the star of the show was this..
I knew instantly I would be needing to re-create these cookies. Stay posted for my attempt!
If you are at a loss in the evening for something fun to do, I would highly recommend The Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. I had never been to a stand up comedy show and really thought it was not my “thing” but with every inch of table space filled in the underground venue, I was laughing out loud.
Following that you might choose to have some dinner. A short-ish walk or cab ride away I had booked Beauty and Essex (thanks to a recommendation from my friend Mrs YJ). This place is seriously cool. A great bar with imaginative cocktails, a DJ and lots of beautiful people while you wait entered via a pawn shop. Food is based around sharing plates (isn’t everywhere now!?) based around the many influences on American cuisine. Very interesting and exceptionally tasty. I highly recommend the heritage baby back ribs.
Enjoy your evening. Happy Travels!
Mrs H x