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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To New York With Estée Lalonde

If you follow super-blogger Estée Lalonde on Instagram or YouTube, you’ll know she leads a bit of a NY-LON lifestyle. If she’s not home in her London apartment with Reggie the greyhound (also kind of a big deal on Instagram, fyi), she’s across the pond in NYC.

“I made a commitment to myself to spend as much time as I could in New York this year,” says Estée. I’m not interested in moving out of London right now, but I feel like I’m at a time in my life that requires new experiences. I try to come to New York every seven weeks or so, whenever my schedule allows for it.”

Originally from Canada, Estée moved to the UK when she was 19 and London’s been her home for 10 years. But there’s something about the pull of NYC’s bright lights that keeps bringing Estée back to the Big Apple… “New York has so much energy, there’s always something to do. I feel like getting away from my London routine and out of my comfort zone is helpful creatively for me,” Estée says. “I’m lucky that I can work from anywhere in the world, so it’d be a shame not to take advantage of that.”

Forget the guide books. We’ve got Estée’s insider lowdown to New York City. Don’t miss her (now not-so-secret) favourite bagel and coffee double act.

Inside New York

When is the best time of year to New York and why?

Summer in New York is my favourite because it’s hot and everyone is just in the best mood. All of the seasons offer something different. I personally don’t like cold weather so winter’s the season I avoid the most because it gets absolutely freezing over here! That being said, Christmas in New York is magical.

How would you spend an ideal day in New York?

To be honest, even 48 hours is simply not enough to cover it! I guess for starters I would go to The Whitney Museum, grab some ice-cream at Ample Hills and go see some dogs in Central Park. Then dinner at Noodle Pudding. I have so many friends in New York that always inspire me, so I love to catch up with them and gain a new perspective.

How has your New York influenced your work?

I think if anything New York has been a muse for my personal life. I started coming to New York a lot more during a time in my life when I was struggling a lot internally and it gave me the freedom to explore myself in a way that felt safe and boundless. New York has definitely taught me that you don’t have to put yourself in a box – you can be whoever you want to be.

Work-wise, the competition in New York is so intense that every business really has to be on point. There is so much choice here – even tiny cafés have gorgeous branding and delicious food. It’s really taught me to explore new places because there are so many talented people out there!

Where do you go to get inspired? 

I love Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It’s a lot quieter than Central Park but so beautiful and open. A great place to gather your thoughts.

Which is your favourite neighbourhood and why?

I mainly hang out in Brooklyn, which I feel can get a little overlooked by tourists. Brooklyn has so much to offer and is a lot less crazy than Manhattan. I also really like the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

Describe New York in three words…

Awake, inspiring, adventure, oh and good food!

What’s the best way to get around?

The subway system is really easy to use and luckily with Google Maps it’s now almost impossible to get lost. I was super-nervous to take the subway alone for the first time but it’s really okay and a lot more affordable than taking Ubers or yellow taxis everywhere.

Tell us your favourite secret spot in New York?

Get a bagel at Nagle’s Bagels and grab a coffee next door at Little Zelda.

What’s your ultimate New York outfit?

Depends on the season but I find myself dressing really casually here, but also being a bit more experimental with what I put together. Today I’m wearing boyfriend jeans, combat boots, a grey t-shirt and a plaid flannel. Very 90s.

Essential beauty items to pack? Why?

I can’t live without my Oskia Renaissance Mask and Fresh Rose Hydrating Mask. I also don’t get on a plane without my Weleda Skinfood because it can be applied on the face and body. Glossier always feels very ‘New York’. I’d also recommend bringing a good hand cream and lip balm if you’re travelling during the colder months.

Favourite NY Hotel? Why?

The Hoxton in Williamsburg is a great option if you want to stay in Brooklyn, but my favourite is the 1 Hotel in Dumbo. If you want to stay in Manhattan I’d also recommend The Standard, 11 Howard, Sixty Soho and The Ludlow Hotel.

NY Workout?

I love to do SoulCycle, but my favourite workout in New York is yoga. I’ve found that the teachers here are so free and experimental with their classes. I highly recommend Park Slope Yoga Center, but if you’re up for some serious cardio check out Y7 and do the hot hip-hop yoga class.

Your favourite places to shop in NY?

In God We Trust, Mociun, Greenlight is a great bookstore, Goods for the Study if you love stationery.

Favourite restaurants in NY?

Definitely Five Leaves for the ricotta pancakes – I refuse to leave NYC without eating them. Roberta’s Pizza is a must. Colonia Verde is absolutely delicious (I went there for my birthday brunch last year). Dumpling Man is perfect. And the Doughnut Plant carrot cake doughnuts are really something special.

Favourite bars in NY?

I had a really great time the other day at the bar inside Loosie’s Kitchen & Cafe. Union Hall is a really chill spot if you want to hang out and maybe even catch some comedy shows. I can also recommend Primo’s.

Most authentic NYC experience to try?

Walk, walk and walk some more. New York is all about walking. You won’t believe the things you discover if you just walk.

Walk, walk and walk some more. New York is all about walking. You won’t believe the things you discover if you just walk.

Favourite go-to NYC spa and treatment?

I absolutely love NYDG and try to go there as often as I can. I love getting the Susanne Kaufmann Bespoke Rejuvenating Facial.

Souvenir to take home?

I still have my ‘I <3 NY’ mug that I bought here nine years ago!

Follow Estée Lalonde at @esteelalonde. Shop her latest jewellery collection with @daisy_jewellery here

To read more Insider Guides with our fashion favourites, take a look here

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