The Cloisters – NYC

I have to be honest, when it was suggested we visit The Cloisters during our recent trip to NYC I took a bit of convincing. I’ve visited medieval convents and monasteries in Europe and was very sceptical that such beauty, solitude and atmosphere could be replicated in Manhattan.

Boy, was I wrong!

(Victoria Smith refers to The Cloisters as one of the underrated gems of New York, so please check out her blog for it and other suggestions.)


As part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters is devoted to the art and architecture of Medieval Europe. (Click Here for a link to the official site which includes a 28 minute video.)


A ticket for Metropolitan Museum of Art allows you six days to use that same ticket to visit The Cloisters.

Getting there is simple. Take the A train uptown to 190th.  From there you can either a) hop on the M4 bus for one stop, b) walk along Margaret Corbin Drive, or c) walk through Fort Tyron Park. I recommend the latter as the scenery and views are stunning.

PARK   park2

Built from money donated by Rockefeller, the actual fabric of The Cloisters contains elements from original European (mostly French) medieval cloisters.


Artifacts include paintings, tapestries (including the Unicorn tapestry), plates, sculptures and religious items.


My favourite was a golden filigree straw, used for drinking the wine (Blood of Christ) from the chalice to ensure none spilled on the ground.


Possessing the most peaceful cafeteria you can imagine, The Cloisters is a wonderful place to while away a few hours and recharge your soul before returning to the hustle and bustle of the rest of Manhattan.


Visit it.  You won’t be disappointed!








Veniero – NYC

One of the best things about NYC is the food. During our stay in the East Village we tried out several local restaurants and didn’t find a bad meal anywhere.

But my absolute favourite…?

Not exactly a restaurant, but a patisserie called Veniero. If you like ANY kind of dessert, this is NOT to be missed.

As for the cheesecake…!
exterior night shop
Established in 1894 by Antonio Veniero, it’s located at 342 East 11th Street and 1st Ave, NY 10003, and has opening hours to suit everyone.
Sunday-Thursday: 8am-midnight.
Friday/Saturday: 8am – 1am.
Take out?  Eat in?  Your choice. With an elegant cafe attached, this is one eatery definitely worth visiting!

A Tale of Two Parks

I recently spent a few days in New York City.  It’s the third time I’ve visited and it’s a city I love, love, love. This time we decided to try a little ‘new’ along with the ‘old’, so along with the trusted Central Park, we also took in Prospect Park and the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn.


CENTRAL PARK is great. Created in the 1850s, this magnificent expanse of greenery and lakes lies slam-bang right in the middle of Downtown, But, because it’s Downtown, everywhere you look there are tourists – I know, I know,  I was one of them!


Amongst them, a group of British Policemen and women over from England running for charity.  And turtles.  Who knew there were turtles in Central Park?  (Although, as I recall, the Heroes in a Half-Shell used to live in the NYC sewers, didn’t they?)


And then of course, there’s Strawberry Fields, with its iconic Imagine mosaic. Definitely worth a visit.

So how did PROSPECT PARK measure up against its better known neighbour?

Extremely well, indeed.

Built in the 1860s, it covers 585 acres and is only a short subway ride from Manhattan. We visited on a Sunday to find an oasis of tranquility with family groups enjoying picnics and multi-generational games of baseball.

PP1 pp2

Just next door are the Botanical Gardens and they are gorgeous.  We just missed the cherry blossom and lilacs, but loved the bluebell woods and displays of azaleas, iris, peonies.

fountain   iris

And don’t forget the Japanese Gardens. With a great visitor centre and restaurant, this is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and allow the scents and scenery to soothe your soul.