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Champagne Charlie Pops Up In Chelsea

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.12.36 AMChampagne Charlie is a wildly glamorous pop up restaurant that quietly opened in Chelsea last week. Situated in the very European looking front garden of the Highline Hotel on Tenth Avenue, the restaurant is the creation of Australian restaurateur Lincoln Pilcher.  From Moby Dick’s in Montauk to Gilligan’s at the Soho Grand, Pilcher’s pop-up restaurants bring a sense that you’ve been transported somewhere beachy (in this case the South of France) and an instant fabulous crowd.

As the name implies, Champagne Charlie has buckets of Veuve Clicquot on ice and serves light fare like oysters, pasta dishes, burgers and salads.  Seating is all al fresco in the hotel’s front garden and for those of us stuck in the City in the soaring heat, a night at Champagne Charlie’s will at least give the feeling that we’ve escaped somewhere, albeit just to Chelsea, for a glamorous night under the stars.

Champagne Charlies at the Highline Hotel. Open 5pm-10pm.  No Reservations. 180 10th Avenue. New York. 10011
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An Art Bar

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The Frieze Art Fair is responsible for all kinds of inventive art installations, but our favorite might be the bar in the basement of Hotel Americano in Chelsea.  German artist Tobias Rehberger has created a temporary bar, Bar Oppenheimer, a replica of his favorite bar in Frankfurt.  The intimate, modernist bar is not only an art piece, but a real watering hole, a terrific glamorous tiny space.

It opened this weekend to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair and will remain open for the next three months.

Tobias Rehberger, Bar Openhenheimer. Hotel Americano. 518 West 27th Street. New York. 10001. The Bar closes July 14th, 2013

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Cocktails Over Manhattan

As the weather begins to cool down, we love nothing more than meeting friends for a glamorous cocktail overlooking the vast and extraordinary Manhattan skyline.  The Lobby Lounge  on the 36th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel is one of those bars with a view that simply takes your breath away. So high up your ears gently pop as you zoom up in the express elevator which opens in to the swank hotel lobby and adjoining bar.

The Lobby Lounge is set against a stunning wall of floor to ceiling glass and a perfect spot for a drink and a bar snack when you’re up near the Time Warner Centre.  It’s one of those spots that no matter how long  you’ve lived in the City, you’re just so darn impressed by the view of the Manhattan skyline.

One floor down on the 35th floor is Mo Bar.  A more intimate, somewhat secret, smaller bar with elegant leather booths populated by a super stylish crowd.  Whichever bar you’re in the mood for, there’s just something truly uplifting about cocktails overlooking Manhattan.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel. 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street. New York. Tel: 212 805 8808

Bowl Me Over

The idea of going bowling is something we usually avoid like the plague.  Dark dusty lanes with sports tv blaring is not our idea of a great day out.  This weekend friends took us to Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg and we have to say, we’ve changed our position.

Brooklyn Bowl is dare we say it, glamorous, well at least for a bowling alley.  Set in an enormous former industrial building you know something is different from the moment you set foot in the space.

You enter in to a vast expansive airy space where on one side, you sign in to bowl and on the other  you can go and eat.  But this food isn’t any old bowling alley grub, the food is Blue Ribbon brassiere and they serve deliciously yummy things like to die for fried chicken, amazing salads and vegetable dishes as well as interesting foodie sandwiches with sides of salad.

There are 16 lanes and each lane has two super comfortable deep buttoned brown leather Chesterfield sofas with a coffee table between them.  It feels like you’re in a luxe living room lounging, eating Blue Ribbon food and enjoying a trendy drink and you just get up and bowl whenever your turn comes around.

But it gets better, right beside the bowling lanes is a huge dance floor and a stage. You can sit on your Chesterfield sofa, slighty elevated from the dance floor and watch the fun unfold.  Every Thursday Questlove from The Roots DJs great tunes which turns the place on its head and in to a jumping party.  They have regular live bands on the stage and it’s such a cool happy venue that we can’t think of a better environment to catch your favorite act.

They are open for Sunday brunch which is mellow and low-key or night time for a totally kicking party scene.  Whatever you’re in the mood for, if bowling is what your feeling then it doesn’t get any cooler than Brooklyn Bowl.

Brooklyn Bowl. 61 Wythe Avenue. Williamsburg. NY. 11211. Tel: 718 963 3369

A Night Out With Jimmy

We always appreciate a bar in Manhattan with a view because no matter how long you’ve lived here or where you’ve been, a good view of the City still manages to take your breath away.  Jimmy, the bar on top of the James Hotel in Soho is one such bar whose views from the 18th floor are quite something.

As befits a swank rooftop hotel bar, the cocktails are delicious.  We like the Basel Peach Julep and the Urban Garden Tonic made with organic cucumber vodka, lemon juice, honey, celery bitters with cucumber, mint, thyme and lime muddled together and topped off with tonic water.  It’s so scrumptious it feels like a meal in a glass.

Outside there’s a sparkling rooftop pool surrounded by an expansive teak deck.  A large cement architectural column somehow anchors the deck and the glass sidings allow views as far as the eye can see.   Drinks are served both poolside and inside the intimate and minimally stylish bar.

The bar opens daily at 5pm and anyone can go on up.  After 9pm there’s a doorman downstairs and a strict door policy but if you’re already up at the bar before 9pm they let you stay as long as you wish. It goes without saying that it’s a heavenly place to watch the sunset over the City with a thirst quenching cocktail in hand.

Jimmy at the James Hotel. 15 Thompson Street. New York. NY. 10013. Tel: 212 201 9118

The Top Of The World

When it first opened in 2010, the Top of the Standard on the 18th floor of the Standard Hotel was only open to a select few and boy was it fun.  Back then it was called the Boom Boom Room and it completely lived up to it’s name. Now they’ve opened the doors to all providing you get there early.  Later at night is a stricter door policy but head there for sunset cocktails and you’ll stroll right in.  It is without a doubt the best view anywhere in New York City.  Forget the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, they’ve got nothing on this beautifully designed bar.

There are 360 degree views of the entire city and because you are towering above the very low-rise neighborhood of the West Village there is nothing to obstruct the breathtaking view.   The walls are floor to ceiling glass and coupled with the view, it’s a spectacular effect.

Despite the Standard Hotel’s very modern architecture, the bar at the top of the Standard is designed more like something from the 1940s. There’s a sweeping brass bar, buttery soft leather booths, fire pits in the corners and beautifully dressed staff.  The men in classic black and white as if they’d just stepped off the set of the set of Casablanca, the women in flimsy beige silk.

The long elevator ride on the way up is a hoot.  A video plays by New York video artist Marco Bramilla which depicts his interpretation of heaven and hell, take it how you wish.

It’s such an extravagant place that it’s often booked out for movie premieres and fashion parties so it’s always worth checking ahead to see if it’s open.  As a tourist, this place utterly blows your mind as someone who has lived in New York forever, this incredible view just makes you fall in love with the City all over again.

The Top of The Standard. The Standard Hotel. 848 Washington Street. NY. NY. 10014. Tel:877 550 4646. Mon-Fri 4 -10 pm. Sat-Sun 2-10 pm