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This Summer I was lucky enough to attend a food styling workshop in New York City as part of my annual professional development with Stonewall Kitchen. It was my first solo trip to the Big Apple and I couldn't wait to explore in between styling sessions.

I arrived at SoHotel more than 2 hours before check-in, so they held onto my bag while I popped around the corner for some lunch at The Butcher's Daughter. A seat at the window counter was the perfect setting to kick-off my trip. I loved the mostly white decor with an abundance of plants (reminded me of my house). In classic late-Millenial fashion, I ordered the avocado toast with egg and a matcha latte.

I still had more than an hour to kill before checking into my hotel, so I decided to check out the neighborhood and do a bit of shopping. I've been to NYC many times, but hadn't properly explored SoHo. It definitely lived up to it's reputation of having upscale trendy shops and eateries.

By this time I was getting a little restless waiting for the Hotel to be ready. You know that feeling when you have to be somewhere so you're limited in what you can do until that time? Especially in an unknown neighborhood, I didn't want to wander too far and lose track of time. Hotel check-in was at 3pm, the styling workshop started at 4pm, and I knew I'd need a few minutes to recharge in between activities. I decided to play it safe and walk back towards the hotel where I stopped for a cocktail at one of the bars with an enticing sidewalk table. I started to feel like I was squatting at the table for too long for having just one drink, so I headed back to Broome St. at quarter of three to wait in the lobby for my room to be ready.

The workshop was taught by Louise Leonard and held at the International Culinary Center, just up the road from SoHotel. The first portion of the workshop lasted 5 hours and I was feeling unsure about how much I'd learn (it can be hit or miss with these things), but Louise is beyond amazing and I found each session very informative. The days were split into sections where Louise would lecture, and then we'd experiment with her tactics individually while she walked around giving feedback!

By the time class was dismissed at 9pm. I remembered seeing a pizza place with a line down the sidewalk earlier in the day, so I retraced my steps and found it on Prince Street. I waited in line for over 30 minutes, only to enter a tiny take-out place plastered with celebrity photos. I knew it was going to be good. I ordered 2 slices of Pepperoni and hurried back to my hotel room to indulge. It was early to bed on night one, as I wanted to be fresh for the next day's workshop (excuse the bad photo, but I need you guys to see these pepperoni pieces!).

The next morning on the way to the workshop, I found an adorable coffee shop just down the street from the Hotel. Everything was pink! I ordered a cold brew with coconut milk and overnight oats with banana. Why is everything cuter in the city?

A few other spots I enjoyed while in the city were Caffe Roma in little Italy, the Terrace at the Crosby Hotel, and Esther & Carol.

The Crosby Hotel

Caffe Roma

Esther & Carol

I ended my trip with a visit to an old friend from my days living in Charleston, SC. She moved to NYC years ago to pursue a modeling career (and she's doing it!!!), so she showed me some really cool spots and we enjoyed an amazing night of bar hopping and drinking at rooftop bars - I hadn't had a night like that in too long!

Questions about my trip? As always, I'd love to hear from you!



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