Autumn in New York City | Retreat with The Cottage Table Experience
For our 24th wedding anniversary celebration Kelly and I signed up for The Cottage Table Experience NYC retreat. We came in a few days early so we could get acclimated and mostly to see the incredible Victory Boyd in an intimate concert. Day one was yummy tapas, walking all day long and loving it, MOMA, and ending the day with the concert. It was a beautiful day one but wait until you see all we did and all the beauty we experienced. This trip has drastically changed how I want to run our business, package, paint, cook, gather, love…so many things! It was a hugely impactful trip for me. Travel always inspires my heart and when you are with Daune (The Cottage Table Experience) she will surprise you and invite you into beauty around every corner. Enjoy a peek into day one. You will need to be logged into Instagram to view all of the videos.
Day two was filled with falling leaves, the West Village (my very favorite), lunch at Dante West Village (sooo good and BEAUTIFUL), a custom poem at Washington Square Park, a long cafe au lait break at Buvette NYC, dinner at Via Carota and walking everywhere. My love language is walking everywhere so NYC just feels really good to me. Day two was definitely a few jumping up and down moments because I was so in love with the architecture, cafes, good food, walking and having eyes to see NYC differently.
Our day three in NYC was also the first day of The Cottage Table Experience retreat. This was the only rainy day of our trip and even rain in the city feels magical. Our day started off with meeting everyone and being lavished with gifts from Daune. We then headed off to explore. I don’t know why I don’t have as many photos from this day but it was full of lunch at Boucherie, the Strand Book Store (I could have spent hours here), Chelsea art crawl (and I stepped on an installation on the floor…nice) and the best beef bourguignon I have ever had at Balthazar. My favorite each day was all the walking (so you can eat all the food ), the Art Deco details throughout the city, the different languages all around us, the invitation to have your eyes wide open (but you have to say yes) and time with Kelly.
Each day in NYC was full of wonder. The truth is that each day in my own home, in my own backyard, with my own people is also full of wonder. Eyes wide open.
Day four was really full of sweet surprises in architecture, an art class in Central Park, rowing boats in the park before they close the boats forever, sun on my face, picnic in the park, musicians playing all over the city, a true speakeasy, rooftop views at the MET, and seeing the city at night really showing off. BUT, if I thought this day was special I was about to have the sweetest joy filled day on day five. I will have to create two reels to share all the joy.
Carpe Diem. Seize the day. These are the words that I thought of over and over on this trip. Each morning Daune would have an optional early morning outing for anyone interested and Kelly and I went to every one. How could we not? I loved each day in NYC but day five was like my dream day from start to finish. This day was so inspiring that it will have to be shared in parts. The early morning started with walking The High Line. This is extraordinary and the perspective, art, foliage, juxtaposition of the architecture vs. soft wildflowers was breathtaking. We then started our morning at RW Guildfor breakfast at La Mercerie. It was pure beauty in every way. The paint colors, woodwork, hardware, lighting, artisan made everything, the music, the food, the velvet seat cushions…we were dipped in beauty. This day was secret gardens and tucked away walls of graffiti. This day brought me to tears but that is for part two.
After leaving the brilliance and beauty of RW Guild and La Mercerie, we walked to our next surprise. The Cottage Table Experience lavished us with meaningful experiences and this next one brought tears to my eyes. She had made reservations for us to see, explore and shop at BDDW and M. Crow Company and the incredible mind and designs of Tyler Hays. We were invited into creativity that felt intimate but approachable at the same time. It was a beautiful deep breath of permission. I can’t even explain it. It was deeply beautiful to me.
Last NYC reel but what a trip! Our sixth (and last day) started early to walk the Brooklyn Bridge towards Manhattan. It was the perfect way to end our trip! After almost everyone else left a few of us had a final adventure of seeing one of the old abandoned subway stations. Next time I will take the official tour but the beauty of the stained glass and tiles were ALMOST worth it (don’t follow weird illegal ideas online). We also accidentally found the 28th Street floral tile mural I had been looking for! I jumped up and down when I found it. This trip completely changed by opinion of the city. I had only been a few other times and The Cottage Table Experience shared a different side and I feel like when you can change your perspective it changes so much. Would you believe that I forgot I was in the US a few times as I was heading into French restaurants or cafes? It is true. These six days I felt truly transported and in the sweetest ways. I came home creatively inspired in cooking, entertaining, creating and design. NYC, plans are already being made to come back!
I graduated from high school in NJ 1967. My father worked in NYC and in the summer I rode the train with him to do temp work for Kelley Girl jobs. It was so exciting that I almost didn’t want to quit when the summer was over and I had to start college. I’ve always found NYC fascinating but now find it sad that it’s come so far down hill.