Destinations / Travel

Dreaming of the Big Apple? BAINA co-founder Bailey Meredith shares her ultimate New York City travel guide

New York City guide Bailey Meredith

It's true, New York City will never get old. Maybe it's the travel bug talking, or the countless food review videos that seem to be targeting me on my TikTok 'for you' page, but the charm of the Big Apple is never lost on me. Sadly, I don't have any concrete travel plans for my next visit; so when BAINA's co-founder Bailey Meredith offered to bring us along on her latest trip to New York City, I knew I had to get her personal travel guide.

From her insider tips on vintage shopping, to the unforgettable sardines and gin martini that trumped all other meals on her trip, this is how Meredith takes on NYC.

Tell us a little about your travels through New York?

This trip felt very different to the last time I visited NYC pre-covid. The city felt quieter and had a sort of airy sense about it. I was there in April and I think at the time they were still in recovery but I hear the summer has been amazing and the city feels alive again. I’m excited to get back there in September.

Where did you stay? Do you have a favourite hotel or property?

The Marlton. I love staying in the West Village and this has been my go-to hotel for years. The rooms are cosy and inviting as is the lobby fireplace. I also love The Ludlow on the Lower East Side. It has the best bath with the most incredible views overlooking part of the L.E.S.

What was your favourite moment from the trip?

Taking my mum to see Lisa Fischer perform. I invited her to join me on this trip; it was serendipitous than one of her favourite artists had a show on the week we were there.

What sights were on your must-do list?

There are always so many independent exhibitions happening at different galleries or locations around the city. I was lucky to catch the Jean Michael Basquiat exhibition titled KING PLEASURE – there were over 200 unseen works on display.

If the weather is good, I love to ride a city bike from Manhattan to Williamsburg.

Vintage shopping – I have a great friend who lives in Brooklyn and always send me recommendations on where to find the best vintage. Lara Koleji, James Veloria, Desert Vintage.

Galleries – This time I only managed to return to the Guggenheim and MOMA. But I always try and visit one new gallery each trip.

What was the most unforgettable meal you ate?

The sardines at St Theos with the best gin martini I’ve ever had.

What are your favourite things to do on holiday?

I love walking the streets of a city. I find it’s the best way to engage with my surroundings and also get my bearings. Most trips evolve around food and dining out. I like to balance my trips with booking in at restaurants I’ve been recommended but also the surprise of walking into an establishment off the street.

What’s your perfect travel outfit?

I always find layers are essential when travelling. I need to be prepared for all temperatures, so I usually have on a combination of cotton and cashmere up top, paired with a comfortable pair of drawstring trousers. A lightweight coat or jacket and some form of scarf that I use as a blanket on the plane. My main priority is comfort.

What three things will you always have in your bag when you travel?

A swimsuit: Even in winter I always pack a swimsuit. Whether it’s a hotel heated pool or a Korean sauna, I never want to be caught out.

Melatonin: I always carry this as it really helps in those initial first days of jet lag.

A crossbody bag: I always find my handbag is the first thing to annoy me when I’m travelling. I need something that I can chuck over my shoulder and not worry about.

What is your favourite travel read?

Vanity Fair. I don’t usually take a novel because I never find the time to open it. But a copy of Vanity Fair is the best distraction on a plane.

What are your travel beauty bag essentials?

A face mask: I always find my skin gets so dull when I travel. I took my Lesse Bioactive mask on this trip and it was the perfect product to apply after a long hall flight.

Shampoo and conditioner: My hair is pretty temperamental so I never use the hotel amenities. I love the Davines mini travel bottles.

Night oil: I always carry a bottle of Intensive Omega Treatment Oil by New Zealand brand Maryse. It feels so nourishing and healing.

Hydrating moisturiser: The perfect light weight moisturiser for me is Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré.

Sunscreen: My current favourite is the La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF 50+. It’s the perfect size for travelling and works well for face and body.

What spot is next on your holiday list?

Italy! I’ve actually never been. We were booked to go in the Summer of 2020 and ever since I’ve been adding to the list of places I want to visit.

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