I've always loved Upstate New York for the serenity it provides from the craze of the city. I finally moved to New York City in March of this year, a long-awaited move which I'd been dreaming about since I first stepped foot in the city in the Summer of 2012.
What I love most about the state is that it offers the very best of both worlds- the bustle of the city that I so vividly remember about the first time I visited, but also the calmness of the mountains and forests which are a short two hour drive North from the city to Upstate New York. The Catskills and surrounds feeds my soul with comfort and it's landscape and fresh air similar to the New Zealand landscape which I grew up with.
Every time I get to escape Upstate, I'm lucky enough to spend time with my closest friends in nature, reserving evenings for preparing home cooked feasts, puzzles, local wines and getting cosy with smores in hand. I'm not quite sure when it was that I turned into my grandmother, but as you can probably tell, my year of being 25 in New York somewhat differs from Carrie Bradshaw's version (but I'm okay with that).
It's moments like these that I've grown to appreciate more than anything else and having been apart from my best friends for so long, I know I'll cherish these times for years to come.
I spent Easter weekend up here at Olivebridge Cottage, a serene & modern property that sleeps up to 6, with lush forest views to wake up to, open space and natural light that bounces from wall to wall.
I found this property on Red Cottage Inc, which offers a selection of Catskills properties for rent- from rustic barns to modern lakeside summer homes, and a platform that I'm going to be making the most of with the Summer season ahead. If you think that the Hamptons is the best relaxing escape from New York City, think again.
This recently renovated property ticks all the boxes and a refreshing space to escape to. A project by Manhattan Nest, I spent a lot of the weekend sipping on tea and reading through the blog posts detailing the extensive renovation that the house went through in 2015, it's triumphs and mishaps (and taking mental notes for the day that I build my own cabin in the woods).
While I love the hustle of the city, the Catskills really is the perfect getaway from the high rises of Manhattan and the 8 million people that call it home.
Phoenicia Diner is located on the way up from the city to the cottage and possibly my favourite diners I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. Unlike other Diners, Phoenicia locally sources much of it's produce and I can be found frequently raving about their potatoes. It's a must visit on the route to the Cottage and the perfect spot to grab a brunch bite before an afternoon check in time.
Dish to try- the roasted roots skillet (with an extra side of Phoenician potatoes) or the house made waffle.