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Jen Smith is Head of News at the Daily Mail US and a friend of our founder. Read along as she talks us through her routines and recommendations in New York City, and how she stays connected to wellness, culture and home. Make sure to take notes for your next trip across the pond! 


Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your connection to New York?

I was born in London, raised in Scotland and have had the enormous pleasure of living and working in NYC as a journalist for the last eight years. I currently work as Head of News at Daily Mail’s Manhattan office.

How do you like to practise wellness and find calm in your city? 

In a city as manic as New York, it’s so important to carve out some downtime and escape from time to time. If I can’t get out to Montauk (total heaven!) then for me it’s gym classes (big fan of Equinox, Body Rok pilates and SoulCycle), and making use of the amazing spas we have here. Rescue Spa is great for facials and such an iconic space, The Well is my annual birthday gift to myself  (they have a gorgeous café too for lunch after treatments), and for low-key, routine maintenance I go to CityGlow, a small, independent business in the East Village. So relaxing – I always fall asleep.

Are there any spots we should go to for a mindful moment in NYC?

Central Park is the obvious choice but there are some lovely waterside spots too! I live near the river in Long Island City and love walking along the piers there. For green space in Manhattan, don’t overlook Madison Square Park and Elizabeth Street Garden.

We’re going out for dinner with friends, where should we make reservations asap?

SO many amazing options and there are always new spots to try but my favorite is Raoul’s, a classic French bistro in SoHo. I celebrate most of my big moments there! I also recommend Bond St, Rubirosa for a casual pizza, and Westlight in Williamsburg for fab views.

What does your perfect day off in New York City look like?

A lie in! I wake up pretty early to catch up on news and am typically at work by around 6.30am so I love my extra sleep on days off. Next would be a workout then a coffee or matcha in Soho or Flatiron. I’d go to The Well for a facial or massage and make use of the steam room and hammam, then have lunch there. My favourite area for shopping is Soho – Broadway, Wooster Street and Greene Street have great stores, so I’d likely go there next. I’d then meet friends for a drink at Champers Social Bar and head to dinner next! Sartiano’s in Soho is fab and new and I love Emilio’s Ballato, you have to line-up and it’s 50/50 if they let you in. Maybe we’d finish the night with a dance at Little Sister or grab a drink at Ludlow House before calling it a night!

What is a “tourist trap” that you secretly love in NYC?

Yankee Stadium for a game in the summer! It stays so light and the atmosphere is unmatched. You can’t get more New York than that. I also always tell visitors to make use of walking the bridges – Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan – and catching the ferry.


Are there any local artists/musicians/creatives that you’re a fan of?

I’m probably the worst person to ask – my friends and I joke that I’m the least ‘cool’ person in the group – but they would all say a Brooklyn-based DJ. An artist who I think is great is Jen Scribbles, she creates drawings/prints of New York restaurants and they make great gifts. She has an Etsy here! https://www.etsy.com/shop/JenScribblesNY


How do you stay connected to a sense of “home” in such a big, busy city?

WhatsApp (god send) and by bunkering down at night with my partner in our apartment and a nice candle.  We’ve put a lot of love into it and it finally feels like home!


Last but not least, do you have any hidden gems you can share with us for our next visit to New York City?

Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown for Dim Sum and Pony Boy in Brooklyn. I ended up in there last weekend totally unaware that it was a hotspot and it was great.