Travel Series: Central Park in the Summer and Mad. Sq. Eats

I'm so excited that it's finally time to start sharing some of the highlights from our most recent trip to New York! I'm kicking off with our first day in the city which included a stroll around Central Park and some delicious grub at Mad. Sq. Eats... We've seen how gorgeous Central Park is when the leaves are changing in autumn, and when the ice skaters are out in force in winter. But Central Park in the summer? With those blue skies and lush open space? Well that's just something else.

new york in the summer central park

We woke up on our first day in New York to a cloudless sky and rising temperatures. After grabbing some iced lattes from Blue Bottle Coffee we wandered along 5th Avenue to the park, revelling in the excitement of being back in our favourite place in the world. The park was already bustling with people - joggers getting their morning exercise, tourists negotiating bike rentals, artists settling down for a days work.

I was surprised at just how different it felt to our previous visits in the colder months - the atmosphere was more relaxed and people were moving at a slower pace, stopping for coffee by the lake or taking time out to do some yoga. It was also the first time I'd ever seen anyone out on the boats on the lake - it looked like a perfect actitivity for such a lovely day.

the boating lake central park new york

We spent a couple of hours wandering around, stopping every now and then to people watch and soak in a bit of the sun (which felt even more lovely after spending three cold days in Iceland!). We also did as all good tourists do in Central Park - hunting down the iconic spots from all of those TV shows and films we grew up watching! Here were some of our faves...

home alone fountain central park new york

The bird lady fountain from Home Alone 2...

central park new york

The scene of Chuck and Blair's wedding in Gossip Girl (I actually squealed when we found this, it was SO gorgeous in there)...

model boat pond central park

And the model boat pond where they race the boats in Stuart Little!

There are so many other good sights to keep your eyes peeled for if you're visiting - Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields and the Alice in Wonderland statue are all worth hunting out too.

central park new york

central park new york

After a couple of hours of walking and wandering we had worked up quite the appetite! We hopped on the subway and headed downtown to the Flat Iron district.

flat iron building new york

We had only one destination in mind... Mad. Sq. Eats!

Mad. Sq. Eats new york  mad. sq. eats new york

Mad. Sq. Eats is a culinary pop up, a food market of sorts, based directly opposite the Flat Iron building. We had read a lot about it when researching our trip and knew we'd have to pay a visit - and we weren't disappointed! We spent a good few hours, sat in the sun, drinking frozen maragaritas and working our way round the many tasty food stands.

Our personal highlights were the La Sonrisa Empanadas, the delicious rice balls from Arancini Bros, and of course, the unbeatable pizza from Roberta's...

robertas pizza new york

Just look at that crust! While it's not a permanent fixture, Mad. Sq. Eats has been popping up a couple of times a year for eight years now - I would highly recommend checking whether it's on if you're visiting the city, if only to try lots of amazing food from the very best New York vendors in one sitting!

But if Mad. Sq. Eats isn't on and you find yourself in the Flat Iron district, fear not! You can always head into the park for a delicious burger from the original (and the best!) Shake Shack.

shake shack madison square park

Once we were completely stuffed headed back to our apartment to chill out before heading to Williamsburg for the evening - little did I know that we were about to get engaged a few hours later! Not a bad first day in New York, eh?