Simon Shopping Destinations- Welcome To New York

Every now and then I feel like my job rewards me with some pretty big "pinch me" moments and last week in particular was not only a prime example of this but one of my favourite highlights to the year! I was invited on a little shopping trip to New York by the amazing team at Simon Shopping Destinations... No biggie hey? I obviously said yes in a New York minute. Not only did this invite revolve solely around shopping, but in New York and in December! It's the kind of trip Christmas dreams truly are made of. I should also add that I've never actually been to New York before so to say it was an offer I couldn't refuse would be an understatement. Needless to say The Big Apple didn't disappoint and to top it off neither did all three of the Simon Shopping Destinations we visited on our travels. As per usual I've taken a thousand and one photos of my time away so let's pine over the pictures together and catch up on what exactly I got up to.

Where I Stayed

Now I've got to say I'm a big fan of The Hoxton and when I found out we'd be staying in one of their hotels in New York I was thrilled. They never let you down, the rooms are cosy and the vibe is always spot on. The Hoxton in Williamsburg is now categorically my favourite I've visited to date. Not only is this hotel kitted out in the most Instagram worthy decor but take a little peak out of your bedroom window and you're likely to see one of the most spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline there is. Not to keep harping on about how smitten I was with this trip but getting to my room, laying down my bags and seeing that view made me feel completely humbled. I'd officially arrived in New York and would gladly have passed hours just staring at my room with one incredible view. 
Williamsburg, Brooklyn is definitely an area I would love to stay in again. Super cool and super effortless. Ideal for lovers of East London and The Northern Quarter with amazing cafes, vintage shops and independent stores on virtually every block. You could pretty much do an entire trip around this area, not once venture out to Manhattan and be completely content. 

What We Did

Now for the really meaty part, what exactly we did... Which was a heck of a lot. Well seeing as it was my first time in New York I had a very mini wish list of places I wanted to visit. You know the absolute must see landmarks like Times Square, Katz so I could have what she's having, The Rockefeller Christmas Tree so I could pretend I was Kevin lost in New York, Strawberry Gardens in Central Park to pay my respects to John Lennon and of course Greenwich Village (where I accidentally stumbled on Carrie Bradshaw's house). These were all dream locations to see don't get me wrong but completely obvious and so I won't bore you with every slight detail because it's hardly revolutionary. The really important topic we should discuss is shopping, after all that was the sole purpose of my trip!
Within three days we visited three very varied Simon shopping destinations, all of which served a completely different purpose from the next. We started off the trip with a little hop, skip and jump to The Mill at Jersey Gardens, New Jersey. The Mills is around a half an hour taxi journey away from Manhattan and ideal for those of you that want to shop with purpose whilst escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city. Shops within this destination ranged from Uniqlo and Levis to a Sakk's and Kate Spade outlets. There was definitely a store for all the family and overall The Mills is a great place to visit if you're a seasoned bargain hunter. I found I ended up buying a lot of great stocking fillers from The Mills as the price points were so low and hard to say no to. Let's just say Joe did very well out of my time there.
Next up we took an ever so slightly more lengthy journey out to Philadelphia where we paid King Of Prussia a visit. This destination is huge, you've been warned. Wear comfy shoes because you'll be doing an impressive amount of walking around this beautiful mall. Unlike The Mills, King Of Prussia was not necessarily an outlet and more aimed at everyone and anyone who loves shopping. Their stores ranged from pretty much every high street brand you can think of, to much more luxury labels such as Burberry, Fendi and Coach. If you're planning on getting all your Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop than I would highly recommend taking a trip here. I made a B-line for their Madewell store (as there isn't a stand alone store in the UK and it breaks my heart) and their gigantic Anthropologie.
Last but by no means least we took a trip to Woodbury Common Premium Outlet which was a short bus journey out of Manhattan and I can NOT emphasis enough how worthwhile the journey is! This outlet is an absolute goldmine for any big designer fans out there. I realise if I say their discounted prices were too good to be true I'd possibly sound a little like an advert but there is no other way to phrase it. The bargains on amazing luxury brands were crazy and if I'd stayed there too long I could have done some serious damage to my poor purse. There was pretty much every high end label on offer from Gucci, Prada and Dior to Acne Studios, Celine and Mulberry. I feel in love with the entire Chloe store and managed to hunt down a very Old School Chloe paisley blouse at 80% off! I think possibly my best find to date and a wonderful way to end our trip.
Post holiday blues certainly takes a whole new meaning after visiting New York and I've spent the last few days pining after the city whilst simultaneously trying to overcome my jet lag.... Not a good mix. But needless to say New York is most definitely a city I just know I will see again very shortly. Until then I will just have to watch Breakfast At Tiffany's on loop and pine some more. 

Happy Shopping and an even happier Christmas guys,
Sophia x

Big thank you to all the team at Simon Shopping Destinations for your hospitality and an absolute dream trip.

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