Made in Chelsea is on holiday in the Big Apple, where the privileged 20-somethings party with the social elite, bump into each other at the fanciest of hangouts and cause silly amounts of drama wherever they go. Resident good guy Stevie Johnson didn’t want to come home.
“It was the best two months of my life,” says the 25-year-old Etonian. “Because we were away from home, we felt like we could get away with a little bit more. We’re such an excitable bunch and out there in a new city there was the temptation to create a bit of mischief.”
Here, Stevie runs us through the cast’s top spots to do just that in NYC:
1. The Bowery Hotel
On the lower east side, the Bowery’s mixture of Iranian carpets, Art-Deco-style dark woods, antique armchairs and bookshelves make this a hip and smart hangout frequented by celebrities.
Stevie says: This was our favourite hangout. It was across the road from where Proudlock and I lived, and there was a restaurant called Gemma there, which was our favourite place. We saw Gerard Butler, Joshua Jackson and James Franco in there.
Find it: 335 Bowery, www.theboweryhotel.com
2. The Standard
A glass-slab building, surrounded by converted warehouses and floating above the High Line (New York’s disused former railway line), The Standard offers incredible views over the Hudson River and city below.
Stevie says: The Standard Hotel is amazing fun. It’s the sort of area you’ll bump into people you know. It’s definitely worth checking out. The rooftop bar has AstroTurf, and you get amazing views of town and Wall Street. From 5pm in the evenings they play chill out music and everyone is having a good time and having some drinks.
Find it: 848 Washington at 13th Street, www.standardhotels.com
3. Washington Square Park
Sandwiched between brownstones and modern buildings, visitors may find anything from joggers and fire-eating street performers to dog walkers, NYU students, and chess marathons going on in this green space on Fifth Avenue.
Stevie says: It’s full of young college kids. They’ve got a really beautiful arch here, which is almost like Marble Arch, there’s an amazing fountain in the middle and this long road stretching all the way down to the Empire State Building. In the second episode, you’ll see me and Proudlock in Washington Square Park. It’s got lots of greenery, and it’s nice to be around studious people and college kids, and pretend I was back in my university days. I could see if there were any nice American ladies there for me as well.
Find it: Fifth Avenue at Washington Sq N, www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washingtonsquarepark
4. The Frying Pan
Built in 1929, this historic lightship (one of the few remaining) is believed to have spent three years at the bottom of Chesapeake Bay, before being rescued and turned into one of the city’s ultimate ‘dive’ bars.
Stevie says: It’s a ship on the Hudson, it’s a trendy popular bar. People say it’s quite similar to The Ship in Wandsworth, on the river. I can imagine it’s got a better view. It’s young, trendy and quite a popular spot in the summer.
Find it: 30 W 26th St, New York, www.fryingpan.com
Visit New York with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details
5. The Back Room
The Back Room is one of only two speakeasies in New York City that operated during Prohibition still in existence today.
Stevie says: We had a party there one night and it was so cool. You walk into what seems like a shop and you go through this one door and it’s very old and unique. They serve drinks in tea cups and have kept the same vibe from the prohibition era. Everyone really gets into it. There’s a drink called the Sidecar, which Spencer tried to buy for me. It’s small and dark but really fun.
Find it: 102 Norfolk St, www.backroomnyc.com/the-backroom-bar
6. Boat on the Hudson
Anyone with a spare few thousand dollars can book a boat to cruise along the Hudson, either to have a romantic getaway from urban life or throw a massive party. Naturally, on Made in Chelsea, they did the latter…
Stevie says: We filmed an amazing party on a boat on the Hudson. We went to the Statue of Liberty when the sun was setting, it was incredible. Then we went back along to where the Freedom Tower is in Brooklyn and the east side of Manhattan.
Find it: Try Prestige Yacht Charters based in Long Island for private boat parties, www.prestigeyachtcharters.com
7. Avenue nightclub
A favourite hangout of Manhattan’s elite. Come here to buy bottles of Champagne, and hang out with the beautiful and the affluent.
Stevie says: It’s in the Meatpacking District, which is a cool, fun area to live in. There are bars, clubs and really nice restaurants here. We had Binky’s birthday at Avenue, and Jamie and Spencer went there quite a lot. It’s one of those more well-known clubs. Whereas, obviously, me and Proudlock are a little bit more edgy and cool and knew the nooks and crannies of New York. The back streets – that’s where we’d hang. The meatpacking district is a bit Shorditch-y – it’s becoming a bit more mainstream.
Find it: 116 10th Ave, New York, www.avenue-newyork.com
8. Bryant Park
Located behind the New York’s Public Library this little green nook is the ideal respite from the busy Midtown area.
Stevie says: Bryant Park is really nice, they have an outdoor cinema there, and you can take yoga classes. Central Park is the famous park, but places like Bryant Park just pop up out of nowhere in the city. There’s a really nice café, and the weather is so nice in the summer, it’s a really cool spot to chill in. As it’s in the Midtown area, a lot of people head down there after work.
Find it: Midtown between 40th and 42nd Street, www.bryantpark.org
9. The Loeb Boathouse
Visitors can rent rowboats and bikes, hire an authentic Venetian gondola, or dine overlooking views of the lake.
Stevie says: It’s such an amazing spot and similar to the Serpentine in Hyde Park. They do a really cool Sunday brunch right on the lake, they serve brunch until about 4pm, it’s a real party thing to do in New York. You can also rent a rowing boat and they have amazing food.
Find it: East 72nd Street and 5th Avenue, www.thecentralparkboathouse.com
10. Gold Bar
Parts of this trendy little bar are actually crafted from pure gold. Curious drinks include the Beijing Pearl made of spring 44 gin infused, with jasmine pearls, champagne, pear puree, fresh lemon juice and agave nectar. And there’s plenty more where that came from.
Stevie says: We had a night out here that was filmed and will appear during the series. It’s quite a small space and has gold skulls across the walls, quite niche. Typically New York, it’s very laid back and a fun place for drinks. The décor is very eye-catching.
Find it: 389 Broome St, Manhattan, www.goldbarnewyork.com
Watch Made in Chelsea New York at 9pm, Sundays, on E4
Visit New York with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details