Eloise at The Plaza
Little brings me as much joy as Eloise at The Plaza does. If I were a few million dollars richer with a debutante mom, a nanny and a penchant for showing my underwear then I too could live the life of luxury she leads. Visiting the Eloise Shops at The Plaza is the closest I can get to one of my imaginary best friends/alter ego and boy is it fun! If you didn't know, The Plaza Hotel (on Central Park South) has a public area below ground called "The Shops" with places to eat and shop. Tucked away in the corner is the Eloise Shop bursting with pink, ruffles and a rawther fancy tea room. You enter through the lobby and immediately come upon the Palm Court, a favorite haunt of Eloise. You can sit and eat like New York royalty or just gawk and take pictures like me. As you make your way to The Shops, you'll come across a piano and the famous Eloise portrait by illustrator Hilary Knight hanging in the hallway. Fun fact: the first original of that painting was stolen by some frat boys so Hilary Knight had to paint a new one.
Eloise, the fictional eternally six year old child who calls The Plaza her home and playground has a lot to offer her admirers. The aforementioned Tea Room has several tiny tables to sit and play at, but they also host birthday parties and special events in here. Decorating the shelves are plate and tea sets available for purchase. In the lounge room there's seating and a TV playing Eloise. You can also find books and dolls. In the Fashion room there are outfits I only dream of fitting into but I know anyone under the age of 10 would also go crazy for the sparkles and sheer fanciness of the whole affair.
There's even a Concierge and a mailbox to stuff letters you write to Eloise into. Yes- you can write Eloise a letter and she will write you back! And obviously the mailbox is pink.
There are gifts for young and old. From snow globes to dolls to notebooks to cards to jewelry to housewares, every Eloise at The Plaza lover can find something special to take home. The Plaza is one of my favorite places in the city for it's elegance, so if you go for Eloise you'll also want to stay awhile. While The Plaza has an Eloise suite designed by Betsey Johnson, it runs upwards of $2000 a night which is someone's rent somewhere. So probably not an option.
Instead, you can grab a bite at the Todd English Food Hall right next to the Eloise Shop where they have a vegan burger. The surrounding eateries in The Plaza don't have much to offer in the way of vegan food, but there are plenty of juices, soy milk, fruit and seaweed salad to munch on if you're just passing through.
Conveniently located right across the street is the world famous toy store FAO Schwarz, most likely Eloise's second favorite place in the world. My perfect day consists of Central Park, The Plaza and FAO Schwartz. Hey, you're never too old for toys!
For those into bling and ritziness, 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue are a stone's throw away. The Plaza is on 5th Avenue so whether you walk up or down you can find all the storied department stores and boutiques associated with New York City. Tiffany and Co, Bergdorf's and Henri Bendel are within a few blocks of each other- and provide a stunning view of The Plaza and Central Park.
As Eloise says, I absolutely love the Plaza!