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     By: Tanya
    Afternoon Sail on the 'Manhattan' / Birthday Dinner Tuesday, 28 October 2008 14:48

    To celebrate Philip's 'landmark' birthday and the anniversary of our wonderful third year together, I booked the 'afternoon tea' sail on the beautiful 1920s-style yacht Manhattan yacht_manhattan.html

    You can see some photos from our trip here: tinyurl.com

    We were SO lucky with the weather, it just could not have been better! We boarded the yacht and were greeted by the fabulous crew, and a spread of croissants, pastries, cheese, fruit, scones, bagels, and the most delicious lox platter ever (I was seriously considering asking where they get their lox, it was some of the best I've ever had -- yum)! We settled in, and had a champagne toast (on this trip, your first drink is free, very nice) as the yacht sailed away from Chelsea Piers.

    I just can't say enough about how gorgeous this ship is! It was built in 2005, and it has been impeccably maintained. (And it even has flush toilets!!) Most of the ship is a very comfortable covered cabin, but the bow is open so you can see the sights from outside as well. Definitely a perfect environment for bringing parents or older relatives on a trip, you will be in the lap of luxury! (We had such a fabulous time, but for a little more excitement Classic Harbor Line's schooners are amazing -- check out the photos from our sail last year on Adirondack here: tinyurl.com
    ). I love how all of Classic Harbor Line's ships are small and intimate, no crowds!

    When I booked the trip in late September, I was only really focused on how romantic it sounded and didn't pay too much attention to the exact itinerary. But Philip and I were so thrilled to realize that the ship circled all the way around Manhattan! You are able to see so much more than just a lower Manhattan harbor cruise, including a pass by Spuyten Duyvil: spuyten_duyvil_creek_23.html

    The announcements from the crew I think were perfect, very informative but not intrusive. After we shared a serious bagel nosh, we spent most of the rest of the trip out on the bow savoring the ship, the water, the sights, and the weather, ahhhhhhhhhh!

    After we had been out on the water for a while, the cheese plate was removed and replaced with a lovely tray of sandwiches. But we had already stuffed ourselves with the bagels, so we didn't sample them. But as the cruise neared the end, we hopped back into the cabin and had a croissant and a (wow!) savory cheese scone -- I love scones but I've never had one of those. It was delicious!

    The timing of the trip is perfect for this time of year, 3pm-5:45pm so as you're heading back down the Hudson to Chelsea Piers the sun is starting to set. I said to Philip I could do this every day, lol. Definitely highly recommended, and Goldstar www.goldstar.com
    usually has discount tickets available, what a deal!

    I also took Philip out to dinner for his birthday at The Palm (the original, tinyurl.com
    ), his favorite steak house. This is a REAL, old-school steak house. The ambiance is fantastic, you can tell it's been there for ages and the caricatures on the walls are very cool. The almost butcher-like coats the waiters wear fit right in.

    As far as the food, wow, what can I say? I'm usually drawn to fancy French places, but The Palm's basic dishes were absolute heaven, prepared to perfection and with the best and freshest ingredients. They obviously put a lot of care into the food, it shows! We started with shrimp cocktails and a salad, and I had the surf and turf special (filet mignon with a lobster tail), while Philip had the NY strip steak a la stone (sliced over onions); plus french fries and sauteed green beans with big chunks of roasted garlic, mmmmmm. For dessert we shared an incredible warm molten chocolate cake served with a mound of fresh whipped cream and (real) vanilla bean ice cream. I was SO impressed, I'd love to go back sometime!

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