Bonnie Wright in New York

We’ve been head over heels for Bonnie Wright ever since we interviewed her for The Water Issue this summer. Now our ultimate gal gives SUITCASE her guide to London and New York, her original and adopted homes.

I moved to New York at the beginning of this year, and even though I had been going back and forth from London for quite a while for work, moving was a whole different thing. Like every good New Yorker, I now have my own list of local spots down. The high energy and positive vibe of the city has meant my work has gained so much momentum. There are so many stories to be heard in New York, and storytelling is my job so I am in heaven. One of my current projects is my first feature film, and it’s based in New York so I don’t have to go far for inspiration. I have been lucky enough to travel a lot with my family and work, but there is nothing more adventurous than moving to a new city. That being said, I still love exploring London every time I come home, so here I write about my favourite spots in both cities:

LONDON

Your favourite hotel to wake up in? Living away from home, my favourite ‘hotel’ would be my parent’s house – for home cooking and endless tea.

Morning workout? Training with Russell at SBC. Although it’s such a sweaty challenging class, I miss it so much when I am away. Then swimming at Shoreditch House.

The best brunch spot? Leila’s in Arnold Circus has the best baked eggs.

Where do you go to walk off brunch? I would continue walking through Shoreditch and make my way through the city to the River Thames, always so full of history and new people coming in and out with the tide.

For a mid-morning coffee? Algerian Coffee Store in Soho is the best. It’s not a café, but they have a little espresso machine amongst all the vats of fresh coffee beans and tea. The smell in there is amazing!

For a long lunch with friends? Honey & Co. is mine and my friends’ favourite type of food. And you need all day to work your way through the menu.

The best bookshop in the city? Hatchards in Piccadilly I love for its beautiful old wooden interior. The best place to to buy gifts!

For a dose of culture? The Tate Modern is my favourite gallery. Even if you’ve seen the main exhibition the building itself is a piece of art. I also love the National Portrait Gallery for some West End grandeur.

The city’s best boutique? My parents have recently moved their Wright & Teague studio to Shoreditch so every trip back to London (if I have been good) means another beautiful piece of their jewellery to add to my collection. I love Sunspel and Acne for basics. Then Dover Street Market for something special.

Where would you go for dinner? When I am back in London, the most exciting thing is a a curry from my local in East London. Americans can cook pretty much anything, but I’ve never found a good curry. I catch up with friends at Rita’s bar or if I’m in the the West End I love Koya in Soho for lunch.

For post-dinner drinks? A cosy drink by the fire at the Chiltern Firehouse or any Sam Smith’s pub.

For a late night film? The Barbican Centre will always be my cinema. I went to Saturday cinema club there as a kid and still call it my local.

NEW YORK

Your favourite hotel to wake up in? The Mercer hotel. It feels like you’ve woken up in a big fluffy cloud. Everything is white – it’s so calm and peaceful. They also have the best in-room breakfast!

Morning workout? My new obsession is Sky Ting yoga, a beautiful new studio in Chinatown. It’s a big white loft, with wooden floors, plants and heaps of light with a view of the Manhattan Bridge. And I’ll admit I am a cardio cult follower of Soul Cycle. My favourite studio is the NoHo one with Marvin – he brings the beats and the sass.

The best brunch spot? Russ & Daughters café for the best eggs benedict I have ever had. They freshly bake all their rye bread, challah and bialys, and their smoked salmon comes straight from their famous deli just a few blocks away. The décor of the café is modelled exactly on the original deli, which opened in 1914.

Where do you go to walk off brunch? I’ll walk around the Lower East Side where there are lots of great little clothes stores and galleries. Then continue down to Brooklyn Bridge for the best view of the city with the old wooden floors underneath you.

For a mid-morning coffee? La Colombe will wake anyone up – it’s the strongest, tastiest cup in town. And it’s a great place to sit and work and watch people go by. I always take some of their coffee home to my Dad in London when I visit. He loves it!

For a long lunch with friends? I could spend hours at Dimes. – I love the décor and vibe in there so much! I could also eat the entire menu quite happily. Start with the black rice bowl and end with an accai bowl. Everyone loves a bowl!

The best bookshop in the city? I love spending hours in McNally Jackson Books. It’s small but they have everything you need. You can then sit with your books in the café and read for hours. The staff are so lovely!

For a dose of culture? I really love the new Whitney Museum. Start at the top and work your way down. I love how you can walk on the outside of the building, taking in the sculptures and phenomenal view of the Hudson.

The city’s best boutique? I like Westerlind and Armor Lux in NoLita for day wear. If I am looking for something special for an event or a night out I go to my friend’s shop, Georgia’s Vintage NYC in the Lower East Side. And CAP beauty is my latest obsession – they have the most beautiful natural beauty products and facials.

Where would you go for dinner? It’s so hard to choose in New York as there are so many amazing restaurants! If I am celebrating something, then I’ll go to Minetta Tavern. If I am going out that night, then I’ll start at Miss Lily’s 7A. If I am looking for some mid-week nourishment, then I’ll go to Souen or Angelica’s Kitchen.

For post-dinner drinks? The Bowery hotel or Sophie’s, a dive bar in the East Village.

For a late-night film? Sunshine Cinema on Houston always has a great mix of indie and blockbuster films. Or my apartment…I always end up watching something. Film is my food!

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