Andrew Bolton’s perfect weekend in New York

The curator of The Met’s Costume Institute oversaw blockbuster shows such as Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and Manus X Machina. His latest, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, is open now

Andrew Bolton in the plaza at Lincoln Center
Andrew Bolton in the plaza at Lincoln Center | Image: Martien Mulder

“Saturday begins at 7 or 8am with several cups of English breakfast tea, while I watch CNN for the latest world news. It’s difficult to turn it off these days. I’ll catch up on emails that I’ve let slide during the week, then try to keep the rest of the day clear of work-related matters. 

One of my favourite rituals is getting coffee and doughnuts from Nougatine, just down the street from where my partner Thom Browne and I live. Depending on the weather, we’ll take our breakfast over to the plaza at Lincoln Center and eat by the Henry Moore sculpture, or bring it home and sit out on our terrace overlooking Central Park.

Whatever I do, the day revolves around Hector, our miniature dachshund, who rules the roost. I take him for long walks in the park, designed to tire him out. We like to stop off at Le Pain Quotidien, just across from Sheep Meadow, where they provide water and treats for him. 

At lunchtime, we are again thinking of Hector. We might go to Lincoln Ristorante, a modernist Italian spot with outdoor seating – they know us and always have a bowl of water waiting. Or we’ll walk along the High Line – the old rail track that’s been transformed into a lovely urban path along the Hudson – and have lunch at Cookshop in Chelsea, which serves an excellent chicken salad – good after my decadent breakfast. 

In the afternoon I like to visit other museums, such as the Guggenheim or MoMA, and particularly love the Frick Collection for its opulent rooms full of Old Masters and sculpture – I always go to see Whistler’s Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac. If I’m working at The Met – which was all the time while we were installing the Rei Kawakubo show – I often escape to the garden at the Cooper Hewitt, a design museum a short walk up Fifth Avenue. I love this quiet oasis for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. 

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As our week is so hectic, Saturday nights tend to be just for Thom and me, or we might meet a small group of friends at a restaurant downtown. I Sodi is a must for the cacio e pepe [pasta with cheese and pepper] and baked branzino [seabass], and I love the warm, rustic atmosphere at Morandi in the West Village. The place I’ve been going to forever, though, is The Waverly Inn for its old-English pub ambience and crab cakes. In any case, I am home and in bed by about 11pm.

Sundays begin in much the same way, with tea and maybe a cinnamon roll from the new Breads Bakery, and lots of reading. As well as The New York Times, I like to catch up on back issues of The New Yorker, visit Vogue.com and do a bit of online shopping at Mr Porter.

After a walk with Hector, I’ll go to the Yogaworks gym early so that we can have a long, leisurely lunch at home around 2pm. We don’t cook, so Epicerie Boulud is our go-to for provisions such as Niçoise salads, quiches and excellent chilli. I am not a huge clothes shopper – Thom tends to provide them – but I try to get over to Dover Street Market for unusual pieces. My passion is bookstores, and I especially love 192 on 10th Avenue for its vast selection of art and history books. It’s a wonderful place to browse and learn.

We’ll spend the evening at home, maybe watching a TV series such as The Crown or Victoria. Then we’ll get a takeaway from Shun Lee, which does outstanding shrimp dumplings and chicken fried rice, or indulge in a delivery from Morandi. They will bring our meatballs, Brussels sprouts salad, fried olives and steak by car.

Weekends are a time to decompress. By Sunday night I’ve had a chance to reflect on the past week and look forward to the next, which might involve anything from cataloguing to a trip to Europe or Tokyo for the collections.”

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