Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite .. Just kidding. I am a massive Gossip Girl fan and have watched the show from the pilot right through the the finale. I used to look so forward to Thursdays on ITV2 for my Upper East Side fix. What’s not to love about Gossip Girl? It’s full of scandal, incredible style, gorgeous scenes in New York City and Chuck Bass, of course. When I booked NYC, one thing came to mind – The Gossip Girl tour. I had lots of tweets asking about the tour and other fellow fans expressing their excitement so I thought it would be silly not to make it into a blog post.
Our meeting point was The Palace Hotel, which housed the Bass & Vanderwood families in Seasons 1 & 2. For me, Season 1 was my favourite so it felt so surreal to be there, especially the courtyard! We made our way into the reception to all be checked off for the bus and my word, it is just the most stunning hotel. With the penthouse where Serena & Chuck would have lived at a pricey $10,000 a night, it’s safe to say you’d need to win the lottery to visit there as a true Upper East Sider. We paid for priority seats on the bus, meaning you were seated in the first 4 rows of the coach. We were all checked off, boarded the bus and ready to go. We had a lovely tour guide named Kelsey, who was a major Gossip Girl stan filled with lots of trivia, fun facts and good general information about NYC.
The first stop was St Constance (which is actually The Museum of New York) to see where Blair & Co went to school. Before we arrived, we were shown some old scenes on the bus from the school and once you got there, you instantly began to remember! The grounds were so lovely and the fact it was snowy was a bit of a bonus. We had to get an S&B style photo on the steps.
Our next stop was the famous MET steps, where Blair and her minions had lunch. This was probably the highlight of the tour as there are so many iconic scenes from here. It was such an impressive building. Despite everyone on the bus wanting a photo and only having 10 minutes at this stop, we managed to cram in a photo on the MET steps.
The next stop along the way that I didn’t actually expect to enjoy as much as I did was Dylan’s Candy Bar. This was home to one of the scenes in Season 2 where Dan & Vanessa go shopping for a gift for Vanessa & Nate’s anniversary (REMEMBER THOSE TWO TOGETHER?). The store is owned by Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren and is one of the biggest candy stores in the states. It’s wall to wall of amazing sweets and some amazing novelty one off items – I loved the Mean Girls popcorn! We were given a 10% off voucher and I ended up spending money I didn’t plan to on some candy to take home. I could have spent hours in there but probably best for my spending money and my teeth that we only had a quick stop!
The next stop was to Harry Winston and Henri Bendles. As a massive fan of jewellery, it was amazing to have a snoop in the windows at Harry Winston’s and daydream. This is from the scene where Chuck leaves the engagement ring he brought Blair on the steps. Harry Winston can actually recreate the exact ring from the show for any wealthy boyfriends of Gossip Girl stans out there! Henri Bendles used to be a department store but now it is just focused on their own brand. You can have your hair done just like Blair had for her wedding done by a member of staff here.
The second last stop was the famous Empire Hotel, home to a certain Mr Bass. I was a little disappointed with this stop if I’m honest. I wasn’t particularly expecting to see much but I didn’t really think this hotel had the wow factor. The hotel used to have a complete Gossip Girl themed cocktail menu but now, they have just kept one, appropriately named ‘The Chuck Bass’. There is a rooftop bar you can go to, which features the iconic big, red sign however in the winter months, this is closed! So disappointing as I’d of love to have went. If your ever in New York in the summer and a massive Gossip Girl fan, I’d recommend going!
Last up was where it all began, Grand Central Station. This is, of course, the first scene in Gossip Girl where we meet Serena who has just returned to NYC from Boarding School. This was another tour highlight for me and I remember beforehand feeling like it wouldn’t because it would “just be like any other train station” but I was strong. Grand Central Station is so impressive. Firstly, it is humungous but the design of the building is just absolutely stunning. Everything from the signs for the trains to the lighting to the windows is exceptional and I’m so glad we got to visit here. I would say it’s a must visit.
So what do you think of the Gossip Girl tour? Is it something you would be keen to do or have already done? I’d love to hear your thoughts below or as always, you can tweet/Instagram me at @whatamydid. Thanks for reading!