Lillie'sOne area of the city I do my best to avoid is Times Square. Ask any New Yorker and I’m sure they’d say the same. It’s loud, overrun and it burns my eyes – but it also means that I’m short on suggestions for what to do up there.

But Ryan started working in the area last week and came across a bar that’s perfect for a drink, catch up or, in our case, an impromptu date night.

As soon as I caught site of Lillie’s, I knew I was going to like it.

It has high ceilings held up with pillars, and the walls are covered with delicately painted portraits hanging in heavy frames. Most beautiful is a stained-glass window on the far window.

(I forgot my camera, so these are semi-dodgy iPhone pictures, I’m afraid.)image (3) image (4) image (5) image (12) image (11)

Lillie’s is named for Lillie Langtry, a beautiful British actress and socialite who flirted with royalty in the 19th century, before moving to the U.S. in 1882 to become an actress. She traveled the country, worked as a model, purchased a California winery and ultimately became an American citizen before passing away in 1929, aged 75.

As a Brit, I think I’m pretty good at sniffing out insincere representations of European history, but I was blown away by this place. It was over-the-top, yes, but so beautiful with an amazing attention to detail. Our server said that everything was from Europe and I believed it.

Unfortunately the food was a little lackluster. We started with a warm beet salad with goats cheese and cranberries, which was delicious, but our mains – vegetable quiche for me, a Portobello mushroom burger for Ryan – were a little uninspiring.

And, of course, there was nothing even vaguely European or British about it (well, apart from those chunky chips).Lillie's Lillie's Lillie's

The drinks, however, were perfect and we agreed we’d definitely go back, grab another snug corner or a stool at the bar, and dig into that cocktail menu for a little longer.

I appreciate it’s not the most American of places but take one trip to Times Square and, I assure you, you’ll be happy for the respite.

Great suggestion, Ryan!

He really is very lovely

He really is very lovely