Sophie Stanbury may seem like your quintessential Londoner, but the Brit was actually a bona fide New Yorker nearly 20 years ago. "It was so much fun. Really, I had the best time," Sophie gushed to The Daily Dish during an interview in Manhattan. "I love New York."
The Ladies of London interior designer called the Big Apple home in the late '90s, many years before she got married to Alex Stanbury and had her two beautiful boys. After growing up in England, Sophie followed her heart and took a chance on a move to New York, where she ran a start-up hedge fund. "The truth of it actually is I was with this guy for quite a long time, and he was traveling all over, and he ended up getting a job in New York. And I said, 'Oh my God, I've always wanted to live in New York,'" she explained. "I moved here to have a new adventure and because I was in love with somebody."
Things didn't work out with that guy, but Sophie, who lived in the midtown/Murray Hill and Upper West Side areas of Manhattan, has fond memories of running around the reservoir in Central Park with her roommate in the mornings before work. Some of her favorite New York hot spots included Blue Water Grill, Le Bilboquet, and the nightclub Float. "I just remember what I loved most about being here is I would walk everywhere. I walked to work in the morning," she recalled. "I was much more conscious of being healthy and fit. It was a good phase of my life. Good fun."
But these days, London is more of Sophie's speed. "I think just the pace is very different. London's just a bit calmer, it's a bit more spread out. I think we also go through phases in our lives when we're going out all the time when we're young. We don't have children, we're not married, and we say yes to everything," Sophie said. "New York was definitely the fun, going-out-all-the-time phase. But yeah, I don't think I could do that at this point in my life. I'm already exhausted from just one weekend."
Now when Sophie gets the chance to visit New York, it always feels just like old times. "It's like putting on an old pair of slippers. You kind of just fit straight back into them. It's non-stop here. You're either working or you're out or you're at a restaurant or at the gym. It's like, there's never any downtime here," she said. "But when you're young and impressionable, that's just the best way to live your life. I don't know if I could do it full-time now, but to dip my toe in-and-out is fantastic."
Plus, we're pretty sure Sophie still knows how to have a ton of fun in London, too.