Brunch & Boating in Central Park

Summer is slowly fading in New York City, so I’m glad that I spent Sunday morning making the most of the clear blue skies and sunshine in Central Park. We hired a boat and spent some time on the lake, before brunch overlooking the water at the Loeb Boathouse. Simple, but it was one of my favourite experiences in New York City.

Lake reflections in Central Park NYC

Central Park is enormous, spanning more than fifty blocks from north to south, so we stuck to just the lower part of the park for our first visit.

Bethesda Fountain Central Park NYCCentral Park Lake NYCCentral Park Lake Reflections NYC

David & I went to the park with three of his colleagues from work. When we reached the lake (without taking a single wrong turn!) we put our name down for brunch at The Boathouse.

It is extremely popular and as we expected there was an hour wait. This suited us perfectly because the boat hire shed is right beside the boat house, so we hired two boats for an hour and hit the water.

The Boathouse Brunch Lake Central Park Boating on Central Park Lake NYC Boating on Central Park Lake NYC

You pay $35 per boat, but you get $20 back on return of the boat when the hour is up. New York is an expensive city, so we were pretty thrilled to have such a fun morning on the water for just $15 per boat!

Rowing the little dinghies is harder than it looks, and I let David do most of the heavy lifting for most of the time. I had a go, and was not as bad as I expected, but was glad to have a pair of strong arms to hand the oars back to once my own started to feel like jelly.

Boating on Central Park Lake NYC Boating on Central Park Lake NYC

The view from the water is a mirage of blue and green. The lake up close is a vibrant green, but in the distance looks blue. Surrounded by green foliage and sitting pretty under a blue sky, the majestic white buildings (mansions!) of Central Park West shone brightly in the middle and made pretty reflections in the water.

Reflections on Central Park Boating LakeBoating on Central Park Lake NYC Boating on Central Park Lake NYC

The lake was busy, but we only had a few near-collisions. There is so much space that it’s not hard to find a quiet moment on the water.

Boating on Central Park Lake NYC Boating on Central Park Lake NYCBoating on Central Park Lake NYC

After an hour of paddling (or in my case, directing), we’d worked up an appetite. When we got back to the Boathouse the queue for the waitlist was snaking through the restaurant and out the door, so we were lucky we’d put our name down an hour earlier.

Boating on Central Park Lake NYCBoating on Central Park Lake NYC Boating on Central Park Lake NYCBoating on Central Park Lake NYCBoating on Central Park Lake NYC Boating on Central Park Lake NYCBoating on Central Park Lake NYCBoating on Central Park Lake NYC

Because we were a group of five, we were seated at the best seats in the house – at one of the large round tables lining the balcony at the water’s edge. The food is on the pricey side, but I was happy enough to pay a little extra for good food because it came with that view!

Brunch at the Boathouse on the Lake Central ParkBrunch at the Boathouse Central ParkBrunch at the Boathouse on the Lake Central Park

Have you been to Central Park? Where do you like to get out on the water?