So while there are many months between now and Istanbul, I’m slowly collecting plans and ideas. I will be working and visiting the university and connecting with researchers which is all happening but the fun bit, is imagining the city a little before I get there. (Screw Karl Lagerfeld and his weird remark about not visiting countries!) For now it seems the lovely Pera is calling out to me… although perhaps I shouldn’t be so close to Istiklal Caddesi but take a look at these Karakoy rooms, how can you resist! Of course M wants to be different and suggested Witt Hotel here. Other contenders for hotels are the Georges (not Pera), House Hotel Bosphorus or the other one at Galatasaray, Tomtom Suites (seriously awesome architecture with a great roof and in Pera!), Bebek Hotel (no idea where / what it is)
Links of Places-To-Go:
Having spent some time here – this is what I have to report to the virtual void. While it is all breath-taking-ly amazing to walk in a city that used to be once Constantinople – be careful. Be careful of the conservatism, of the intolerance and of the overhyped – macho-ism. And then, once you’re careful – ignore it all and have a fantastic time!
We’re staying at the House Hotel in Galatasaray where the amazing crew (Kevin / Sardar) are taking good care of making sure we’re okay! I recommend staying closer to the ground level since climbing up stairs after an exhausting day is just annoying. (No elevator in the building but you’ll have a good bum at the end of it!)
If you do only one fancy dinner then let it be at the Ciragan Kempinski… The ottoman inspired food is phenomenal. And I’m a vegetarian!
Go to the Salt Galata and grab dinner / drinks at the Ca’doro (skip the restaurant area and head for the terrace naturally)
Hit Balkon and Angelique maybe even on the same night… While Angelique was not my favorite place in the world but… the view, the view, the view! amah-zing!
Shop at Nisantasi… leave your neighborhood – wherever you may be. Brunch in Cihangir! Go to the Asia side for sure. If you have day discover Princes Islands (Gorgeous!) Buy local knick-knacks. I can say if you’re Indian – skip the Grand Bazaar / Spice Market entirely. Go to the Cistern – drink a beer at the cafe and enjoy being underground. Don’t do a boat cruise… rent a small sail boat by Besiktas and spend an afternoon drinking wine and eating mezze. Fall in love with Istanbul!