The gloriousness of Istanbul starts here. Bosphorus, Bebek and the Black Sea.
After you are done with all the must-sees on your list, its time to chill and take in the view and explore the seaside.
A fabulous property in the Asian side, on the banks of the Bosphorus, neighbors to other luxurious villas and restaurants. A design hotel with 20 rooms with a priceless view of the city on the European side and wait until the sun goes down to be dazzled by the bridge dancing infront of you with its light installations.
The best transportation from here to the Euro side is by an old fashioned launch, and Sumahan covers you there.
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant
The room is split in two with a fireplace in between and the wall of windows with water views that makes you think you are floating.
The hamam (Turkish bath) in the hotel is a luxurious, private bathhouse for one and yes you get cleaned up by some one else. Back to Baby times where you just lay while you get washed, scrubbed like a car in a foam wash.
A boat waits for you to take you to the town, how cool is that!
And with a view like this, I am not going to sleep!
We went here after seeing it on the Anthony Bourdain show and they DO have the best breakfast in town. Omelets sizzling in a cast iron pot, grilled meats and fresh juices!
A kebap platter with yummy soft bread.
Lokma, is right next to Kale Cafe and has the best Apple Mojitos.
Drink in Bebek
Bebek is another interesting neighborhood and you HAVE to go. Lots of designer shopping, cute shops and funky bars.
Lucca, owned by an award winning chef, famous for the cocktails and an eclectic decor. Melon Caipiroska anyone?
Assk Kahve, Lovely lovely place by the waters. Perfect for a summer evening to dine alfresco and people watch.
Happily Ever After
Starting out as a small bakery and cafe, the restaurant lives happily ever after in Bebek…with a lively artsy crowd, wines and brunch specials.
A place where you can be yourself or vicariously live as an Istanbullan. Serious people watching here!
Tip: And while you are in Bebek, take a stroll by the waters, sit in one of the benches by the waters. You will be approached by the mobile tea stands, with a handy folding table to create a personal cafe right there for you. It was the most amazing discovery and nothing like a cup of hot tea by the ocean. Try it!
House Cafe, Ortakoy – a perfect backdrop for a perfect meal. And at later hours the café turns into a club with live DJ performances.
Lera Fresca – A cool place to get gelatos after a hot and happening jaunt in Bebek.
Laduree, a place that needs no introduction and a shop that lives in my heart forever!
Must visit if you are a lover of the little nibbles.
Bites in the Black Sea
We went to Sariyer for dinner, a quaint fishing village outside Istanbul, where you get, well, the most amazing fish. Catch the ferry and gaze at the charming old wooden Ottoman houses, and fancy villas that line both sides of the strait.
This is where the Bosphorus opens to the Black sea where the salinity is lesser than any sea, making the fish more tastier. Ha, who knew!
Any restaurant by the sea is going to be good. We just chose one based on the view and the crowd.
A mini-buffet is presented to you.
There were many dishes that was quite amazing. And we wanted atleast three more orders of this crispy fried fresh fish, nuf said.
Anchovies is the specialty fish in Black sea. The only fish that improves the economy for these villages, and they make everything out of it, including jams and pickles.
Eating the fruits of the land, in this case, sea is how you learn to be a part of it. We were by a table who were waiting for sunset to begin their meal as it is Ramadan time. Another table next to us were engaging us in long conversations about their favorite fish.The owner of the restaurant shared his fishing story.
Amazing but true, the food you eat tells a lot about you and its something you share with the world. It’s not just fish. It”s their way of life. I get these people.