Tag Archives: Turkey

2 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy

Şekerci Cafer Erol – Istanbul, Turkey

8 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   (above photo Kapat – pistachio paste © Şekerci Cafer Erol)

Şekerci (Confectioner) Cafer Erol

(90)  216 337 1103 Yasa Cad. No:19
Kadiköy, Istanbul, Turkey

OPEN HOURS:
7:30am  10:00 pm – daily

Yonca Erol  is foremost a charming woman; she is also a member of the Cafer Erol family, and the manager of  the Şekerci Cafer Erol.  Founded in 1807 this magnificent confectioner store as expanded to five branches around Istanbul.   Yonca was more then happy to chat and lecture us on the different techniques used in the production of their wonderful sweets.  After a thorough tasting and aquiring a variety of gifts for friends and family – Yonca walked us all the way to Ciya, her favorite food spot in Kadiköy (but more about that on a different post :).

2 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   (above photo mix akide candy © Şekerci Cafer Erol)

Cafer Erol  is lined with widow refrigerators holding delectable looing chocolates, filo pastries, halvas, honey cakes, marzipan and a 100 other sweets.  On top of beautiful large glass jars with brass tops, are filled Ottoman sweets.

One such is the “Akide” pulled sugar.  The Erol’s are flavored with honey, real fruit extracts, fresh spices and nuts.  To the untrained eye the might seem like ordinary candy flavored with synthetic components and lots of unhealthy corn syrup; but these confections are exceptional due to technique and the quality of the fresh ingredients.

Our favorite Akide was the bergamot. This candy is made according to the old traditions –  cooking the sugar in copper cauldrons over wood fire to a specific temperatures.  Once it starts cooling and before it fully hardens the flavors are added, and the sugar is pulled.  This is what gives the candy it’s outer shine. We brought some home in some of the fantastical gift containers on offer; a fez hat and sultans’ turbans as well as copper bowls

6 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   (above photo Turkish delight with hazelnut © Şekerci Cafer Erol)

Turkish Delight, or Lokum, is a sweet dating from the 17th century.  It was initially made with honey, molasses and flour.  Through times eventual erosion, the basic components changed to refined sugar and starch; to help it acquire a silkier texture.  Cafer Erol produces about thirty different flavors of this national sweet.

Be sure to swing by, say hello to Yonca and to give a little gift to your sweet tooth!

14 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   (above photo Turkish delight with walnut © Şekerci Cafer Erol)
3 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   (above photo akide candy © Şekerci Cafer Erol)
4 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy    (above photo fruit jelly © Şekerci Cafer Erol)
sekerci-cafer-erol_005 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   Şekerpare – honey cake

sekerci-cafer-erol_003 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy

 sekerci-cafer-erol_002 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy   Bergamot oil akide candy

sekerci-cafer-erol_001 Şekerci Cafer Erol  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Kadikoy Istanbul Candy

Mecidiye_Mosque_004 Ortaköy  -    Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul

Ortaköy – Istanbul, Turkey

Mecidiye_Mosque_004 Ortaköy  -    Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul

Ortaköy

Istanbul, Turkey

Below the impressive Bosphorus bridge,  within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, lays the lovely neighborhood of Ortaköy.  One can easily see why in the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged Turks to move here.  Ortaköy is a sun-drenched stretch of sidewalk made for a day of meandering.

A Sunday brunch is a must at the waterside House Cafe.  Enjoy a lovely meal with a perfect view of the blue on blue water of the bosphorus and the eponymously named Ortaköy, or Mecidiye Mosque.  A beautiful ornate building in the neo-baroque style, the mosque was designed and built in 1854 by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan.  This duo was also responsable for the design of  the Dolmabahçe palace. The Ortaköy is one of the most popular landmarks in all of sprawling Istanbul.

Arrive by ferry, the stop is just in front of the mosque.  Then after bunch and a bit of people watching, take a stroll through the weekend flea market in the waterfront plaza and enjoy a hard candy made on the spot.  If you happen to stay, at night, besides the medley of cafes and restaurants, Ortaköy hosts the flashiest super clubs along the embankment.

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Yerebatan-Sarnici_009 Yerebatan Sarnici  -  Istanbul, Turkey  Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Landmark Istanbul Turkey Istanbul Cool

Yerebatan Sarnici – Istanbul, Turkey

Yerebatan-Sarnici_009 Yerebatan Sarnici  -  Istanbul, Turkey  Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Landmark Istanbul Turkey Istanbul Cool

Yerebatan Sarnici

90 212 522 1259
Alemdar Mh., Şeftali Sk No:6,
Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

www.yerebatan.com

OPEN HOURS:
9:00 – 17:30 Daily

Built by Constantine and enlarged to its present form by Justinian, Yerebatan Sarnici is the largest of several hundred ancient underground cisterns.   Created to irrigate the gardens of Constantinople and the Byzantine Palaces, it has the capacity to store 100,000 tons (23,965,000) gallons of water

The different styles of the columns suggests them to have been recycled from the ruins of older buildings brought to Constantinople from various parts of the empire.

Yerebatan Sarnici was forgotten for centuries.  It was re-discovered in 1545 by Petrus Gyllius, a french topographer, sent to Constantinople by King Francis I with a mission to find ancient manuscripts.

It is fun to note that this forest of columns and brick vaults was featured in the Bond film “From Russia With Love.

The entrance is next to the Tourism Police station and is fairly nondescript.  We recomend you bring your own music and headphones.  The site is fantastic, but the tourist chatter that reverberates down the halls can take away the magic.

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Yerebatan-Sarnici_023 Yerebatan Sarnici  -  Istanbul, Turkey  Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Landmark Istanbul Turkey Istanbul Cool   Column resembling the columns of the Triumphal Arch of Theodosius I from the 4th century (AD 379-395). Ancient texts suggest that the tears  on the column pay tribute to the hundreds of slaves who died during the construction of the Basilica Cistern.

Egyptian-Bazaar_015 Spice Bazaar  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Markets Istanbul Bazaar

Spice Bazaar – Istanbul, Turkey

Egyptian-Bazaar_015 Spice Bazaar  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Markets Istanbul Bazaar

Mısır Çarşısı

90 212 513 6597
Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi,
34116, Istanbul, Turkey

www.misircarsisi.org

OPEN HOURS:
8:00 – 19:30 Daily

Egyptian-Bazaar_019 Spice Bazaar  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Markets Istanbul Bazaar

Tucked behind the Yeni Mosque – adjacent to the Flower Market – one can discover the destination for plants, seeds, spices and birds  You find yourself in one of the oldest covered bazaars in Istanbul; known as the Egyptian or Spice Bazaar.  It was founded by the mother of Sultan Murat III, with the intention of creating some monetary assistance for the Yeni (New) Mosque during its construction and to help in it’s upkeep.

The Egyptian bazaar is well known for it’s natural medicines, spices, custom flower essences and traditional Turkish sweets. This was by far our favorite bazaar in Istanbul.  Filled with beautiful stores; some very old and some very new all overflowing with ceramics, textiles, chess sets, beans & baubles.

A good tip for purchasing spices is to ask for vacuum packing. Most of the shops offer this service and you are sure to keep your powders dry and full of flavour on your journeys.

A special spot was the Cennet Turkish Paradise 48.  There you can peruse lovely jewelry and embroidered textiles

Friendly note: Unless you really need to kill the curiosity or have need for cheap asian imports, don’t bother shopping to the Grand Bazaar.

 

Egyptian-Bazaar_017 Spice Bazaar  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Markets Istanbul Bazaar
Adnan Kalmaz Baharatçı

Egyptian-Bazaar_013 Spice Bazaar  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Markets Istanbul Bazaar

 

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w-istanbul_2 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

W Hotel Istanbul – Istanbul, Turkey

 W_Istanbul W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

W Istanbul

(90) 212 – 381 2121
Suleyman Seba Cad No. 22
Akaretler, Beşiktaş
Istanbul 34357 · Turkey

www.wistanbul.com.tr

In the middle of the Besiktas neighborhood, sit the historic Akaretler Row Houses.  Peering at their curved facades, one can deconstruct their current perfection and see how it was a developers dream.  The neighborhood has now been transformed into one of the city’s trendiest areas, where you will find every elite boutique from Etro to Missoni.  Direct in the middle of this shoppers mecca lays the absolutely wonderful, very stylish and surprisingly accessible W Hotel Istanbul.

Besiktas, and the W,  is situated well away from the chaos of the main tourist areas, but close enough for easy access.  Be prepared to taxi in and out of ‘town’ for the sites and nightlife.  Luckily, the cabs are not so pricey as to make the fare uncomfortable – our average ride to/from the W was about 15 -25 minutes and cost between 8 -& 20 YTL (About $6-15).  The Ferry is right down the hill, 3 blocks away, and offers an exciting water journey downtown to Sultanhamet and the Hagia Sophia.  Boats leave every twenty minutes before 10 am and every hour from then on.  One thing you learn early is that all travel in Istanbul is highly traffic dependent, you learn to avoid rush hours quickly- the boats are your best bet for those times.  It is also within walking distance to the Dolmabahçe Palace, the seat of the Ottomans from 1856 through 1924.

w-025 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

w-027 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

The W itself is a real jewel designed by Mahmut Anlar of  the design firm Geomim.   It manages to stay just on the side of fun & chic, without crossing over into ostentatious and eurotrashy.  I believe this is the result of the excellent staff- which manages to keep everything grounded and never slipped into any type of haughtiness while we were there (5 days).  On the weekends a trendy crowd comes to party in the upstairs bar- that looks to have  lovely outdoor seating, which was unfortunately closed during our stay.  Guests are invited to join the party, and we were never made to feel uninvited.

An interesting fact is that the W Hotels are a franchise, not a chain.  Thus each W is independantly owned and managed- leading to varying experiences between locations.  The slogan is “Whatever/Whenever,”  and the staff at the W Istanbul certainly took that to heart!  The service was impeccable; from the front desk to the attentive doormen (who make sure you don’t get taken advantage off by taxi drivers), the concierge staff is a fountain of useful information and charm and everyone has a genuine smile on their face.

The rooms are beautifully decorated and fully decked.  The beds were very comfortable (you can order one off the room service menu!).  Excellent water pressure gave a loving hot shower.  The programed lighting is a delightful touch- ranging from reading, sleeping and the all important ambient mellow lounge look 😉

w-010 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

w-012 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

w-026 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

The W’s in-house restaurant was one of the Spice Market chain that has a menu created by Jean-Georges.  It is a bit overpriced, as you would expect, but offers quality food.  A find for us was the late-night room service menu that had an excellent pasta!

w-000 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

In the lobby, there is a quite comfortable lounge area known by the moniker “Sip”, located opposite reception, behind beaded curtains.  Decorated with comfortable couches and settes; a place where you can relax with a tea and surf with the free Wifi.  Jump next to the hotel for an acceptable coffee from the ever present “Cafe Nero” for an option to the overpriced hotel breakfast.

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w-004 W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool

Having stayed in many hotels, including a few W’s, I must say that the W Istanbul deserves all the accolades  it gets.  It successfully manages to merge old world service with ultra modern decor, which combine to create an experience that is at the same time relaxing, exciting, welcoming and exotic!  Kudos.

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Cabana_Marvelous_Rooms W Hotel Istanbul  -  Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul Turkey  Turkey Istanbul Hotel Cool