ISTAMBUL, 15 SECRET ADRESSES – PART II-

  1. SWEET CALORIES

Pleasures to blame

HAFIZ MUSTAFA

Neatly arranged behind the displays around Istanbul the figures of the freshly baked baklava threaten the visitor: very delicate puddings and other caloric temptations as halvas, Kadayif or the famous Turkish delights known as lokum. A hideaway where to succumb to the best-and take others as gift for home-are the three premises of Hafiz Mustafa in the old city and the one he has by Taksim, which is the epicenter of the modern area of this city established, geographically and mentally, on two continents.

  1. ALTERNATIVE LOOKOUT

Dream dusk

GALATA KONAK CAFE

The Galata Tower encompasses one of the best views over the skyline of the old city, with the minarets of the mosques pointing like spears into the sky behind the incoming of water known as the Golden Horn, of how it shines at dusk. At that witching hour that suits so well Istanbul, most will await a good line to climb to the heights. The most reported will choose to wander to the Cafe Konak, from whose roof you can admire the same panoramic taking an orange or freshly squeezed Granada juice, some crunchy börek or even a Mexican chicken.

  1. JAZZLIVE

No reservations

NARDIS JAZZ CLUB

You could imagine The Nardis in New York or New Orleans, but is in Istanbul. To be exact, a stone’s throw from the Galata Tower. Leading figures such as Wynton Marsalis or Benny Golson, plus a couple of generations of local jazzmen of all kinds have passed by this old club with live music every night except Sundays. It’s impossible to sit near the stage unless you have booked in advance, especially on weekends. Sure they had only told you about belly dancing!

  1. HOTEL WITH FLAVOUR

Altitude lodging

GRAND HOTEL DE LONDRES

The Pera Palas, built in 1892 to accommodate passengers of the legendary Orient – Express, is not a secret to anyone. Yes it is however the Büyük Londra Hotel, very close and also opened that year. Those who do not stay at this jewel of eastern decadence should not resist a sunset drink at the roof bar with sublime views.

  1. CULTURAL COFFEE

The final drop

KAFE ARA

It’s unmistakable for its large-scale reproductions of old Istanbul captured by the camera of Ara Güler. Turkey’s most respected photographer still passes by this place that bears his name, despite his advanced age. The Ara Kafé regulars are young, and of the most modern profile that gives this city of bewildering contrasts. If the weather is good, better to opt for the terrace, an oasis of peace within walking distance of the human hive of Istiklal Street. We would return a thousand times to taste its quinoa salad, and not finding a table, we could go to the close and equally avant garde, Urban Café Beyoğlu and the Secret Garden of the Limonlu Bahçe restaurant or, going down by Istiklal, the Ahese- Galata, a cozy slow food temple where either you order an organic tea, an assortment of traditional dishes or mezze with a renewed touch.

  1. UNIQUE BIKINIS

Exclusive shopping

OYE SWIMWEAR

The Sadikoglu twins presented themselves in the market in 2007 willing to break the mold. Their specialty, handmade tailored swimwear. If in the beginning the just designed garments for their intimates, today they sell them in boutiques, hotels and shopping centers from New York to Baku. In Istanbul you can find their collections in Harvey Nichols, Zorlu Center and the multi brand V2L Designers in the exclusive shopping district of Nisantasi. In their showroom, near the famous Taksim Square, they serve only by appointment only.