photo 4 (2) I went on a mini-break to Istanbul in late March and it was gorgeous! Here are some of my favourite pictures:

Day 1: Our hotel room. We stayed at the Hotel Sultania, and were very happy and comfortable there. I thought that the decor might be kind of cheesy but actually I loved it and the staff were all fantastic. 🙂 photo 1 (5) We arrived at dusk so we just went for a wander and then dinner. I wore: Stripey top with a weird back and underlayer effect from Express in New York that I had forgotten I had; M&S treggings; Sublime necklace; pink M&S trench that was a gift from my Mum and sister and has quickly become my favourite thing. The panda slippers were a gift a while ago so I don’t know where they’re from! (I refrained from wearing them out on my walk and just wore black Office booties. 😦 ) OOTD day1 Our hotel was in the Sultanahmet district so just a 5 minute walk to the Sultanahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque, and Haghia Sophia, amongst other things. photo 5 (2) Multi-coloured fountain in front of the Blue Mosque:

Istanbul fountain

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We went to Gulhane Kebab House for dinner as it had lots of good reviews on Tripadvisor. It was really tasty (I now need Turkish style buttered rice with all my meals) but we had to laugh as, while we were paying, 2 waiters came up to us separately to let us know that they were on Tripadvisor and would we like to review them? We smiled and said we would and the second guy hovered over us, waiting. “Would you like to do it now?” he offered. Umm. “WE HAVE WIFI!”

So, while it was really nice, I think we might have the reason for its online popularity!

photo 1 (6) The following day we made the Blue Mosque our first port of call. We arrived at prayer time so had to wait in the courtyard until it was over, at which point visitors are admitted. I wore: my black Asos 90s button down dress, with black leggings, boots, my pink coat and turquoise Suite Blanco jewellery. I added a strap top underneath for modesty, and kept my coat on inside the Mosque anyway. ootdday1 With regards to clothing modesty (something I don’t usually give too much thought to, being of an un-shy nature)- while Turkey is a secular country and I could wear whatever I liked, I was aware that I would be visiting religious buildings and that a large proportion of the population is Muslim. Consequently, I did make an effort to be more demure than usual, just as a sign of respect.

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photo 3 (5) Seriously, this building was so pretty, all I did was take photos of it. Every time I walked past I was struck by how picturesque it was – I now have about 400 of the same photo! photo 2 (8) photo 1 (12) They do hand out scarves for the women but I had one in my bag anyway so used that. You also had to take off your shoes (but you could keep your socks on.) photo 2 (12) 10419036_10152949821523952_5306533924525370691_n

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photo 3 (9) The reason it’s called the Blue Mosque is because the tiles on the ceiling are predominantly blue. photo 5 (7) Inside Blue Mosque I didn’t take too many pictures inside, as there were still some people praying and I felt weird about photographing them mid-prayer. I also refrained from any selfies in the actual Mosque but I was the only one! Pouting v-sign selfies abounded. I know this makes me sound so old (and possibly a bit judgemental :-/) but it just seems like an odd thing to do in a place of worship, regardless of whether or not you’re there for religious reasons. As someone who was taken to Church a lot as a kid, I was always taught to be on my best, most decorous behaviour and I know my parents would kill me if I didn’t show the same respect in any and all places of worship!photo 1 (13) photo 3 (10) photo 1 (24) I liked these little trees on the railings nearby- they look like Christmas trees!

A quick ice cream (Turkey is famous for its dondurma, which tastes just like normal, delicious ice cream but goopier and stickier. I think it’s made with mastic. It’s also famous for the sellers tricking you by pretending to drop it, spinning it around so you can’t grab it etc. And even though I had watched a whole video about this beforehand, I still fell for it and panicked that I’d dropped the ice cream as they were handing it to me!) and then on to phase 2 of the day, Hagia Sophia, which will have to wait for another blog post as I took way too many pictures of that too!

(Seriously, editing’s a b*tch! But considering that my own parents were unable to stay awake during my photo presentation, I figured I should cut down before unleashing them on the unsuspecting blogosphere!)

photo 5 (8) Thanks for reading!

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend! 😀

Love,

The Styletterie

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