Archives for the month of: June, 2015

photo 4 (15)

Our final day in Istanbul began the way all our days had begun….

…with the epic butter mountain at breakfast! ūüôā

photo (24)

After we had eaten and done the obligatory mad rush to pack and leave the room, we stashed our suitcases at the hotel, and headed out to Dolmabahce Palace. This was recommended to me by a cousin who had visited Istanbul, as an example of insane uber-grandness, and it certainly lived up to that!

photo 1 (20)

There was a long queue for tickets when we got there, which was annoying but at least the view was great.

photo 1 (23)

photo 5 (9)

There was also a long wait to get in as they only let a few people in at a time. When we got to the front we also realised that you have to go as part of a guided tour, which was annoying as I really don’t like guided tours! I know¬†they are way more informative and everything, I just hate being told what to look at and for how long¬†when I’m on holiday!

photo 4 (12)

It got more irritating when, after putting our little blue shoe covers on, we were told that there were no photos allowed inside!

Had it not been for this blog, I probably would have been quite zen about it but it turns out that “no photos” is the worst thing you can say to a blogger, and I was miffed!

I also totally flouted the rule and tried to take as many pictures as I could without being noticed.

photo 3 (19)

Consequently, all my pictures are slightly blurry, and frequently involve the underside of someone’s chin, but still! I’m a rebel without a cause! I’m a donkey on the edge! I AM BLOGGER HEAR ME ROAR!

Dolmabahce

It was incredibly grand and extravagant. Apparently, building it actually contributed to the bankruptcy of the country! It was much more European than the heavily Ottoman influenced Topkapi,¬†having been built much later on (in the 1800s) when the “refined”, luxurious European style was much more in fashion.

The chandeliers were amazing…

Dolmabahce chandeliers

photo 5 (8)

The library was lovely…

photo 4 (11)

The grounds were fabulous…

photo 1 (24)

photo 2 (21)

photo 3 (15)

photo 4 (10)

More ‘Christmas tree’ railings! They were everywhere!:

photo 2 (16)

photo 3 (18)

photo 2 (19)

I would say that at least 50% of all the young girls I saw were wearing these flower crowns, and they were selling them everywhere!

photo 3 (13)

We passed these vibrant rainbow steps on the tram and I made my boyfriend get off so we could take pictures on them. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea so there was a queue of vain baffoons like myself waiting for the steps to empty. In the end, the people before us took so long, and other, less polite people didn’t bother to wait so they never emptied and there are loads of random people in all my¬†photos…

photo 4 (15)

photo 3 (16)

And cats! So many cats!

photo 3 (20)

photo 1 (26)

photo 4 (13)

I was wearing:

Pink M&S trench, which looked pretty cool against the steps, though I say so myself.

M&S flamingo shirt

M&S treggings (Ugh I’ve done it again, I do wear other brands sometimes!)

Office booties.

Sublime necklace.

River Island sunglasses.

Love bracelet from M&S (dammit!)

I was dressing solely for comfort here as I was heading straight to the airport. I always rely on colour and bling to make my comfy travel outfits a bit more exciting than a tracksuit.

Stairsbandylegs

I never realised that I walked funny until these photos… Why are my legs always sideways?……. On the plus side, I appear to have done something weird to the photo on the right which makes me look really tall and leggy! Score ūüôā

photo 5 (10)

Apparently, they have rainbow steps like these all over Istanbul, (see here for the story).

I adored them, they are just so darn cheerful!

photo 2 (23)

After the obligatory million pictures with cats (and truth be told, cats make me nervous! I am definitely more of a goldfish person), we headed back to Sultanahmet for our last supper. We went to a restaurant called Khorasani, which was, by far, the best meal we ate there! Had we eaten there first, I doubt we’d have gone anywhere else. It was so good! Plus, it was pretty, and the service was great. I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Istanbul!

Khorasani

Then we rushed back to our lovely¬†hotel to get our bags and off we went. Back home. To the land of gloomy weather and sup-par lamb shish. ūüė¶

photo 1 (25)

It was an amazing trip though! So glad I finally went! ūüôā

photo 2 (24)

Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

Advertisements

photo (23)

I wore this top to go to the park with my boyfriend last Saturday. It never hurts to remind him that I have options… ūüėČ

Have a great weekend everyone!

Love,

The Styletterie

(T-shirt and necklace both from Primark.)

photo (22)

Felt pretty smug reading this week’s Grazia and seeing this feature¬†on hearty sunglasses, including the Asos pair I bought 4 months ago.

So ahead of the game… :-p

I’ve been wanting a pair ever since seeing Samantha in this awesome outfit in SATC:

article-0-007724A700000258-679_468x556

Sausage optional

Hope everyone’s having a great day and enjoying the sunshine!

Love,

The Styletterie

photo 3 (4)

On our last full day in Istanbul, we headed to Topkapi Palace after breakfast.

I wore: Rachel Roy for Macy’s Tigers t-shirt, that I bought in New York last time I went. I love the fit of this top, and the fact that I don’t have to pick a necklace to go with it. ūüôā Of course I forgot to take any pictures of it so here are a couple of me wearing it in New York, and one in Istanbul, with my pink M&S trench that I wore the whole time. (It’s actually excellent for sightseeing as I was always easy to find in a crowd!)

Tigertee, IstanbulOOTD

We walked through Gulhane Park, which was gorgeous, and had this cool water feature welcoming visitors.

photo 2 (6)

The daffodils look like cartoon flowers! They were so perfect and bright:

photo 1 (7)

Topkapi-photo 3 (8)

We had to queue for about half an hour for tickets, and as it was very crowded, we moved slowly through the whole thing, which was annoying but can’t be helped when you’re a tourist in a popular city I guess!

It was so beautiful, everything was so ornate and fancy!

photo 1 (1)

There were lots of different buildings outside the main palace area, including a weapons room and a clocks room.

Topkapi2

The most incredible part was the tiles though. All the walls were tiled in so many different vibrant colours and patterns. It was the epitome of what you’d imagine an Ottoman Palace to be. One can only imagine how much time and effort went into it.

photo 4 (1)

I adored this patchwork effect, which my eloquent boyfriend described as “a bit Cath Kidston-y”

*sigh*

photo 3 (2)

photo 3 (12)

photo 5 (1)

The Sultan’s breakfast canopy:

photo 5

I will now never be happy until I have a breakfast canopy of my own, and can call it that with a straight face.

They had a running water system in the harem, which was pretty impressive considering it was built in the 1400s. It was actually pretty luxurious:

photo 2 (14)

photo 4 (9)

The Sultan’s bedroom in the harem.

*sighs wistfully*

Now this was a room! This was where he stayed when he wanted to be with his various women.

photo 1 (14)

Apparently it wasn’t quite as fun as it sounds however- the balcony along the wall was where his mother sat and watched, and told him which girls she would like him to procreate with.

:-/

Still an amazing room though.

Another interesting one:

photo

My boyfriend and I were reading this sign together and both got to the end of the line “The walls are covered with the rare specimens of” and recoiled in horror, before realising that it was only Ottoman tiles!

photo 1 (11)

I want my room to look like this…

Whilst walking back from Topkapi, I could see a rooftop restaurant that looked really nice. On our way to try and find it though, we lost sight of it. At which point, a ma√ģtre d’ came up to us on the street and asked if we were interested in eating at his hotel’s rooftop restaurant. Which turned out to be the very same one (Seven Hills). I love it when a plan comes together!

photo 4 (2)

The view was breathtaking!

We were seated in the middle but pounced the instant a table freed up along the edge. I had Hagia Sophia in front of me, the Blue Mosque behind me, all of Istanbul to my left and the Bosphorus on my right. And the sun was shining. It was one of those rare perfect moments, when you feel that exact holiday blend of awe and serenity.

Amazingly it got better, because at some point during our lunch, the call to prayer started ringing out. I’ve mentioned before how lovely it is to hear but sitting on a rooftop hearing it booming out from the Blue Mosque and then being repeated¬†back from Hagia Sophia (which, whilst not a Mosque, has speakers on it for this purpose), almost as an echo, ¬†was just¬†awe-inspiring.The whole restaurant went silent, just to listen. Truly stunning.

photo 1 (10)

photo 1 (5)

photo 2 (4)

photo 1 (8)

Check me out being all arty with my photos! :-p Leaves and errthang…

photo 2 (7)

photo 5 (2)

I could not get enough of this view! They had to drag me out of there.

photo 3 (4)

Back to the hotel, via some shops….

ShoppingIstanbul

photo 5 (5)

(I wanted the earrings in the above picture so much but they were really expensive!)

photo 4 (5)

photo 1 (6)

Railings with little Christmas tree-like decorations seem to be very popular here, we saw a lot of them. This one even has snow!

We went back to the hotel to pack our suitcases for the next day and change (weirdly I can’t remember what I was wearing, and I have no photographic evidence of it either- this is very unlike me!) and then went out to dinner at a¬†nearby¬†restaurant called Neyzade, that was probably the fanciest place we had been to on our trip. It was empty, except for one English family who reminded me why I’m embarrassed to be English when I’m abroad. Amongst their myriad complaints, we actually heard them demand an English speaking waiter. Seriously. I have no patience for people who travel abroad and then moan about the lack of English speakers. Either stay home or learn fluent Turkish before your trip, if you can’t handle not being understood perfectly. Or you could, you know, GET A GRIP!

Food was good though. ūüôā

photofood1

photo 4 (4)

I got quite used to the glowing Sultan’s daughter while I slept… I felt a bit bereft when I got home and had to make do with a bog-standard lamp.

And that concluded our final full day, only half a day to go…

Thanks for reading!

Happy Hump Day!

Love,

The Styletterie