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August 16, 2019

Behind Bars: Preserving Historic Beyoğlu at the Büyük Londra

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Istanbul -- The five-star Pera Palace is undoubtedly Istanbul’s most iconic hotel, with its palatial rooms and suites named after the legendary guests that stayed there, such as Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Ernest Hemingway.Read more
Istanbul -- The five-star Pera Palace is undoubtedly Istanbul’s most iconic hotel, with its palatial rooms and suites named after the legendary guests that stayed there, such as Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Ernest Hemingway. Practically synonymous with the Istanbul of a century ago, it is the subject of a lovely tome, "Midnight at the Pera Palace" by Charles King, that locates the hotel within the fantastically tumultuous years leading up to and following the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

Though we admire the Pera Palace and cannot understate its importance to the city’s modern history, it is not our favorite Istanbul hotel. That honor is reserved for the Büyük Londra (Grand Hotel de Londres), located just a stone’s throw away on the opposite side of the stately Meşrutiyet Avenue.Read more
August 3, 2019

Çakmak: Breakfast of Şampiyons

By Culinary Backstreets
Istanbul -- When it comes to the first meal of the day in Beşiktaş, it’s hard to replace the institution that was Pando’s lovely old kaymak shop. Yet as much as Pando was the neighborhood’s culinary standard-bearer, another side of breakfast in Beşiktaş has emerged in the last five or so years, a side that feels more contemporary, more real and – somehow – even more “Beşiktaş.” After being tipped off long ago, by 2013 we finally came to appreciate the simple charms of Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu, which is currently swimming in a sea of breakfast cafes that align Istanbul's now infamous Kahvaltıcılar Sokağı. Read more