Thursday, September 29, 2016

New cafe in Kadikoy. Tea and Ferries...

Late September in Istanbul was eerily tourist-free.  You can walk up to the Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace and get in with short waits.  You don't hear European or American accents in the streets of the Old City or other major tourist venues.  Too bad this... Istanbul is arguably no more dangerous than any major world capital these days.  And the the lira is so low that a trip is incredibly inexpensive. Hotels are offering nice rooms at great prices.  How about a four star opposite the Hagia Sophia for $47 per night?  In normal times, $175.

One of the delightful finds from my trip was a new café on the top floor of the Kadikoy ferry pier.  The city of Kadikoy has developed this lovely cafe with stunning views over the Bosphorus to the Old City with the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque on the skyline.  The ferries which go back and forth constantly provide endless visual entertainment.

The cafe is a fabulous place to hang out.  There is no alcohol, but very good tea, coffees and light snacks are served. Glorious at sunset.  A big cup of tea is 2 lira or about 66 cents.  And no one rushes you!

Magic slippers, antique kilims and more

On my flight back from Istanbul I had the good fortune to sit next to Millicent Armstrong, of Artemis Design Co.  Millicent works with high quality artisanal specialists in Turkey to craft gorgeous, one of a kind shoes made from antique kilims.  She also imports kilim bags and some stunning Moroccan rugs made by women in small cooperatives in Morroco.

Check out Millicent's website.  Her products are gorgeous, unique and well worth a look!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Making croissants from scratch with a baker in Paris...

One of my favorite culinary colleagues in Paris is now offering a private croissant making class with a professional boulanger.  Making croissants from scratch is time consuming and requires lots of folding and layering the buttery dough, but, the results are absolutely worth it!

These folks also offer private market walks in various atmospheric markets and talk with you about how Parisians shop and eat.  They offer cooking sessions as well, with all that bounty from the markets.  And, another popular possibility are family baking classes where kids, parents and grandparents can bake Parisian classics like madeleines in a lovely Parisian apartment with a big kitchen.

Email Sally if you would like a referral.