IstanbulTBA May 2022 (8 days / 7 nights)
For lovers of Food, history, art and Fashion – Istanbul ticks all the boxes!
With its culinary heritage shaped by diverse influences, ranging from the Ottoman Empire to varied ethnic groups that have called this city home, Istanbul is a treasure trove of delicious food experiences and an assault on the senses. Add centuries of history with stunningly preserved historical sites, both Asian and European influences and a vibrant art scene, and you have one of the most fabulous travel destinations in the world!
During our gourmet week, we will stay at a boutique hotel right in the centre of the historical Sultanahmet neighbourhood giving you ample opportunity to imbibe the exciting atmosphere of the city, sample street food, wander the streets and alleys and of course, we are walking distance from all the major historical sites.
Our private guide will introduce us to the historical significance of The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the cisterns and so many other treasures and we will have plenty of time to enjoy the Grand Bazaar and the beguiling Spice market.
A gourmet trip to Istanbul wouldn’t be complete without a fish sandwich under the Galata Bridge, two exclusive cooking classes, a dinner cruise on the Bosphorus and an introduction to Ottoman cuisine from days gone by, at one of Istanbul’s most noted restaurants.
If you are looking for a week to excite your senses and your tastebuds while still giving you a dose of history, culture and art… this gourmet experience is for you!
Only 6 places remain so please get in touch if you’d like to discuss reserving your place.
Day 1 – Saturday
PM: Check in to our home for the week – an intimate boutique hotel right in the historical heart of Istanbul. Relax and unpack before meeting the group at 5pm for a walk and dinner.
Day 2 – Sunday
- Breakfast followed by a guided historical walking tour, taking in some of the most compelling sites – the original roman Hippodrome, the architectural marvel that is the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Underground Cistern which was the largest water reservoir during Roman times. Our private guide will be able to answer all your historical questions as well as give us an insight into life in Istanbul through the centuries.
- Late afternoon at leisure before dinner at a fabulous local bistro.
- *Note, as this is Anzac Day, for those interested, we will endeavour to arrange a Dawn Service to commemorate this special day. Please advise your interest.
Day 3 – Monday
WALKING FOOD TOUR, ASIAN SIDE, SUNSETS
- Now that we have a basic understanding of the history of Istanbul, it’s time to delve into the diverse and delicious Turkish cuisine that has been shaped over centuries by the spice and silk roads, and various ethnicities that called this city home. This delicious food tour starts with a late local breakfast on the Asian side, followed by a walking, talking, tasting morning where we discover the secret favourites of the locals. We’ll enjoy a range of savoury and sweet dishes across 7 establishments and finish with Turkish mint tea or coffee.
This afternoon, enjoy some private time to imbibe the sights and scents of the city – enjoy a drink and watch the world go by, or indulge in some retail therapy.
Dinner tonight at favourite roof top restaurant which has an amazing terrace – ideal for watching the sunset.
Day 4 – Tuesday
COOKING CLASS, TURKISH SPA
- Breakfast followed by a day designed to recharge the batteries. This morning we enjoy a relaxing and informative private cooking class by a local chef and after we’ve watched him create some local favourites, we’ll enjoy lunch together.
- This afternoon you have the option to enjoy the relaxation of the Turkish Hamam (steam bath) and spa treatments at our hotel. Their luxurious spa facility is renowned and a range of spa treatments is available to suit your needs.
- *Must be booked in advance. If you prefer, you can enjoy an afternoon at leisure – shop, rest or wander around the fabulous local neighbourhoods and enjoy dinner wherever you choose.
Day 5 – Wednesday
FERRY RIDES, KADIKOY, GRAND & SPICE BAZAAR
- Today we ramp up the excitement again and after breakfast, our private guide will escort us to the Asian side of Istanbul via a local ferry to Kadikoy where we will discover a laid back neighbourhood, famed for local delicacies such as Turkish Pizza, stuffed mussels and the famed fish sandwich – a ‘must’ when sampling the local cuisine – ideally eaten out of its wrapping under the shade of the Galata Bridge!
- We will walk the winding streets, peppered with colourful murals and peruse the hip boutiques before taking in the view from the Moda neighbourhood across the Sea of Marmara toward Sultanahmet.
- After a ferry ride back to the European side, we spend an afternoon at the overwhelmingly huge Grand Bazaar and the more seductive Spice Bazaar where our guide will give us an introduction to the history and specialities before setting you lose to enjoy some retail therapy. Try fabulous mint tea, spice blends and the famed Turkish Delight (not the mass produced kind you are expecting!!). I’ll also take you to my absolute favouite Turkish delight shop on the alley leading to the bazaar.
- I suspect tonight you will appreciate some quiet time for a snack and an early night but for those wanting a restaurant dinner, suggestions will be available.
Day 6 – Thursday
BOSPHORUS CRUISE, PRINCES ISLANDS, MOVEABLE FEAST
We take the pace down a notch today and enjoy a relaxing breakfast before a day on the water. We cruise the Bosphorus and explore some of the secrets it has to offer include the Princes Islands – a chain of 9 small islands in the Sea of Marmara which evolved as a place of exile during the Byzantine era. All motorised vehicles are banned so we will enjoy a horse and carriage ride to enjoy the sites and the serenity – the silence here after the frantic pace of Istanbul is literally a breath of fresh air!
Dinner tonight is a relaxed and fun gourmet evening, enjoying food, music and the culture of Istanbul.
Day 7 – Friday
BAKLAVA CLASS, LAST MINUTE SHOPPING, FAREWELL DINNER
Breakfast together then a ‘hands on’ baklava class so that you can create those delicious morsels you’ve been enjoying all week. After the class, enjoy some free time. Perhaps go back to those places you loved for some last minute shopping or to just relax and enjoy the afternoon to imprint the memory of Istanbul on your senses.
Dinner tonight is a special event – a delicious Turkish dinner in one of Istanbul’s best restaurants!
Day 8 – Saturday
Relaxing breakfast together before we go our separate ways. Those joining me in France will have some time before our flight in the early afternoon (cost included).
Rates & Bookings
Rate per person sharing twin room: €2950
Single supplement: €600
TO BOOK PLEASE CONTACT:
or click here:
Rate per person includes:
- 7 nights boutique accommodation historical centre
- 7 gourmet breakfasts
- Lunches and dinners as per programme
- Personal guides and day trips
- Cooking classes, walking tours and tastings