Back from a whirlwind visit to the city with two new essentials for anyone thinking of travelling to Istanbul. The first is a book, and a website, called Istanbul Eats: Exploring the Culinary Backstreets – a lively canter around the food treats of the city. Lots of my favourites in there, and others I hadn’t taken in – street food, stall food, cubbyholes and restaurants, clearly orgainsed by district. Authors Ansel Mullins and Yigal Schleifer have an infectious enthusiasm for discovering new things, and eating them. Lots of photos, good maps, and all in a book so small you can slide it into your pocket…
The website is at http://istanbuleats.com/
Next essential is Istanbul: The Ultimate Guide by Saffet Emre Tonguç and Pat Yale. These two know their Istanbul like nobody else, and their award-winning new guide is everything it promises to be – thousands of photos, maps, vignettes and snippets of information, taking you into – over and under – everything worth seeing in the wider city.
Both books are available abroad, or you can buy them easily on Istiklal Caddesi, the old Grande Rue de Pera.
Many readers have written to me to say that Yashim’s exploits have inspired them to visit, or re-visit, Istanbul – where the official city guides, as it happens, recommend the Yashim series to prospective tourists, as a gentle introduction to the city’s long and tumultuous story. My thanks to them all.
If any further spur was required, then Cornucopia should provide it. Cornucopia describes itself as ‘the Magazine for Connoisseurs of Turkey’, and it is that and more. It is an astonishingly beautiful magazine, published quarterly, with features on everything from old Bosphorus interiors to nomads of the steppe, from attar of roses to neolithic Anatolia, very lavishly illustrated, as the brochures would say, and intelligently written.
One way to look at what it has to offer is via this link, which begins with a review of the Yashim books by Barnaby Rogerson, author and publisher at Eland Books – of whom, and of which, more in a later post.
A browse through the website to begin with is highly recommended!
Celebrating and chronicling all things Ottoman-inspired and influenced, Cornucopia is a cross between World of Interiors and National Geographic, with a gentle Turkic twist. Tyler Brülé, The Financial Times