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.
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I I'm drawn to Istanbul the way one is drawn to Dickens's London, or Chandler's LA: it is a riotous, burgeoning, creative city with stories round every corner. An atmosphere I try to catch in my books.
I'm an intermittent blogger but feel free to browse: there are essays on the city, on crime writing, on books, food, Polish freedom fighters, and history. ...more
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