Blink Travels: Jewellery joy in Istanbul

As we returned to our lovely hotel after a hard day of retail therapy topped off with a soapy rub down in the Galatasaray hamam (not for the prudish or faint-hearted!), we spotted a small but beautiful store, called Ekay, with lots of stunning, sparking jewelery in the window. It was impossible to resist popping in, as I have a personal addiction for Turkish jewelery, and its always nice to wear something that serves as a reminder of a great trip too…

We were very well looked after by Evren, who turned out to be the designer, maker and proprietor. She explained the inspiration for her latest collection called ‘Constellation’, “The inspiration comes from when people look at the stars everybody sees different shapes. Everyone can create their own star as a ring. The constellation collection is like a puzzle. There are a lot of different versions of the rings so people can combine them with each other to create something unique.”

Evren Kayar in her store, Ekay

one of the 'Constellation' rings

I invested in a really unusual silver ring from the ‘Ottoman Remix’ collection, inspired by traditional architectural shapes seen in Istanbul. Beautiful!

my ring from the 'Ottoman Remix' collection

Blink Travels: Istanbul, in the House

So, part way through London Fashion Week, I did a runner…

I had been invited to spend a few days in Istanbul, and it was an offer too good to be refused. I left LFW in the capable hands of the lovely Asta and headed off to Turkey. Istanbul is a city that I have breezed through on several work trips, but never had the opportunity to fully explore. Besides the fact that it straddles two continents; the history, architecture and culture has always fascinated me. Team that with the fact that I had just completed a research project on this very city and you had the recipe for a very excited person indeed.

We stayed at the incredibly lovely House Hotel Galatasaray, a stunning 1890’s townhouse that had recently been converted into a luxe hotel by the Autoban team. I’m a huge fan of their aesthetic so couldn’t wait to see what they had created. The hotel was a beautiful marriage of original features (lots of sumptuous moulding and traditional tiles) with a very polished, modern edge. They have managed to create something that is comfortable and functional, yet incredibly elegant. I wanted to move in permanently!

The Galatasaray area, within Beyoglu, is a great place to be based too, with streets full of amazing vintage and antique stores, cool cafes and outstanding restaurants- not to forget the incredible desserts at SakaryaTatlicisi that would send a diabetic into shock from twenty paces. Its also a short walk downhill to the fabulous Istanbul Modern (amazing Hussein Chalayan and Dice Kayek exhibitions) and the unbelievebly OTT Dolmabahce Palace.

The stunning freestanding shower in the bedroom at the House Hotel

The beautiful bathroom, tiled in marble street address plaques.

Love the slightly retro feel chandelier against the stunning ceiling mouldings.

Beautiful traditional floor tiles through the hotel

The view across Istanbul from the top floor lounge