Turkish Tea for Two

And Dinner Too

A taste of the Old City made us hungry for lunch.  We decided to check out tea at our hotel, the Çiragan Palace.  One of my favorite indulgences anywhere in the world is afternoon tea, and this one I highly recommend.

Turkish tea is a must-try at least once.  It’s always served in a clear, tall, crystal-like glass (we saw several vendors at the Grand Bazaar drinking it while hawking their goods).  It was served to us with two teapots.  One had the tea, the other, hot water.  Our server poured the tea halfway, then filled the rest of the glass with hot water, turning it from deep brown to an amber color.  It has a strong and slightly bitter taste.

Accompanying our tea was 5 different kinds of sugar, and a selection of light bites that added up to be quite a meal.  Among my favorites – stuffed grape leaves and couscous.  We did our best to finish everything on our plates (and were pretty successful).

Post tea we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the pool deck, watching boats pass along the Bosphorus.

After spending the day sightseeing, we decided to cancel plans for another late night out – instead opting for a more relaxed evening at the hotel.  We decided to check out Laledan Fish Restaurant, and were treated to an assortment of meze.

After dinner we went to the outdoor bar and smoked strawberry-flavored tobacco from a hookah.  As we enjoyed watching the smoke drift up into the night sky we knew our early morning wake up call would come too soon.