Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

SALT
Simdi
Lovely Illy coffee in an elegant tiled room: what more could anyone ask for in cafe? Simdi has a varied menu and is a great place for breakfast, lunch and all points in between.
Smyrna
Fashionable and relaxed, Smyrma hits all the right notes. Designed with lounging in mind you might go for breakfast and find yourself still there for sundowners.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
Still used by the Bulgarian community for whom it was originally built in 1871, St Stephen's Cathedral is located on the short of the Golden Horn.
SuAda Swimming
Su Ada (it translates as ‘water island’) is a swish open-air swimming and general loafing joint housed on a pontoon floating in the Bosphorus.     
Sugar Club Café
The Sugar Club is all about evening fun. Head over there when you're bored of shopping on Istiklal Caddesi to join the (mostly gay) crowd spilling out onto the street for drinks.
Sultan Pub
Split-level and split personality, the Sultan Pub moves from European-style cafe to American bar and contemporary roof-terrace.
Sunset Grill & Bar
Well worth the taxi ride to Ulus Park, Sunset's enduring popularity with the smart crowd is due to its fabulous terrace with Bosphorus views, excellent varied menu and well-stocked wine cellar.
Swimming
Taps
Located just a few streets away from the fabulous shopping on Abdi Ipecki Caddesi, men might like to retreat to Taps to sample their seven beers leaving wives and girlfriends to the chic boutiques.
Tarihi Selim Usta
Another meatball specialist (that sounds much better in Turkish), this elaborately named restaurant is one of the best places in town to experience köfte at their zenith.
The Bosphorus Tour
Whether by ferry, boat tour or private water taxi, a trip on the Bosphorus is an essential part of any trip to Istanbul. The full cruise is a 6 hour tour from Eminonu to the mouth of the Black Sea.d
The House Apart
Chic and cheap serviced apartments dotted around the city, the brain child of a slick chain of Istanbul cafes.
The James Joyce
Despite a scandalous lack of Guinness, no other Irish cliche is overlooked in the James Joyce pub. Pretty, casual and popular with English speaking ex-pats.
The Kilisli Palace
Emirgan might be quite a trek out of the central pleasures of Beyoglu and Sulanahmet, but it's home to an increasing number of travel-worthy venues, including the wonderful Kilisli Palace.
The Sofa Hotel
One of the new breed of design hotels in Istanbul, the Sofa expertly combines personal service, excellent facilities and a wonderful central location, which sets it apart from the competition.
Tokyo
Located just off Beyoglu's buzzing thoroughfare Istiklal Caddesi, the smart contemporary Tokyo is perfect for a quick sushi lunch. Pop in here before taking on the antiques shops of nearby Faik.
Traditional Music Clubs
Book ahead to secure a table at Kallavi 20, one of the best meyhanes to hear traditional Turkish folk music. Knock back enough raki and you'll soon feel Turkish enough to join them on the dance floor.
Urban
Not quite as 'urban' in design as the name might imply, this charming Parisian-style bar is perfect for an early evening drink.
Vogue
As you would expect from the name, glamour is the order of the day here. Well-designed and slick decor complements the well-dressed crowd enjoying the international cuisine.
Whirling Dervishes
Undeniably uber-touristy, we nevertheless recommend that you give in to your urges to watch the Dervishes whirl away... 
Witt Istanbul Suites
Witt Istanbul professes to provide home comfort in a boutique hotel ambiance, and indeed it does, but only if your home is an Autoban-designed interioristas paradise located in a trendy arty district. =display:"
Yakup 2
One of the most authentic of Asmalimescit's meyhanes, Yakup 2 has a traditional earthly feel reminiscent of days gone by. Nightclub Babylon is just round the corner to dance off the meze.
Zarifi
More of a restaurant than a club, join large groups of Istanbullis for a raucous night of unashamed Turkish fun. As the meze get cleared away and the raki goes down the volume goes up and the dancing starts. =d"

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