/ The Istanbul Guide
Istanbul — By inka on April 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm
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Earth Hour and Wine Tastings in Istanbul

Last Saturday, the 28th of March, saw  Earth Hour, when –worldwide- the lights were dimmed to preserve energy and help save the planet. Istanbul was no exception and, on a bigger scale, the illumination of the Bosporus Bridge which joins the European and the Asian part of the city was reduced.

Earth Hour in the Four Seasons Hotel

On a smaller, and very nice scale, the Four Seasons Hotel in Istanbul’s Sultanahmed district joined in and observed Earth Hour with a candle light dinner. In addition, all chandeliers and lamps went out and the entire hotel was lighted by countless  candles. A magic sight for a good cause as you can see in the picture.

Earth Hour illumination at the Four Seasons Hotel

A Prison turned luxury hotel

The Four Seasons Hotel is remarkable for a variety of reasons. Situated  in one of Istanbul’s most historic districts,  it is within walking distance of such major sights as the

The luxury hotel is  located in a beautifully renovated neoclassic building which until the early 20th century was an Ottoman prison. If you decide to stay there, you can actually, tongue in cheek, say that you spent the night in prison!

No traces remain of course and the hotel is cosy, intimate and of a muted elegance.

It doesn’t come cheap though, so another opportunity to enjoy the surroundings is to attend the weekly wine tastings, hosted by the hotel’s Food & Wine manager, delightful Australian Angela  Moore.

Wine tastings in Istanbul

It comes as a surprise to many visitors to Turkey, that the country produces first class wines, particularly reds from the region around Izmir. The Four Seasons Hotel has made it its business to promote Turkish wine and therefore hosts the wine tasting each Friday.

If you happen to be in Istanbul and like wine,  don’t miss the Bakus Butik Saraplari on Friday 2nd of April. According to the hotel’s info, this is a very special  occasion as they present wines from a unique and sophisticated winery never before tasted in Istanbul.

5 tastings and a gorgeous cheese buffet, including  a variety of Turkish bread, cost TL 30. ($1 apprx, TL 1.5) I went to a tasting last Friday and it’s also a social event where you can meet and mingle with interesting local wine enthusiasts. This is an inside tip which no tour guide will tell you about.

Reservations can be made by calling 012 402 3156 or emailing angela at angela.moore.@fourseasons.com.

Or else, as several people did, just turn up at 7pm and Angela will find you a seat in a hurry.

Serife, as they say in Turkish!

Photo credit:  author’s personal collection

Related places:
  1. A
    Four Seasons
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
    View Details and Book
  3. C
    Grand Bazaar (Kapali andCcedil;arsisi)
    View Details and Book
  4. D
    Topkapi Palace
    View Details and Book
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