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Istanbul - wedding anniversary and gift for a lady

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Jan 31st, 2012, 11:32 PM
  #1
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Istanbul - wedding anniversary and gift for a lady

Hi all,
I'm hoping to get some ideas here although it's a bit short notice. Didn't dawn on me to ask earlier. We are leaving for Istanbul this Friday to Monday. I will have computer access while there so can still read replies.

Would anyone have a nice idea on what my husband and I could do as a special anniversary treat apart from sightseeing. We don't want hamams or massages. I don't mind spending some money.

Also, I'd like to bring a female friend (and her family too I guess) a gift for babysitting our daughter. We can get Turkish delight and all kinds of spices at home. Anything unique?

Thanks,
Fran
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Feb 1st, 2012, 12:40 AM
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Hi Fran,

1. here are some ideas for your anniversary :
- a good fusion dinner at Changa near Taksim
- a good traditional fish dinner at a fish restaurant on the Bosphorus like Park Fora, Poseidon, Deniz Ati, Iskele at Rumelihisari, iskele at Cengelkoy.
- a dinner and live music at Ghetto (limited dinner seating, must call asap)
http://www.ghettoist.com/en/

There will be no snow but possibly some rain and 38-48 degrees.

2. Some Ideas for a present :

- If you're going to any of the bazaars or to Nisantasi (to Hak Pasaji) something in silver. Check per gram bullion price of silver and do not pay more than 50-80% over that for workmanship and store mark-up unless it is an antique.

- Turkish tea glasses, or glass or crystal designer item from one of many Pasabahce stores (Istiklal near tunel, nisantasi and in malls) They pack extremely well.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 01:11 AM
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Hi

If restaurants are what you want to do try the Rami Restaurant - http://www.ramirestaurant.com (the page loads a bit slow). Also a dinner cruise on the Bosphorus would be memorable. Maybe Otherchelebi can recommend one.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 02:43 AM
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For the gift, there are shops along the Istiklal Cadesi (probably wrong spelling but it's the main drag,) with fabulous crystallised fruits, nuts and Turkish delight - NOT like the ones you get at home.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 03:31 AM
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Worldinabag, I hope you do not mind but I and my wife and our daughters do not like tourist locations and tourist menus anywhere we live or travel. So restaurants like Rami or dinner cruises are definitely out of the question.

However, we did make an exception for Asitane restaurant near Chora church and found it acceptable in terms of traditional Ottoman cuisine although not really suitable for an anniversary dinner.

In terms of meals on the briny, if one can get 10-20 people together, one can rent a converted fishing boat (like one of the smaller Lufer company boats) for the day or the evening and they will do a good barbecue plus salad and some standard meze dishes as an open buffet and include soft drinks, beer, wine and tea and coffee for a reasonable price. You can bring your own music or specify what you like and have soft jazz, classical or pop as you slowly roll on one and then the other side of the Bosphorus. However, this is definitely not recommended before mid May and not when it is snow weather with strong Northwesterly winds as now.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 03:51 AM
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Not problem at all otherchelebi. I never realised the Rami had a tourist menu. It seemed to get rave reviews so we gave it a try. I wasn't that crazy about the food but I thought maybe I was having an off night. I love your suggestion for a "meal on the briny". Sounds like a hoot
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Feb 1st, 2012, 10:25 AM
  #7
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Thanks for the tips so far. I will certainly check them out. A dinner is of course one of the things we will do.
Thanks for the interesting tips ranging from silver, tea glasses (I'm going to buy those for myself!) to crystallised fruits etc. Munich has a large turkish community and I love visiting the supermarkets in the Turkish quarter. So I'll be able to see the difference when I get to Istikal Caddesi.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 10:52 AM
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The best crystallized/caramelized fruits are at a tiny shop, somewhat below street level at Nisantasi down a few meters on vali Konagi Street. It has been there for over 40 years at least.

the shop tarquin means is called Kosla, it is a major manufacturer but exports to germany as well and is especially famous for its halwa. It is a large shop between the Pasabahce shop and Galatasaray on Istiklal.

istiklal for crowds and middle-of-the-road shopping and night life
nisantasi/tesvikiye for upscale shopping and night life, good people watching and designer area
bebek for upscale bosphorus, old goats and young yuppies
ortakoy for middle class bosphorus
arnavutkoy for mixed and old neighborhood bosphorus.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 10:54 AM
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I just remembered the shop of IKSV, the Istanbul Culture
and Art Foundation at Sishane. It may have some unique items.
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Feb 1st, 2012, 07:52 PM
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Otherchelebi, there is a shop near the Blue Mosque which had various items of jewellery, engraved silver plates, small engraved wooden tables etc. Do you know the name of it? The poster may be interested in it. The shop attendant informed me that the government ran the shop and prices were fixed. I purchased a fantastic silver ring with an Islmic design. It wasn't expensive.
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 01:21 AM
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worldinabag,
I am not sure that the shop you mention is actually a Ministry of Culture and Tourism owned and managed shop.

The following is the link to the GES shops and also on-line shopping:
http://www.ges.gov.tr/en/

Their only large shop is at Eminonu/bahcekapi on the largish street on your left before you get to the Spice Bazaar, after the famous Haci Bekir turkish Delight shop as you walk from Sirkeci train station.
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 01:27 AM
  #12
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Wow, fantastic. I'm going to print this all out. I only wish we were staying longer but work does not permit my husband to take off for so long. Thanks everyone!
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 01:39 AM
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Oh my goodness! I just took a look at the GES shop link and they have an online shop so I clicked to see what they have. This stuff looks absolutely fabulous. I didn't find the prices exorbitant either - at least from the German point of view. Thanks, guys. I knew I could count on this forum.
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Feb 2nd, 2012, 03:08 AM
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Otherchelebi you're a wizard! Thanks. I can't remember whether it was the same shop but their products online seem so similar to the shop I visited. And the prices are very similar to the one I bought at - great value. There's a couple of items I couldn't bring back due to luggage space but I might have to start shopping online and do my bit for the Turkish economy
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