Straddling Asia and Europe, Istanbul’s exciting fusions make the city a delight
ISTANBUL EAT Chef Mehmet Gürs’ Scandinavian and Turkish heritage shines at his flagship restaurant, Mikla. Forgotten techniques and obscure ingredients come together for creative takes on regional cuisine, such as the grilled lamb with aubergine begendi and plum molasses. miklarestaurant.com
STAY Soho House Istanbul (below) is a 19th-century Ottoman palazzo with the grandeur of empire—its 87 rooms occupy a modern glass annex. At rooftop nightclub Embassy, movers and shakers party into the small hours sipping Raki Fizz, ouzo-like liquor mixed with lime, sugar and champagne. sohohouseistanbul.com
RELAX Turkish hammam traditions are refreshed with signature treatments at the Caudalie Vinothérapie spa at Hotel Les Ottomans. Think honey and wine wraps, and floating your cares away in the Dead Sea Water Pool. Designers employed feng shui principles to ensure peace of mind. lesottomans.com
EXPLORE Karaköy is the city’s hippest neighbourhood. Quaint cafes and trendy art galleries (check out Istanbul Modern, artsümer and Galeri Manâ) puncture winding streets overlooking the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Feeling hungry? Lunch like a local with a freshly grilled fish bap while watching the ferries float by.