Five favorite places to drink tea in Istanbul - a Supplement
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Since the posting of “Five favorite places to drink tea in Istanbul” I have received several emails asking me to provide five favorite places, not four favorite and one past favorite. This is a point well taken. As a consequence, I am posting this short supplement to include one more of my favorite tea spots in Istanbul, although this one will not be in the Fatih/Sultanahmet neighborhood – I look forward to your emails on that. :)
Kiz Kulesi, aka Maiden’s Tower (just off the coast of Üsküdar) – this beautiful venue was featured in James Bond’s “The World is Not Enough.” It is located on the Asia side of Istanbul, a couple hundred yards off the shoreline of the Salacak neighborhood in Üsküdar. Once you get to the Salacak shoreline there is a water shuttle to take you to and from the Tower.
Several winters ago I had business travel to the East Coast of the US. More often than not, it is cheaper to fly across Asia and Europe to get to the East Coast than it is to fly from Guam, over Hawaii and California, to the East Coast. (We’ll skip the discussion of monopolistic pricing for this article.) Because of the length of the flight, it is necessary to layover along the way. On this particular occasion I was able to overnight in Istanbul.
It was January so it was particularly cold, and I’m not sure what I was thinking when I chose to spend my layover going to a lighthouse in the middle of the Bosphorus. But, I am glad I did.
The Tower contains a museum and a restaurant/café. I went during the early afternoon so lunch was the fare, but çay was critical to getting my body temperature above glacial. The venue was very nice and on the day I visited, despite the cold, bustled. I suspect visiting in the spring or fall would be ideal, and expect it would be a very good venue with someone you’re trying to impress – think one knee, a ring, and the look of utter fear. LOL
I can’t exactly remember what I ate, but have a vague inkling it was Turkish sausage and cheese on toast – not the sucuklu sandviç I ate as a kid, but something containing many of the same ingredients. What I do recall was, despite the cold, Kiz Kulesi offered a lovely setting to have tea, eat a late lunch, and gaze across the Bosphorus to Sultanahmet, Galata and the other beautiful neighborhoods of Istanbul.
(Photograph, such as it is, was taken by me; all copyrights are reserved).
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