Postcards From Istanbul
With its storied past as the gateway to the East, glamorous city-dwellers, balmy climate and centre-of-the-world setting, Istanbul was the only location to celebrate party time with seven of the world's top tastemakers. With The Four Seasons at the Bosphorus as our picture-perfect accommodation, team Harrods and its guests embarked on a three-day tour of one of the most striking cities on earth. Read on to discover the five best hotspots for the ultimate exotic city break:
1. Cruise down the Bosphorus
Istanbul has the best of both worlds: a scenic seafront in the midst of a bustling urban setting. And what could be more relaxing than taking in the sites aboard a boat or yacht? Sail to the old town from the Four Seasons at the Bosphorus at sunset and you'll be hard-pressed to find a more picturesque way to travel.
2. Shop in the Grand Bazaar
From patterned crockery, cotton hamas towels, fragrant teas, colourful lanterns and twinkling jewellery, you can find it all at the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets, the first portion of which first opened in 1455. Culture and sight-seeing at once - now that's what we call being efficient with our time.
3. Have a swim on the roof of the newly-opened Soho House
It's worth becoming a member to experience this setting alone. The latest - and largest - of all the Soho House locations worldwide (and where we photographed Destination Party), this spot boasts all the franchise's well-known luxuries with local specialities mixed in - the Cowshed spa even has a traditional Turkish hammam. Take a dip in the pool and sample cocktails on the roof of this stunning 19th-Century palazzo.
4. Visit the Blue Mosque
Officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this prayer site, built in 1609, is entirely decorated with blue tiles at its interior, giving off a truly celestial aesthetic. Get there early to ensure entry, although you will have to queue. As with all mosques, you will have to cover your head (veils are provided or you can bring your own) and take off your shoes.
5. Watch the sunset from the rooftop of the Four Seasons Sultanahmet
Rooftop locales are big in Istanbul but then when a city offers such jaw-dropping architecture, it really is the best way to take in the views. Nestled in Istanbul's oldest district, The Four Seasons Sultanahmet is built on the site of a historic prison and boasts a five-star restaurant, Seasons, (try the lamb kofte and divine baclava) and rooftop bar, flanked by the famed Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
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Shop from our ultimate partywear edit below.