1 When we arrived at the Four Season's Hotel on the Bosphorus we were treated to a lobby full of flowers, fresh air, and light.
2 Making good use of hydrangea, orchids, and Love Lies Bleeding, the hotel florist created stunning, massive arrangements like this one.
3 The rear of the hotel opens onto the European shore of the Bosphorus, facing the Asiatic coast. Istanbul is the only major city in the world divided on two contitnents.
4 Marble, quarried locally, was used to fabricate the massive pools and fountains at the hotel.
5 Kevin waiting for a friend's launch to pick us up for a tea party.
6 Look closely and you will see why this gnarled tree remains a feature of the garden—it bears large pomegranates!
7 We were invited for high tea to the palace of Zarif Mustafa Pasa Yalisi. Demet Sabanci Cetindogan owns this palace and it houses her large collection of Turkish art and fine antiques.
8 Demet invited us for proper Turkish tea. Her home is right on the shores of the Bosphorus, easily accessible by boat or car.
9 The tall walls have beautiful objects built into the stone construction like this illuminated bird house.
10 A view from the house to the boat at the dock. The garden was beautifully manicured and planted.
11 In the grand front hall hangs an enormous crystal and glass chandelier.
12 Demet and I posed on the wide staircase that goes from the living room floor to the dining floor below.
13 Demet and I with some of our other friends who had tea with us
14 In the palace is a hammam—a real marble Turkish bath and bathroom. Pictured is the toilet room.
15 The shower room.
16 A soaking tub in the complex of rooms that make up the Turkish bathroom.
17 Highlights of the room include the marble water basin, the silver bowls for rinsing water, and the heated marble slab on which one rests while being scrubbed and "loofahed."
18 This is the heated marble bed where a bather can lie down for relaxation.
19 The ceiling of the hammam is domed and pierced, and made of marble. I loved the blue glass lanterns.
20 The blue glass lanterns are probably made in India. They were used in Colonial times for candles or oil lamps.
21 Beautiful carvings in relief in marble adorn the walls of the hammam.
22 Alcoves like this were used as little windows into the outside world of the palace. This one has been covered in glass.
23 A Turkish ancestor of Demet.
24 The ornately decorated smoking room of the palace. It adjoins the dining hall.
25 These are silver Turkish mirrors, which are traditionally hung with the mirror facing the wall.
26 The entrance hall with windows heavily festooned with curtains, gilded furniture, and ornate mirrors.
27 The dining room with its formal table and chairs—very English.
28 A banquette in the dining room.
29 Each place setting looked like this—gold-plated flatware, decorated glassware, and an artfully folded napkin.
30 Our hostess used photographs of each of her guests to create clever place cards.
31 A beautifully tiled wall in the dining room hallway.
32 My favorite dessert was baked apples with quince puree topped with a creme fraiche.
33 Another dessert was celebratory of the autumn season—dried fruits and nuts in a rich custard, served in gold-embossed goblets.
34 Delectable cream puffs were served on sticks.
35 Evil eye marbles in a dessert dish. I thought they were evil eye hard candies. Imagine my surprise!!!!
36 Demet, me, and the sister of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Seval, who was visiting Istanbul.
37 Me and Seval.