Istanbul, Turkey – Bosphorus, Soho House Istanbul & lots of delicious food

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Phew! I’ve finally edited all my Istanbul photos and now I’m wishing I was still there drinking beers in the sun! It’s such an amazing city, all based around the beautiful Bosphorus stretch of water. It’s actually bigger than London which surprised me during my pre-trip research. There is so much to do, and during our 5 days there we definitely didn’t cover everything! Highlights were the Galata tower area, a Bosphorus river tour (totally do it), exploring the Mosques (post number 2 – to come), eating all the foods and the Grayson exhibit I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

Istanbul is certainly a product of it’s geographical location culturally. It feels very middle eastern in lots of ways, which I love: the people, the mosques, the food. But then it feels very western: the galleries, the little shops, bars, the younger trendier kids everywhere! For example the area around Galata tower feels a little bit East London or Berlin. But then it’s really unlike anywhere I’ve been in Europe, yet not quite as strict and influenced by it’s religion as the Middle East.

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Henry kindly took me for my birthday and we stayed at Soho House Istanbul which was the best hotel I’ve ever been to! You’re not really allowed to take photos in the Soho House buildings but it was incredible place, a 19th century palace. The food was also super nice in there. Though in Turkey, most of the food is AMAZING… I’d get obese if I lived there for sure.
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What I wore today – NEW FLAT!

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Breton top, c/o: Petit Bateau – Skirt: Gap – Pumps: H&M

Please excuse the fact I look a little bit awks. I’m so tired after moving flats! Almost a week later and everything is finally tidied away and all IKEA furniture is built. Phew. After realizing I have too many clothes, here is an OOTD ;)! I kind of match my new sofa, right…? Also minimal French style is always a good shout when you don’t know what clothes are where and finding items that match is more effort than it’s worth.

Now time to catch up on crappy YouTube videos and blogs. Flat tour soon? Oh… and those Istanbul photos I wanted to edit weeks ago. Oops! Hope everyone in blog land is good. xx

What I wore today – English summer rain

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Jacket: Forever 21 – Shirt: Zara – Trousers: Topshop – Bag: c/o Radley – Boots: Zara – Watch: Marc Jacobs

June is my favourite month for clothing because it’s the time of year where you can dress lightly, but it’s not too hot so you don’t have to bare all your flesh to the world!

At the moment I am pretty obsessed with these cigarette trousers from Topshop. I’ve got two pairs of them in different floral patterns already… They’re defo the type of item you either love or hate. Even if you don’t like the pattern, they are SO comfy!

The bag was kindly sent to me by Radley. I love this, it goes with loads of things and is very simple but a little bit different. It looks like a mini hat box (just me?)! I’m the kind of person who carries around a lot with me, but this does fit a couple of necessary items in for a day or night out. Anything smaller I wouldn’t cope! I overfilled it on my birthday (26! Woo, not!), got hideously drunk and lost my make up after I forgot to zip it up. I’ve not tried to put too much in it since :’). Radley do have lots of nice leather bags at the moment, I’ve been eying up the simple backpacks.

The shirt and boots are from Zara, the shirt is really baggy but very thin and light for summer – I love the collar on it. The boots have seen better days and I’ve worn them to death but can’t find any similar to replace them with :( Please give me a heads up if you have?!

x

Grayson Perry – Small differences, Istanbul

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Once a friend said I looked like Grayson Perry. I have to say that it’s a pretty huge compliment, he has great hair (both as Grayson and as Claire). Also he’s without a doubt an incredible artist: one of my all time favourites.

I went to Istanbul for my birthday earlier in the month (another post soon!). On our last day, we realized there was an exhibition by Grayson Perry showing at Pera Museum. His ‘The Vanity Of Small Differences’ tapestries were on display. We couldn’t have stumbled upon a better exhibition as I’ve always loved Grayson’s work but never seen the tapestries in real life. The detail, the colours, everything about them is incredible. Photographs just don’t do them justice at all. They were amazing, some of my favourite art pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.

The tapestries tell a story of a man called Tim Rakewell who comes from a very working class background in Sunderland. As he grows older and attends university, social mobility comes into play and he makes a ‘better life’ for himself. Tim becomes part of the middle class, and does very well financially. The tapestries show 6 parts of his life, with a slightly gruesome ending. They are based on Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress – a modern take on these old artworks.

You can watch “In The Best Possible Taste” on Channel 4 here. It’s a documentary Grayson filmed to document the research for his tapestries. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be up right now – but it may come back to watch soon (4OD does this a lot! So keep checking back). His other documentary series “Who Are You” is still on 4OD and is well worth viewing.

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My top 10 tips for renting in London

Renting in the capital is a nightmare. Firstly, it’s horrendously overpriced which means most people in their twenties have a lot of restrictions on what they can actually afford. Secondly, estate agents have a terrible reputation and from my experience I would say that reputation is more than well deserved. Those two things combined can make the whole situation way more stressful than it really should be.

As I’ve rented in London for around 7 years now, I’ve definitely learned some tips and tricks to ease the pain, slightly. I’m moving again in a few weeks so I thought I’m probably able to give some fairly decent advice for anyone thinking of moving house in the capital. Also I’d say I’m quite good at this house stuff, maybe because I’m a pro internet stalker… ha.

Here are some things I’ve learned for anybody thinking of renting in London:

1. The internet is your best friend

Don’t bother going into physical estate agents. It will be a waste of time. If you know some agencies in the area you wish to live in, send them an email and ask to be put on a waiting list for any new properties that fit your criteria. Sometimes they will email you properties before they go up on their website or in their office.

The sites I would recommend for flat hunting are: Zoopla, Gumtree, Nestoria, Rightmove, Moveflat. Be prepared to spend half your life on them, if you see properties as soon as they go live, you’ve got a better chance. You can now set up alerts on Rightmove too, which is probably the most depressing thing ever.

2. Location – the more you know, the more chance you’ve got

Know the postcodes, streets or areas you would like to live in. The more you know about an area, the easier it is to search for. You will get more relevant properties if you do this rather than just searching the borough eg. Hackney, Islington etc. Searching  E9 5EN for example, you’d have properties near that street, it just narrows down your search which is time saving.

Also research the area and check if there are any specific housing estates that rent too. A lot of the time they do not advertise, it’s a matter of finding out if they exist and then contacting them. That’s how we found our new place.

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