Globalisation and mega brands have taken fun out of real shopping. Anywhere you go, you see the same usual brands. These days, I prefer to explore little alleys and shop at smaller stores rather than the big shopping malls. These shops usually produce their stuff in smaller quantity and hence, able to retain their unique identity. On my most recent trip to Istanbul, I discovered some of the most beautiful stores while I was exploring the area around the Galata Tower.
Ms Günay, owner and designer of Ironi
Exquisite Home Accessories from Ironi
For those compulsive home decorators, Ironi is definitely a place that you must visit. Everything in this store, from home accessories to furniture and lighting, is designed by one amazing lady, Ms Günay ?nan. Gunay, who is also the owner of Ironi, has managed to strike a delicate balance of incorporating ancient Ottoman influences and modern functionality into her designs without making them look tacky. The final products are so exquisite and beautiful that I can assure you that it’s very hard to leave the store without getting anything. I will definitely return to Istanbul and visit Ironi when it’s time to decorate my own place.
Hersay Asktan (Window Display)
Beautiful Turkish delight boxes from Hersay Asktan
Packaging can make a huge difference. And this is the case for Hersay Asktan, which means ‘all comes from love’ in English. Instead of packing its Turkish delights in some cheap printed paper boxes, Hersay Asktan sells the popular confectionary in specially curated containers made of tombak and ceramic. After emptying the content, these pretty Turkish delights containers can begin their new lives as jewellery boxes or home accessories.
Duo Galata Reception Area
My next discovery is the Duo Galata, a quirky boutique urban hotel located right by the Galata Tower and The Galata Mawlawi House. What attracted me to this hotel is the large playful painting that it has in its lobby. And if I didn’t signal to the staff to open the door (they were closed for renovations then), I would have thought it was an art gallery. The arty and funky travellers would probably enjoy the Duo Galata’s peppy vibes.
There are lots to see and experience if you take your time to explore the vicinity around the Galata Tower. You will find fruit stores selling freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, shops selling Turkish mosaic lamps and hawkers peddling interesting local artefacts. When you are tired, just stop by any of the cafes located along the street and enjoy a cup of latte or Turkish Chai. Take your time to soak up the atmosphere. It’s an experience that you will never forget.
Camekan Sok. 4/E
Tel: +90 212 245 78 03
Bereketzade Mah. Kule Sk. No:3/B
Tel: +90 212 249 32 73