One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much to fellow food writer Acorn in my Kitchen for awarding me the ‘One Lovely Blog’ award. It really means so much to have my little collection of food thoughts and travel writing appraised, especially by someone who has a large following. Acorn in my Kitchen makes Spanish food sexy.  Like all good cooks, her food is made with love as she acknowledges her Spanish heritage.  Perhaps it is our mutual love of the Mediterranean which has brought us together.  So, as is custom for these types of awards I am to present seven facts about myself and nominate fifteen other bloggers, although because I’m not sure if it is strictly limited to food, I have named the blogs I find particularly good. Here goes:

  • I aspire to discover lost knowledge and antiquity rather than strive to invent something new
  • Fresh figs and ripe persimmons are my favorite fruits
  • Jasmine is my favorite flower
  • My favorite memories always include my sister and my parents
  • I sleep talk – a lot!
  • I believe nothing is final and anything is possible
  • Of all the birds, I believe Robins have the most beautiful song

Here are my nominations for the One Lovely Blog awards:

Kurdish Cuisine  – making Kurdish cuisine accessible to speakers of English.. Finally!

Persian Living – Delightful Persian cuisine, evoking memories from the East (and West London!)

Silvestro’s Salento – Tales from the Puglian Kitchen – fantastic fresh food from the amazing Salento peninsula. Silvestro is the owner and director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School in Lecce, Italy

The Arab Review – Interesting and informative articles about the Arts & Culture of the Middle East.

Beirut Street Photographers – Some great images of street life in Beirut – telling the story of the city by its’ people.

Soli Zardosht – one stylish girl’s love for food, menswear and anything which inspires her.

Digital Scullery – Authentic Greek food like Yiayia used to make, made cool!

Flavour Food & Wine – A look at fresh, wholesome food / drink. I feel healthy just reading the blog – great photography too.

The Daily Cure  – a Quirky food and travel blog. Some great ‘Postcards’

Neigeblanche – Amazing recipes and very inspiring photography, particularly from Morocco.

Italian Foodies – The seemingly idyllic goings on from a very warm Italian kitchen in Ireland.

Assia’s Kaledioscope – Various cultural influences on some great cooking. Flying the flag for Bulgaria!

Mother Pateesa – East meets West in a delicious mosaic of cross cultural dishes.

While Chasing Kids – Interesting recipes with a distinct Russian flavour.

Rita Cooks Italian – Home cooked, good, honest food from the lovely Rita.

I hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do.

Feeling Lucky??


Vote Now! There could be a trip to Turkey in it for you too…

Dear readers, I am shamelessly begging you to vote for one of two of my photographs below taken in Istanbul, which I have entered in YouinTurkey‘s photographic competition run by and WOW Istanbul.

It takes just seconds to register, and if you vote you’ll be entered into a lottery whereby 100 lucky voters will win return tickets to Turkey from ANY European destination (how generous!) or Digital Camera – You have nothing to lose and a holiday to gain!

My photos have been submitted to ‘Life & Culture’ category (category 2) are named ‘Istanbul City of Dreams’ and ‘Nazar and Kahve’ seen in the slideshow below.

Step 1: Firstly you’ll need to register with the website, which will take just a minute. The login/register tab is at the top of this page:

Step 2: Please go to this link:

When you put your cursor at the bottom of the screen there is the option to scroll down even further as a big white arrow pointing down appears. Scroll down once – my photos ‘Istanbul City of Dreams’ and ‘Nazar and Kahve’ should be the third and fourth row up. Click on the photo you wish to vote for and press ‘vote now’


Voting closes on 15th April 2012. THANK YOU & GOOD LUCK!!

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Istanbul – City of Dreams


I had always wanted to visit Istanbul. I imagined it would be similar to Napoli, an ancient chaotic city of contrasts on the Mediterranean sea with the added allure of straddling two continents. Arriving at Sabiha Gökçen airport on a humid Autumn day I joke to Murat, my partner, about not having the right visa to get into Turkey. At Passport control a young man checks every page of my passport and asks

“Didn’t you get a visa?”


“Queue over there.” I look back to where he is pointing and see hoards of confused tourists waiting to part with 10 British Pounds.

Finally, I cross Turkey’s threshold and we greet two of Murat’s smiling friends. I try to take in my surroundings while whizzing towards the Bosphorus Bridge.The traffic is chaotic, but then I expected that. Sezen Aksu plays on the stereo, her sultry voice echoing the tired building facades surrounding us.

I’m leaning forward in my seat with my nose pressed against the window like a child without realising. Gokhan smiles in the rearview mirror. We can’t communicate in spoken word yet, only in signs and gestures.

Read on…