31st July 2017 by - No comments

I am writing to you from sunny Antalya! We just spent a wonderful 3 days in Istanbul, and are now at our final stop for the summer for sone much needed sun, sea and sand.

Whilst in Istanbul I came across this fantastic book I just had to read. I havent quite finished it yet but have read enough to tell you all about it.

The Book –

At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock.

Yet in Istanbul–an ancient crossroads and Turkey’s largest city–people were looking toward an uncertain future. Never purely Turkish, Istanbul was home to generations of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, as well as Muslims. It welcomed White Russian nobles ousted by the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik assassins on the trail of the exiled Leon Trotsky, German professors, British diplomats, and American entrepreneurs–a multicultural panoply of performers and poets, do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells.

During the Second World War, thousands of Jews fleeing occupied Europe found passage through Istanbul, some with the help of the future Pope John XXIII. At the Pera Palace, Istanbul’s most luxurious hotel, so many spies mingled in the lobby that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish their seats to paying guests.

In beguiling prose and rich character portraits, Charles King brings to life a remarkable era when a storied city stumbled into the modern world and reshaped the meaning of cosmopolitanism.

Verdict –

Pera Palace is one of my favourite hotels ever! Not only is it a beautifully amazing building set in the old part of Istanbul. It also has such a rich history I am not one bit suprised it has a book based around it.

Charles King has obviously researched the history of this amazing city very well. It is like looking back at Turkey’s history from the demise of the Ottoman empire through to the cosmopolitism it has reached today. After World War I Turkey went through immense changes, and became the Turkey it is today under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

A good book to read to understand the changes Turkey has gone through to get to where it is today.

Next time you are in Istanbul be sure to visit the Pera Palace, it’s like walking back in time.

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26th July 2017 by - No comments

I am now in sunnier climates, millions of miles away from home, away from the school runs and rainy weather for a few weeks.

Although I do love coffee, lately I have been craving the perfect cup of stong English tea with milk.

When abroad its not always easy to get the right strength or colour to your cup of tea so I do normally take a big box of teabags along with me, which can prove tiresome on shorter trips. Boxes of tea are difficult to keep fresh once opened, and can take up space in small cases.

The English Tea shop has come up with the perfect solution! A handy compact selection of teas to pack in your case for that perfect cup of tea anywhere you go! It’s the size of a small book & super light so will slip right into your handbag.

The Product –

Within a span of few years, English Tea Shop teas have become the perfect partner of the tea drinkers across the globe.

They work with only the finest Organic and Fairtrade farmers from all over the world to produce our special range of teas.

It’s own manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka allows it to rely upon age-old traditions that, for centuries, have been producing the best teas in the world. The harmonious blends and time honored healthy ingredients help the consumers with much needed good health with no compromise in excitement. The teas are handpicked and crafted to deliver the fullest burst of flavor to its customers. The fantastic feedback and the ratings it receives from the consumers are the major drives of the company’s success.

Verdict –

Such a fantastic idea! I drink my tea with milk, and the English breakfast made the perfect cup of tea. Just like one I would have back home.

I cannot wait to try the other wonderful blends in the pack –

Detox tea
Calming tea
Green tea with honey & mint
Chocolate, Roobios & Vanilla
English Tea Shop products are available on Amazon Uk, also in Harrods, WHSmith, Debenhams and other shops. Full details on their lovely website below –

http://www.etsteas.co.uk/where-we-are-sold

As it says on the box,

“There’s no brew like home” ❤️😋

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24th July 2017 by - No comments

I am writing to you from sunny Turkey! It is officially the summer holidays and two days in I am enjoying a fantastic book poolside in the glorious sunshine!

It is a bit of a tradition of mine to save a new book by a favourite author for the holidays. So I actually bought this book a while ago but saved it especially for this vacation.

The Book –

From the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of Summer Secrets comes a novel about finding a home – and family – where you least expect them.

Eight years ago, Emma Montague left behind the strict confines of her upper-crust English life – and rather dull boyfriend – and moved to New York City, where she immediately found success in the world of finance. But her soulless, cut-throat, all-consuming job has only led to another life she didn’t want.

Answering an online ad, Emma finds a tiny beach cottage to rent in the small town of Westport, Connecticut. It needs work – lots of work. But it’s the perfect project to satisfy Emma’s passion for interior design and gardening, if her new landlord, Dominic, is agreeable to the small changes she yearns to make.

To Emma, Dominic is also something of a fixer-upper. A local handyman with a six-year-old son, he’s a world away from the men she should be interested in, but he’s comfortable in his own skin, confident, quiet and kind. Slowly, over a shared garden, time spent with his son and late-night conversations, Emma finds herself falling for Dominic.

From friends to lovers happens as naturally as the changing seasons. But laying down roots doesn’t come easily when two lives as different as theirs merge into one. And Emma will realize that the seeds of happiness must be nurtured and cherished to grow into something strong enough to shelter all their hopes and dreams . . .

Verdict –

Yet again Jane Green does not disappoint! A lovely read, her words flow so easily and by chapter 4 you already feel you know the characters as if they were living in your own neighbourhood.

Not up there with my favourite of Green’s books but entertaining all the same.

Available on Amazon & in all major bookshops now!

Happy Summer reading x

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