Getting lost in Lefkosa’s charming quarter – Part 2

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Getting swept up by the enchanting walled city of Lefkosa is one of my favourite pastimes when holidaying in North Cyprus. As mentioned in my previous post, there are many gems waiting to be discovered in this part of the city and tantalizing cuisines is no exception!  El Sabor Latino Restaurant (specializing in Mediterranean cuisines) was just what we needed to quench our appetite after strolling in the autumn sunshine. Located in a pedestrianized cobbled square near the Selimiye Mosque, it was the perfect setting to indulge in my seafood pasta.

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Getting Lost in Lefkosa’s charming quarter – Part 1

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Ok . . . Now where do I start from when describing my time in Lefkosa (Nicosia)? Firstly, this is also the capital city of North Cyprus and my base, whenever I visit my family.  As much as I love escaping to the peaceful and picturesque scenery in Kyrenia; I still enjoy the lively atmosphere in Lefkosa, which consists of lively cafes, bars and charming eateries. However, Lefkosa’s old quarter will always be my favorite part of this unique capital with it’s authentic and unspoiled setting; so much so that I have to split this post into three because this area of Lefkosa consists of many hidden gems that I cannot possibly describe in one post!

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The epitome of Kyrenia: Kyrenia Harbour

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North Cyprus really is an unspoilt treasure waiting to be unearthed, however, at the same time, I fear that mass tourism would ruin the authentic charm this part of the island epitomises. Unfortunately, not a lot of people, even discerning travellers are aware of North Cyprus which is why I am relishing in raising awareness of this magical part of the Island I am proud to be a part of. So I would like to start with the most popular and richly historic town called Kyrenia (Girne in Turkish).  Let’s just say that Kyrenia Harbour should be first on your list of places to explore if you ever get to travel here, and I shall happily tell you why . . .

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Roam in Style Blog reaches 100 followers!

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I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to EVERYONE who has been reading and following my blog! :-)  It was my dream to start a blog about something I truly have a passion in which is TRAVEL and it means a lot to share my experiences with you all. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing about them!

I look forward to sharing more posts with you about the many travel experiences to come for the new year and beyond! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and an AMAZING New Year!

Best Wishes

Ayse :-)

Southbank’s Magical Christmas Market

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December is one of my favourite months of the year. Not only because it is my birthday; I simply love the festive spirit leading up to Christmas. When I found out the Christmas Market had opened at the Southbank Centre, I was excited like a child and couldn’t wait to to be there and and soak up the atmosphere. I have already been to Winter Wonderland which has a similar vibe but my favourite is the Christmas Market at Southbank because nothing beats the magical view of the enchanting London landscape.

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Lawrence Durrel’s beloved Bellapais

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“But no such thought was in my mind that first spring morning as I walked in those deserted cloisters, touching the rosy stones of the old Abbey with an idle hand, noticing the blaze of flowers . . . and here and there, bursting from a clump of fallen masonry, cracking the rock triumphantly, the . . . plumes of yellow fennel. . . . In that silence the light airs of the plain climbed up to us, full of the small sound of birds as they stooped and dived in the blue gulf below. Somewhere near at hand came the rustle and dribble of spring-water feeding the flowers.”

Lawrence Durrell in Bitter Lemons, “The Tree of Idleness”

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Bellapais Abbey – North Cyprus’ best kept jewel

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North Cyprus (Officially recognised as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) has always had a special place in my heart and one of those places I would always return to. Well, firstly, because it is where my family are from and two, because North Cyprus has many unspoilt and beautifully preserved historical and cultural gems bursting to be written about. It has been 6 loooong years since I returned to this beautiful island. For me, it is the most eagerly anticipated destination I have been waiting to write about. Finally that time has arrived and have the pleasure in sharing with you my wonderful and special time spent in North Cyprus . . . . . . .

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A splash of Rousillon

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I can honestly say that we saved the best trip till last in Provence. Despite having little time left before flying back to London, we had to make valuable time to see the vibrant village of Rousillon. It is very difficult to justify how unique this village is until you see it with your own eyes. Nothing prepares you for the splash of warm golden palettes glowing over the reddish orange cliffs surrounding the village. It truly was a striking setting against a backdrop of clear blue skies and verdant pine trees.

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Provencal pleasures of Fontaine Du Vaucluse

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                 Translucent waters flowing through Fontaine Du Vaucluse

The enchanting village of Fontaine Du Vaucluse is unlike any other village I have visited in my previous travels. Fortunately, I have travelled on many city and beach breaks this year but was in great need of a tranquil getaway to recover from my previous journeys. Therefore, in September, my friends and I decided to venture on a long retreat to the Luberon. There were many beautiful places to visit in Provence, however, it was easy to choose Fontaine Du Vaucluse as the main base for a relaxing retreat. 

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Hotel Du Poete: Un Hotel Magnifique!

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                            Luscious green surrounds of Hotel Du Poete

I just recently returned from my trip to picturesque Provence and before I begin to excitedly describe my experiences,  I have to give special attention to the amazing 4 days spent at the magnificent hotel my friends and I had the pleasure in staying.  I haven’t been to a hotel which exceeded all expectations and this hotel did. It had the whole shebang! It felt like we walked into Provençal paradise. If you ever decide to visit Fontaine de Vaulcuse in Provence, then look no further in choosing to stay at the Hotel Du Poete. Without trying to sound corny, this place really was poetic and beautiful. By looking at this picture, it is only a snippet of the type of gem this hotel really is . . . . . . . .

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A magical beauty that is Capri . . . .

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            Breathtaking view of Capri’s Marina Grande from Villa San Michele

I’ve always had a fascination with Italy and it’s many cultural gems. I have been lucky enough to explore the enchanting Amalfi Coast last year. For years I wanted to visit Capri and kept hearing about how idyllic it is, so I decided to visit for one week last year June. Many visitors usually visit Capri as a stop over to other places on the Amalfi coast. But out of all the locations on this picturesque coast, I really wanted to take time to explore this mesmerising island and immerse myself in it’s scenic landscape.  I cannot begin to explain the euphoria when the ferry was approaching on the glimmering shores of the bustling Marina Grande . . . . .

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Dishoom – A taste of old charm Bombay

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 Mouthwatering Lamb Biriyani with Naan bread and classic Raita, Yummm . . . . .

I must admit, I am no culinary expert when it comes to experimenting with Indian cuisines. However, I can say that a Lamb Biriyani is definitely my favourite dish and my taste buds couldn’t hold out no longer when I arrived at Dishoom. I heard about Dishoom, a Bombay Cafe based in Shoreditch from my colleague and decided to check the website. Going by the pictures and menu, it looked like a pretty cool place to eat. So, eagerly I went with my sister a few weeks back and was surprised to come across a large space with a quirky interior. As the theme goes, I actually did feel like I was in a traditional Bombay Cafe (a distinct fusion of heritage with a contemporary twist). When you’re inside, you forget you are amidst the bustling vicinity of Shoreditch and off course the food was heavenly . . . . .

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Idyllic Escapades in the jewel of the Med

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                                                   A swimmers paradise!

As much as I was content relaxing in the tranquil grounds of my hotel pool, a holiday would not be a holiday in Bodrum, without doing a classic boat tour and exploring the natural wonders from the azure coloured coastline. And disappointed, I was not . . . .  I had such a memorable time on this boat tour with my friends that it actually made me feel more invigorated and revitalised than the hamam treatment I received the day after!

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After Sunset Delights in Bodrum

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              The impressive entrance to the Secret Garden Restaurant

Bodrum is well known for its sophisticated and vibrant night life, but I would also like to make a point that this place is also a foodie heaven as I have had some of the most tastiest dishes. There are so many options, not just kebabs! :-) I had a Seafood Paella at Jade Jagger’s Secret Garden Restaurant (Next to Halikarnas Club) and it was truly exquisite! It’s a shame I don’t have a picture to show. The portion looked pretty small but as the saying goes, the eyes are bigger than the stomach! On top of that, the layout and design was simply stunning. The restaurant overlooks the picturesque marina so having a meal over a moonlit view was a bonus for us.

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British Summer Time in Hyde Park!

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I love going to the cinema and not to just the typical cinema venue but unique venues which takes the cinema experience to another level. Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to watch Oz the Great and the Powerful in Hyde Park. There was nothing like soaking in the sun rays while watching the handsome James Franco acting in one of our favourite classics of all time.