Yastik by Rifat Ozbek – Yastik means cushion in Turkish, and that is exactly what you find in this wonderful emporium. The beautiful cushions in this shop instantly transport you to a different place and culture: brightly coloured, patterned and lovely to touch they are carefully designed and made to be the finest quality. I would have loved a selection of the mini lavender filled cushions to scent all my drawers of clothes.
Selda Okutan – This imaginative and inventive jewellery tells a story. Sculptural jewels and tiny figures are Selda’s specialities though I fell in love with the silver and gold ant brooches, that perfectly resemble the little insects!
Fey – This beautiful and eclectic wardrobe style shop is owned by Turkish Marie Claire’s long-time General Manager and Publishing Director Fatoş Yalın. The boutique is stocked with one-off vintage gems and a selection of delicate and divine own branded clothes. I particularly loved the handmade silk shirts which are softer than any I have felt before, and look simple but seductive on. Fey is a treasure trove to explore and admire.
Kağıthane – This delightful artisan stationery store is filled with intriguing and desirable accessories and paper creations. There are several outlets, I visited the shop in the trendy Karaköy area. A great little place for browsing and picking up souvenirs.
More Istanbul shopping ideas here.
Every girl needs a local manicurist for a last minute beauty fix. In Acton I found Nara, in Holland Park I have Sophie Gass, a fabulous little nail bar on Ladbroke Grove.
Sophie Gass is a brilliant Holland Park ambassador, working in the centre of this West London area and enjoying all it has to offer. Whilst my toes were being pampered by her best therapist I picked her brains on the best things to do in the neighbourhood. At only 26, this girl has impressive ambition, discovering a gap in the market, she opened an affordable and stylish nail salon just a few months after quitting her high-powered job in the city. With an assortment of unique clothes, lovely jewellery and tempting accessories, it is also the ideal place to pick up a party frock or last minute gift.
I went along for a luxury pedicure and was amazed by the precision and care of the treatment. My feet were soaked, exfoliated and moisturised, my toenails were filed and cuticles were trimmed ready for my Essie colour of choice.
The salon is bright and airy, designed simply but with indulgent touches. Each reclining chair has a nearby iPad for your use and new monthly magazines are scattered about to occupy you while your feet are being pampered. When my bright blue nails were done, I tip-toed around the venue trying on the beautiful brightly coloured dresses and smiling at the sweet cards.
This is the highlight of Ladbroke Grove, and my favourite new hang-out in the neighbourhood. I can tell I will be spending a lot of Saturdays in Sophie Gass.
More information here.