With the rain beating down on London town, a trip to Turkey was exactly what was needed to escape the (drowned) rat race for a slice of paradise. But instead of hopping on a flight, I boarded the 18 bus for Thomas Cook’s Five Senses of Turkey evening.
The venue, Paradise By Way of Kensal Green, perfectly set the tone for the evening. I actually live about half an hour’s walk away, and didn’t realise such a stunning venue was sat almost on my doorstep. The Mediterranean vibe of the décor provided a stunning sight, and it made me almost forget that I was actually in North West London, and whisked attendees away to a world of sunny European dreaming. Paired with the opportunity to try out some traditional Turkish dress, it was a treat for the eyes – and the other four senses too.
The evening’s activities were accompanied by the sound of two members of the Ahenkli music group, who played Turkish instrumental melodies on keyboard, violin and percussion. A definite far cry from my usual music tastes, but I loved the way it conjured up feelings of walking through Turkish bazaars and markets or relaxing in a laid-back local bar. As I was waiting for a drink, I was drawn towards a display of invigorating scents that certainly pleased my sense of smell. Including wonderful aromas such as rose oil and sandalwood, the perfumes were all in gorgeous bottles that would make a beautiful holiday souvenir. I also had my very first experience of myrrh, and can totally understand why it was placed up there with gold in days gone by!
As well as the opportunity to taste some Turkish delights on the menu, the bar served up delicious cocktails – my (rather strong – not complaining!) gin and pomegranate mix upped the holiday feeling to the max, and I also tried out a selection of wines from Turkish regions. Turkey is a wonderful hub for body care products, with its range of beautiful oils and ingredients – so to make skin silky smooth to the touch, we were able to make up our very own face or body scrub, using rose oil, jojoba and sugar to create a beautiful, scented product to take home.
After my little sense of Turkish paradise, my appetite to travel there has most certainly been whetted, and I’d especially love to head to the Dalaman area. The main town is located on the beach, so there are loads of gorgeous golden sands to walk along and stunning seas to dip your toes in. After taking in the beautiful Fethiye harbour (and recreating the steps of James Bond in Skyfall!), I’d hop on board for a 12 Islands Boat Trip, spending a day exploring the beautiful bays of the Mediterranean. Evenings would be spend tasting freshly-made Turkish dishes and drinking cocktails in atmospheric local bars.
Have you ever been to Turkey? Or is it on your travel bucket list?