5 Senses Of Turkey

July 23, 2015

I'm all about authenticity at events - I expect the ambience to be true to the theme down to every last detail. 

Turkish Delights - 5 Senses Of Turkey with Thomas Cook Airlines, Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green

Thomas Cook Airlines made good on their word, delivering 5 Senses Of Turkey at their sensual event at Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green. Turkish platters and cocktails (taste), a fragrance table with myrrh and more (smell), live Turkish music (sound), a beauty booth where guests made their own scrubs from brown sugar and rosewater (touch), and Turkish visuals - Nazar amulets, fezzes and capes for playing dress up - that complimented the boho-vintage decor of the achingly-beautiful conservatory of Paradise (sight). Truly, a Turkish delight. My memorable experience of Turkey was a spontaneous weekend in Istanbul for my cousin's elopement, during which I saw very little of the country itself - although what I did taste, hear, smell, see, and touch prompted me to bookmark this eclectic Eurasian jewel into my folder of places to revisit. How lovely that I got to catch another tantalising glimpse of Turkey without having to actually leave London (although the taxi ride from Shoreditch to Kensal Green did feel like a journey - I could've probably flown to Antalya for the same price with TCA).

I sipped on three Turkish-inspired drinks created especially for the event. Antalyan Dream: Turkish Delight Martini had all the best flavours of turkish delight (vanilla vodka, white creme de cacao, and rose water) with none of the sickliness of the candy. Paradise Night, a gin cocktail, was delightful with orange blossom, pomegranate, and mint. But my favourite drink by far was the Dalaman Citrus iced tea -  the agave syrup and citrus fruit juice brought a refreshing zest to sweet Turkish tea.

Platter after platter of canapé to tickle the palate, all of it delicious but none as moreish as these 'hairy prawns'.

How striking are these colourised vintage photographs, gorgeous in their faded state and tatters, popping out from the textured turquoise walls in their ornate gold frames? This wall has especially given me inspiration on how to decorate my new boutique Regimental Vintage (yes, Henry and I finally got our hands on a shop! You can read about it and see our decorating progress here) - I'm thinking a jewel-coloured feature wall, strategically and beautifully distressed just so.

Getting biblical with our olfactions; a deep whiff of myrrh at the fragrance table transported me to stories of magi and angels. The other oils and perfumes also smelt delicious, and all the more sumptuous for residing in such gorgeous glass bottles - presentation is everything, and everything about this event was presented so well.

Eye see you. Henry looking ever so striking in his Turkish head scarf and Nazar amulet which brought out the blue in his eyes (although his eyes are actually green - a classic Mediterranean trait).

State of a fez. Henry channeling Charlton Heston in Khartoum - red fez, chest hair and all. The resemblance is uncanny.

Before this event, my word-image association of Thomas Cook was that of package holidays to family resorts in hot European destinations easily accessible from Britain. Curious research during my ride home afterward led me to discover Thomas Cook Airlines and their cheap flights to Antalya and Dalaman - two jaw-droppingly stunning regions I'd never heard of before but now have serious wanderlust for. (Well played, Thomas Cook, well played) 

I found these photos on the black hole that is Pinterest, so if you know who the photographers are please tell me so I can credit them.
While there is so shortage of waterlust-quenching azure in either, it's the incredible natural beauty and history of Antalya that I am pinning furiously to my travel bucket-list board. With both a rich Roman history and seriously stunning waters, Antalya is a destination with something for both Henry and I - I see myself staying at the Mardan Palace Hotel, dangling my feet into the shallow waters of the swim reef with sting rays lapping at my ankles. We'd soak in the cotton castle of Pamukkale hot springs, dive in Kas underwater canyon, and meditate under Kurşunlu Waterfall. I just know Henry will love the ancient Roman relics of Apollo's temple, Hadrian's Gate, and Aspendos Amphitheater. My heart is aching! Thomas Cook Airlines promised us 5 Senses Of Turkey; delivering sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch, but they inadvertently drove another sense right into my heart and mind: wanderlust. You have my heart, Antalya - and I'll visit you soon to retrieve it, I swear. x

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  1. Ahhh I was so sad I missed this event - and even more so after reading this post! A few friends are recently back from Turkey and it sounds amazing. Ahhh wanderlust...

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

  2. I visited Antalya last month, and to be honest, it disappointed. If I was old enough to hire a car, it would have been much more enjoyable, because the buses could only get us so far! Would have been fantastic to drive to all the ancient ruins instead of having to pay ridiculous prices for a tourbus that spends four hours picking up from hotels. Maybe next time! The city and the surrounding mountains were lovely though. Anyway, this event looks gorgeous, I adore Turkish flavours! x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

  3. Ahh that's good to know Martha, I'll be sure to have my driving license on me when I visit Antalya! Likewise, I had a real epic struggle when I was in Lisbon - it was scorching in the city so walking was a pain (although I did get by with Uber) and getting to the beach was a challenge and a half. Which just confirms my opinion that cars are always the way forward ;) x

  4. Serious wanderlust, am I right? I'm supposed to be working on the shop now but I'm browsing Pinterest for photos of Antalya instead...oh dear. x

  5. Lisa SalvatoreJuly 25, 2015

    Loved this post, your photography is impeccable!

    lisa | lisaxbeauty