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Again due to my intense traveling I missed the monthly happy hour at Hotel Intercontinental in Geneva. It occurred every last Wednesday of the month in summer. And of course as Geneva doesn’t know glorious summers, they had only three…
Happy that I managed to attempt to at least the 3rd and last one…

We used to go a lot at the Hotel Intercontinental when we were young, as it was basically the only Hotel with a pool. Last year when I first returned I was happily astonished to see the changes that they made at the hotel and especially at the pool. It was not anymore a regular Intercontinental which directly holds connotations of a luxury airport hotel, but a great modern one.

When last night my friends told me they have booked a table, I was thrilled to see what they did with the place. When you arrive, you have to be on a list again… damn is Geneva becoming New York with events and lists ????

They were tables all around the pool and it was interesting to see who would sit on which side…. The system is easy, either you reserve a table and you sit where we sat which had nice lights; or at the end of the pool… which I could call the dark side… as they were seriously missing some lights. I guess some people like to be in the dark. I was happy to be at the light and especially by the entrance so i could check all the new arrivals 😉
The other option is just put yourself on the list, then when you enter either you hit one of the two bars or ask for a table and the bottle that comes with it. And i saw some high tables on the left of the pool, where i guess it works on a first come first served basis.

The night was beautiful, the service was great… But what I really appreciate was the effort that everybody made on clothes. In Geneva when go to an after work, you either go with your work clothes, or you just wear something casual.
Last night everybody was dressed… especially a group of ladies with their little cocktail dresses. Ok, some of them should wear a different outfit, but I give them a big A+ for the effort.

The only thing that my friends thought was a good idea, and I didn’t agree was the corner where they offered relooking… Hair and makeup…
Personally I think it didn’t make any sense; all the ladies were already dolled up and even some were dressed to impress…. So why to propose them another look?
It would have been a better fit if it were during a ladies lunch or an afternoon high tea.

The food and beverage…. well as I am trying to shred the spaghettis, focaccias, kebaps and pides of the summer, I didn’t have my usual poison…I had a different kind of bubbles… Badoit 😉
But I couldn’t resist so taste the mezzes and they were very quite good…

So overall it was a great event, beautiful setting, great DJ from Ibiza, nice crowd, great service, amazing weather with the full moon and as usual great company…
Otherwise how you would explain why I have stayed 5 hours, where I was supposed to say max 2 …


Everybody in Geneva knows it by now that if you want to have a great view of Geneva, chill and drink some bubbles you go to the rooftop of Hotel Metropole.

My friend who is renting and managing it until September 4th, made a trial last year for few nights, and when she saw it was a total success decided to take it for few months this summer. And this summer “Cafe Delux” was one of the hits of Geneva. As I was running around all summer, finally I made it yesterday.

Thanks god one of my friends made a table reservation. When I arrived at the elevators, I remembered my days in New York at the rooftop hotels such as Gansewort or Soho house; where you queue in front of the elevators where you have to be on a list.
It is a very critical moment, are you going to be able to have access to 7th Heaven, or you are one of the “peuple” (common people) and you need to stay on the ground????
So believe me last night when I saw the bouncer refusing people without pitty, I was very happy to be on that magic list.

When you arrive finally at the rooftop, you have 360 degrees of Geneva’s view. There are tables on each side, the ones on the right are comfy lounge chairs, and the others are high tables with chairs. The DJ booth is in the middle, and at the end of the terrace you have the bar. So you chose the view that you want: people’s legs and butts or Geneva’s jet d’eau…
We were at a high table, so I just checked Geneva…

The service was good, the girls were always making sure that we were fine and had everything we needed. My only problem was that after few glasses of bubbles I needed to eat and unfortunately the kitchen was closed… I guess the mini burgers that I saw making their way during the evening, would be for the next time…

The crowd… a bit of everything; group of friends, boys and girls hunting, or just people chilling out while sipping their drinks… Don’t go there with a date though, cause it is a great place to meet people. There are cute boyzz and girlzzz, and as the place is not very big, walking around makes you interfere directly with the people… And if you are single, I highly recommend not getting a table, just mingle near the bar (the real meat market).
And if you are single but like your comfort and have a table…. (basically like me) Then I advise you to make several visits to the bathroom, which obliges you to mingle ;))))
Yesterday I heard that a friend of mine actually met his wife at the rooftop of Metropole…. Thank you Café Delux!!!

I remember in New York, during happy hour on Thursdays, the bar of Four Season Hotel was the meat market… although didn’t last long as the “professionals” made their way very quickly…
So I guess Café Delux is the Geneva “meet meat spot”, and the good news is that I haven’t seen any professionals, and believe me it is a challenge in Geneva. I guess after all there are benefits to have someone at the door…

In French we say, “il vaut mieux tard que jamais” litterally meaning better late than never… It took me some time to go to the rooftop, but so happy that I finally made it.
And if you haven’t been, I advise you to do so, but I highly recommend to reserve a table, because it would be a such a pity to arrive to that famous elevator door and be banned from 7th Heaven ;)))


My boys, who are my best friends from NY, are in Geneva for the first time. It took me a while to bring them in town, and I have suspicions that a little lady of few months was the real reason of their visit 😉

As we wanted to have the little lady with us, we decided to go to chilled restaurants instead of the “wild parties in Geneva”…. And yes I am being ironic as we all know by now; there are none in our lovely town.
So the first day we did some classic, “Brasserie Lipp” for lunch and went to my famous “Cottage restaurant” for dinner…. And guess what? The service is getting better and better.

But today we did another classic, pastries from Mage. Mage, located in route de Malagnou, is known for its fresh pastries, drop dead tarts and very creative birthday cakes. If you make the mistake to go in the afternoon, you can be sure that there is nothing left. So before going to our friends house to visit my favorite Diva (the nickname that I gave to the few months old little lady), we passed by Mage, and bought some croissants, pains au chocolat, pain aux raisins, croissants aux jambon and also some of the famous tart with apricot and prunes. No need to say that everything was delicious and no need to say that we couldn’t eat during the rest of the day….

So we decided to do a barbecue at my place for dinner… and it would have been the best reason to show them la “Boucherie du Molard” in Geneva.
When I was growing up in Turkey for me a butcher was this fat and ugly guy, who would cut the lamb in front of us and make pieces out of it. Then off course it evaluates it, but the famous butchery at rue du Molard is another experience.
Already from outside it looks more like a jewelry store than butchery. When you enter you have all those meats and poultries exposed and several butchers who look like more Bergdorf Goodmann sales associates than the butcher I remember from my childhood. The quality is great, although you pay the price of it, and also the price of the shop. But it is a guilty pleasure to buy from them.

We bought lots of beef, and lamb chops and sausages… and also got some Chateau Minuty exposed by the cashier… oh well in supermarkets they put bubble gums and magazines by the cashier for the impulse purchase, here at Boucherie du Molard it is bottles of Rose and truffle oil…
We had a great barbecue; we all enjoyed the food, the company and the gypsy music that my guests brought… My favorite Diva was all smiles and in a good mood; she waited her mom to eat so she can feed her…

And guess what???? As we have eyes bigger than our stomach, we have some leftovers for the rest of the week-end… yummy!!!


With heat wave still present in Istanbul, choosing our lunch spot was a challenge. Smokers don’t want to sit inside in the AC, and everybody wants some wind… so we ended up at “Mia Mensa” which literally means “My Catering” in Kurucesme. It’s terrace is literally on the water and just next to Istanbul’s famous “Ask Café” (Love Cafe). Opened in 1994 this Italian restaurant is one of those spots where you cannot go if there is too much wind, as you can risk flying 🙂

I was happy to be able to sit outside and not melt but a bit tired of going back to an Italian restaurant. I mean I am in Turkey and I want my fish or kebap restaurant. Enough of Italian cuisine… especially after having spent so much time in Italy this summer. I think I am done with pasta for a while, so I ordered my usual beef salad…
What can I say, it was a beef salad I mean not that hard to miss it, you put salad and you a cook a beef, and I was in charge of doing my own dressing. But my friends who took Tagliatelle all Aragosta (pasta with spiny lobster) and Linguine Marinara (sea food pasta) were really happy with their choice, and it looked definitely yummy.

Concerning the service, they were sweet, but very slow, especially for a restaurant where only 4 tables were full. I understand that they first had a cooking problem, as their stove didn’t work, but it lasted less than 10 minutes… and if you are taking 45 minutes to an hour to serve two salads and two pasta dishes (where the pasta shouldn’t be cooked more than 8 minutes), offer something for your guests to nibble before…

Anyway, as we were chit chatting and enjoying the nice breeze, while sipping our rose, we didn’t mind that much. And the result was worth waiting.
So overall, I liked the place and highly recommend if you want to enjoy a chilled lunch or dinner in Istanbul, with again without saying a breath taking view of the Bosphorus.


I met a friend for lunch at “Masa” restaurant which is in “Istinye Park” (one of the newest and most beautiful mall in Istanbul) where I had a beef salad…. Under the heat you cannot eat anything else believe me. Masa is one of the happening spots for lunch since it opened. Off course when I went, due to the heat and people on vacation, it wasn’t that busy. The fun part of it ? Even in winter people sit at the terrace with the heaters so they can smoke and enjoy lunch 🙂

You don’t go to Turkey and not see a fortune teller. It is one of the most fun rituals, normally they read the coffee cup, but this time I went to see a lady who reads on tea leaves.

Once my lunch done, I went to see the fortune teller, who off course told me that I will get married soon. Damn if they were all right, I would be married at least 10 times, and have a dozen of kids by now… I was more worried about my present than my future. Her house was so hot that I was afraid to pass out and not be able to go to my next big appointment: “Zuma” for drinks and dinner !!!

“Zuma” is a restaurant where they serve contemporary Japanese cuisine. It has several locations in the world such as London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Miami and Istanbul… And as all the locations it is great for happy hour, and happens to be located adjacent to my hotel’s restaurant in Ortakoy (I am sure by now you understand why I always stay at Radisson Hotel)

After the Istanbul traffic, we were really happy to sit by the Bosphorus and enjoy our drinks. When we finally hit the table, we ordered some sushis and few other things. The service was great except the French speaking girl who was placing people. You know the kind who are paid to be unpleasant, who believes that because they hold the reservation book, they rule the world??? Thanks god, the waiting staff was lovely so we forgot her until we left where she didn’t even say good night. They should seriously send her to a smiling school…

The crowd was a mixture of Istanbul socialists and tourists, the food was good but honestly I don’t really get the fuzz about this restaurant. Especially when I saw the bill we received… I agree that it is a hip place and sushis are expensive, but unless you put gold on them, I don’t see any reason to pay 500 USD for five maki sushi, literally two meat skewers, five shrimps tempura and a bottle of rose….

So beside the welcoming stuff, and the price… yes it is well located, and has a good crowd. But personally I prefer to go to fish restaurant and enjoy my food and the service and not feel that I have been ripped of. Anyway my company was great again, and we continued our night in Beyoglu, at 45’lik.

“45’lik” is a bar in Beyoglu that exist for the last 15 years. It became famous with the movie “Issiz Adam” which portrays the life of those whose lives have been isolated by modern lifestyles. It is also filled with food, mothers, old songs, and love. All Turkey cried over the impossible love of the two main characters that used to meet at the 45’lik bar and listened to the old Turkish songs. This bar is still full of people who just go for the pleasure of listening old Turkish songs and have a great walk on memory lane. I remembered my childhood, and sang so loud that lost my voice 🙂

It is my discovery of this trip and a perfect way to finish another glorious day in Istanbul…


Whenever I come to Istanbul I stay at “Radisson Blu Hotel” in Ortakoy. All my friends know that it is my second house. I like it because the rooms are fine and Ortakoy, where it is located, is the center of lots of summer bars, restaurants and cafes. “House Café” which is literally few steps away from my hotel’s entrance is one of the nice hangouts. Imagine a restaurant by the sea, where there is always a nice wind, with great cocktails, and very tasty international cuisine. Their only problem is service; the stuff is lovely but not very capable. I guess they hire young students who don’t have any idea about restaurant business. Don’t worry after an afternoon serving me, either they quit or they become professionals ;))))
So when I woke up on Sunday, I was dreaming of their eggs benedicts. Finally ended up taking a bottle of rose and share a pizza. Once again they proved my theory, food excellent, and the service poor. The crowd well this is Turkey, so while a tourist is sitting on one side, some locals enjoying their lunch on the other, you could easily see a woman with her head covered having tea with her husband, sitting next to the table of the girl who has a mini, or I might say micro shorts sipping her chilled rose.
So I guess it shows very well what Turkey is about; a combination between Europe and Asia ….

That night we decided to go to my favorite Kebab Restaurant called “Venge”. Normally the restaurant is in 4. Levent area, but this summer they decided to rent a spot at Sortie as well. Very good idea because with the heat wave in Istanbul right now, the bosphorus air is always a blessing.
I would have thought it would be empty, but I was wrong. The crowd was composed of some French tourist that I believe the hotel sent some locals, some locals with non Turkish guests and us…
The system is simple, when you sit to your table, they bring you warm pide bread with cheese, and a lahmacun (mini Turkish pizza w ground beef and spices), and then the mezze plate comes where you chose your Turkish tapas to accompany your meat.

Once the mezzes on your table, your Raki (Pastis) chilled with ice you can start thinking about your main dishes… Venge is famous for their Doner Kebap (Turkish döner kebap, literally “turning roast”), is dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order. Unfortunately they didn’t have any, so we decided to take lamb chops and minced meat, no need to say delicious.
And finish dinner with their famous deserts to share, Irmik helva (Semolina helva) with vanilla ice cream inside, and Peynirli Künefe which is a sweet shredded pastry with cheese…. Well no need to say that these deserts are very light… I am sure if we follow eight watchers, we will get minus points with them 😉

Although the weather was too warm and humid it was a great night, I mean how you can not enjoy it…. Great food, great view, great company and amazing music….


I have spent my first day in Istanbul with my mother and sister. We did some shopping and from there we went to have a lunch at “Papermoon”. The Milanese restaurant that opened in Istanbul, and since had a great success. It is located by “Akmerkez”, which is one of the first shopping malls in Istanbul. Whenever I visit the city, I need to have lunch there with my girls. My lunch is generally composed of lots of wine, and “Spaghetti alla Bottarga”, (botargo) which is a cured fish roe delicacy. I love it so much that even if it is not on the menu, I ask the chef to make it for me… and guess what this is Turkey, where service is the key word, so I always have it

This time, as I have spend so much time in Italy eating pasta in all its shapes and ways, I decided to change and took a “Carpaccio of Pesce Spada” (swordfish carpaccio) followed by a “Cotoletta Milanese”, the classical breaded veal that you can also call Wienerschnitzel. But let’s admit sounds less sexy and appealing.

So after having good food, good wine, watching the Istanbul socialites having their lunch, we left the restaurant to continue our errands. And go back to our hotels for some rest.

In the evening I was meeting some friends at Biber, which is a bar, restaurant where you can taste good wines or drinks while nibbling tapas. It is situated in Sortie
For the ones who have never been to Istanbul in summer and saw those spots let me try to describe it for you. Imagine a great space by the Bosporus, in the middle of the space you have a big lounge bar, and around you have 4 – 5 restaurants. And each year great restaurants rent for summer those spaces (no kidding, they have to afford the rent…) and Biber is on the right of the main Bar, just by the water.

Biber is the hot spot this summer, everybody goes for happy hour and stays until wee hours, and I understood why… Service great, music and crowd great. Great selection of wine and yummy food…. And the best? It is not expensive!!!! So no kidding it is the happening spot, they found the secret 😉
So after staying there for a very long time, we decided to leave but were not ready to sleep yet… and some of us were hungry after all that chatting and drinks. So we took a cab and went to Kircicegi, which is in Ortakoy. It is a restaurant open 24/7, and has the best pide. The best way to describe a pide is Turkish folded pizza, the fold the pastry like a little boat and they fill in with whatever you want. The best combinations starts with Kasar cheese (Turkish parmesan), and then you add sucuk (Turkish spicy sausage) or pastirma (Turkish cured beef), or simply ground beef… I mean you have thousands of possibilities, and they are all yummy yum yum…

To sum it all, another “healthy” day, lots of food, lots of drinks and lots of shopping… but guess what, it is the pleasure of life…. so it is worth it. I would be healthy again when the sun would go away. And it is a crime to not eat in Turkey, and a bigger crime to not drink when you are with friends… and well you know me and shopping ;)))

Last night I continued celebrating the beautiful days. Joined my friends for drinks and then we went to have dinner at “The Cottage”. I know I keep complaining about their service, but the food is really decent and I like their terrace. And also we were planning to attempt to Red Zone party.

Red Zone party is organized every last Saturday of the month, at the event room of the Hotel Richmond. My friends had heard that the DJ is great and that for a change the age group is higher than 25 and something… So we had organized a table, and were quite excited to check it out. Once we arrived to the entrance, we saw two huge queues, one for regular people, and the other for VIP. So let me ask you again, isn’t the purpose of booking a table and being a VIP, not waiting in line? I don’t remember last time I waited in line to go to a party, come on are we 15??? When we asked how come there was a line, the bouncer, who had no idea of anything told us, well we are taking our time to place every person to their table. So I started to look at the people waiting… nothing that impressive and young
So in few words, age group: young, there is a line….kids waiting in line for a


On my quest to find the beach where I had incredible food last year, I found another one. The restaurant of the “Bagno Angelo”. You could see that the food was good, cause it was full… with locals.
We started with a focaccia and some salad… you know to pretend that we are healthy 😉 off course with our Italian Rose…

Then we all took pasta, I had with my spaghetti with mixed sea food; and it was delicious. My friends took al astice and al arselle. They really enjoyed theirs as well. Telling you that restaurant is a keeper, and I am gonna make sure to not forget the name this time.

That night we went to Pietrasanta, which is located few kilometers from Forte.
The area, like most of Tuscany in general, has long enjoyed the patronage of artists. Pietrasanta grew to importance during the 15th century, mainly due to its connection with marble. Michelangelo was the first sculptor to recognize the beauty of the local stone.
Today, the Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, the Dutch-born sculptor Hanneke Beaumont, the Danish sculptor Jens Flemming Sørensen as well as the Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj and Polish F1 driver Robert Kubica have residences in the commune.

My friends had booked at “L’Enoteca Marlucci”, this restaurant run by a family literally means wine shop and has wooden tables in the wine shop and on the terrace.
Even though we arrived at 10pm, it was still buzzing with people eating and drinking. When we finally sat on our table… directly a plate of Tuscan cold cuts arrived. Their flavor is much more salty than the usual cold cuts from Italy. My friend explained me that it is why in Tuscany they make the bread unsalted, just to balance the taste.

As appetizers we shared zucchini flowers filled with cheese, and my Italian friend took the “papa al pomodoro” which is truly, one of the most delicious and simple soups you can make, originating in Tuscany and consisting of not much more than tomatoes, bread, and olive oil. He said it reminds him of his childhood, and grandmother cooking for him. I taste it, memories or not it was simply delicious.

Later we had a “la Bistecca Fiorentina”. A recipe that epitomizes the rustic simplicity of Tuscan cuisine, this Italian-style T-bone steak, is perfect for sharing.
The perfect way to describe it…. heaven on earth, delightfully rich, flavorful rare meat so tender it can be cut with a spoon. Much of the secret is the breed of cattle, Chianina beef… and they are resting it for a long time before cooking it.

No need to add anything, perfect food, perfect wine, perfect service, and on top of it great company. I heard that “Enoteca” is Paul Smith’s favorite restaurant, he even talks about it on his blog, now I understand why….


My second day in Forte dei Marmi started with a late breakfast followed by a great day at the beach. The beach that my friends spend the day is called “Bagno Beppe”. In Forte dei Marmi you rent a cabana and a area on the beach for the season. They give you a table some long chairs and some other chairs. At the end of your day at the beach, you leave your towels; they wash it and install the whole setting for you again.
The whole coast is full of beaches, some regular ones, some fancies, and some super fancies… very easy to spot them, they all have their towels. The very fancy ones are easy to spot, it is the spots where you only hear Russian… Our beach was a family one, so thankfully we only heard Italian around us 😉

At the end of the day we hit the town for aperitivo at “Sambo”, and yes the Milanese style, where while you drink you can eat from the buffet all kinds of delicious pizzas, cold cuts or vegetables… After being yelled because we almost sit on a table, who could “block” the service. Our lovely waitress spill the drinks on my friend, and instead of apologizing blamed her. Oh yeah because she was incapable of taking the right order, and as it was our fault.
Seriously at a point needed to check if I were in Paris or in Forte… I guess she had a bad night or it was that period of the month… anyway we ended up more laughing at it than anything else. But they say Sambo is famous, oh well … not sure if I would put my foot there again….