7 years together today!

Berkay & I have been together 7 years today! It feels like a lifetime, as we’ve been together basically my whole adult life, since I was 18!

I’ve written about how we met and our ‘cheesy love story’ before, so I won’t bore you all with that again, but you can click HERE to read it, if you’re curious!

From ‘holiday romance’ and ‘long distance’ love, to 3 years living in Turkey together, 12 months of the army service apart, to getting married last year and being separated just 4 days later, to applying for his visa last October, and him joining me here in the UK last November, and now buying a flat and settling in to that together, it’s been a busy 7 years full of adventure, happiness, sad airport goodbyes, visa stress and plenty of sad & happy tears. I expect the future holds more of the same, although hopefully more of the happy!

Here are some ‘Danni & Berkay through the years’ photos – I think it’s clear we don’t age well, 7 years, about 7 stone extra weight between us, 70% less hair on Berkay’s head… but still cute together, right? The first photo was taken 9/7/2010, the last photo just last week 3/7/2017.



Whenever we’re back in Turkey, we like to go back and visit the hotel we met in. If my Dad had never chosen this hotel for me and my friend to stay in, we would never have met each other! Back in May the hotel was all closed up for winter still, but we jumped over the fence and wandered around anyway, don’t worry, Berkay is still close to the boss, having worked there 10 years, we weren’t just trespassing! The hotel has not changed at all in 7 years, apart from maybe a fresh lick of paint outside and freshly grouted pool tiles, but everything else remains the same, including a lot of the staff, minus Berkay now of course. Even the famous rose bush Berkay used to pick the roses off for me and place on my sun lounger those days 7 years ago, is still there growing strong.

 
Whilst looking back at some old photos I’d taken during that holiday back in July 2010, I smiled at the innocent snaps I’d taken of places and things that would later be such important places in our lives. Not only the photos of the hotel we met in, or of the promenade along Calis we’d spend so many years walking along, the beach we’d spend so many evenings enjoying the sunset on, but also this one. This is a photo of the apartment we stayed in for 10 days when we got married last year, I’d just taken a photo of it during that week long holiday in 2010 not knowing or ever imagining in my wildest dreams that we’d be staying in one of those sea-view apartments on the left during our wedding week, taking photos on the balcony with my little bridesmaid sister, or where my dad first saw me in my wedding dress and cried, or where we’d spend our first night as husband as wife. It sounds silly really, but just seeing the photo really made me smile. Especially as my Dad actually booked that apartment for us last year, and one for him & family attending the wedding too, by accident, thinking it was a different apartment block further along the beach – it seems like fate, always meant to be! ūüôā

We won’t be celebrating today, since Berkay has been at work since 12.45 until 23.30 tonight and won’t be home til 1am, ever the hard worker! But we are off together tomorrow so plan to do something silly together, like go and watch the new Despicable Me movie at the cinema. I was telling my friend this and she looked me like I was mental ‘what, you’re going to go and see that kids film at the cinema with your husband and not take a kid with you?’ – ‘yep’ – ‘oh, bet it was hard getting him to agree to that!’ – ‘nope, he loves it too, we’re like big kids’ – ‘ahh, I see, a match made in heaven then’
Exactly, my friend, Exactly!

 

Ňěeker BayramńĪ/Eid 2017?

As some of you will know, for the past month Muslims all over the world have been participating in Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. After a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, they celebrate the end of Ramadan with a three day festival known as ‘Ňěeker BayramńĪ’ (sweet/sugar festival) or¬†Eid al-Fitr.

The festival begins at sundown on the last day of Ramadan, which this year falls today, 24th June 2017.  After the call to prayer at sundown, people break their fast for the last time and the celebrations begin.

In Turkey, generally the most important day of the holiday is the first full day, which will be tomorrow, Sunday 25th June. Families may wake up early in the morning, get washed, clean and wear new or their best clothes, the men may go to mosque for their Eid prayer. Many will donate money to poor or needy people as an act of charity. The holiday period¬†is seen as a chance to forget any grudges or issues with people and to forgive, forget and move on.¬†¬†It’s customary for the younger members of the family to visit their elders, neighbours and friends and wish them “ńįyi Bayramlar”. They greet their elders by kissing their right hand then raise it to their forehead, if you have Turkish relatives you’ll know what I’m talking about! There will have been days of preparation beforehand with houses being¬†thoroughly¬†cleaned, traditional desserts like Baklava being cooked and new clothes purchased.¬†¬†In the days leading up to bayram the supermarkets are VERY busy with people stocking up on sweets and chocolate to give their¬†visitors, hence the name of the festival literally translates to ‘sugar/sweet holiday’.
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Aspects of the¬†festive period reminds me of a cross between Easter and Halloween. Of course they are very different celebrations for very different purposes, but there are¬†similarities¬†– traditionally at¬†Easter children would be given new clothes to wear and obviously there’s the giving of the chocolate eggs. During bayram the children often knock on their neighbours doors¬†and are given sweets and chocolates or even money,¬†similar¬†to Halloween.¬†

How will it affect your holiday to Turkey?
During the whole 3 days government buildings, banks and offices are closed and ATM machines are likely to run out of cash – so if you need some, get it as early as possible. ¬†Most of the shops, bars and restaurants in resorts will remain open as they have to make money. You may wish to greet people in shops, hotel staff or waiters with wishes for bayram such as: “BayramńĪnńĪz kutlu olsun” /¬†“BayramńĪnńĪz m√ľbarek olsun”– may your holiday be blessed, or “Iyi Bayramlar” – happy holidays.

It’s normal for the roads to be very busy at this time of year as families go on a 3 day vacation or to visit family and friends in other towns and cities, coaches and buses are likely to be full and you may notice that there are a lot more Turkish people and cars in your holiday resort during this time, beaches are busier and hotels are full. It’s advised to avoid travelling if you can, even the small dolmus’ are likely to get very busy, and that’s never fun in the summer heat. In general, it shouldn’t affect your holiday too much, just be aware of the celebrations going on, you may be offered sweets and it could be considered rude if you decline. The atmosphere in general will be happy, with plenty of excited children running around!¬†

My experience of bayram?

During my time living in Turkey, I experienced the holiday 3 times. Like most of the people working in tourism, Berkay never had any time off whatsoever during Bayram, in fact it’s quite the opposite, most tourism staff work harder and longer with more guests staying at the hotels and going out to restaurants! Spare a thought for those workers, unable to travel home to spend the holiday with their families, the ones who work hard to make sure everyone else has a lovely holiday instead.

This year, Berkay is off work on Sunday so we might do something a bit celebratory, even if it is just eating some baklava and more chocolate than usual, it would be rude not to, right?! It’s his first ever bayram outside of Turkey, so although he never really made a big thing of it whilst there anyway, I expect he’ll miss being in Turkey and soaking up the atmosphere! A lot of our local supermarkets, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, actually have whole ‘Eid’ aisles at the moment, so I might have to make a quick trip later and see if I can find something a bit special for him.

ńįyi Bayramlar/Eid Mubarak
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6 years together..

Yesterday, 8th July, was our 6 year anniversary. Back on 2nd July 2010 I flew to Turkey with my friend and stayed in a small hotel in Calis, Fethiye. Little did I know that during that week I’d meet Berkay, one of the staff at the hotel, towards the end of the holiday we got speaking, went out one night and the rest is history.

Who would have thought that now, 6 years later, we’d be married? Proof that a ‘holiday romance’ can work out!
We have spoken to each other every day since 8th July 2010, ¬†we lived together in Turkey for 3 years, he visited the UK 6 times, we survived 9 months without seeing each other during his 12 month army service and managed with just a 1 minute phonecall as our only contact everyday for a year. We haven’t seen each other since a few days after we got married back in April, but hopefully we’ll be together permanently before the end of the year and then we can start a whole new chapter!

In order to apply for Berkay’s spouse visa to live in the UK, we have to provide a lot of paperwork and proof of our relationship so I have been going through old photos to show as evidence – since they were handy and saved into a folder on my computer I thought I’d share some here, Danni & Berkay through the years!
 
This was the first photo we had together, and the only one for months! I think it was taken right before I left to go back to Dalaman airport. It’s really funny looking back at this photo as when it was taken I never for 1 second thought we’d end up having wedding photos taken together 6 years later! The 2nd photo was taken in October 2010, when I went back to Turkey for a week alone, to get to know Berkay better. Before that week we’d only spent a couple of hours together, but after talking to each other every day for hours on MSN for 3 months, it felt like we’d known each other forever.
 
In January 2011 I flew back to Turkey for a week and spent more time with Berkay. This photo was taken at aksazlar koyu in Fethiye, the first time I’d ever been there. Today it’s our favourite spot to go to for a BBQ!¬†The 2nd photo was taken on our 1st anniversary in July 2011, by this point I had been living in Turkey for 2 months having only actually spent 2 full weeks with Berkay before moving.¬†
In December 2011, after 2 attempts, Berkay got his visit visa to the UK granted and we went to the UK together for Christmas, followed by another 2 years living in Turkey together..
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In 2013, I made plans to move back to the UK, but not before a little weekend getaway in Bodrum, where we had some fun dressing up as sultans!
 
I moved back to England for 8 months, and Berkay came to visit for Christmas and for my mums wedding – it was during this time I realised how hard it was to be apart and how much I didn’t want to live in the UK without him while we still had the choice, so I moved back to Turkey for 6 months in 2014. The 2nd photo is taken on Berkay’s birthday in December 2014, the day before I moved back to England once again.

2015 was without a doubt the most testing year for us, as Berkay had to do his 12 month national service which I ranted, cried and moaned my way through. In April 2015 we were reunited for a week during his army leave and the rest of the year was very tough with Berkay being sent to Diyarbakir and not being able to take any of the remaining leave. This meant I didn’t see him again until January 2016.
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A
fter 8 very long months without seeing each other, the longest we’d ever spent apart, I spent 10 days back in Fethiye with Berkay in January. It felt like I’d never been away, and like we’d never been apart. In April 2016, we got married. Unfortunately I had to fly back to the UK just 4 days after… and we haven’t seen each other since.

I’m hoping to go back to visit in September, and then we’ll apply for Berkay’s spouse visa around then. I hope that by the end of this year we will be able to settle, rather than be backwards and forwards between both countries, or having long periods of time apart. The last 6 years certainly haven’t been easy or without obstacles, and it’s so funny looking back on old photos and thinking how different things were back then.

We’re a little older, fatter and bolder, but still just as happy… even though we act like an old married couple most of the time! We have come a long way in 6 years, here’s to the next 60…¬†
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2015 – a year in photos.

A¬†year ago, when Big Ben chimed for midnight, I was dreading 2015 and the inevitable things that came along with it. I had just moved back to the UK, I was trying to find a job, Berkay was heading off to the army and everything was very uncertain. Now, fast forward a year and things are looking quite different! I’m looking forward to the year ahead, but also reflecting back on 2015 and how far we’ve come so far, with the help of some photos!

January
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January was mostly spent worrying about February. Berkay had 4 weeks before he was due to enter the army and we made the most of the time speaking on skype as much as possible. At the end of the month he sent me a package of goodies from Turkey, with some of my favourite Turkish treats and two pairs of baggy village pants. His little note ‘I love you honey, going to army but coming soon, wait me’ is now sitting framed on top of my two countdown jars.

February
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February¬†marked the moment that I’d been dreading for YEARS. The inevitable military service that Berkay had been putting off for years finally began. I can still remember this as if it were yesterday, sitting at home with my little sister watching Peter Pan after our last ‘goodbye’ skype with Berkay from outside the entry gate to the Izmir base camp. It was horrible. A lot of tears flowed that day! He didn’t know when he’d be able to contact me again so when I saw an Izmir phone number pop up on my phone later that day it was a huge relief! “We’re just waiting to check in” he said from the base camp phone, making it sound like he was just off on a little holiday! Those first few weeks were the toughest.

March
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In the middle of March, 6 weeks after his start date, Berkay had his passing out parade to mark the end of his first stage of training in Izmir. His mum, brother, uncle and cousin went to watch and got to spend a couple of hours with him. His brother sent me photos as soon as he could and it was the first time I’d seen Berkay in his uniform! He looked very proud. He even managed to skype me from his brothers phone, and it was the first time I’d seen him since 4th February, I love this photo his uncle took of Berkay and his stepmum waving to me on skype, look at those smiles!

April
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¬†April was probably the most exciting month of the year. Berkay took 10 days leave in between training and starting at his new base in Kayseri. He went back to Fethiye for the week and I got a flight out to see him… It was the first time I’d seen him in person since December so it felt like a long time. We stayed in an apartment in Calis and had a lovely week together, I also got to spend my birthday there with him. Of course we were both reunited with Boncuk too, and she was very excited to see us! We picked her up from our friends house where she was staying, and rented a car so we were able to take her everywhere with us, to BBQ picnics, to the beach, to Oludeniz, and at the end of the week we packed up all her things and took her 4-5 hours away to Berkay’s familys village where her new home was. Spending a couple of days in Berkay’s village was hard, I don’t think I will ever get used to that place, but it was different for sure, and leaving Boncuk there was difficult! While we were there it snowed, so driving back to Fethiye through snowy roads and then 4 hours later ending up in the sunny, warm, Fethiye climate was very odd too!

May
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After¬†spending time with Berkay in April, adjusting back to the UK was hard, even after just a week away. But he kept sending me photo updates by sneaking me some photos from his friends phone. I’ve heard people say that their Turkish partners sent them photos of their names in bullets, Berkay sent me a photo of my name in flowers instead! I thought it was really funny, big, hard soldiers in camoflague picking and arranging flowers! Bless.

June
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June was a big month. Finally, after 6 months of looking, I got my first full time, long-ish term job through an agency. Initially on a 3 month contract. The job was at Canary wharf, on the 33rd floor of the tallest building there! It was surreal at first, and very overwhelming. The first week or two I was there it was horrible, going out at lunchtime was a real struggle as there were thousands and thousands of people all outside going in all directions at the same time, a real culture shock compared to the relatively quiet areas of Turkey I’d been used to. It didn’t take long to adjust though, and I fell in love with the job. I love the view from our staff room window where we can see the whole London skyline. It’s so beautiful, and made me find a whole new appreciation for London!

July/August/September
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Apparently,¬†these months were really boring because I don’t appear to have many photos! I was getting used to full time work again, and adjusting to that. August was a big milestone because it meant we had hit the 6 month’s to go mark! Berkay had been in the army for 6 months and only had 6 more to go. Every day I put a marble in my ‘days down’ jar and seeing equal numbers in each jar felt like a real achievement!

October
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October saw the arrival of autumn here and marked another month off the calendar. Berkay’s brother kept his promise of regular Boncuk updates by sending me the cutest photos of her. I remember sitting on the train home from work when he sent the photos and just smiling, look at her little face!

November
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November was one of the toughest months of the year. Turkey held an election and emotions in the country were increasingly tense. The expectation of trouble in certain areas meant Berkay was transferred to one of the more dangerous zones in the South Eastern part of Turkey – Diyarbakir. This is an area known for terrorist activity and not a good one to be doing your army service in. I was very worried, and despite what he says, I know Berkay was too. He ended up spending about 5-6 weeks in Diyarbakir and he actually liked it more than his base in Kayseri, we got to speak a bit more on skype through his smuggled in phone, too! Oops.

The best part of the month for me was being told I definitely had my job until the end of the year at least, because by this point I loved it and knew I really wanted to be kept on. The earlier evenings meant I got to see the London skyline at night through our staff room window and it looked even more magical all lit up!

December
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December was THE best month. I had to interview for my position at the company I work for and I was successful. I got the permanent job! This was more than just a job to me. It meant I could prove people wrong, people who were so judgmental in the past. Most importantly, it meant I earn well over the income requirement needed for Berkay’s visa to live in England. This is what I’d been waiting for and it seemed like it was never going to happen! After my manager told me I had to sneak off to the toilets for a little dance around (entirely true!). It was a huge weight lifted and another big obstacle out of the way. Such a relief.

Of course December also meant Christmas, and I had a lovely few days with my family, made even better by the knowledge that my job meant 2016 wouldn’t be quite so uncertain and unsettled (hopefully). The marble jars looked even better, with less than 40 days to go, and when Big ben chimed at midnight on 1st January 2016, I was filled with excitement about what the new year would bring, instead of being filled with¬†dread.

It was a very emotional year, in one way or another, and definitely my most testing! Army life has not been easy for Berkay, or for me, and it’s certainly tested our relationship. After living together for 3 years, not seeing him for 8 months hasn’t been easy. By the time I see him again it will likely have been 9-10 months, but at last the end is in sight. Who knows what this year will bring, but I’m sure it will throw a few surprises our way, I’m just glad everyone I know and love¬†made it through 2015, safe, happy and healthy.

I hope 2016 is kind to all of you, and us!
P.S less than 28 days to go!!

What is Ňěeker BayramńĪ?

As some of you will know, for the past month Muslims all over the world have been participating in Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. After a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, they celebrate the end of Ramadan with a festival known as ‘Ňěeker BayramńĪ’ (sweet/sugar festival) or¬†Eid al-Fitr.

The festival begins at sundown on the last day of Ramadan, which this year falls on Thursday 16th July in Turkey.  After the call to prayer at sundown, people break their fast for the last time and the celebrations begin.

In Turkey, generally the most important day of the holiday is the first full day, which will be Friday 17th July. Families will wake up early in the morning, get washed, clean and wear new or their best clothes, the men then go to mosque for their Eid prayer. Many will donate money to poor or needy people as an act of charity. The holiday period¬†is seen as a chance to forget any grudges or issues with people and to forgive, forget and move on.¬†¬†It’s customary for the younger members of the family to visit their elders, neighbours and friends and wish them “ńįyi Bayramlar”. They greet their elders by kissing their right hand then raise it to their forehead, if you have Turkish relatives you’ll know what I’m talking about! There will have been days of preparation beforehand with houses being¬†thoroughly¬†cleaned, traditional desserts like Baklava being cooked and new clothes purchased.¬†¬†In the days leading up to bayram the supermarkets are VERY busy with people stocking up on sweets and chocolate to give their¬†visitors, hence the name of the festival literally translates to ‘sugar/sweet holiday’. ¬†
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It may sound like an¬†ignorant comparison, but aspects of the¬†festive period reminds me of a cross between Easter and Halloween. Of course they are very different celebrations for very different purposes, but there are¬†similarities¬†– traditionally at¬†Easter children would be given new clothes to wear and obviously there’s the giving of the chocolate eggs. During bayram the children often knock on their neighbours doors¬†and are given sweets and chocolates or even money,¬†similar¬†to Halloween.¬†

How will it affect your holiday to Turkey?
During the whole 3 days government buildings, banks and offices are closed and ATM machines are likely to run out of cash – so if you need some, get it as early as possible. ¬†Most of the shops, bars and restaurants in resorts will remain open as they have to make money. You may wish to greet people in shops, hotel staff or waiters with wishes for bayram such as: “BayramńĪnńĪz kutlu olsun” /¬†“BayramńĪnńĪz m√ľbarek olsun”– may your holiday be blessed, or “Mutlu Bayramlar” – happy holidays.

It’s normal for the roads to be very busy at this time of year as families go on a 3 day vacation or to visit family and friends in other towns and cities, coaches and buses are likely to be full and you may notice that there are a lot more Turkish people and cars in your holiday resort during this time, beaches are busier and hotels are full. It’s advised to avoid travelling if you can, even the small dolmus’ are likely to get very busy, and that’s never fun in this heat. In general, it shouldn’t affect your holiday too much, just be aware of the celebrations going on, you may be offered sweets and it could be considered rude if you decline. The atmosphere in general will be happy, with plenty of excited children running around! ¬†By Thursday 31st, everything will be back to normal.

My experience of bayram?
Well, like most of the people working in tourism, Berkay gets no time off whatsoever during Bayram, in fact it’s quite the opposite, he’s likely to be working harder and longer with more guests staying at the hotel. So really, for us, the holiday period will be just like any other day!

We may go and visit our landlord or friends to grab some chocolate or sweets – it would be rude not to, right?20140727-004443-2683001.jpg

The price we pay for the decisions we make…

‚ÄúYou will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.‚ÄĚ

A few weeks ago I saw this quote pop up on my Facebook news feed. I read it and got goosebumps. It manages to take all of my feelings and squish them into two little sentences.

I have never read words more true. I am never going to feel truely at home no matter where I am, because a part of me will always be elsewhere, always be missing someone, something, wondering what is going on in the other place.

Despite how I make it sound, the decision to go back to Turkey was not an easy one. Of course I’m happy there with Berkay and Boncuk, and everything there feels like ‘home’ to me – the food, the way of life, the weird little quirks, but no matter how happy I am there, I am always wondering what the people I leave behind back home are doing, wondering what my family and friends are doing, how they are etc etc, of course their lives move on while I’m not here, and when I do come back to visit, or to live, it’s always hard to fit back in because so much has changed. When I’m back here in England and trying to fit in, all I can think about is my life in Turkey, and what I’m missing there, how much things there are changing, what Berkay’s doing, worrying how my dog is, wanting to just go out and have a little BBQ with our Turkish friends. It’s a vicious circle. It’s almost like ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ – no matter where you are, there’s a part of you wanting something from ‘the other side’ ¬†as it’s inevitable there will always be something missing.

Some say it’s my own fault for choosing this life, for choosing to fall in love with a Turkish person instead of someone who lives around the corner from me. It’s true – this lifestyle is one that I have decided to follow, and I shall forever pay the price for that.

Do I regret it though? Absolutely not. I’m lucky to have two places I feel connected to, yet divided between. I just wish there was a way to merge them all into one cute, fluffy ball of happiness.

Turkish restaurant in London.

While Berkay was in England last month, we took a trip to a Turkish restaurant in London. It was amazing!

We went to the Efes restaurant on¬†Commercial Road (click HERE for their website), which was recommended by my dad. Don’t get too excited by the name ¬†– they didn’t serve any alcohol at all.

It looked quite impressive from the outside, we thought it was going to be expensive, but we were pleasantly surprised! We had a table booked for 7pm, and it was a good job it was booked because when we walked in it was really very busy!
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Berkay’s eyes lit up as soon as he walked in and saw the waiters rushing around serving plates full of all the Turkish food he knows and loves, meanwhile all I could concentrate on was the HUGE glass cabinet full of baklava that I could see staring at me! Mmmmm.

The waiters and waitresses were all Turkish and came over to us expecting us to be English – Berkay started talking Turkish to them and they ended up having a ten minute conversation as is customary when Turks meet, all the usual stuff, where are you from, what do you do, where do you work, how much do you weigh? (seriously!) I was just sat trying to chose from the menu.

When the chat was over and I’d heard the normal ‘wow you look Turkish’ that everyone feels the need¬†to tell¬†me, we¬†both¬†decided on getting the Adana Kebab. I’d never had it before, but it was a good choice, although seeing other people’s orders of Pide being bought out made me wish I had chose that instead – it’s my favourite!

While we were waiting for it to be served, we got the typical bowls of bread, salad and dips bought out to the table, this is something I love most about Turkish food – bread is ALWAYS on the table, it was all free too.
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We also ordered Lahmacun as I’d never tried it and wanted to, I figured it was almost like Pide, and only cost ¬£2.50 so it was a no-brainer! I suppose it’s like a really thin pizza, it was yummy.
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Before we even had a chance to finish the¬†Lahmacun, our main dinner was bought out – Adana kebab. It was a big portion, two long pieces of spicy minced meat grilled¬†over charcoal, rice, grilled tomato & pepper, and of course the big bowl of salad, bread and dips that we had left over from earlier. It was only ¬£10.50 each. It probably sounds weird to say, but it all tasted so …. Turkish. Even the salad tastes exactly as it does out there, how do they do that, what’s the secret?!
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The food was gorgeous, and left us absolutely stuffed. After a while, a woman dressed in traditional belly dancer costume came to offer us¬†Turkish tea and of course we couldn’t resist. I thought it was cute how everything was Turkish, even down to the bottles of water and sugar cubes…
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Despite being stuffed, I knew that I couldn’t possible leave the restaurant without having some baklava. ¬£4 for 3 pieces it said – I would have quite happily paid more. They bought it out on a little dish, two normal pieces, and one chocolate, but you really can’t beat the normal one, especially with a glass of cay.
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Once we polished off the baklava, and Berkay had told his life story to another of the waiters, we asked for the bill, expecting it to be around £30-35 after having two kebabs, two cokes, water, two teas and baklava Рbut they had only charged us £22. I guess having long conversations and telling life stories to waiters sometimes pays off! We would have happily paid more, because it really was delicious. It made me miss Turkey all the more.
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On our way home, we decided to take the long, scenic route as it was our last night together and neither of us could face going home to pack his suitcase yet. I put my GPS on my phone and used google maps to walk from the restaurant to London Bridge station¬†and posed to take photos of Tower Bridge on the way. It took about 45 minutes. Funny story – on the way to the station we got stopped by some foreign tourists looking for a hotel, normally my shy-self would have just said ‘Sorry, don’t know’, but I was feeling especially happy after my Turkish good, so I got my phone¬†GPS back out and typed in the name they wanted – as it happened it was only a 2 minute walk away and they were really grateful – it’s nice to be helpful. (:

We had a lovely last evening together and Berkay now says this restaurant is his new favourite – even better than Nandos! Anyone who knows how much he loves Nandos will know this is a big deal!

Now I just can’t wait to get back to Turkey and eat this food more often. Eeeeeek.