Dinner at Nicole, a gourmet restaurant at Tomtom Suites in Istanbul.Tomtom Suites is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) group.

The other day in Istanbul, living a #Travelife, I had a wonderful 10-course dinner as the guest of former Secretary of Tourism, businessman and honorary consul Vince Carlos and his wife Tina.

And it was former Secretary Carlos’ birthday and he was in Istanbul on official business as an honorary consul. I was happy to join them and news journalist Veronica Jimenez and her businessman husband Lito Jimenez, also an honorary consul, for a birthday celebration dinner in Istanbul.

Let me know the details and I’ll be there,” I told them.


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Istanbul is one of these cities I know like the back of my hand so I was game to meet up with them anywhere.

Then, as they were all very busy, the choice of restaurant was left to me. However everyone wanted a Western-style meal in a relaxing but dressy venue, as the others were coming from a cocktail party.

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Let’s eat at Nicole then,” I suggested.

Nicole is the rooftop restaurant of Tomtom Suites, a simple but truly lovely hotel popular with stylish travelers with interests in antiques, interiors and arts.

It’s a member of the Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) of the world, so it’s not quite your typical boutique hotel; and truly, everything about it is very nicely done.

The higher grade rooms and suites are massive, with contemporary interiors and lovely art everywhere. The equivalent of the presidential suite, which I’ve been stayed in, has a terrace that could host a cocktail party for 40 persons.


And Nicole, on the top floor with an amazing view of the Topkapi and the old town, is just wonderful. It’s very well-rated for serving continental dishes with a twist at a Michelin-star level, and it offers two tasting menus with an excellent wine pairing.

As I had been in charge of choosing the restaurant, I was under some pressure to ensure the meal was good.

Fortunately everyone loved the food, which is contemporary Mediterranean cuisine created by Chefs Kaan and Aylin, an up-and-coming young Turkish couple who had trained in some of the famous restaurants of France, and we all enjoyed just another special evening in Istanbul, living a #Travelife.