Last Night in Istanbul


Bye-bye Turkey! I truly enjoyed my last night at the beautiful Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul. The hotel was outstanding in everything and I would absolutely recommend staying here. Here are some photos of the restored historical Sultan’s Palace which is part of the hotel and where the 11 VIP suites are located with a private entrance.

CiraganMy outfit: Blue Sweater and Dress by Alexander McQueen



Ciragan3Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Sultan suite one of the biggest in Europe with over 376 square meters is located on the second floor of the magnificent historical Palace overlooking the Bosphorus. It has hosted many royals and precious guests since its opening such as King of Spain – H. E. Juan Carlos II and the Queen; King of Jordan – H. E. Hussein and the Queen; the US former President Mr. Bill Clinton; Luciano Pavarotti and Liza Minelli, Oprah Winfrey and many more.

Staying in the Sultan Suite is a luxurious privilege with two master bedrooms and an astonishing marble bathroom with gold plated taps, guests enjoy 24 hour private butler service and absolute privacy. Rack rate: 30.000 Euro per night + VAT % 8

By the way, during my stay I spotted Zaha Hadid

LoL, Sandra

ciraganpk_sultan suite master bedroom 3Sultan Suite Master Bedroom

ciraganpk_sultan suite master bathroomSultan Suite Master Bathroom

ciraganpk_sultan suite 2nd bedroom 2Sultan Suite Second Bedroom

ciraganpk_sultan suite 2nd bedroom bathroom clawfoot bathtubSultan Suite Second Bathroom

ciraganpk_sultansuite living roomSultan Suite Living Room

ciraganpk_sultan suite from the mirrorPhotos: Courtesy of Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul

Istinye Park Mall


Yesterday, it was raining cats and dogs here in Istanbul. Unbelievable, where can I go for just one week of sunshine?!
To enlighten my weather depression, I went to Istinye Park, one of the most impressive shopping malls I have seen.

It felt a little like „Scotty had beamed me up to the USA…“ The mall showcases international brands like Zara, Gap, Massimo Dutti and many more. In addition to these stores, the shopping centre has fabulous restaurants and cafés such as Borsa restaurant and La Durée.
The outdoor section with a green central park truly resembles a Mini Rodeo Drive. It features high-end lines like for example Miu Miu, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and the local trendy department store Beymen.
With almost 300 shops in total, I was bound to find something…

LoL, Sandra






IMG_8064Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Haghia Sophia


During the last days, I did a lot of sightseeing in this phenomenal city. Today was my favourite: Istanbul’s most famous monument, the former cathedral and later mosque of Haghia Sophia (meaning „Divine Wisdom“) that was originally built in 537 A.D., in the rule of Emperor Justinian, and later converted to a mosque after the conquest of the city by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453.


View of the Haghia Sophia from the beautiful Four Seasons at Istanbul Sultanahmet terrasse.


The interior is truly awe-inspiring, particularly the main chamber, roofed by its fabulous dome, 30m (98ft) in diameter, just breathtaking.


Hagia 6

While sightseeing, I like to be comfortable but don’t want to look too sloppy. Today I went for my T-shirt dress with colourful applications and ballet flats by Lanvin and had an extra pair of  leggings plus my ikat print scarf by Louis Vuitton with me to respect the local dress codes if necessary. Backpack (very practical) by Prada.

LoL, Sandra


Hagai 1Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Grand Bazaar


Yesterday, I visited the Grand Bazaar (in Turkish, Kapali Carsi, meaning „Covered Market“) which is truly a whole new world. Made up of a maze of interconnecting vaulted passages, the Bazaar has its own banks, baths, mosques, cafés and restaurants, not to mention the thousands of shops, all glittery and fairy-lit in the absence of natural light. Since the rise of the mall, it is no longer the biggest shopping centre in the world, but it is definitely one of the oldest. You can browse through a sea of trinkets, jewelry, clothes, oriental decorations, fabrics, carpets and much more. I tried to capture some of my favourite impressions for you and hope that you will like them.

At the end of this post, you will see what I got to take a piece of Istanbul home with me. I am invited soon to a „1001 Nights“ themed party and this will be my costume…

LoL, Sandra


Grand Bazaar4






Grand Bazaar1

Harem 14

Harem 2

Harem 15

Harem 6Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Sandra’s Istanbul

Sandra's Istanbul

Merhaba! Yesterday, I flew to Istanbul, Turkey. A place I had been wanting to go for a very long time. After having arrived in my hotel in the late afternoon, I didn’t even change and went straight to the nearby harbourside  district of Ortaköy, a fascinating place full of restaurants, nightclubs, specialty antique, jewelry and ceramic shops.

On the weekends, there is a colourful street market with Turkish handcrafts and local food street vendors in an oriental setting beside the famous Ortaköy Mosque.
Enjoy my first impressions of last night. I am loving it here!

LoL, Sandra

Istanbul6Me at the Bosphorus

Zebra-print Top by Stella McCartney, Leggings by Blumarine, Long Cardigan by Gucci, Stingray Sunglasses by Louis Vuitton and Daisy Necklace by Christian Dior

Istanbul 14



A fun dinner outside at the House Café Ortaköy.


Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Brigde that is connecting Europe and Asia.




IMG_7436Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Dilek Hanif Haute Couture S/S 2011


Last week, it was Haute Couture S/S 2011 Fashion Week in Paris. This is always a feast for the eyes and one designer definitely caught my eye: Dilek Hanif.

Dilek Hanif

Dilek Hanif

Major player on the Turkish fashion scene, Dilek Hanif transmits a new sense of contemporary luxury in her designs. She lives and works in Istanbul where she started her own line in 1990 including Haute Couture and ready-to-wear collections. Since 2004, she became admitted on the official Paris Haute Couture calendar.

Gorgeous embroideries (all handstitched in her local atelier) on silk, lace, organza and chiffon are among her favourites. She also has a special love for drapings and for fluid, structured interplays.

What I like about her creations is the contemporary and modern approach to couture. For further enquiries, please contact the atelier at .

LoL, Sandra

Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 1

Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 2
Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 4
Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 8

Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 10
Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 12
Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 18
Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 19
Dilek Hanif HC SS 2011 28