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One of the main reasons people visit the lovely Bosphorus neighbourhood of Kanlıca is for its unparalleled hilltop views. One of the best is from Hidiv Kasrı (Khedive’s Palace), an unexpected Tuscan-style villa surrounded by woods – take a taxi to get there. It was built in 1907 for Abbas Hilmi Pasha, the last Egyptian khedive, when he was in bad odour with his mother for his clandestine marriage to a cross-dressing Hungarian countess.
Today it is a restaurant, café and wedding venue under municipal control. Gone are the days of splendid roasts and wines relished by President Mitterrand when he lunched here with the writer Çelik Gülersoy, director of the Touring Club, who rescued the building so handsomely in the 1980s. You can still enjoy a drink and a decent meal today, and the view is reason to visit alone.
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