Reading list | Çengelköy

Once the most distinguished of the villages on the Lower Bosphorus has gone terribly to seed and become one of its most ramshackle, unsightly and altogether unappealing. Çengelköy has a bay all of its own, and a fabulous view of the skyline of the Old City. Unfortunately the wooded hilltop behind it has been crudely developed to create a vast heliport of the president. Gone are its delightful woods. A swingeing property tax on any undeveloped historic woodlands, passed in August last year, is likely to be the final nail in the governments's Bosphorus coffin.

The Sadullah Pasha Yalı was always jewel in the crown, and there are one or two beautiful konaks in the valley behind the village. One of these, restored by the Ottoman art expert and interior designer Serdar Gülgün, is the lovely 19th-century house on the cover of Cornucopia 46 and described by Berrin Torolsan. The little seaside square by the iskele is flanked by fish restaurants.

But you can turn your back on it all and imagine you are in Venice by staying a little upstream at the Sumahan, one of the best hotels in Istanbul, with its own launch to whisk you across the water. You can book through the Cornucopia Hotel Collection.