Travelling Tales


Overlooking Istanbul from the rooftop bar at Arkadia Blue


Again it’s been some weeks since I wrote as I have been enjoying travelling and the warmer weather. I’m back in London now and it is quite crowded with tourists and, of course, there is both Wimbledon and the cricket on, which brings more people here. Restaurants are busy and it seems, though prices are higher, everything is back even beyond pre-Covid levels.

There is so much to share, new recipes to try, discoveries made and fun times. I will write as much as I can now but look out for more as I keep travelling. See my take on Istanbul below.

I have found time to work on my next collaboration for Comfort Food for Grief this time with some thoughts about and a recipe for Chicken, Vegetable and Pearl Barley Soup.

I try to keep up-to-date on Facebook and Instagram or email me with any requests or comments. 

Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x

Recipes of the week


In honour of NAIDOC Week this week, let’s embrace the indigenous flavours and produce of Australia.

I got this recipe from my dear friend Maggie Beer when I was filming
Taste of Australia.


Fun with Wine


What temperature should you serve your wine?

Here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine. What temperature do you serve your wine? Find out more in my video above. If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Intriguing Istanbul

Hagia Sophia by night.

What is it about Istanbul?
I know so many people who have been there or who are going this year, so I thought I would share some of my experiences. It wasn’t the usual sightseeing trip, as I have been there twice before – and indeed there are some “must-see” things like the incredible Cisterns, beautiful Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or the Blue Mosque. Conveniently, the mosques face each other and are an easy walking distance apart. The Hagia Sophia has been around for 1600 years and is steeped in history while the Blue Mosque was built to confront and surpass the older one and was built some 1200 years later.

Istanbul actually straddles two continents, divided by the Bosphorus (also known as the Strait of Istanbul). Kad?köy, on the Asian side, is where the city began. However, the European side became the centre during the Ottoman and Roman periods and remains the main historic and touristic hub.

On this trip, I spent one glorious day doing a Culinary Backstreets Food Tour. Called Born on the Bosphorus: Exploring Three Distinct Waterside Neighborhoods we actually crossed the Bosphorus by ferry and also caught a local bus. Such fun to travel with the locals for our small group of four.

Our guide Ugur was sensational, with perfect English. We began in the market of Be?ikta?, all narrow streets filled with meyhanes and simple restaurants serving breakfast all day. Among the beer bars and cheap clothing stores are a few traditional culinary mainstays for menemen, Turkish-style scrambled eggs (a bit like shakshuka), and bal kaymak, water buffalo cream blanketed in honey. The food was incredible (see photos below) also including chilli spice acuka cucumber, tomato and cheese and cured beef which was amazing.

Make sure you go hungry as we also visited a bakery begun 60 years ago by a man whose two sons now run it. Here there was burek with cheese & parsley, a not-too-sweet pistachio baklava and Murat Muhallebi or milk pudding with caramelised sugar. Made from milk, sugar, rice starch and, surprisingly (I finally guessed it) shreds of chicken breast. It is a 15th-century, royal court recipe and never made at home. From the Middle Ages, sweet and savoury were served together until the 17th century. Finally, Asure or Noah’s pudding, according to legend was made with any food left in the Ark before it landed and so comprised 40 ingredients, though ours had less including white beans, dried fruits and nuts. Traditionally eaten on the 10th day of the first month of the Muslim calendar, this is made at home.

Two breakfasts L: At the bakery with milk pudding and Noah’s pudding and R: Breakfast in Bekistas.

Then, of course, we had to see and taste the best kebab. Or half of one anyway. Not made from minced meat but rather very thin slices of 70% beef and 30% lamb. Satisfyingly spicy but not drowned in sauce, kept simple and without a doubt the best I have ever eaten.

We took the ferry across the Bosphorus to the market at Üsküdar, where more traditional food culture is preserved. Here we saw and sampled even more with visits to a honey vendor from Eastern Turkey, an olive shop, a market and allotment garden and a third-generation candymaker. Then it was lunchtime! This time a range of lovely seafood to share including garlic prawns and mushrooms, salad and some grilled fish.

Of course, there was more to come with a charming “home cooking” restaurant where the wife prepares the food at home and her husband heats and serves it in their little venue and another where they cooked on the street on a rotisserie all types of meat and offal.

In the neighbourhood of Kuzguncuk, we learned the multicultural history of the area, tasting the nostalgia for that bygone era when Jews, Christians and Muslims shared the leafy streets.

What a day! I couldn’t speak highly enough of the experience which I have only touched on here, the background knowledge and everything we learned and tasted were outstanding. We finished with some white wine in a park, Narince, with another snack! I recommend you try some of the indigenous wines for yourself. Look out for the red grapes, Okuzgozu, Bogazkere, Kalecik, Karasi and white grapes Emir as well as the Narince.

I will certainly be booking other Culinary Backstreets tour in other places. What I really liked is that we went off the beaten track and didn’t taste the predictable, like Turkish delight. It was such a fun, delicious (and filling) education.

L: Now THAT’S a kebab! R: Simply cooked, delicious fish.

L: The Turks consume more tea per capita than any other country. This box on the wall in a shopping mall is for the shop owners to press to have tea delivered so they don’t have to leave their store and R: beautifully presented sweet treats.

Moroccan Food Tour

My next culinary tour to Morocco is from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.


  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up and drop off to and from the desert camp
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
Download the full itinerary HERE or email me or with any questions.

Puglia Food Tour – May 2024

Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.