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One of Istanbul’s hidden gems – The Patisserie Markiz 💛

August 7, 2015

In a city as old as Istanbul you will find many museums, but you will also find a lot of hidden gems. Places which you will not find in tourist guide books, but places which are right in the centre of the city. Steeped in history and well worth a visit.

There are many of these gems in Istanbul because it is a city with history bursting out of its every little corner. You will be walking down a street in Istanbul only to find the mosque you just passed dates back to the 1300’s. Or you will see a statue at the side of the road dating back centuries. You must have your eyes peeled and look everywhere to get a real feel for this amazing city.

Today I want to indroduce you to The Patisserie Markiz – known in Istanbul as ‘Markiz Pastanesi’.

The Patisserie Markiz – dating back to 1900, a place where artists, actors & other prominent members of society met

The Markiz is a 100 year old patisserie set on the hustle and bustle of Istiklal Street in Beyoglu – Istanbul. When Markiz was first opened to the public a century ago Istiklal was known as the Grande Rue de Pera, an area of Istanbul which had a heavy French influence. 

Since the sixteenth century when the Pera region was established as the residence of the French Ambassador, the area was seen as the epitome of luxury economically, socially and culturally. It was at establishments like Markiz where the local gentry met – ladies and gentlemen dressed in the best attire, having tea and the best French patisseries available.

The Patisserie Markiz was originally called Lebon. Designed by Alexandre Vallaury, architect of the Pera Palace Hotel, its fine decorative Art Nouveau faience panels depicting the Four Seasons (1905) are the work of J A Arnoux. Produced in France by Ch. Boulanger at Choisy-Le-Roi, all four panels were apparently shipped to Istanbul, but only Spring and Autumn arrived intact. They were installed in The Patisserie Markiz in the 1920s.

   
 

In the 1940s the patisserie was bought and renovated and it re-opened as The Patisserie Markiz and served as a gathering-place for prominent writers, intellectuals and society for decades.

   
 

Delicious pastries were served on world renowned Limoges porcelain, silver cutlery and serveware by Christofle. The dresscode was very strict, a neck tie and a shirt was a must for men, ladies dressed in the best silk dresses and hats. The interior of the Markiz was just breathtaking. It was a very special place to visit indeed.

My mother said she used to visit The Patisserie Markiz as a young child with her aunt, to eat delightful delicacies, and watch people go by, it was a real treat.

Sadly today The Patisserie Markiz is no longer a place which serves pastries. The shop is now a fast food restaurant. It was heartbreaking to see the beautiful, historic, priceless Art Nouveau faience panels amongst food which is meant to be eaten quickly.

I sat in what was once The Patisserie Markiz, ordered myself a cheap coffee, as not much more was available, and just looked at what was left of the history from when people appreciated this amazing decor. It is sad but if you are in Beyoglu it is definitely worth a visit, if only to pop in to see the Art Nouveau panels, intricately designed ceilings and just take a step back in time to how life once was in Istanbul.

Here is the address of the former Patisserie Markiz. It is a small shop opposite the Russian Consulate and Hotel Richmond. Step in and step back in time-

Cafe Markiz (alias Yemek Kulübü) 

İstiklal Caddesi No. 360-362, 

Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey 

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6 Comments
  1. very interesting.. i went to Turkey and didn’t like it much i think i was in the wrong place ..Bodrum.. however i did love the food

  2. Doug Kay permalink

    Hello , I am a new subscriber to your blog . You have traveled to many fascinating places . I have been to Istanbul 3 times and find it to be incredibly fascinating . I am doing a project and would like to use a picture of ” Le Printemps ” I want to make a poster approx . 30 inches x 42 inches . Is the picture you posted high resolution ? And if so would consider emailing me that image ?
    Thanks , Doug

    • Hello there! Thanks so much for subscribing, means so much to me ☺️ Istanbul is so beautiful. Im not sure what resolution the pictures are. It would be my pleasure to send you the images. Please email me your email address to motherinlondon@hotmail.com & I will send them to you xxxx

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