In my wildest daydreams, the valley of Cappadocia will always remain this wonderfully understated Turkish paradise we discovered last summer; a mysterious, faraway land of fairy chimneys and mushroom-shaped police stations where young boys sell you fresh squeezed pomegranate juice and hot air balloons are able to take flight 300 out of 365 days. Our experience in Cappadocia would not have been the same without the help and undivided attention of our friends at Travel Atelier, the luxury concierge service that kindly showed us around and shared fascinating stories about the complex history of this whimsical destination. We particularly loved the cooking class with a local family - what a treat to try Manti (Turkish ravioli) for the first time in this context, and to connect (if only through the love of food) with women from another culture. On our first night, we opted to stay at the newly opened House Hotel Cappadocia in Ortahisar, a small municipality with a lively local scene - coffeehouses, barbershops, markets and museums. There, we had the best breakfast of our lives… One of the greatest ways to view the rippling hillsides of Cappadocia is a sunrise balloon ride miles above the sun-kissed earth. A seven AM dip in the pool of the Museum Hotel isn’t a bad way to watch the flight either… Trust me, you’ve got to see this landscape for yourself, especially before the secret’s out.
Photography by Ali Mitton, Laura Austin, and Vivianne Lapointe | Model Chelsea Schuchman