Decorating the Lounge and Sunday Lunch at Hoots Bistro in Ilgaz

We were up unseasonably early for a Sunday because we had the decorators arriving at 8am. In fact they were a little early and were already underway when I came downstairs to join Bob. We are having the lounge and dining room painted a pale yellow with a touch of green in it, the same colour as we have in our hallway at home in England. It’s a great, happy shade and here it will blend our green and gold furnishings very well.

Habibi arrived about 9am – everyone’s early in Ramadan and we set about planting the new groundcover plants. Or rather he planted them and I helped choose the positions!!!! Oh, but first Bob and I ran off to the nursery to get some melon and watermelon plants that he wanted to put in around the trees in the orchard. I got 2 watermelons, 3 yellow melons and 2 pumpkin (hopefully gourds). And of course, I had to get another couple of “interesting” plants I saw there….. They will all look really nice spreading out across the ground. Hopefully our summer/autumn guests will have some to pick. Bob has already laid water lines but one needs a bit of extension now.

The painters worked amazingly fast and of course it dries much quicker than in the UK. It’s a big area to do and the ceilings as well – one of my pet hates…..

At lunchtime we walked up the hill to Ilgaz village for Easter Sunday lunch at Hoots Bistro. Hoots is a very successful bistro that has been bringing people up the hill for Sunday lunch, evening dinners or their speciality music or quiz nights for some years. The food is really good and the setting is a really charming typical Cypriot stone house, rambling inside with a lovely terrace garden outside. The village itself is incredibly scenic and is becoming quite a trendy place to be, lots of the old houses getting fixed up.

On the way we noticed that the original bakery has now been extended into a big cafe, housed within a wooden stilt tree house. They still operate as a traditional bakery, all baked in wood ovens. Anyway, it was packed out with locals. They specialise in Turkish/Cypriot breakfasts at the weekends and certainly there was a lot of people in there enjoying that today. We must try it.

Ilgaz Cafe and Bakery

We sat in the garden courtyard for our lunch. It’s so quirky up there – mismatched, antiques mixed with flowers and container gardens, colourful parasols hanging above your head….. really good, friendly service and great food. A three course Sunday lunch is a shade under £10, 2 courses, even less. I started with delicious calamari, Bob had deep fried camembert with a sweet chilli sauce. Both excellent. Then, we both chose the roast pork, perfectly juicy with crackling, stuffing, a yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, an amazing bowl of vegetables and gravy. The vegetables were not just the plain boiled sort. Spiced red cabbage, creamed leeks, orange carrots, fresh peas. Then, I weakened and had pudding too. Mine was a warm, melting chocolate brownie served with ice cream. Bob had a massive strawberry pavlova with fresh berries and cream. We were stuffed – oh yes and 2 beers and 2 large glasses of cold sauvignon blanc. Luckily we had to walk back…… we needed the exercise…… Really good, highly recommend Hoots.

By the time we got back to the house, the painters were sitting outside, work done. The rooms looked great. So pleased with the colour. Tomorrow we will get the rooms straight again and then take some pictures.

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