We have arrived in Istanbul – a bunch of old friends bonding after months apart, prepped and ready for the East meets West wonders that await us in this gargantuan city of nearly 20 million people. The city is so much more expansive than we all ever imagined, so with a Wallpaper City Guide and a hundred or so tear sheets pulled from magazines by me over the years, we plan our attack of the city. Our stumble into the area of Cukurcuma, which holds the best galleries and some seriously serious antique stores comes with great aesthetic benefits and photo opportunities galore. A La Turca is our first stop, a converted four-storey townhouse come showroom come drool fest, opened in 1998 by Erkal Aksoy and full to the brim with a rich mix of Ottoman and Anatolian antiques, kilims, paintings, bronzes, carpets and a cellar full of ceramics to die for. Indeed we were all silenced by the beauty before us, this is what interior dreams are made of. Call ahead for this must-see temple of taste.