“Delightfully restored cottages, in the leafy hill town of Sirince, near Ephesus”
Grapevine is the largest cottage and slightly more secluded than others (its setting allows residents to drive right to the door). A suitably vine-shaded terrace overlooks a leafy garden and a covered walkway divides the sitting room from the rest of the house, where a cosy kitchen awaits. The vast shower room is reminiscent of a hammam with cushioned seating, widely spaced basins and cymbal-sized shower beside a smooth marble wall. Upstairs the bright main bedroom’s panelled walls evoke a wooden rood-screen. Across the way is a second bedroom with twin wrought-iron beds and a ladder up to a snug kids' lair.
Fig, a stone's throw above the terrace café, has 2 bedrooms and 4 handsome shuttered windows looking out over the town. You enter via a private, fig-shaded terrace (set on 2 levels) and inside there’s a lovely ground-floor living-dining room with kitchenette (the smallest of all the houses). Leading off it, the bathroom is a good size with a claw-footed tub and a beautiful marble basin.
Clockmakers cottage, next to Olive, can be rented exclusively or by floor. Upstairs is the Harem Suite, which has a generous bedroom with sliding doors to the bathroom - gorgeous claw-foot tub. It has no cooking facilities but there is a small roof terrace. Downstairs the open-plan Hamam Suite features a large bedroom with steps up to a kitchen area, and a separate marble shower room.
Garden House is in keeping with the general tone of the houses but feels a little more modern. The comfy open-plan living-dining area has a well-equipped kitchen and a beautiful wooden staircase. Upstairs, each of the 2 double bedrooms has an ensuite shower or bathroom.
Olive is a 2-bedroom house is next to the main terrace (available winter only). Inside, a well-equipped kitchen and cosy sitting room offer thick stone walls and a hearty fireplace. The master bedroom has a grand four-poster bed, but the second bedroom is small, so we’d say it’s best for couples. The bathroom is downstairs, and features a limestone-faced wet room and unexpected corner tub and lions-head spout.
Sitting down at the candlelit terrace table for dinner, with the sun setting behind an amphitheatre of tiled townhouses, and a gleaming spread of painted ceramic plates in the foreground, we knew that self-catering had gone out of the window. Aysel, the smiling magicienne of the kitchen, lifted the lids and - hey presto! We were assailed by delicious wafts of haloumi salad with pomegranate dressing, stuffed peppers, samphire, butter beans with tomato, fresh tzatziki and local bread (baked in the village). The beauty of mezze is that even if there's one dish you don't like, there are 5 you will (but, since they discuss menus with you, that's unlikely). Just remember to request dinner a day in advance.
Breakfast fresh and savoury - nothing fancy, just carefully sliced tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkled with oregano, crumbly cökelek cheese, ramekins of olives and jam, warm corn bread and brioches, plus Aysel's irresistible menemen (scrambled eggs with pepper and tomato). If that doesn't fuel you through Ephesus, nothing will.
Each cottage does have a kitchen, but given the terrace café’s delicious offerings (in season), we ended up preparing little more than the occasional coffee and snack. Note that the Harem suite lacks any cooking facilities, Clockmakers has no indoor dining area, and Fig only has a small kitchenette, but other than that all houses have well-equipped kitchens for when culinary inspiration does strikes.
If you fancy eating out, Sirince has lots of restaurants, from the pretty terrace of Ocakbasi to the grander Artemis, housed in an old school on the edge of the village. Ask Charlotte and Omer for their latest recommendations.
Children are welcome; Turkey is a very child friendly and there is a very safe beach at Pamucak (25km).
Teens (over 12)
Olive and Fig would suit a couple with 1 or 2 children, while Grapevine and Clockmakers (exclusive rental), could take 3 or even 4 children at a squeeze. The Harem Suite can fit an extra child.
Baby cot available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The Garden House is suitable for ages 10+ only. There is 1 cot available but bear in mind that the houses are not really toddler-proof: no doors on the stairs, some stone edges etc.