The centuries-old sweet known as lokum is one of Turkey’s best-known food products in the English-speaking world, where it is known, indeed, as Turkish Delight. Since 2005, Istanbulites have been able to purchase a deluxe variety of the sweet at Zeynep Keyman’s store called Lokum Istanbul in the Bosphorus neighborhood of Kuruçeşme. The Turkish Delight sold at Keyman’s boutique is made only with natural ingredients and is sweetened with honey and grape molasses; its packaging, too, is unique, being shaped like fezes and tambourines.
Now Londoners can shop at Lokum Istanbul without needing to buy a plane ticket to Turkey: Keyman has opened a branch of the store on Walton Street in London’s upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood. Everything in the store (designed by Anouska Hempel) recalls Turkey’s Ottoman past, from the Ottoman-themed wallpaper designs to the lokum’s distinctive packaging, which features black-and-white etchings of Ottoman-era scenes. Visitors can purchase lokum in a variety of flavors: pistachio, ginger, lemon, cinnamon, rosewater, mint, fig-walnut, and violet. The store also sells the hard candies known in Turkish as akide (in lavender, cinnamon, violet, mint, lemon, bergamot, fig, and ginger), as well as its own line of cologne, and scented candles. Additionally, Lokum Istanbul offers Keyman’s custom-made stationery, as well as traditional Turkish silver hamam taşları (washing bowls) and silver coffee cups.