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Literary Dinner. Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities SOLD OUT

Friday, 13 October 2017

Bettany Hughes
Danilo Cortellini


Bettany Hughes and Danilo Cortellini

£150 -


Event duration: Evening

Location: Blenheim Palace: The Orangery

Dinner hosted by their Graces The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and James Emmett, group general manager and chief operating officer HSBC Bank plc, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO.

Join award-winning historian and broadcaster Dr Bettany Hughes for a black tie literary dinner with a menu prepared by Italian Embassy head chef Danilo Cortellini and a talk on Hughes’s latest book, Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities.

Hughes argues that Istanbul is not just a city, it is a story. She looks at the many incarnations of Istanbul – a city of three names and one in which archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation over the last 6,000 years. Istanbul has long been the gateway between East and West. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.

Hughes’s previous books are Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore and The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life. She has made a number of documentaries for the BBC and other leading channels, is a research fellow of King’s College London and a winner of the Norton Medlicott Medal for History.

Cortellini will reflect the talk by preparing and overseeing a menu of Venetian dishes inspired by the Ottoman Empire. Cortellini moved to London after spells at some of Italy’s top restaurants. He worked at a number of restaurants, including the three-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, before he was appointed head chef at the Italian Embassy. Cortellini was a finalist in the BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals in 2015 and is author of 4 Grosvenor Square: The Menu of the Italian Embassy in London. Cortellini will work with the festival’s consultant chef Paul Bloomfield on the dinner.

Dinner is preceded by a reception. The price of this event includes reception, drinks, dinner, wines, and a signed copy of Istanbul by Hughes.

Previous speakers at the festival dinner have been:
Richard Holmes (2008)
Andrew Roberts (2009)
Peter Snow (2010)
Sir Terry Wogan (2011)
Frederick Forsyth (2012)
Lucy Worsley (2013)
Jonathan Miller (2014)
Antony Beevor (2015)
Justine Picardie (2016).

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