London-based Cachet runs holiday programmes in several countries, but it’s at its best in Turkey where managing owner Ghislain Sireilles was raised by ex-pat French parents. Ghislain, romantic, opinionated and deeply knowledgeable, has been involved in Turkish tourism throughout his working life. I first met him on a gulet trip in 1990 when he was already an established hands-on presence in the country; on that occasion he beat me at backgammon, a game at which, it pains me to admit, he has been beating me ever since.
Of Cachet’s roster of villas and hotels, in a range of locations including the Datça Peninsula and Kaya, my favourite is Ghislain’s own Villa Mandarin in Faralya. The Villa Mandarin, the programme’s unofficial flagship, hosts appealing cookery and photography weeks, and walking ones, with Ghislain leading excellent day walks around the magnificent and wild Faralya landscapes.