Hospitality in Iran: The Longest Night Dinner in Shahr-e Kord, Iran

Hospitality in Iran is second to none. Which means it’s first. Iranians are by far and away the most welcoming and friendly nationality I have ever met. On every corner of every street in the cities of Iran you will be greeted with warm, genuine welcoming smiles. “Welcome to Iran” 100 people will say to you as you backpack in Tabriz. At the start of our fourth and final week in Iran, we arranged to meet up with Rasool, a friend of ours who we met in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Amazing Iranian Hospitality: The Longest Night Dinner in Shahr-e Kord, Iran

Amazing Iranian Hospitality: The Longest Night Dinner in Shahr-e Kord, Iran

Rasool offered to pick us up from our hotel in Esfahan and drive us up the mountains to Shahr-e Kord. Shahr-e Kord is a standard yet unknown Iranian town, which also happens to be Rasool’s home.

Chilling out with Rasool in Shahr-e Kord, Iran

Chilling out with Rasool in Shahr-e Kord, Iran

Rasool and his family are one of the nicest families you could ever wish to meet. We stayed two nights and two days only as we wanted to head south to Persepolis and Shiraz next, but Rasool says we could have stayed there “as long as you like” and he was serious. Most Iran visas only last 30 days however.

Our home for 2 nights in Shahr-e Kord - stay as long as you like said Rasool!

Our home for 2 nights in Shahr-e Kord – stay as long as you like said Rasool!

After the drive up through the mountains, we arrive in dreamy Shahr-e Kord. I previously wrote a guide to the top 7 sights when backpacking in Shahr-e Kord.

Driving through the mountains and it's already dark on the longest night in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Driving through the mountains and it’s already dark on the longest night in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

It’s the longest night of the year. We have came to Shahr-e Kord on the longest night of the year! In other words, more darkness less light.

Our welcome to Shahr-e Kord. Endless tea and afternoon cake just for warm up!

Our welcome to Shahr-e Kord. Endless tea and afternoon cake just for warm up!

And in Iran this gives an excuse to stay in, mingle and chat and even better EAT and DRINK all night. It really is a feast!!

Afternoon tea and nuts.

Afternoon tea and nuts.

On arrival at Rasool’s house we greet his family. Mohsen and Mohammed the brothers. Plus Rasool’s parents.

At home meeting the family at Rasool's place

At home meeting the family at Rasool’s place

Afternoon Tea

We are given an afternoon tea. You just get addicted to drinking tea in Iran. It’s not just tea though. The tea comes with a massive chunk of sweet sugar in it, adding to the flavour. On the side we have cake and an endless supply of nuts – monkey nuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds. Standard in “the Kord” (self titled nickname for Shahr-e Kord).

shahr e kord nuts

Tea, sugar, nuts – standard afternoon relaxing in “the Kord”

Watching TV during afternoon tea in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Watching TV during afternoon tea in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Dinner

Dinner time comes and it’s more than a 3 course meal. You don’t go hungry in Iran. It’s never happened and the food gets better by the day.

Fish dish, jelly, vegetables, rice, bread. Endless food in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Fish dish, jelly, vegetables, rice, bread. Endless food in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Our table for dinner in Shahr-e Kord.

Our table for dinner in Shahr-e Kord.

Ready for the longest night feast in Shahr-e Kord.

Ready for the longest night feast in Shahr-e Kord.

Gorgeous fish dish with vegetables, endless rice, a soup to die for, jelly and plenty of vegetables. Plus yoghurt and bread. You just cannot go hungry in Iran!

The soup

The soup

The main meal including vegetables, rice and fish.

The main meal including vegetables, rice and fish.

Jelly!

Jelly!

Feast of a table in Iran.

Feast of a table in Iran.

After Dinner

After tea, the banquet continues – more tea arrives, then cake, then nuts, then watermelon! It’s a feast!

More tea!

More tea!

The feast continues - after dinner snacks!

The feast continues – after dinner snacks!

The feast continues - after dinner snacks!

The feast continues – after dinner snacks!

We also get to smoke Shisha. Alcohol and drugs are forbidden in Iran but Shisha is a common alternative.

Smoking shisha in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Smoking shisha in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Smoking shisha in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Smoking shisha in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.

Supper

If you thought afternoon tea, dinner, post dinner was enough – think again. On the longest night in Iran we also had a big supper.

Thanks forever to my friend Rasool and family for this wonderful evening and experience. It was truly a once in a lifetime.

Here are some videos from the Longest Night in Shahr-e Kord, Iran:

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