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Cafe

Hakrim Dabang: Seoul's Original Cafe

Although there aren't any statistics to back this up, I assume that Seoul, South Korea has a bigger concentration of cafes than any other city in the world. Which is pretty impressive, considering that coffee was practically unknown until the late Joseon dynasty in the early 1900s. Even then, coffee shops, or dabang as they were referred to, were few and far between, with Seoul's coffee culture only developing into what it is today in the 2000s.

Take Out Drawing: A Cafe that Inspires

I've been working on a few big writing projects recently (more news on that to come soon) and as such, I've been seeking quiet cafes with an ambiance to inspire. While there are plenty coffee shops throughout this city, so many of them are too loud, with their crowds and looping K-pop playlists, too dark or too sterile for my taste, at least for when working.

The exception, however, is Takeout Drawing, a cafe chain that fuses design, imagination, and caffeine. With its distressed concrete walls, abundance of windows (which are kept open in nice weather), and minimal decor, Take Out Drawing resembles an architect's studio more than a coffeehouse.

A Cheltenham Wishlist

So I learned recently that my home town Cheltenham is getting a Carluccio’s Italian restaurant, and I couldn’t have been more excited because it’s one of my favourite places to eat. And I realised that over the past couple of years there have been so many great additions to Cheltenham. After literally years of wishing for an H&M, one finally opened in 2013; Yo Sushi appeared to bring good sushi into the town (it was sad to say goodbye to Pizza Hut, but you can’t have everything); and Patisserie Valerie provided everyone with temptation to spend too much money on delicious pastries. There’s even a new Caribbean restaurant opening soon, which is very exotic and exciting.

Despite the great, and increasing, variety in Cheltenham, there are still a few eateries and shops which I’d love to see come to Cheltenham. Here’s my wishlist:

1) Pret


Dore Dore: A Sinsa Cafe That Takes the Cake

Just when I think I've found all the great cafes Seoul has to offer, another crops up on my radar. Unsurprisingly, the latest find is tucked discreetly off the main strip of Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong, my go-to spot for fancy lattes and pretty treats. But of all the places I've visited in the area over the past couple years, Dore Dore takes the cake. And quite literally, at that.



Why the long face?

Life in Technicolor

Life in Technicolor

I used a selective colour processing technique on this photo of a Golden Retriever in a Seoul dog cafe because I was thinking about our societies love for smartphones. Even when things are fairly normal or mundane (black and white) they can always be made to appear colourful to someone else, depending on the way the user shares it with the world.

I see many people with a seperate persona over social networks than in reality. The information they share from their smartphones suggests they are happy and loving live, yet in reality this is not always the case.

I love dogs and thought his would be a good way to try and illustrate it!

Animal Themes, Hello Kitty Themes… And Study Themes- Cafes in Korea

Shake-on-it

Last week I was reading about a new cafe which is opening in London- a ‘cereal cafe’, with hundreds of flavours of cereal, many of which have been discontinued or are foreign imports. Lucky Charms, Barbie Cereal, Star Wars Cereal- you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve even got cereal cakes, cereal memorabilia (yes, I would like a Kellogg’s Frosties lip-balm), and cereal artwork on the walls. As a cereal lover, it sounds like my dream cafe. Needless to say I was pretty jealous I wouldn’t be able to visit.


Same Chains, Different Countries = Unexpected Menu

Siqbal,Wikimedia Commons
Siqbal,Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, even if you love Korean food, you just crave something from home- a burger and chips, a glazed doughnut, or a big cheesy pizza. Luckily, there is an ever-increasing number of Western chains across Korea, offering food for just these occasions. However, that’s not to say the menus are exactly the same..


Seoul Wandering


Living Life The Korean Way

I’ve been living in Korea for 18 months now, enough time to get over the initial culture shock and to adapt to living the Korean lifestyle. There have been both good things- going out for dinner and getting a delicious, filling meal for under £5, and bad- fearing for your life every time you are on/ near the road because of the crazy drivers.

Here are some of the things I have become accustomed to during the last year and a half in  Korea- the good, the bad and everything in between…


5 Amazing Bingsu Desserts in Korea

My favorite thing to eat in the blistering hot Korean summer is bingsu. I’m not a huge fan of hot weather, so this popular dessert of shaved ice milk and assorted toppings is a perfect way to cool off. Starting around May you’ll see new businesses that open just for the summer, and you can assume that most of them are bingsu places. This summer I’ve noticed that a specific chain called Sulbing 설빙, which originated in Busan, has spread throughout the country. I’ve seen Sulbing or a ripoff version of Sulbing even in small towns in the country! We realized when we filmed this video that the two videos we’ve done about this tasty treat have both featured mango bingsu, so we decided to ask some friends to send us some pictures of their favorite bingsu around the country so that we could share it!


You Are Here Cafe: Opening Day!


Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe: A Place of History, Culture and Family

When I first moved to Korea, I spent every minute of my free time getting lost in the neighborhoods of Seoul. Wandering the unknown became a hobby and through it, I was able to learn a lot about my new home and discover many a hidden gem, whether it be a cafe, an interesting sculpture or a peaceful green space to sit and rest for a while.

As time went on and I grew accustomed to my new city, the neighborhoods lost a bit of their magic and I became slightly jaded. Over the past few weeks, however, I began to miss those afternoons spent in solitude and discovery and decided to get back to exploring the streets of the city. The historic district of Seochon-dong was first on my list. I had no expectations, which is probably why I was so delighted to have stumbled upon Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe.

I went to a palace themed coffee shop in Hongdae, Seoul, Korea...













I went to a palace themed coffee shop in Hongdae, Seoul, Korea called 공주가 사는 궁전같은 카페 (“Where a princess should live”). The coffee shop has individual tables sort of hidden away, mostly meant for couples, but I saw a few groups of females there as well.


Korean Instant Coffee Taste Challenge!


I Make Cake Café Haeundae

 

 Whether you’re a dude hunting for an awesome date idea, or a pack of girls searching for somewhere to spend the afternoon, cake cafes are not only fun, but delicious. On the sidewalk outside stands a sign detailing all of their sugary, and fresh options. Ranging from $5 cupcakes to $20 heart-shaped chocolate cakes, everything is cute, tasty and reasonably priced.


Some fun time around Konkuk University

Even though my time is ticking away here in Korea I still hope to spend it with friends and exploring around town. I met up with a new friend last Sunday to enjoy an early movie, lunch and just looking around the Konkuk University area.


Coffee with Character, Part V

The temperatures in Korea are dropping quickly.  Too quickly if you ask me.  Soon enough, Seoulites will be forced to bundle up and head indoors to escape the harsh Korean winter weather..  While there are plenty of things to do throughout the city during the winter, there's no better place to pass a cold day than in a cafe- especially when it's themed. So, just in time for winter, I give you a new list of places to explore during the cold season to enjoy a hot cup of coffee, served with a whole lot of character.

1.  Capi Capi Loom Loom Cafe:  If you've had your fix of Hello Kitty and want to cuddle with another cute Japanese character, Capi Capi is the place for you.  Rilakkuma, a ridiculously adorable teddy bear famous throughout Asia, is the star of this cafe in an unassuming building near Sungshin Women's University. 

Cat Cafe: Ycat (previously known as Gio Cat)

The Charlie Brown Cafe


The Complete Peanuts Collections

During our initial exploration of the Pusan National University neighborhood, in the north of Busan, we happened upon a strange cultural landmark: the Charlie Brown Cafe. Dedicated to all things Peanuts, this coffee house provides stressed-out college kids the chance to escape into a simpler world.


Get Your Puppy Fix in Jangsan


Seonyudo Park: In the spring time


Wandering Around Anam Area


There are places in Seoul that you end up at that you have never been before. The thing is, though, nearly every place in Seoul pretty much looks the same. Except for several key places like, Samcheongdong and Insadong, otherwise you can pretty much expect the same old...same old.


Best Cupcakes Yet @ Royal Cupcake, Cheongdam.

I interrupt the Halloween themed news to bring you my latest love, Royal Cupcake in Cheongdam.

Cupcakes & Coffee @ Sky Garden, Hyundai.

I've been to my local Hyundai Department Store more times than I care to imagine and no doubt many more times than I should have been. At least that's what my purse would tell you. In all these times I'd never known about one fantastic little secret it holds. Tucked away on the roof is a garden, or rather 'Sky Garden' as they call it. It was a complete surprise to me. It's a beautiful space where you can enjoy some outdoor air away from the chaos of the store and city. There's a strange phenomenon that I've observed a few times before, when your right in the heart of a busy city, slightly quieter spaces seem to take on a heightened sense of tranquility. Here it feels like you're a million miles away from the bustling basement grocery store and the snooty looks of the middle aged women browsing the designer rails.

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Letter from Korea, April 2011

Suwon, South Korea
April 30, 2011

Dear Ireland,

Apologies for my lack of correspondence, I’ve been busy believe it or not. I won’t bore you with the details but I would in fact prefer to inform you of one of the reasons that I haven’t had as much time as usual to sit down and write you a lovely letter, as has been my wont for almost a year.

Recently, myself and Herself have become business people. We are proprietors. Not in the traditional sense, more in a temporary and experimental sense.

As I wrote in a previous post, I spend a lot of time in my friend’s traditional Korean tea shop that is close to our home. Recently the owner propositioned Herself whether or not she would like to run the tea shop. Herself was duly excited by the prospect and we decided we would take it on board for a few months and try it out.


Best Busan independent coffee shop

Hello,

I am wondering if people could provide a name and location of their favorite coffee shops in Busan. The only rule is that it should be independent, not owned by a chain such as starbucks or coffee bean. It can be paired with bookstores, found in shopping centres, whatever.

I am just looking as a friend asked me the question and, since I do not know the answer, perhaps we will write a Top 5 article on it.

Cheers,

Adrian


-♥- Halloween Party and Language Exchange in Busan-♥-

Date: 
Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 20:00

----- Halloween Party in LZONE on Oct 31st!!!!!!!! -----


: at 8pm-12am Saturday,Oct 31st : Free draft beer till it runs out-Dress Code:Crazy-

* Shop1 -Buy Items, Costumes for halloween-
http://www.sunriseparty.com/ 051-517-2033

* Shop2 -Buy Items, Costumes for halloween-
051-625-9500 Near Kyungsung Univ Station

※ You can buy some costumes and items for Halloween Party at LZONE as well(We don't have many, so please come earlier if you wanna buy some)
Price Between 2,000 won ~ 30,000 won

- Contacts : Andy : 010-9528-2212

* Address : LZONE Cafe 4F #58-35 Daeyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Busan, Korea

* Location : 4th Floor of BBQ Chicken
next to WA BAR and Thursday Party near Kyungsung.Pukyung University Station.


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