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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…


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