Sculpture Garden and Cafe in Gwanghwamun
Last Saturday I went out to Gwanghwamun to check out an art museum I haven't been to. It was a windy day, yet I trucked through it anyways. The museum I was looking for is the, Sungkok Museum of Art, which features contemporary works. Finding this place was part of the fun, as it was tucked in a residential alley in the area.
Plus the directions off the website were a little vague. I will include directions to the museum at the end of this post, for those interested. However, the museum is located across the street from some interesting looking cafes.
Unfortunately when I arrived they were in-between exhibits and I was turned away at the ticket counter. I guess I should have double checked this before going. Yet, I took the news well and noticed they had a sculpture garden. On this cool March afternoon I saw nobody else perusing the artworks and thought how nice it would be to have a solitude moment in the center of Seoul.
Along the path of the sculpture garden was the museum cafe, with chairs outside. I think on a lovely spring afternoon or even in the summer this would make a great spot to come back to. I mostly really enjoyed being in this garden-art-spacenby myself and appreciating hearing birds chirping in the distance and the branches swaying to the breeze.
The sculptures themselves were nice to look at, but nothing really struck my attention. I did find a nice bench to sit on and soak whatever sun rays I could get, and contemplate this space.
Afterwards, I headed down the street and around the corner towards a cafe I had been to last Fall. I still had the business postcard and so used it to find my way there. I recall it is a quant and cute little cafe with a lovely selection of tea.
The name of the cafe is NamuSairo or 나무사로. You walk inside to the area where drinks are made and then are seated past the hallway and into the other room. Here along the backside wall is a large mirror panel, to one side are bookshelves with magazines and books. You are handed the menu and left to divulge what is offered.
If you are a coffee lover this place has a large selection and categorized the menu by the origin of the beans. As non-coffee drinker I can't really tell you what they had was special, but I could jest that this place serves up a good cup. As for the other selection of drinks, their tea menu was extensive and they give your tea served in a pot that you pour into your cup. I ordered my favorite choice, milk tea, and found it to be quite good.
I enjoyed another solitude moment at a cafe in Seoul, before other people strolled in. For sure this place was packed the last time I visited (on a Sunday night), so do expect crowds. However, it has a more "intimate" oriented feel to it than say Cafe Pascucci or those other big brand ones.
Also on the menu were home cooked pastries and cakes for one to delve into, which were fresh as the bakery smell lingered around the cafe.
Definitely go out and branch off from the tourist path in Gwanghwamun and check out these places. There were several cafes and restaurants along the way that looked very appetizing.
To Sungkok Art Museum:
- Exit from Gwanghwamun Station Exit 7
- Make a U-turn and then turn right at that corner.
- Go up this street heading towards the Seoul Museum of History.
- Just as you see the Seoul Museum of History in front of you and the Salvation Army building on your right, turn right at this corner.
- Go up this street which has cafes on it and follow it as it bends left.
- Go up this hilly street and you will find the museum on your right, about 8 mins later.
To the Cafe:
- Come out of Exit 1 of Gwanghwamun Station.
- Veer towards the narrower street that goes in a vertical line. Head up this and pass many restaurants.
- When you get to the large street, turn left.
- You will pass by office-tell buildings.
- The cafe is situated on street level under one of these buildings.