Cafe True Us @ Insa-Dong | 인사동맛집 카페트루어스

Lemon and Mint-ade after spending a long afternoon exploring Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheongdong. Cafe True Us 카페트루어스 is located along the antiques street of Insadong, with the nearest station being Jongno-3-Ga Station. Its triple-storeyed interiors are furnished to match its physical location – Insadong is home to cultural arts and crafts that go way back in time. Polished teakwood tables and chairs in Cafe True Us brings back the nostalgic air of the roaring ’80s.

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카페트루어스
전화: 02-722-4855
종로구 인사동 146 (인사점), Seoul
146 Jongno-Gu Insadong, Seoul

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES OO3: CAFE-HOPPING in GANGNAM

day Two itinerary seoul

Gangnam is, altogether, a fantastic spot for cafe-hopping. I spent the entire day here from morning till early evening, until I headed to KYOBO BOOKSTORE at Sinnonhyeon Station. The area is close to the Jamwon section of Hangang River Park, so take a walk to the famous South Korean river if you feel up to it!

Sharing a few cafes which I’ve managed to check out on days when I’d made my way to Gangnam:

Bloom and Goute Cafe
For more pictures and information on Bloom, click here.

 

50 FIFTY CAFE
Link to full blogpost on 50 FIFTY CAFE here.

 

deux creme

For more information on Deux Cremes: click!

 

Twosome Place Cafe
For more information on A TWOSOME PLACE: click

 

coffee chu korea
For more pictures of COFFEE CHU: click here.

Other amazing cafes in Gangnam:

☆彡 AllO
Converted from a private home, transformed into a modern, stylish brunch cafe
520-9 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02 541 6933

☆彡 Bless Garden
645-16 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul

☆彡 Butterfinger Pancakes
Excellent all-day breakfast pancakes, menu revamped every 6 months
88-9 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
02-3448-1070
Exit 10 Gangnam station (Line 2)
Daily 7.00a.m. to 3.00a.m

☆彡 Design Cafe 디자인카페 (내추럴퍼니)
646-5 1F Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02-3445-2822

☆彡 Grand Ciel 그랑씨엘
650-22 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
+82 2-548-0283
Daily 11AM – 10PM

☆彡 Grande 그란데
Mediterranean menu: Tea, Wine, Various Deserts and Pasta.
546-8 1F Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02-548-8858

☆彡 May Island
서울 강남구 역삼동 816-6 용일빌딩 4, 5층
(Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Yeoksam-dong 816-6, Yongin Bldg 4F & 5F)
Nearest Station: Gangnam Station (Line 2), Sinnonhyeon Station (Line 9)

☆彡 Mug for Rabbit 머그 포 래빗
534-25 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul

☆彡 Paper Garden 페이퍼가든
653-11 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul
02 3443 8880
Daily 11PM – 1AM

☆彡 Sarubia 사루비아
542-3 Sinsa-dong Gangnam Gu Seoul

 

ANGEL-IN-US was where I had my breakfast before heading toward Gangnam. It’s just about my favourite coffee-chain in South Korea, right up there with Caffe Bene.
ANGELINUS COFFEE KOREA
For more pictures, click here

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES OO2: GANGNAM

On my second day in Seoul, I travelled to Apgujeong in the district of Gangnam. To catch a trendy side of Seoul without the unexaggeratedly touristy appeal (aka Myeongdong), head to this part of town. Gangnam has been revolutionized by a wave of new-age Koreans.

What I loved: this building dressed in a coat of leopard prints without looking over-the-top
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As expected of diners in this hip and classy community, every cafe which I slipped into for a cuppa coffee competed for style – each interior design was aesthetically magazine-worthy. In short, Apgujeong is first-rate uptown district: its roads are dominated by big brand names, posh restaurants, sophisticated cafes and nightclubs. Further down north, towards Sinsa station is the less ambitiously stylish locale of Sinsa-dong. Here, you can find independent homely eateries, roadside stalls, casual soju-bars and pubs.

Gangnam Gu

APGUJEONG:
APGUJEONG GANGNAM

SINSA-DONG:
SINSADONG

Cheongdam-Dong is the middle-ground that provides a balance between the two locales. I love Cheongdam-dong – the people seem to be in less of a rush than Apgujeong. Its streets and stores were well-kept, neat and tidy.

CHEONGDAM-DONG:
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Sinsadong’s Garosugil 신사동 가로수길 (which literally means tree-lined street) is the perfect romantic dating spot for couples and meeting place for friends. Though it’s a bit overrun by tourists, photographers and Euro-loving Koreans, Garosugil remains a popular hangout and must-go destination! Loads of popular dramas were filmed in Garosugil and Gangnam area, to be honest, for it’s really the posher side of Korea which foreigners would love.

I personally love people-watching at the Gangnam district because the guys here are really goodlooking. It’s no wonder, though, or perhaps it’s merely a coincidence, that plastic surgery clinics are everywhere in Gangnam. Clearly, the rich and famous have their nosejobs, boobjobs and facejobs done in the area. Private plastic surgery establishments as high as 50-storeys are not uncommon. Here, you could do plastic surgery in complete privacy and total isolation.

That somewhat sums up my Gangnam experience. Stay-tuned for my next post on…CAFEHOPPING IN GANGNAM! ^^

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Travel Cafe Hongdae | 트래블 카페 @ 홍대

비행기 타기를 즐기십니까? Do you love plane rides and travelling?Personally I’m a huge fan of the Travel Cafe in Hapjeong/Hongik University district.  Amongst an abundance of travel inspirations and books on various attractive destinations, this is the perfect place to plan for your next trip, or simply to relive the excitement of a plane ride. When you order something to eat, your food is served as a set on a tray, just like in an airplane – appetisers, main course, drinks and dessert.

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I can never get tired of looking at pictures in travel books and magazines.

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At 9PM late evening: couple of stragglers still lingering in the Hongdae area. This cafe is open till pretty late in the night (11PM) so go ahead and chill-out in the comfort of this homely space.

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트래블 카페 Travel Cafe
서울특별시 마포구 서교동 398-11
398-11 Seogyo-Dong, Mapo-Gu Seoul
홍대 근처: 서교초등학교 정문 맞은편
Nearest Stations: Hapjeong/Hongik University Station
12:00~23:00
TEL: 02-322-9050

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Book Cafe Jaeum and Moeum | 자음과모음 북카페

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Major Korean publishers Jaeum and Moeum (자음과모음) releases the latest bestsellers via their flagship bookstores, as well as this dainty and elegant book cafe situated in central Yanghwaro, Hongdae. An all-day set menu includes a cup of coffee bundled with new releases.

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Book cafes are where publishers highlight noteworthy books that haven’t received much publicity or marketing opportunities. It truly is a welcome sight to see the literary scene being embraced and appreciated! ^^

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I can’t think of a better environment to cram for an examination, or just to cuddle up with a good book in a cozy little corner. The ambience was thick with an air of contemplative silence with a rhythmic tap-tap-tapping of fingers on keyboards.

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Blueberry smoothie to accompany this need for books and people-watching. This is where I finally finish reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian!20140326-220707.jpg

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Read:
[Korea Joongang Daily] Publisher cafes a welcome success story

Book Cafe Jaeum and Moeum | 자음과모음 북카페
Mapo-gu Yanghwaro 6gil 49
02-333-1775
Nearest Station: Hapjeong/Sangsu

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Ways of Seeing | @ 한남동 이태원

A perfect collision of art and coffee culture – what better way to kick back in appreciation of art installations with a coffee in hand! Ways of Seeing is a cafe slash art gallery along Itaewon. The local indie artsy-types would definitely know this place – it’s probably their favourite hangout.

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They have the standard coffee menu plus sandwiches, ciabattas, cakes and more. Opted for a standard latte and I’m surprised at the sheer size of their take-out cups. Though it may look small in this photo, it’s almost a Starbucks Venti.20140326-024719.jpg

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Stores with a Seoul Design Spot banner on its storefront are definitely places you must visit. A few museums, galleries and cafes which I’ve been to are marked out and labelled as a Seoul Design Spot for various reasons! Ways of Seeing is also on the design spot list.

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With ever-changing installations, this refreshing hideout is worth a return visit. Equidistant between Hangangjin and Itaewon subway station, the area is extremely accessible though it’s closer to the residential buildings! Itaewon is on my list of favorite districts in Seoul, for the sheer amount of cafes and museums to check out is startling! I love this district.

 

683-134 Hannam-dong Yongsan-gu
서울시 용산구 한남동 683-134 지하1층
Free WiFi
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/RnFdp

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Glamorous Penguin | 글래머러스 펭귄

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Glamorous Penguin is established within the expat-friendly Itaewon locale which is home to a myriad of private and national art museums, and also a walking distance from Hannamdong Cafe Street. Despite being a weekday mid-morning, Glamorous Penguin was already bustling with a caffeine-hungry crowd! Itaewon is the artsy-fartsy neighbourhood similar to Gangnam, but with less self-established private corporations. The entire Itaewon is more or less a controlled tourism district.

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Looking for somewhere to rest your feet? These cute twin penguins will definitely capture your attention!

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What looks good: cheesecakes, carrot cake, muffins, polenta, velvet cake, home-made chocolate cookies. The double-storeyed bakery cafe has plenty of seating spaces, although it can get pretty crowded.

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Ordered a strawberry latte! Plenty of fresh strawberries to chew on in the mixture of milk and juice.

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The nearest station is Hangangjin and if you keep walking along the main street in the direction of Itaewon station, keep to the right side of the road. You make to make a right turn into an alley and you’ll spot a couple of chic trendy diners. Voila!

글래머러스 펭귄
Hannam-dong, Seoul, Korea 743-41

Daily 10am – 10pm

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Thanks Nature Cafe | 양카페

Only in Seoul, you get to dine with a lamb! With the proliferation of overrated cat and dog cafes, Hongdae’s first and only sheep cafe (양카페) has been making headlines. Owner of the cafe, Kwang-Ho Lee, is spotted feeding the frisky little ones in their outdoor enclosure. Much to my surprise, the sheep didn’t smell bad! In fact, all I could smell were the aromatic scent of coffee and waffles.

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Lean over and grab a handful of wool! I got a bit excited when I got to touch the sheep, just like in a petting-zoo. See that man squatting in the corner? That’s the kind-looking boss and manager. It’s feeding time!

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Omnomnom. It’s breakfast time for us humans too.

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Thanks Nature Cafe is famous for their waffles, which they serve in a variety of styles. All of which are home-made on the spot, served fresh as you order.

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When my Berrynana Waffle arrived, I went wild at how beautiful food can actually look. Is this even edible? HELL YES!

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Strawberries are indeed in season – they’re so fresh, sweet and succulent! The waffles are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, served with a layer of fresh cream sandwiched between the fruits and the generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Hands-down the best waffles I’ve had!! (beats the one I had in London’s Pure Waffle). Ordered a peppermint tea to go along.

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My goodness, I just had to snap this photo of this chubby-cheeks kid. He was speaking to the sheep, begging them to come out from their enclosure. HOW ADORABLE!! The kid I mean! Seriously, I want my future child to be plump so that I can play with his/her cheeks.

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The owner loves his sheep so much, these photos melted my heart.

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Yes I caught a snapshot of it looking at me!
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Poor disappointed kid. After the sheep had their tummies filled, they insisted on remaining behind bars.

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The cafe is on a basement level on the left-hand side of the uphill street leading up to Hongik University. Blink and you might miss it! So keep your eyes peeled for this green sign.

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Thanks Nature Cafe
마포구 서교동 486 서교푸르지오상가 B121, Seoul, Korea 121-842
Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Zoo Coffee | 주커피

Need I say more? The name speaks for itself. It’s a jungle in here!

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I love this wildlife, amazonian concept. There are different animals and wildlife knick knacks in each Zoo Coffee house.

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Found this chain coffee house on my walk to Yeouido and popped in for dessert! Tiramisu…my love.

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Off I go, again.

26-1 Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
+82 2-780-2482

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Caffe Bene | 카페베네

At the IFC Mall after a walking along the Hangang Park. In Korea, the Caffe Bene cafes (a chain of coffee houses) is stocked with books for its diners to pick up and read. Honestly, there’s nothing special about their food. Much like Starbucks, McDonalds’ and Coffee Bean in a strange foreign land, it’s a place you go to for familiarity and comfort because no matter which country you’re in or which district you’re heading to, these places all look and feel the same.

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Some honey-egg bread as fuel for the next part of my walking journey at Myeongdong.
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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Orange Cafe – Espresso of Street | At 여의도

Only in Seoul, you get an insanely good cup of iced latte on the go! Espresso of street, you’ve said it right. Nothing gives a better energy boost than coffee to keep you going on a long long walk in Yeouido Park and across the Han River thereafter.

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The barista is a kind young man who loves conversing in English and is quick to identify your nationality by your accent! Be sure to catch this Orange Coffee Truck on your next day out to Yeouido!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Tous Les Jours | 뚜레쥬르

A shot of caramel macchiato before heading off to Yeouido Park for a long long afternoon! Tous Les Jours is this French-Asian bakery in South Korea that’s wildly popular as breakfast-to-go for the young adults. Coffee on the go!! ^^ 20140324-011559.jpg

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The cakes are so pretty, I had to sneak a few shots!

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The photos from my long walk with nature at Yeouido is hogging all my laptop space. I’ll need a few days to sort out the amount of pictures taken on this trip. Help me out here! >< give me some time and I’ll update as soon as possible. Till then!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Deux Crèmes | 듀 크렘

Gangnam’s Garosugil is laden with patisseries, cake-shops, chocolatiers and coffeehouses. Deux Crèmes is one of the most popular and renowned pastry houses that occupies a standalone 3-storey building along the main street, drawing in a steady stream of dessert-seeking locals and foreigner everyday, and feeding this steady stream with their very special pie-tart-cake hybrids.

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Read: Deux Crèmes was awarded Travel CNN’s Best pie-tart-cake hybrid for their Caramel Tiramisu. I think, that Deux Crèmes should be awarded best modernist architectural design for dessert cafes.

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I tried their Muscato Tart: glazed champagne grapes cushioned with a layer of banana and custard cream on a thick crisp crust. Sounds like heaven on a slice? Tastes like heaven on a slice!

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The kind pastry chefs awarded me photographic opportunities and I snapped away at their amazing, aesthetically appealing tarts. These pastries are actually freshly baked behind the counters by talented chefs in white.

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If you’re in the area, you’ve got to seek this place out because their tarts, though pricier than the usual range, is worth every penny. There are over 100 different champagnes and wines to go with the tarts, and the in-house sommeliers can tell you exactly what wines go with the dessert you’re having! Such personalized service makes for a very awesome dessert experience.

강남구 신사동 533-11
533-11 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
+82 2 545 7931
Daily, 10am – midnight
Free WiFi
Tarts range from ₩6,500 to ₩8,000

For Quick Reference:

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

50 Fifty No Stress Cafe | 피프티

Reminiscent of a warehouse and appearing somewhat like a garage amidst reformation, the high-ceilinged 50 Fifty Cafe in uptown Apgujeong is hip and trendy with a rustic Junk-Style appeal. Diners can choose between smoking and non-smoking seating areas to enjoy a truly stress-free meal amongst the company of friends and tasteful lounge music. Kick back with a 50 Fifty cuppa, or settle down with something off their brunch set menu!

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Brunch set: meat sauce wrap, sausages, chips and salad. A piping cup of Americano on the side. 16000₩20140323-110723.jpg

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The kitchens are on the upper floor, an open concept overlooking the dining space. You can observe your food being prepared.

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Extremely filling and satisfying brunch! Lots of artistic and media companies are within the Gangnam district, hence the abundance of cafes in this part of town for lunch meetings, tea breaks and coffee runs. 50 Fifty was pretty quiet for a Friday mid-afternoon, and I suspect it has more patrons on the weekends. For such a trendy upscale restaurant, it must attract the mid-20s and early-30s crowd.

646-1 Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu (Apgujeong)
강남구 신사동 646-1, Seoul
02-544-8050
Daily 11am – Midnight
Free WiFi

Quick Reference:

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Bloom and Goûté | 블룸 앤 구떼

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower.”  Nothing else better invokes purity of thoughts than innocence of youth. In this rustic foliage of greens and florals, William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence springs to mind.

Off the beaten track on Gangnam-Gu’s Garosu-Gil is my favorite cafe by a long shot. Bloom and Goûté cafe is an intimate space, tastefully decorated with bouquets of blooming flowers, oak wood tables, chic garlands and housed in exposed brick walls in an independent two-storeyed building. Downstairs, flowers are tended to, bought and sold, along with displays of cakes and other mouth-watering desserts. Upstairs is where the seating spaces run out quickly during the busiest periods.

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The concept of B&G was created by marrying the influences of European cultures. Co-owners Lee Jin-sook studied botany in London while Jo Jung-hee undertook baking in Paris. From classy table settings (one-of-a-kind floral arrangements) to the uniqueness of B&G’s sweet and savoury menu, a European bohemian charm permeates the space, blending beautifully with scents of musk and florals.

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A Maximowiczia and Mint Detox Soda – a Bloom and Goûté Special.20140323-002529.jpg

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Some of B&G’s desserts. They do have the staples such as waffles, salads, sandwiches, but I’m told their special is the homemade strawberry cheesecake.

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I want to lie in a bed of roses and love flowers forever.

534-6 Sinsa-dong Gangnam-gu Seoul
서울 신사동 강남구 545-24
02-545-6659
DAILY 11AM – Midnight

Quick reference:

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Coffee Chu | 커피츄

What’s good here? Blueberry and peanut churros! A churros specialty cafe  was exactly what I was keeping an eye out for. Opened by the CEO of Pledis Entertainment (Afterschool, NU’EST, Son Dambi), the cafe is decked out in signed paraphernalia from their artistes.

If you’re looking for a particular cafe on Sinsa-dong, blink and you might miss it. I very nearly looked past Coffee Chu until the huge CHURROS sign caught a glint of the afternoon sun.

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Very Berry – churros with a flood of injected jam. Not sickly sweet, just adequately flavoured! Yummy ^^20140323-005124.jpg

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커피츄
가로수길 커피츄
or
682-10, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
(7 Itaewon-ro 54-gil)
+82 2 790 6821
Hangangjin

Was planning to visit the one at Itaewon but it seems like I’ve found Garosu-gil branch. Will be heading to Itaewon tomorrow and this leaves more time for me to check out the other cafes over there!
Ciao ^^

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

A Twosome Place | 투썸플레이스

Exploring Apgujeong Rodeo Street led me to CGV Cinema at Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu. This dessert cafe used to be A Twosome Place by 51k, owned by actor So Ji Sub, until the 1st of January this year when this was turned into a normal Twosome Place cafe. Linked directly to the cinema, you can purchase coffee and movie tickets at the same place.

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My strawberry macarons cake…watch as I dissect it slowly till I’ve cured my boredom.

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The TWOSOME is a piece of yummy edible chocolate.20140322-233521.jpg

The top half is my favourite part! The macaron shell.20140322-233528.jpg

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Lots of fresh cream and strawberries. Delish~20140322-233545.jpg

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투썸플레이스
1F 602 Sinsa-Dong
Gangnam-Gu, Seoul
Level 1 CGV Cinema

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Kona Beans | 코나빈스

Hot Chocolate before heading homewards – ain’t I glad Kona Beans Cafe (as well as many coffee chains along Hongdae) are open 24hrs to keep us well-fed on coffee and happiness.

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Kona Beans is heavy on the Hawaiian theme, considering they use a premium Hawaiian roast. There are actual trees in the middle of the cafe, for god’s sake!

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Loving how huge this cafe is, and my piping hot chocolate is slightly salty like salted caramel and dark chocolate. So frickin’ yummy!

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코나빈스 홍대점
353-2 Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul
+82 2-322-1777
or
640-9, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
+82 2-543-0070

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean