SEOUL DIARIES 040: KOREAN SULBING 설빙

SULBING gets a new location in downtown Hongdae! 설빙, loosely translated into 雪冰, is the Korean traditional shaved ice dessert. What this cafe does better than most – instead of plain tasteless ice, the dessert is prepared with creamy, frozen milk flakes. Coupled with some piping hot coffee, what the menu offers is basically perfect for tea break in warmer seasons.

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The milk-and-red-bean shaved ice comes with almond and nuts shavings, sweet injeolmi (soft mochi cubes), red bean paste and loads of milk! It has become a strange routine of mine to have shaved ice for breakfast, since the weather in Seoul hasn’t yet begun to turn cold. Nothing beats a cold bowl of happiness to start the day!

At Sulbing you will be able to get the traditional injeolmi bingsoo as well as unconventional creations such as sweet potato, caramel coffee, blueberry red bean, blueberry and cheese, and mango cheese bingsoo. Cafes in Korea always make me feel spoilt for choices.

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The store is a 3minutes walk from Hapjeong Station (Subway Line 2 and Seoul Subway Line 6), across the road from Hongik Children’s Park. Totally convenient and easy to locate. Go forth and conquer!IMG_3517.JPG

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KOREAN SULBING 설빙

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 039: CAFE LEEMAN’S COLLECTION KITCHEN 리맨즈홍대점

An afternoon at Cafe Leeman’s Collection Kitchen in the Hongik University vicinity. Hongdae is by far my favourite spot for chilling whenever I’m needing space and anonymity without being physically solitary. In this part of town you could be surrounded by throngs of milling university students and still feel comfortably ignored. You know what I mean?

Anyhoo, Cafe Leeman’s is on Hongdae’s main busiest street. The cafe’s chirpy yellow-on-blue signage is both a touch of class and a breathe of fresh air from the overpopulation of low-budget, hipster-wannabes. I wasn’t hungry as yet, hence all I had was an earl grey milk iced-tea. Slow to serve as they had hit their peak 5pm rush-hour, I waited a full 15 minutes for my tea. Meantime I managed to get a few snapshots in. Thankfully, the artsy-fartsy people of Hongdae were just the right people for an over-enthusiastic Asian snap-a-holic (with a huge red camera) to blend in with. Am loving Leeman’s laid-back interior, it still manages to keep the Leeman’s brand a cut above mainstream indie coffeehouses. If you’re looking for good food, clean tables and a good cuppa, this is the place to be.

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Cafe Leeman’s Collection Kitchen 리맨즈홍대점

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 038: CAFE BELLA PRAHA

One truly amazing (albeit solitary) afternoon at Sinchon and Ewha Women’s University (Edae), I chanced upon Cafe Bella Praha, one of those down-to-earth coffee places tucked away in an alley off the beaten track like a well-hidden secret. Had my craving for ice-cold desserts satiated with a matcha green tea bingsoo topped with red bean paste, and was pleasantly surprised that the toppings thoughtfully came in a separate dish, so you could actually control how much to drown out your ice-matcha. Might I add, the matcha did not taste syrupy – it had that fragrant taste of fresh brewed matcha in an ice-cold bowl. You know how much I love matcha desserts? This one really exceeded my expectations!

Bella Praha only hires the best. The barista (or was he the boss?) was so soft-spoken, gentle and thoughtful. Seeing as I was alone, he personally took my order, at the table, and ensured I had a cup of water with sufficient napkins. Only in Seoul, baristas get my heart aflutter!

Well, expect only the best of coffees from Bella Praha. To the barista’s credit, I overheard his lengthy, patient explanation to an elderly couple on the difference between coffee beans from different regions of the world. To tip the scale, you get to choose the brewing method for your coffee: espresso, hand drip, cotton-flannel drip, syphon, or Dutch style. Plus, there’s no lack of pastry choices from the cafe’s hand-made selection. This place is so worth a second visit, just to feel like a princess in a sweet homely coffeehouse.

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벨라프라하
56-63 Daehyeon-dong Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
02-363-3559

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 037: SHOPPING AND CAFE CULTURE ON EWHA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY STREET

Sinchon and Ewha Women’s University (also known as Edae) is a district bursting with youthful vigour. You will love this place if, like me, you have a thing for affordable vintage labels, understated hairpieces, independently designed jewellery, and in general quirky finds. That aside, if you’re looking for loud colourful accessories, branded and no-label patent leather bags, or even rock-chick and gothic outfits, there’s also a healthy range of specialty stores catering to very unique requests and needs!

Street stalls and independent shops open for business as early as 9:30am, while students from neighbouring universities begin their daily pilgrimage to their campus. Snacks and all kinds of knick knacks are sold from cubicle sized push-carts, mostly to tourists and youngsters bypassing on their way to school. With no lack of mani-pedi boutiques, salons, beauty clinics and pampering studios, I could spend a leisurely week living in this area if I had the luxury of time. There’s just so much to do and see! Contrary to popular belief, Ewha is not strictly a women-only zone – more than a handful shops do cater to fashion and retail for men.

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The famous Gigantic Pink Shoe outside Top Ten @ Ewha: tourists scramble to take photos with this
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Singapore Toast is gaining some fame: this place was jam-packed!
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I liked the fact that big brands are slotted in with independent labels and designer couture – a refreshing mix of high end with retail stores that doesn’t burn a hole in the pockets of poor university students (I know that life).

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You know you’re in a hippie place when cutesy stores sell everything and anything – hairclips, incense burners, furniture, desk organizers, placemats, braded rugs, coffee mugs, bookends, laptop covers and passport holders. All done while maintaining its cutesy demeanour.

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Cafe culture in Korea generally thrives in university districts – Hongdae and Edae are very prominent examples of coffee paradise. Edae’s collection of indie coffee houses feeds throngs of students needing their daily caffeine fix. On this day I happened to chance across Caffe Zudy, a large scale Westernized coffee house with a couple of franchises across Seoul. My iced latte was more bitter than any coffees I’ve had in Korea, meaning they used a darker roast and also zero syrup in their drinks. Pure coffee and milk. I think my tired body enjoyed the shot of caffeine. I liked it.

Caffe Zudy Ewha University

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No lack of cafes in the area: see what I mean?

Caffe Zudy 카페쥬디 이대본점

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 036: ROYAL MILKTEA ICE @ A TWOSOME PLACE 투썸플레이스

My kind of breakfast in Korea tends to swing towards unconventional. On this particular morning, I happened to be in a mood for an ice-cold treat. During the summer / fall season, Koreans love their patbingsu – shaved ice desserts with toppings such as chopped fruit and nuts, mint leaves, coffee or milk tea, condensed milk, fruit syrup, and red bean paste. A Twosome Place 투썸플레이스 offers the Royal Milk Tea Ice which is basically a mountain of ice in a fish-bowl, drenched in milk tea, condensed milk, and topped with cereal, granola bits, and a scoop of milk-tea ice cream. My fish-bowl sized happiness looks like this:

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To say I have a sweet-tooth is an understatement. I mean, who eats this for breakfast?! I spent my morning (before heading to work) with Jane Green’s old book (Bookends) and my icy companion.

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You’ve got to try this, everybody.

A TWOSOME PLACE | 투썸플레이스 @ D-CUBE CITY (SINDORIM)

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 035: 자장면 JAJANG MYEON

Pre-boarding, transit passengers may delight in a quick bowl of super awesome korean black bean noodles from DeliSky at Incheon International Airport. My last meal in Korea before heading home: 자장면 Jajangmyeon!

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Have always loved slurping up these gooey mash of black bean paste with neverending strands of chewy noodles. Back when it was winter in Korea, 2010, my university friends and I walked a reaaaaally long way whilst freezing our asses off just to eat jajangmyeon and that was the best bowl of jajangmyeon I’ve ever had. Nothing I eat these days even come close to that! Jajangmyeon holds a fair bit of magic for me.

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Did you know: in mixing the black bean sauce (chunjang), caramel is added to create its thick gooey-ness?

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 034: BEANS & WAFFLE

“Waffles are just awesome bread.”
— John Green

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Loading up on carbs before a full day of Seoul-tripping. Breakfast was palm-sized Sweet Maple Waffles 스위트 메이플 와플 at Beans and Waffle, downtown Gangnam.

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Surrounded by imposing office towers, a food alley plus a couple of pubs, the cafe has fed plenty of OLs, pub-crawlers and hungry interns. One of the only two Beans & Waffle stores in Seoul, its small, dark interior could easily have you fooled. An extensive waffle menu aside, there’s no lack of flavoured coffees, teas and blended juices. They even have a decent selection of bingsoo!
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Next time I’ll make it a point to try their green tea and tiramisu waffles.
Bon appetit~

빈스앤와플 강남역점
1329-9 Seocho-dong (181 Saimdang-ro)
Seocho-gu, Seoul

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 033: BASILUR TEA

“What do you want?”
“Just coffee. Black – like my soul.”
— Cassandra Clare

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Enjoying my afternoon cuppa at Basilur Tea on Sinsa-Dong’s Garosugil. On display within the 3-storeyed building are tins and tins of tea leaves and related tea spices that tickled my olfactory senses. Basilur does premium tea exports from Sri Lanka to the rest of the world. They also do make a mean cuppa latte. The building’s really grand and beautiful, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main garosugil street. Good to note that it’s also not too quiet for people-watching. Make a right turn when you see Deux Cremes or Mug for Rabbit and you won’t miss it.

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강남구 신사동 554 2층, 대한민국

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 032: AZUKI MATCHA

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
— Erma Bombeck

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Mister Donut‘s intensely satisfying Azuki Red Bean Matcha Bing Soo. Summer now doesn’t feel complete without having an ice-cold bowl of sugar-laden goodness! Especially when they come with chewy Japanese mochis. Erma Bombeck said it right – you should never pass up on dessert.

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This has got to be my favourite bingsoo combination ever.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 031: CARRIED AWAY

Oh you know how it is. Once started, shopping can get absolutely frenzied. Just a day in Apgujeong and my summer luggage threatened to explode at its seams. Fall is my favourite season for shopping anywhere in the world. It’s neither too hot for brisk-walking in the streets nor too cold for chilling with a sugar-filled cup of gelato goodness. Seoul’s summer and fall fashions are just perfect for my own country’s year-round tropical climate.

There exists an underground bags and leather goods store in uptown Garosugil, the likes of which you may find similar to Taiwan’s Ximending and Japan’s Shibuya. No signs for the store has been put up, and the only clue of its existence are the low white racks lined with select samples of bags, purses and clutches. Along the main street, an unimpressive patch of synthetic grass paves the way to the shop’s main tiny main entrance, which leads to a stairway to an impressive storage basement – the shop’s main deck. If you’re into vintage non-designer, this is the place for you. Happy hunting!
Side note for the bag aficionados: Simone Handbag Museum in the 10-storey Bagstage building (also in Apgujeong) is a place you absolutely have to go!

20140713-020835-7715982.jpg❤ Beaded leather lippie clutch / sling bag from that store in Garosugil at a jaw-dropping low price. Ask me if you wanna know!

 

This time round, I did less shopping than my previous solo-venture to Seoul.
Banila Co. is a brand I’ve only recently come to love and appreciate! Targeted at ladies in their mid to late twenties (which I’m fast approaching), I find their products more OL-oriented. Definitely less cutesy or annoyingly bubbly like Etude House or Tony Moly. They come in more sophisticated packaging with less exotic names, and since I’ve heard only good things about their products I decided to give these a try.

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Missha has got a magnificent range of nail polishes! Got these lovely bright pink and fuchsia colours to match my lippies from Banila Co. and Too Cool for School. Both of which are tiny and so easy to carry around for touch-ups. Banila Co. lippies are way longer-lasting though, and this is coming from someone who at times has to wear makeup for more than 18 hours straight.20140713-020840-7720023.jpg

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A really handy retractable travel-sized brush from Banila Co.! Love it.20140713-020835-7715231.jpg

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This trip, I didn’t get any of of my usual cheap round lenses. Instead, I opted for something more hygienic and safe. Definitely pricier than my norm but since my eyes were recently hit by conjunctivitis, I’ve gone over to the safe side.20140713-020832-7712898.jpg

Time to start loving my eyes. And to hopefully reduce those stubborn bruises on my eyebags.20140714-003445-2085358.jpg

Gel nail polishes at a steal! The LED light machines from MODI are comparable to the ones I got from the states.20140714-003447-2087821.jpg

Some light scent for travelling around. These actually smell pretty good and stays for a long long time.20140714-003446-2086208.jpg

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More of my beauty loot from various cosmetic giants. Face masks – I’ll never give them a miss.20140714-003448-2088691.jpg

 

Seeing as I’m returning to Seoul in August (for other reasons), there’s never an end to my Korean beauty/cosmetics/makeup loot. I gave up on The Face Shop – their products are such placebos with zero positive effects whatsoever. Trust me guys, not all the fancy cosmetics stores in Korea have excellent products as advertised. It’s a trial and error thing, you’ll know once you’ve tried.

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIEs 030: BINGSOO-MANIA

Happiness is fishbowl-sized in summer.
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This, my dear friends, is the injeolmi bingsoo [인절미 빙수] from one of my favourite hideouts in Seoul! Come summertime, bingsoos and anything that comes with ice are all the rage. You can easily get bingsoos from any major or indie cafes in Korea. 20140713-015101-6661350.jpg

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This is a unashamedly backdated post from a week ago. I’d only just returned from Rome, slotted in a quick three-day solo escapade to Seoul, before I was due to go to Narita. Somehow even if my living quarters don’t quite match up to five-star hotels, I feel most at home in South Korea.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 029: NAENG MYEON 냉면

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Rules for eating NAENG MYEON (lit. Cold noodles) in Korea:

1. Do not order Naeng Myeon in winter.
I tried that once and got told off with dismissive hand gestures. Thereafter I did not exist in the eyes of the elderly Korean Ahjumma chef. Naeng Myeon in winter, seriously?

2. Never tell a Korean that Naeng Myeon is the equivalent of Japanese chilled soba or hiyashi chuka.
Unless you want to be told off with ruder hand gestures.

3. You can request for ice in your Naeng Myeon if it turns warm throughout the course of your meal.

4. The incredibly long (and chewy) noodles are said to symbolize longevity, but you can request for your noodles to be cut prior to eating.

5. I’m kidding with No.1 – you can eat Naeng Myeon throughout the year, but choose your restaurants wisely.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 028: FEED ME PLEASE

Diet does not exist when everything tastes so awesome! Behold, (somewhat) massive Seoul foodporn.

Hot English muffins for Western breakfast, Dunkin Donuts 20140701-224251-81771891.jpg20140701-224251-81771024.jpg

Kimchi Kimbab rolls from a place near my guesthouse. These are soooo goood
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Cafe Latte, Paris Croissant Cafe
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Late night ddeokbokki, Chamisul (Korean vodka) and blueberries!20140702-210400-75840226.jpg

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A Japanese and Korean fusion of fried chicken Katsu with radish and pickles for sides. Plus my favourite strawberry milk!! 20140702-210500-75900874.jpg

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Mm-mmmm ^^ More to come!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 027: WELCOME TO MY PIGEONHOLE

Located at a secluded corner in Gangnam district, Morning Guesthouse is virtually invisible to the foreign tourist. It took me a good hour and a half to track down Jaeyeong Building on foot from Gangnam Station in the sweltering summer heat. They have got quite a number of rooms in pigeon-hole sizes, each equipped with a private toilet, study desks, refrigerator, bed and closet. Like the Japanese, Koreans are extremely efficient allocators of space – they really don’t waste any. In any case, welcome to my humble abode!

I love Korean guesthouses for their budget-friendliness, privacy, and availability of on-site assistance , as should tenants require any help the guesthouse owners will always be nearby. Morning Guesthouse is located on the 2nd floor of Jaeyeong Building. On the outside, the stairwell is narrow and very simply decorated. 20140701-151329-54809492.jpg20140701-151328-54808620.jpg
Honestly I hadn’t expected such a tiny space. It’s literally the size of my bathroom at home. I couldn’t get a full picture of the room’s interiors because it’s just too small for me to stand anywhere else!! Strange enough, I haven’t got a trashbin anywhere in sight. And the toilet doors are cranky. Oh well. For a couple of days, I guess this is fine.
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Meanwhile it’s time for my extremely tired body to crash and recuperate. Ciao~

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 026: CAMPING OUT

Guess who maximized her stupidity quota for 2014 by voluntarily spending the night alone, resting on the hard wooden benches at Incheon International Airport, instead of getting a comfortable hotel room for a good night’s rest? I believe I’d only slept a total of 6 hours over the past 4 days. No kidding. Thanks to working, traveling and transiting in between terminals, from Rome to Singapore and then Seoul. Nonetheless I had yummy local snacks to accompany my 6 hour ‘rest’. I even managed to catch the live telecast of World Cup on the LG television broadcast.
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Hello Seoul! I’m so excited to be back 🙂

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 025: HOTEL MOTEL

I’m never again staying (alone) in a motel, regardless of how good the deal.

Checked out from BLU:Guesthouse Hongdae, dragged my bags through interweaving subway lines, and finally arrived at Gayang Station. First, let me take a selfie –  to commemorate the end of (the first part of) my solo-venture.

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A long bumpy walk later, I found Baekje Hotel at last! Smothered by a a busy traffic lane and a long pavement filled with sleazy bars, Baekje is definitely located further from a ’10-minutes walk from Gayang Station’ as instructed on Booking.com.

Traipsing around with 2 duffel bags and a luggage, I found the mid-lower class locale at Hwagok (where Baekje is situated) friendly, laid-back and down-to-earth. Nobody bothers to hide their shit around here. Later that evening, the area around Baekje will fill up with staggering drunkards, pub-crawlers and middle-aged men with their arms around scantily-clad girls. What I’m trying to say is, their rampant nightlife ain’t behind-closed-doors, and the locals seem so totally at ease going on with their night-to-night activities. A foreigner like me can never totally blend in.

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So imagine my discomfort at stepping into Baekje (M)otel which was advertised as Baekje HOTEL, thus giving the false impression. See? Ahem. Tourist con. I was too hurried in trying to get a room for the night before meeting Kris at Gimpo Airport in the morning to catch our flight to Jeju Island. Hadn’t even bothered to check what the area at Gayang is all about.

Amenities-wise there’s nothing lacking in the room. The WiFi was great, the room was spacious, the TV was ginormous and HD.. but I just didn’t feel clean. Not because I’m accustomed to 5-star hotels – I’m not that spoilt by my lifestyle. Firstly the room reeked. Of what I don’t wish to know. The bedsheets were yellow and smelt musty and unwashed. I called the reception to enquire if they were clean and they gave me their assurance. Nevertheless I was still disgusted and barely slept that night. Didn’t even cover myself with the sheets. Slept in sweater and jeans.

To the motel’s credit, the receptionist was really nice and responsible. He insisted on bringing all of my bags into my room, and waved me away when I tried to help. Later, he rang my door bell and handed me an amenities kit and their motel WiFi password. Guess what – there were 2 complimentary condoms in their welcome pack. I just threw the whole package aside and used nothing.

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Don’t be fooled – tub looks amazingly gold in this picture but it’s actually browned and yellowed, with that tangy, indescribable motel smell. The floor was so dirty too.20140608-161504-58504587.jpg

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At close to 70 SGD a night, the stay wasn’t cheap. Since I only booked it the night before, I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

Indulging in comfort food – my new favourite Peppero flavour: WHITE COOKIES!! It’s SO AMAZING. Although now available in Singapore and dreadfully overpriced.20140608-161507-58507880.jpg

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Haven’t been writing for the longest time, caught up in day-to-day gallivanting and work, and life. Still have yet to update on the mid-spring Jeju trip I did with Kris! I’ve just booked company tickets to Seoul in July and have settled on home-stay accommodations this time. Also visiting Dia, my favourite Thai big sister, in Bangkok in July! Missed her so much. June and July means big changes for me. So excited for the upcoming months.

It’s gonna be a great summer. Have a good one, everybody.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 024: Seoul Fashion Week

Sometime ago, I was in Seoul.

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And I got to experience the rush of Seoul Fashion Week.P1010453

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Of course Milan was way better, because the glamour and excitement was literally in the air whereas the activities were concentrated and somewhat limited to the big fashion hubs at Myeongdong. Most local designers were alongside big names on the runway and I knew few and close to none of the indie ones.

What a pity the shows were so few and far between!

I’ve been so caught up with life and neglecting this virtual space. Now that my writing gigs are on hold, I’m thinking way more about the future and which post-grad schools to apply to. I don’t even know if I should go back to studying or stay in this comfort-zone a little longer. Everyone tells me “you’re still young, you have so much time” but why don’t I feel the same? Darn easy it is to fall into living life as it is, going with the flow that has already been set in rhythm. Ultimately what I feel I have is not a safety net. It’s a trap.

Keep working or take my masters? Somebody please enlighten me.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Cafe aA Design Museum | 카페 aA 디자인 뮤지엄

Imagine my joy when I finally found my way to Cafe aA in Hongdae!
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“Seoul Design Spot” identifies 250 unique architectural creations or designer venues selected by 100 famed designers. Cafe aA Design Museum is a European-style hangout which falls under both museum and cafe categories. I was really excited to hunt for this chill-out museum.

The cafe currently occupies the ground floor of the 5-storey building, with the basement still under construction. The remaining floors showcases designer furniture, fashion, and art.

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A while ago before heading to Korea, I came across these pictures and decided I just had to see this urban chic coffeehouse and view their art gallery! I’m not much of a big eater, but I snack heavily. This place provides really light bites (nuggets, pancakes, salads, risotto) and a good range of coffees for the after-work socialites, and the university kids looking for a conducive study cafe.

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My dream came true in the form of Kahlua Cinnamon Ice – coffee with Kahlua topped with milk, cinnamon flavoured syrup and cinnamon flakes! At a reasonable price of 6,500 KRW, it totally made my day. 20140413-165626.jpg

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According to the owners, the lowercase in ‘aA’ stands for art, architecture, and alive. The capital A is an unchanging value, that one can expect ‘the best a person can get’.20140413-165725.jpg

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The interior seems pretty bright over here because I’d adjusted the colour but it’s actually pretty dark inside. The walls are a grungy mix washed-out greys and chipped tiles, which I really loved because stepping alone into Cafe aA felt a tad spooky as if I’m paying a visit to a haunted house. Various elements funkified the dark atmosphere – designer coffee-table books and artistic pamphlets.20140413-165843.jpg

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Check this out: Big Bang’s TOP contributed this vintage metal bench to aA Design Museum!20140413-170031.jpg

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Selfie time in the creepy basement where I was all alone.20140413-170105.jpg

Best thing about this cafe? Its sheer size. It’s impossible not to find a seat, or you could always order up, take a walk in the gallery, then come back and get yourself a table. Am totally in love with this place. 20140413-170118.jpg

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aA Design Museum
서울시 마포구 서교동 408-11
Mon – Sun: 12:00 – 24:00 
http://www.aadesignmuseum.com

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Gabae Naru | 가배나루

Hiking around Chungjeongno 충정로동 revealed many surprises about Seodaemun-Gu. First, I managed to catch the splendour of spring flowers at Dongnimmun, and was then awed by the grandeur of South Korea’s Independence Gate. Not forgetting Seodaemun’s Prison History Hall, reminding us all of mankind’s ceaseless war amongst ourselves.

Out of the blue comes this charming red cafe all white-washed walls and scruffy front yard, with a deservingly quaint name! Gabae Naru does legit hand-drip coffee, and mostly serves nine-to-fivers from neighbouring high-rise corporate offices (as far as I can observe).

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After much snooping around, I discovered the Gabae Naru brand is creative brainchild of one Ham Soohyun, mastermind behind concepts of various other coffeeshops.

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Mostly, the interior is peppered with keepsakes and mementos belonging to the cafe owners. Anyone can help themselves to the books on display. I especially loved the owners’ scattered polaroids of friends and customers. Goes to show that owning a cafe is indeed a personal and very sentimental affair. 20140401-133255.jpg

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I love a place that can fix a good cuppa iced cappucino. The espresso is hand-dripped, blended with ice, then frothed with a layer of milk. So much work goes into making it instead of pouring pre-made coffee over hot milk, then adding ice, which is basically what the big names do. 20140401-133425.jpg

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Let’s go see what’s on the upper floor shall we?20140401-133441.jpg

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Basically, the second floor is dedicated space for smokers. 20140401-133514.jpg

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Such a lovely hidden gem in a busy part of town, way too out of the way and underrated. This would be one of ’em cafes that locals frequent, and the occasional tourist stumbles upon.20140401-133541.jpg

Gabae Naru 가배나루
348-1 Chungjeongno 3(sam)-ga
Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Cafe Joenill | 카페 조에닐

20140401-125835.jpg Late night shopping at Hongdae with iced peach tea leads to planting thy ass at this comfortable hideout, tired out from endless sights, walking with wedge-heels, and very fascinated by observations I get from people watching at Cafe Joenill. Also, it had been drizzling, and I still wanted to keep my nose. 20140401-125840.jpg 20140401-125846.jpg Earpiece-plugged, this was the time I fell in love with EXO’s Peter Pan (the only song from their album I actually can’t stop listening to). I can only hope nobody in the cafe noticed my feet tapping to the beat. Nightfall sentimentalises all my favourite semi-emotional songs. xoxo, Viktoria Jean