Paul & Lina’s Living Cafe | 폴엔리나 리빙까페

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Doubling as a furniture store, Paul & Lina’s is a place patrons do purchase chopping boards and pepper shakers with sweet potato lattes. The sign says it all: furniture, fabrics, coffee and desserts. Though small, this underrated cafe seems loaded with ornaments and homeware for sale. The owners are a homely couple with an elementary school son who was being tutored by his mom the evening I chanced upon the area (having walked from Sangsu Station).

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You know that feeling, when you walk into a place, instantly to feel a lot lighter and happier? This place gave me good vibes!

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Almost everything you see are saleable items! The cafe owners also have an online store where you can view these beautiful woodwork and home deco pieces.

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I would love to have that blue tea mug! Its too adorable ^^20140401-122155.jpg

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For such a large coffee diner, there isn’t much seating room – just 3 of these two-seater tables and a living room space with plush cushions and sofas for larger groups of people. Most customers came for beverages to-go and woodwork items. For an hour or so it was just me, and a guy on the laptop tapping away in the seats behind. With such privacy and seclusion I’m surprised so few are attracted to this place!

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날씨 추운지만: 아이스 유자차!
음료를 즐기면서, 난 책을 읽고 있어요.20140401-122256.jpgIced cold Yuja-Cha for the winter-like spring.

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Quietly set on a higher ground of a double-storeyed house, I hardly noticed Paul & Lina’s existence. This sign pointed me to the right side of the alley, a short walk up from Sangsu Station. Tucked away in such seclusion, I do hope it’s not just a cafe that furniture enthusiasts only would know of!!

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폴엔리나 리빙까페
413-18 Hapjeong-Dong Mapo-Gu, Seoul
주소:서울특별시 마포구 합정동 413-18
TEL:02-336-0933
Weekdays 주중 : am 11:00 ~ pm 11:00
Weekends 주말 : am 11:00 ~ pm 12:00


xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

P.S. I miss Hongdae so much!! I’m back home from a week of spring-time in Germany, but I would give anything to be walking on cherry blossoms in Jeju right now.

CAFE 5CI JUNG | 까페오시정

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Post-lunch coffee at Cafe 5Ci Jung is akin to spending the afternoon at a friendly neighbour’s home. A very warm welcome awaits you the moment you step through its doors, right up till you leave its premises. Each barista made an effort to greet every guest, and never seemed to stop smiling. I was further impressed when the lady boss bothered to ask me what my coffee preferences were, before she took my orders at the counter.

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I especially loved their cutesy deco pieces! !The homely warmth makes me want to sink into their cosy chairs, all day long. Its interior is unbelievably spick and span – I swear there’s literally not a speck of dust in sight.

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I believe a whole lot of thought went into choosing these trinkets and ornaments which fits like pieces of a puzzle in the entire cafe’s concept – a romantic, playful and vibrant home environment.

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I also felt as if I were back in elementary school…or perhaps I’ve found my way into a life-sized doll house! Miniature flowerpots, rainbow-coloured paintings, fresh white walls and smooth cherrywood furniture – it’s a really refreshing place to load up on caffeine and food or simply to recharge yourself!

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Buttery and crisp homemade scones are served on the house with any beverage orders, completely free-of-charge. My usual afternoon cafe latte arrived with an entourage: scone and Mr Lego-Man.

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These homemade scones were simply heavenly, along with butter and apple custard sauce. Only in 5Ci Jung you get hospitality like this. Thoughtful table placemats, and an accompanying gift of a mini Lego is what made me fall in love with this whole presentation.

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With franchises in Samcheongdong and Garosu-gil, the novelty of Cafe 5Ci Jung is worth experiencing for yourself. I can’t express how much I wish I could be back at this cafe right now! Yes, it feels as intimate as my living room.

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CAFE 5CI JUNG @ Samcheongdong| 까페오시정
Palpandong 57, Samcheongdong, Jongno-gu

종로구 팔판동 57Samcheongdong
02-730-2008
Monday & Sunday: 13:00 – 22:30
Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 23:30

CAFE 5CI JUNG @ GAROSUGIL | 까페오시정
525-11 Sinsa-dong
Gangnam-gu Seoul South Korea

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Miss Lee Cafe | 별다방 미스리

My first shake-em-up Korean lunchbox meal, also known as dosirak 도시락! At Star Cafe Miss Lee (별다방 미스리):20140326-224120.jpg

I didn’t exactly shake it, because the lady who served my lunch told me I didn’t have to unless I wanted the egg yolk to explode, and I dislike my rice soaked in yolk. But damn, this was sooooo good.
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Miss Lee Cafe is where Seohyun and Yonghwa met on Season 2 of We Got Married (우리 결혼했어요). For many Koreans, dosirak brings them back to the 70′s and 80′s when parents prepared little metal containers of rice, kimchi, luncheon meat, kelp and other goodies!
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It’s located right above GS25, which you will see not long after stepping out of Anguk Station Exit 6.
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I love the way they paved the stairway leading up to their diner. Everything is so vibrant and cutesy, it left me starry-eyed. I knew I was definitely in the right place.20140326-224246.jpg

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Just as I’d pictured, the place was messy and picturesquely homely. Tables and chairs here are downsized too! Somehow being here gives you a sense of privacy, with all the overhanging messages and ceiling decorations, you can’t see the people on the other side of the restaurant.

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The diner is also spammed / decorated with messages to and from Korean celebrities.

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It was exactly 11am when I reached Miss Lee Cafe, and they had just opened their doors to their first customers – a couple on a date, and I the solo venturer.20140326-224524.jpg

And so I ordered their iconic dosirak and a cup of rosemary tea. 20140326-224535.jpg

My lunchbox arrived with Korean dessert-snacks and seaweed soup!20140326-224545.jpg

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I loved the lunchbox set! I guess kimchi makes rice taste so good, and top it off with eggs and seaweed…you’ve got yourself a winner. Plus the novelty off Miss Lee Cafe has been upped after its popularity shot through the roof with YongSeo couple on We Got Married. There’s no need to emphasize how this is a must-go for Seoul-enthusiasts!20140326-224612.jpg

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Even their menu is so pretty ^^20140326-224629.jpg

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Just look out for this sign when you exit Anguk Station and reach the head of Insadong!20140326-224648.jpg

Miss Lee Cafe 별다방미스리 인사동점
144 Gwanhun-dong
Jongno-gu, Seoul
South Korea
Daily 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 016: SNAPSHOTS @ INSADONG

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You know you’re in Insadong when traditional imperial-entertainer masks are sold at every corner.
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And you find loads of antiques at pretty good prices.20140409-153339.jpg

There’s the occasional fabulous art gallery.20140409-153347.jpg

And tourist traps with iconic Korean souvenirs.20140409-153357.jpg

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Not forgetting name-stamps! I think these are just so cute. When I get to graduate school, I’m getting one to mark all my books ^^20140409-153411.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 008: CAFES IN ITAEWON

Along the glorious and vibrant district of art museums and galleries are laid-back cafes offering all-day breakfasts and a myriad of flavoured coffees. In close association to the indie Hannamdong Cafe Street, coffee culture in Itaewon is self-directed and expat-friendly. Expect top-notch Americanos and loads of Seoul Design-Spot cafe galleries! Here are some of my favourites!

Glamorous Penguin

For more updates on Glamorous Penguin.

Ways of Seeing Art Cafe
For more updates on Ways of Seeing Art Gallery / Cafe.

Other amazing cafes in Itaewon / Hannamdong:

☆彡 Flying Pan Blue
123-7 Itaewon-Dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Daily 10:30am – 10:30pm
☎ +82 2 793 5285
Americano 4500₩, All Day Breakfasts 15000₩

☆彡 Passion 5
272 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Daily 730am – 10pm
☎ +82 2 2071 9507
Nearest Station: Hangangjin
Americano 7000₩, Cakes 5000 – 10000₩

☆彡 Take Out Drawing
140-861, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
☎ +82 2 790 2637
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

☆彡 Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Famous for: Being the Pie Shop from Running Man episode 71
4 Itaewon-ro 23-Gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Daily 10am – 11:30pm
☎ +82 2 3785 3400
119-15 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul
Nearest Station: Itaewon (Line 6) Exit 2

☆彡 Coffee Chu
682-10, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
(7 Itaewon-ro 54-gil)
☎ +82 2 790 6821
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 007: ITAEWON

March 23, 2014: DAY FOUR

Itinerary
[10:00 AM] Breakfast @ Thanks Nature Cafe 양카페 – Hongdae

[10:59 AM] Grabbed Kyeran Bang 계란 빵 from a street stall! My favorite street food from Korea!

[11:00 AM] Travel to Itaewon!

[11:20 AM] Sat down for a strawberry latte at Glamorous Penguin. Also to leech onto their WiFi for Google Maps.

[12:00 PM] Explored Itaewon on foot, to Hangangjin Station

[01:10 PM] Visited LeeUm Samsung Museum of Art (scroll to the bottom for more pics)

[02:15 PM] Walked to Hannamdong Cafe Street

[03:00 PM] Grabbed Iced Latte from Ways of Seeing Cafe slash Art Gallery

[04:00 PM] Walked across Hannamdaero Bridge to Jamwon-Dong (at Sinsa-Dong and Gangnam district). I loved the insanely strong winds! Nobody else was on the bridge. I was walking against the rush of traffic and enjoying the sea breeze. Will post pictures of this soon enough.

[05:00 PM] Explored Jamwon-Dong all the way to Banpo Station. This was an insanely long long walk, but absolutely refreshing!

[06:00 PM] Sat down for dinner at Banpo Station. For the first time in my life, I ATE SOONDAE 순대!!! Basically it’s blood sausage, made  by boiling or steaming cow or pig’s intestines that can be stuffed with pork blood, fermented soybean paste, glutinous rice, kimchi, and soybean sprouts. Best thing of all, I hadn’t realised it was Soondae ):  It tasted really good though. But now as I recall what it actually is…eurgh!!

[06:45 PM] Travelled back to Hapjeong Station (Seogyo-Dong district at Hongdae) for more cafehopping adventures

[07:20 PM] Book Cafe Jaeum and Moeum 자음과모음 북카페 – Blueberry Banana Smoothie

[08:30 PM] Travel Cafe 트래블 카페 @ 홍대 – Cinnamon Earl Grey Latte

[09:30 PM] Late-night shopping at Hongdae!! For an entire week, I did this every night before heading back to my guesthouse. Hongdae only gets fired up after 9PM, especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. So much shopping to do, so little time.

[12 Midnight] Bought Kimbap from No.1 Seogyo BapJip for supper!

☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡

Travel Diary

홍대에서 아침 식사
Breakfast was too good to be true!! Had the most amazing BerryNana waffles from Thanks Nature Cafe 양카페, Hongdae’s first and only sheep cafe, before making my way to Itaewon. Only in Seoul, you get to dine with a lamb! Strawberries + Bananas = BerryNana. My morning is complete with a cuppa peppermint tea.

Itaewon’s over-the-top architecture propels the casual pedestrian into a distant future. Stepping onto a set of a science fiction futuristic movie must feel like this!

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Love the exterior of this Starbucks – so much effort goes into designing it.20140403-142909.jpg

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The further away you get from the artistic galleries of Hangangjin, the buildings get less dramatically sci-fi. Loads of cafes thrive in this area, for many expats that work in Korea live in this district of Itaewon.

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Walked the entire length of Itaewon to Hangangjin station, before diverting to art museums that require an uphill climb. This is where I visited the gorgeous LeeUm Samsung Museum of Art.

There are 2 separate galleries within, showcasing traditional Korean art and contemporary art. In both, photography is banned. This place is definitely worth visiting. Museum 1, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, houses the national treasures such as folk paintings, ceramics, manuscripts and traditional stoneware. Museum 2 is the masterpiece of French architect Jean Nouvel, boasting of permanent exhibits by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Donald Judd. Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas designed the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center.

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Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
747-18 Hannam-dong
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
10:30 am – 6:00 pm
+82 2-2014-6901

The inspiring pieces from Museum 2 really had me filled with awe, whereas Museum 1 gave me the chills. Ancient art is too profound and somehow unreachable to me, in the sense that the millenium-old items show another chapter in human history that will always be a mystery to mankind, no matter how hard our attempts at recreating or reimagining the unknown era.

I left the museum deep in thought, having been exposed to such great inspirations. I headed next for Hannamdong Cafe Street, but found that I’d much preferred Itaewon’s bustling roadside cafes. The cafes at Hannamdong are small, and most of them were takeout cafes which didn’t provide much indoor seating. Itaewon is, all in all, a westernized zone, home to far-flung imaginations and art in all its re-created beauty.

In my next update, I’d bring to you some of my favourite cafes in Itaewon-dong ^^
Till then!

 

xoxo,
Vikoria Jean

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

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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Cinnamon Earl Grey Latte: 7000KRW20140326-222239.jpg

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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

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