Monday, 29 October 2012

Kawaii Coffee in Korea

I've learnt to love coffee in Korea. Not just because it keeps me awake through long hours of desk warming, but also because I love discovering the tiny details that makes every coffee shop that's hidden away on the side streets somehow unique. I've become a sucker for the novelty cute messages scrawled into the froth of my cappuccino, the bowls of pink sugary snacks, the cats that will curl up on my lap and sipping my drink whilst sitting amongst giant stuffed bears...

 Here are my favourite three places to drink in Nampodong when I need a fix of cotton candy colours, coquettishly sweet and kawaii cute...

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3. The Pink Elephant Cafe (NOW CLOSED 26/08/2013)

This was the first place I discovered how amazing coffee and cake could be in Korea.

It's a crisp, clean, white-washed cafe, with faux grass on the floor, big stuffed bears sat on benches and paper flowers on the walls.

It serves amazing cakes that are light, chocolatey, sickly and topped with lots of fruit, and the drinks are topped with cute animal faces. I loved the caramel macchiato here.

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A sickly chocolate cake with a happy message scrawled in chocolate sauce
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Kiwi juice and fruit
Mum and I
My mum and I when she visitied
Cute Cafe

The stairs leading to the cafe

Tasha looking super happy
Big bears and faux grass

How to get there: This is on the high street, on the second floor and is pretty hard to miss. Walk down the road with Lotte behind you, continue past the statue with the ABC Mart on your right, and it is close by on your left hand side. The sign is bright pink with a white elephant on it, and the stairs tell you they love you as you walk up.


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2. Coffee 2F

This is a cute little wooden cafe where people ponder their futures after cracking open complimentary fortune cookies and leave little wish notes on the walls. It's the perfect place to wile away some time with a good book.The white chocolate latte is really good.

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Inside Coffee 2F
Coffee 2f, Nampo

Fortune Cookie
Korean fortune cookies. My coteacher said that this said that if I face my problems with courage
then I will be successful.

How to get there: Again, walk down the high street with Lotte behind you. This time, when you come to the statue with ABC Mart on your right, veer right, onto the road with The Pho and The Pan. Stay on the same side of the road as The Pan, and the doorway is just after the first bag shop on the road. If you get to the fancy restaurants with the wooden terrace then you've gone too far. If the name doesn't give it away, it's on the 2nd floor.

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1. The Vintage Cafe

Last but not least is the Vintage Cafe. This feels like you're taking a drink in your nan's wardrobe, with intricate knick knacks all over the walls and a rail of vintage and reworked clothing you can browse while sipping your delicious hot chocolate served with flumps! They also have big books of blank paper and encourage people to leave your arty mark in the book, using the crayons that are stored in a copper kettle. It's a perfect place to rest after hunting for hidden gems in the vintage shops in Nampo.

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Inside the Vintage Cafe
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Thick hot chocolate served with flumps
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This couple spent hours colouring and drawing their picture
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I loved the decorations in here
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My Little Pony bedecked in jewels
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Sonny Angel dolls
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Even the menu was cute
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Browse the vintage clothes while you bask in the cuteness of the place
How to get there: It may be easier to get here by leaving Jungang station at exit 9 or 7, whichever one means you come out with a main road directly to your left and one right infront of you called Daechong-ro. Turn right and head down Daechong-ro. Cross the road so you are on the same side of the road as Nampo tower, with the tower to your left. Keep walking a fair distance until you see a small Paris baguette. Turn left just before this, you'll have entered Gukje market and the coffee shop is maybe 10 meters down on the right with a big green sign outside.