One of the great things about having people come to stay (aside from hanging out with people you love and having an excuse to drink beer at lunchtime, of course) is that sometimes it forces you to get out and explore all those areas that have been on your 'must visit' list. So it was that during my sister's recent visit we spent a rather pleasant day in the Seoul neighbourhood of Hongdae. Cute cafes, affordable vintage and local clothing, amazing stationary shops, rustic home wares...here's a few of my favourites:
i think so : head down the narrow stairs and find a concrete bunker type space filled with wonderful stationery and other bits and pieces.
Market m* : there's a certain look to all the cute little cafes (tiny potted plants, chalkboards, garden labels, black and white postcards...) and this is the shop where they get it all from. It's a little bit Muju, a little bit Ikea, and their garden section is the best - full of little succulents and wire pot plant racks and black board plant spikes, plus lots of simple storage ideas.
Bricolage : a tiny little shop selling simple but lovely stuff - think twine, kraft paper notebooks, wooden pegs.
Little Farmers : with a focus on eco-friendly wares, Little Farmers stocks more cute stationary, super soft baby's wear, plus a really amazing collection of leather goods.
Joey's Brunch Cafe : I'd read about their 'extra cheesey broccoli soup' on the design*sponge Seoul guide (see below) so we stopped for lunch here when we happened upon it. The service is friendly and the serves are huge - this is comfort food and a half. Lots of cheese, cream and fresh baked focaccia, I'll definitely be heading back here next time I want a bowl of happiness.
Pretty much every clothing store we encountered : wearable, affordable, just a little bit quirky; a great mix of handmade, vintage, local stuff.
In case you missed it, Beci has written a post about her visit - have a look if you want to see more of the colour of Seoul and hear about some of her favourites!