There’s an area of Seoul which has managed to retain a lot of pre-war/colonial architecture, markedly different from a lot of the cookie-cutter buildings built nowadays: high ceilings, huge, wall-length windows, etc. Because the buildings are so old, they can’t be developed, which means elevators can’t be installed. This, in turn, means that the rent stays low, and it’s becoming the perfect place for artists and designers who can’t afford to be in, say, Hongdae.

We climbed to the top of this one, right in the heart of the city, built in 1937. We drank wine from red cups and enjoyed the cool breeze, a welcome retreat from the normally humid Seoul summer.


Cafe Rachel was a delightful find of ours in the Hongdae/Hongik university neighbourhood in Seoul, South Korea. We loved it so much we came back a second time despite the little time we had there. The molten chocolate soufflé and hot chocolates were to die for. 

There are no English listings for Cafe Rachel, but here is the address based on its location on Google Maps:

333-17 Seogyo-dong (38 Wausan-ro 27-gil)
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Korean students win Ferrari World Design Contest

The students, Kim Cheong Ju, Ahn Dre and Lee Sahngseok, took first place with their entry “Eternity.” One student from the European Design Institute in Turin and two from London’s Royal College of Arts came in second and third respectively.

Four hundred entries from 50 elite design schools and universities around the world were whittled down to seven finalists.

Nice to see Korean students winning a competition that involves design and ‘creativity’ for a change.