Today, being the last day of my holiday, I decided to take a stroll around my favourite southside area, Garosugil in Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu. (Dong = micro suburb, Gu = suburb. Southside = anywhere south of the massive Han river.
Garosugil directly translates to “tree-lined street” (Garosu = tree-lined, Gil = street) and is aptly titled, with the whole street decorated with deciduous trees which are in the first stages of shedding their summer skin in exchange for the warmer orangey-brown hues of Autumn. The area is renowned for having a European vibe from the huge varieties of food available to imported brands.
Sadly closed when I visited.
Amazing breads (none of that sweet white shite) and other sweet treats.
The founder was once an architect, with a passion for bread, and an obvious talent!
However, as with the gentrification of all suburbs, what was once a little hidden pocket for authentic pop-up shops, emerging designers and small businesses, has become a mecca for the big players, taking advantage of the beautiful location, accessibility and apparent ‘new money’ wealth of the area.
세로수길, or Serosugil, translates to ‘side streets’ and these noticeably quieter, quirky side streets of Sinsa, off the main drag of Garosugil, have been sprouting new small boutiques, cafes and restaurants reminiscent of the area formerly known as.
I was on a mission today to do the unthinkable in Seoul.
Trying to find some place I’d read about somewhere, but couldn’t find the post online again, or any information at all regarding the place. My phone wasn’t loading the Korea Herald website here, which has directions in layman’s terms.
So, Le Pure Pressed Juice, it’s you and me baby another day.
It wasn’t all a futile waste though. There’s always something new to be found in this city. That’s what I love.
Walking around in the glorious Autumn afternoon,weaving in and out of streets, I saw many interesting places, old faithfuls like Le Alaska Boulangerie (Why Alaska?) who imports their wheat flour direct from France and has a beautiful open kitchen where you can watch the bakers at work, dine in and enjoy coffee and croissant or take it to go. I’ve tried the spinach twist (and still dream of it, however now try to refrain from wheat) and can vouch that it is as delicious as it looks.
Another favourite, the Swedish cafe ‘Fika’ which has recently moved to a bigger location and extended beyond just a cafe to include a 2nd floor ‘smart working library cafe’ where the premise is to ‘work, share, read, write and drink.’ The basement floor is a Scandinavian design lifestyle shop where they sell different kitchen utensils, homewares and soft furnishings. The cafe now also stocks a range of gourmet biscuits, crackers and muesli’s. Not all Swedish, some German, but there was the ‘vellicht Svensk’ (very Swedish) Lingonberry and Gooseberry jam. This can be either spread on bread or crispbread or mixed with water to form a drink.
Having lived in Sweden, I find Fika to be quite authentic with the selection of cakes, buns and savoury items. Generally, Swedes love processed cheese/fish pastes in a tube and it was scarily heart-warming to see these nutritional nightmares there!
‘Fika’ in Swedish means coffee break. And Swedes love to take fika 2 or more times a day. I lived in a small town outside of Gothenburg on the west coast, and it was a tiny, quaint, fairy tale beautiful town with only around 25,000 people, a main street in the city centre that went for 2 blocks, but with a crazy 30+ cafes. At any time of the day, these cafes would be filled with people, man or woman, young or old, all enjoying fika.
Other places of interest:
How to get there: Sinsa Station exit 8, line 3 (orange) Walk directly out of subway for 2 blocks. Turn left at the Missha into Garosugil.
Walk around, get lost, discover a new favourite, like I have here (post to follow)