We’re halfway through 2017 (someone help me please, I’m not prepared for how fast time is going)…already! Which means I’m already a third of the way through my current work contract; a fact I’m having a hard time believing. May and June didn’t let up for me – they were equally as busy as March and April – and so I wanted to share some of the things I got up to!
The start of May saw the first visit to Seoul by one of my friends from home! Barbara, who I lived with for two years during university, came to stay with me for two weekends in her first ever trip to Korea. We did a lot of stuff together, including going to Dragon Hill Spa, Namsan Tower, Gyeongbokgung and indulging in Chimaek at the Han River park on Yeoido Island! I was so happy to finally introduce one of my friends from the UK to this country I have been talking about for the last four years, and I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it!
I wrote about this after I did it (Me? Writing about something just after doing it? What a novelty!) and had some comments from those of you who read those posts on how beautiful it looked. Visiting Jogyesa Temple and the Cheonggyechon stream during Seoul’s largest lantern festival celebrating Buddha’s birthday was very special.
In the last month I have been trying my best to visit new places instead of going to the same spots over again, and quite a few of these were some lovely new cafés! I wrote about one of them a couple of weeks ago – Arriate, a flower café in Gangnam – and I’ve posted the others on Instagram, including Miss Yoon in Wonderland (an Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant-cum-café) and the Osulloc café (a chain, but a particular favourite of mine for their Jeju tangerine slush and vanilla ice cream drink).
At some point during May I suddenly had a massive hankering for Western food. And boy did I satisfy it! I went to the Seoul Food Festival on Banpo bridge and at fish and chips (though the fish was breadcrumbed and the chips were actually fries). I had as-close-as-I’m-going-to-get fish and chips at an Irish pub in Itaewon several times, as well as a fry up one morning! I went to Fingertips and had the burger of a lifetime, and I had Mexican food at On The Border in Jamsil’s Lotte World Mall. Oh! And I also had my first bottle of wine since moving to Korea…di-wine!
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I've not had such a good ice cream in the longest time. This traditional honey ice cream (vanilla cream cream in a fish-shaped waffle textured cone, with a good glob of honey on top with a sprinkle of green tea powder) from a food stand in Myeong-dong was amazing, and I'm already ready for another one. 🐝🍯🍦
In complete contradiction to my foreign food cravings, I tried a whole bunch of Korean (and Japanese) street food in the popular shopping district of Myeong-dong. I had fried mandu (dumplings), okonomiyaki (a thick, savoury pancake made with shredded cabbage and egg, and topped with teriyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and tuna flakes – mine also had bacon on it!), a rose-shaped ice cream, and – my favourite – ‘traditional’ honey ice cream. It’s vanilla goat’s milk ice cream served in a waffle-textured cone in the shape of a fish, topped with a sizeable hunk of fresh honeycomb, drizzled with even more honey, and sprinkled with a little matcha poweder.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know this already, but I have really stepped up my skincare game in the last month. Gone are the days when I cleansed and moisturised and went on my way. I have begun to embrace the Korean way, and have introduced a whole bunch of extra steps into my routine. Oil clease, second cleanse, toner, serum, essence, sun cream and an occasional sheet mask or clay mask; my skincare regime isn’t for the faint-hearted! But all my effort has been paying off and the results are showing. While I still get hormonal breakouts (I know they’re from hormones because they’re crazy painful), my overall skin condition is beginning to improve!
Last but by no means least (in fact possibly the most exciting of all!) – I have booked a holiday to Thailand! In two weeks time I’ll be jetting off for my summer “vacation” to Bangkok with a night in Pattaya. And I’ll be meeting up with my long-distance love after almost six months apart which, quite frankly, I’m more excited for than visiting a new country. This means there’ll be a new travel series up soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Monsoon season has arrived here in Seoul and I’m trying not to let the weather stop me from doing stuff, and I have quite a few ideas lined up for posts and blog projects, so stay tuned. I hope you all had a wonderful couple of months, and that the rest of the summer brings you just as much fun!