Friday, May 1, 2015

Ori Pekoe, Hongdae

On a rainy day when the skies are dark and gloomy, there's nothing quite as comforting as curling up with a nice hot drink and a good read. I was really feeling that a few days ago while trekking through Hongdae in the rain, so I decided to stop off at a lovely little cafe called Ori Pekoe.

Ori Pekoe, a pun on the tea industry's "orange pekoe" with the word "ori" (meaning "duck" in Korean), specialises in tea and is fittingly decorated with duck paraphernalia everywhere. It's located in the back streets near the university and has actually been around for quite some time. In fact I can still remember it from when I used to live in Hongdae (well over 4 years ago) but even though I'd walked past it several times, I'd never actually gone inside before. Given how quickly things close down and new things pop up in Seoul though, I'd say this place must be doing something right in order to have lasted this long.

Outdoor terrace for warmer (and non-rainy) weather

Upon stepping inside, I was reminded exactly why I had never visited the place... It's kinda pricey. It was pricey back then and it's still pricey now, especially by Gangbuk standards. Drinks range from 5,000 to 7,000 won (most being 6,500) and if you're a cheapo like me, that might be enough to send you running for the nearest exit. But if you're looking for somewhere to treat yourself, or if you're rich and not at all fazed by a drink costing the same price as an entire meal, then this place definitely makes a great spot for a nice cuppa and some relaxation time.

Since I was there to splurge, I figured what the hell, and ordered one of the most expensive drinks I could find on the menu -- a "tea-ccino", which was basically milk tea with foam on top, cappuccino style. Much to my delight, the drink came out with an adorable duck drawn on the foam and served in a 'My Neighbour Totoro' cup, atop a matching saucer.

Mint chocolate tea-ccino, 7,000 won

As a huge Studio Ghibli fan, the gorgeous crockery won massive brownie points in my mind. You can't go wrong with Totoro on a rainy day! And aside from the lovely cups, there were also a million and one cute objects strewn around the room, with no shortage of ducks in every shape, size, and form.

So much cuteness everywhere!


Another nifty thing I really liked (keeping in mind my odd fetish for inspecting people's bathrooms, hah) was the toilet being hidden away at the back of the cafe. To access it, simply roll back the bookshelf and voila! A passageway leading to the bathroom (which also happened to be well-decorated and laden with plenty of adorable figurines and knicknacks).

Being the ultimate cheapo, I probably wouldn't visit this place on a regular basis, but it's definitely a gorgeous place to spend time in, what with its comforting, homely atmosphere, friendly staff, and plenty of lovely decorations to admire. Perhaps I'll visit again... after payday. XD

Ori Pekoe, Hongdae
Hours: 1pm - 11pm, closed on Mondays
Address: 서울시 마포구 서교동 358-103 (358-103, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul)
Directions: From Hongdae Station exit 9, take the second left. You'll want to cross over to the right side with Taco Bell and Forever 21. Follow the road up like you're heading to the university and after passing the third right, look out for a set of stairs between two buildings that lead to the back streets. Take the stairs up and Ori Pekoe will be in front of you to the right.

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