I have been wanting to visit the Enrogel Teapot Cafe ever since reading about it on Seoul State of Mind. When my friend Sam from There She Goes Again (you might recognise Sam as the stylist behind a lot of my styled photo shoots) recently took a trip there and I saw her photographs, I knew I had to make a plan to get there. Most of the weird and wonderful places to see in Korea are in Seoul. As I live way down south in a tiny little town called Buan, getting to Seoul is only really possible on the weekends.
I was delighted to find out that the teapot cafe is a mere 40 minute drive from Buan, and so I was able to go visit it one afternoon afternoon after school.
The cafe itself is actually just outside Jeongeup, which makes getting there quite easy as you can catch a train to Jeongeup and then from there a local bus. I am not sure of the exact route to take via public transport as I have a car (having a car in Korea is a real game changer especially if you have a dog here like we do).
The cafe is located in just outside Jangseon village , which is between Jeongeup & Gwangju and is actually quite near the famous Baekyangsa Temple in Naejangsan National Park. Naejangsan is particularly famous for its display of Autumn leaves, and Baekyangsa temple is a very special place to visit during Autumn.
We visited the teapot cafe at the end of Spring, and must have just missed the cherry blossoms. We were able to catch a glimpse of the end of the blossoms, but from the little we could still see of the blossoms, it must have been magnificent during full bloom. The drive itself from Buan to Jangseon is beautiful, and well worth an afternoon drive if you have a car.
The cafe itself first opened it's doors in 2006 by Donghee Lim. It's filled with unique sculptures, antiques and a variety of other creations. It was a completely different side to Korea, that we only usually catch glimpses of in Seoul.
Although the Teapot itself was looking a little worse for wear, and the furniture inside had a bit of a 'beer & hof' feel to it, the coffee we were served was one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had.
I have no idea what made it so special, and I certainly wasn't expecting much when we sat down (the cafe looked closed and we walked around for a few minutes before someone appeared to welcome us inside). The inside of the teapot is filled with what must be the artists creations, from wire and metal sculpture, to ceramic tea pots and a collectibles. I had a great time with my camera, capturing all the unique bits and pieces decorating the walls and ceiling.
There was just as much to explore and look at outside the cafe, and I found myself drawn to the vintage collectibles, especially the gorgeous old typewriter that seemed to be begging to be restored.
A few years ago I had a little stall at one of the local craft markets in South Africa (the I heart Market in Durban) and I would sell all sorts of vintage collectibles I found on my travels. I spent a lot of time in the SPCA & Hospice shops, and managed to find so many beautiful pieces of forgotten treasure. My little store was called Buttercup Collectibles, I sold everything from typewriters to teaspoons, glasses to tins. Here is a very old blog post from my old blog with some photographs of some of the items I had for sale.
Wondering around the teapot cafe brought back so many happy memories of adventures in South Africa, in search of antique treasure.
Apart from the incredible coffee, there were a number of other drinks available, as well as a small menu. The food was rather pricey, but you need to bear in mind that you are paying for the experience, and not just the food.
415 Daeak-ri, Bukha-myeon, Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam-do
Have you been to any other interesting places in Korea you can recommend? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below as I am always on the lookout for new places to explore and photograph.