Seoul farmers’ market has been around since late summer and this weekend was its last appearance as “Winter is Coming”. I’ve meandered through it a couple of times and haven’t really been convinced as it just appeared to be the usual kind of stuff you several at every traditional market in Seoul.
However, I had an excuse to go again this weekend and came away a lot more optimistic thanks to a few kindly tour guides. The excuse was Bici Coffee which is a cycle towed coffee stand that has been doing a few ‘outings’ around Seoul and I have conspired to repeatedly miss. If you want to try and hit one of these the best way is to follow their Facebook page here.
So at 10:00am on Saturday morning I started strapped on all kinds of thermals and got on my bike and cycled up there and I’m glad I did. You can even see the bike love of my life hiding and yellow in the background in the header picture.
First, Bici Coffee; the utter antithesis of the mainstream Korean coffee scene. Someone who is trying to learn and do something new with coffee and went so far as to build a trailer in Jeju so he could do just that. Also highly recommended are the cookies by Agnes he sells. I’ll definitely try to make his further outings (minus 20 degrees Korean winter weather dependent).
However, it was not just Bici Coffee which impressed me. The Ko Honey stall obviously recognised that I was a bit lost and showed me around a few of their recommended stalls. Thus I found myself cycling back with some chestnut honey, fresh yogurt and homemade blueberry jam.
I’m not going to pretend it is anything like Borough in London. It would have to be 50x larger and not mainly sell root vegetables to do that. Still, it is a beginning and an initiative that is being pushed hard by Seoul government. I just hope that next year it can grow a bit and have some more independent and unusual outlets like Island East Markets in Hong Kong. Especially as this is promoted by the government whereas Island East Markets is a purely private initiative and all the more impressive for that.
- Details – seoulfarmersmarket.com (you can select “English” as an option but it is high level K-onglish)
- Address – Gwanghwamun Citizen’s Park (광화문 시민열린마당), next to Gwanghwamun Square.