Monday, October 31, 2011

Travelling Art

I have noticed that hotels are getting cooler, well some of them are and the way to differentiate themselves from the others, is to have really interesting artworks placed all around the hotel. In the common areas such as the grand lobby, lift lobbies, restaurants etc, a really impactful piece of art can really make a difference. It showcases the individuality of the hotel. In the guestrooms, the artworks are usually more sedate and mainstream probably so as not to offend the sensibilities of the more conservative guests.

But I really like the unusual artworks, they are like a surprise when you see them because a hotel lobby is probably not the most expected venue to be confronted with something like that. I like the fact that I get to enjoy an art exhibition every time I travel (which is pretty often and a pain so this is a plus).

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Flavours of Seoul

When in Seoul, apart from kimchi which I do not like, the other thing to eat is ginseng chicken which I do like. We had it twice in our 4 days there.

Seoul also has great cafes. Pretty ones, rustic ones, quaint ones, American chain ones. And the coffee is half decent plus they make great green tea lattes and even a sweet potato latte which was really delicious, even if it sounds a little strange.

Apart from western-style cafes, Seoul also has many traditional tea shops which serve Korean and Chinese teas in pretty pottery together with traditional Korean sweets. And that takes me to the pottery at Insadong which one should not miss for its famous pottery and other artsy stuff.

Korean barbecue is another speciality that should not be missed. Again like the ginseng chicken, we loved it so much we had it twice. Considering we were only there 4 days and that meant that we did not have unlimited meal slots, it meant that we really loved it. The best part is the different leaves that come with the meats, and you pick a few different ones and wrap cooked meat, bean paste, pickled radish, grilled garlic slices and a lump of rice (which is served in a bamboo container with a red date, a black bean, a gingko nut and a lump of charcoal!) in the leaves and then savour the different tastes and smells.

There is a lot to Seoul and the food is just one aspect of it. But what a great aspect!

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