On the way there I snapped a few pics. I think scooters with modifications are awesome.
I noticed these ice-'stalagmites' rising up from the brick wall here . . .
Crossing over the small river/stream that runs through a good portion of the area we live in I got Julianne to pose next to a bridge guardian statue. Julianne decided to stick her hand in the tiger's mouth . . .
Below the bridge there is a string of stones that people can use to cross the stream. I think it's a bit nutty to do this when the stones are covered with snow and ice but other people think nothing of it.
I ALMOST got a shot of the person on the left losing their balance and her friend reaching out to grab her . . .
I really like this picture of Julianne. It's a real moment of her feeling a little tired and very hungry . . . hopefully she won't kill me for posting it . . .
. . . she does seem to have some skill with a knife though . . . maybe I shouldn't have posted the pic . . . lol.
It was 'warmer' yesterday and today so some of the ice that was covering the stream has disappeared. But a few days ago there was even more.
When we saw these kids playing by the stream I said to Julianne, "My mother would have killed my sister and I if she ever caught us playing next to a stream during the winter." To which Julianne replied, "I would never have been caught because I would never have been allowed to get that close without her knowing." It's amazing how different cultures can be in what children can and can't do . . .
The interior is this fantastic eclectic atmosphere of books, calligraphy, art, antiques and anything and everything you can imagine.
Julianne love's this gramophone.
The gentleman who owns (?) and runs the cafe/bakery/restaurant speaks fluent English and is a very polite, intelligent, and friendly personality. He offers excellent service and takes very good care of the people who visit the cafe.
Today was my second visit. I still haven't come to the cafe just to read a book, drink some tea, and have something from the bakery . . . but I will soon. There are comfortable couches and chairs to sit in and a large selection of books.
There is always music playing in the cafe. A wide range of different kinds of music is played at a volume that is not too loud or too soft. I have yet to be there when I didn't like the music being played--I'm very fussy about what I listen to when I'm relaxing and eating dinner, so it really impresses me that the music selections are consistently tasteful.
I walked around taking pictures while waiting for our food to be prepared. The menu offers a good selection of western style food. There are also set menu options. Julianne and I chose the pasta set which offers a selection of breads, a delicious beef soup, a fantastic salad, your choice of excellent tea, four or five options on what kind of pasta you want (we chose the pasta with creamy fettuccine-style sauce), and a plate of fresh fruit for dessert.
One really nice thing about the cafe that I didn't get a picture of is that there are dividers between the tables so you can have privacy yet not feel like you're sitting in an isolation booth. There are times when Julianne and I don't care for the open communal restaurant culture of Korea because we are often stared at by curious Koreans--the Peace of Mind Cafe offers a sense of open space yet at the same time gives each table it's own privacy. Not an easy thing to do in Korea, I think.
You also get two gi-normous bread sticks baked fresh from the cafe's ovens as a part of the appetizers offered with the set menu.
As I said before, but it's worth mentioning again, the soup is very very good.
The salad has fresh good quality vegetables mixed in with a nice dressing.
As part of the set menu you get a platter with six (I think) different kinds of breads. I think this is to showcase what the bakery has to offer in the hopes that you buy some breads to take home with you. While I've never been a big fan of a lot of different kinds of breads I like some of the choices offered.
The pasta is fantastic. Unlike other western style food restaurants in Korea, the Peace of Mind Cafe puts good quality vegetables in its dishes. The broccoli, mushrooms, and other things in the pasta were very good. The size, quantity, and taste of each of the different vegetables was quite good--and, for example, puts the Olive Garden's menu to shame in terms of its salad buffet and dinner entrees.
After finishing the main course I got up and took a few more pics. I haven't seen one of these old projectors since I was in elementary school . . . I remember being taught how to load one of these projectors with the old reel film . . . the cafe is full of these kinds of antiques and nostalgic memorabilia.
Dessert is fresh fruit (seasonal) on a platter. Very healthy, and the quality was also good.
And yes, again, I got up after eating some fruit and walked around taking more pics.
The gentleman who owns (?) and manages the cafe gave me permission to take pictures of the kitchen and even encouraged me to go into the back and take a look around.
The kitchen is very clean and well organized. Again, I was impressed.
Back at the table with Julianne we chatted again with the gentleman (I need to write down his name--I'm terrible at remembering people's names). In the cafe each table has a glass covered top and underneath are different 'mini-exhibits' of books, or art objects, or as in this picture (below) a collection of different items that seemingly have no theme.
When I asked the gentleman about this display he told me that, for example, the watches were all from when he was a student in school. Everything in this case was something he had used and had been a part of his life. He told us that he doesn't like to throw away things, and that too many things today are disposable. I really like his general outlook on life, and think he's one of most interesting Korean people I've met during my 4 years in Korea.
Julianne pointed out this Zenith radio . . . wow.
I toured around the last part of the cafe I hadn't taken a look at (the cafe is enormous) . . .
I thought this insanely old slide show projector was very cool . . . and wonder if there is a personal history behind it for the gentleman who runs the cafe . . .
We paid our bill (50 000won for two excellent set menu meals, fully worth the cost considering the quality and serving sizes) and said our goodbyes to the gentleman.
Outside I noticed the patio deck with tables and chairs and thought that it must be a nice place to sit in the evenings with a drink and something to eat. There is a clear view of the small river/stream that is only about 40 meters away from the patio. Julianne and I will definitely be visiting the cafe during the spring and summer.
So if you're in the Chuncheon area, whether it's as a visitor or expat living and teaching here, and you're looking for a restaurant/cafe where you can find excellent quality western style food for reasonable prices in a fantastic eclectic and yet very cozy and relaxing atmosphere I'd recommend you try the Peace of Mind Cafe.