Seoul: When in Soul Town, gotta find Bover Lounge!
Some days when I miss my days in Seoul, I think back to some of my fondest memories being there. And going back for graduation with my friends and family definitely rates high on the list! It was lucky that graduation coincided with my mother's birthday at the end of August, because celebrating the latter was the highlight of our first day in Seoul:
when in Soul Town, gotta find Bover Lounge!
Bover Lounge first appeared in my life as many restaurants and cafés do.
About a week before we left for Seoul, my mom dropped a stack of magazine and newspaper cut outs in front of me. “Here, research!”
Perfect. What better way than to celebrate my mom’s birthday?
On the day
Our entourage set out with high hopes - you can imagine three child-adults singing and skipping down the street with two embarrassed moms trailing behind - armed with empty stomachs. We came out of the subway at Myeongdong and followed our handy Google Maps, but it took us quite a bit of effort to find it. While Google Maps was extremely helpful in pinpointing its exact location on the right street, it failed to inform that Bover Lounge was inside a building called State Tower – and out of sight of the main road we approached from.
Walking up to the building should have prepared us for the fancy setting. State Tower itself was sleek chrome and glass, with a revolving door. There were even matching people in their business suits and dresses. This brunch and high tea place, right next to the door, fit right in with its elegant décor.
Brunch, no, High Tea!
Considering how we skipped breakfast (who would dare??) in hopes of brunching, it was a disappointing first meeting. The staff asked if we made reservations and we said no, he said, “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait for a long time.” How long? “Maybe two hours?” He suggested we come back for tea instead; you can’t reserve for tea.
The popularity of this place was expounded when we turned to leave. A Hong Kong couple rushed in exclaiming, “We have reservations!”
You'd think I have learnt something living in Korea for a few years, like how brunch and high tea (especially trending places) are usually booked out when reservations are available. But school doesn't teach you stuff like that!
Hungry for High Tea
Anyone who has gone on a shopping spree would know what it does to your body. More specifically, your stomach.
We were hungry.
We were also laden with shopping bags, which funnily enough were mostly stuff the moms bought from Daiso, so a seat as soon as possible is very much appreciated, thanks.
We went back to Bover Lounge around 2 pm, determined to beat the afternoon rush. The staff lead us past the cake display, then past the main seating area…
…all the way to the back of the restaurant to an actual lounge area. There was a high bar next to us.
Isn't it gorgeous? I absolutely loved the gold and glass accents against the dark backdrop.
Our table was low, which made eating kind of inconvenient and difficult, but the lounge seats were comfortable and the space was private.
Ordering the High Tea Set
TIP: If you want to sample the best of what a high tea place has to offer, go for a set. It also tends to cover the minimum charge and/or per person order cost. We ended up ordering a high tea set, as it is minimum for two people and came with two drinks, beverages for everyone else and an extra slice of cake. The prices might seem high, around 10,000 won (~$70 HKD) per beverage and the high tea set almost triple that per person, but for high tea it is actually a reasonable price.
The high tea set included: sandwiches with ham, coffee crème brûlée, mango coconut pudding & coconut chips, macaroons, lemon cream cookie pot, éclairs, scones, caramelized nibbles, chocolate truffles… mhmm! The extra cake we had was full-on chocolate indulgence!
Thoughts on Bover Lounge
Atmosphere: The high ceilings and half-glass walls gives you the allusion of open space, setting an environment for quiet talk. The light grey and off-white color tone of the place adds charm and elegance, but not so much that you feel obligated to doll-up just to match the décor.
Food: The food was great. I can only speak for the dessert, but the high tea set was worth its price. Not only was the presentation photo-worthy, the desserts themselves weren’t overly sweet (although they were sweet, no mistake) and I really liked the cheesecake on the top of the platter. The portion was also more than enough. It took five of us to finish that two-person set! It could have been due to heavy lunch though…
My only regret was not trying the red velvet cake.
Overall, it was a good experience! Definitely advise getting a reservation if possible. If the high tea was anything to go by, I’m sure brunch is just as good. What better way to start your day by filling up with brunch, and then shopping spree after?
Check out their official website for more information!
How to get there
This is a little tricky. We relied on Google Maps (or you can use Naver) to bring us from Euljiro-Il-ga/Euljiro-ipgu station exit 6 to State Tower, since we were travelling on Line 2. But a closer station would actually be Myeongdong station on the light blue line, as it’s practically right across the road.