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Hey Seoul Sister

Cast your minds back to 2016 – it already feels so long ago! But in November of last year our resident Teisseire expert Alex packed up and flew out to the capital of South Korea for a whirlwind 3-day tour of Seoul for its annual Café Show. Here are a few images of the stand we designed for this show & future exhibitions in Asia come to life:

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However, we couldn’t send her all that way without doing some snooping into what’s on trend in South Korea. Below are a few of the insights she picked up during her time out there:

1.       Drinks trends – a little on the Sweet side

Sweet, fruity serves were the stars of the show at the café show with drinks ranging from cocktails through to coffees flavoured with fresh fruit or sweet syrups. Topped with whipped cream, the serves also look incredibly sweet. There is also a fashion for sweetness in the other sense – an overload of cutesy cartoons, including Hello Kitty themed cafés and food inspired by these iconic characters. Whilst one could assume that these are targeting a younger generation, the likes of Kakao & Friends are huge in Seoul and appeal massively to adults also.

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2.       Keeping it healthy & organic

Although this seems a stark contrast to our first piece of insight, the movement towards fresh, organic drinks has taken just as much of a hold of the market in Seoul as it has here in London. Whilst this could be put down to the fact that Asia is the home of green tea and matcha (and boy, did Alex see a lot of that), that would be a narrow explanation for this movement. There was an abundance of freshly blended drinks such as smoothies, but also a large amount of organic juices (aptly branded ‘Healthy Juice’ amongst others) boasting their health-boosting and organic attributes.

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3.       A penchant for everything French

It’s no surprise that the French are world renowned for their style, grace and cuisine – and this reputation is highlighted in Seoul. Some of the best cafes in town had French names, and served ‘authentic’ French patisseries. This craze doesn’t seem to be dying down for a while.

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These trends are not a million miles away from those we have seen here in London over the last few years, however the unique angle that South Korean retailers take on these themes make them even more interesting.

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Courvoisier Pairing Dinner

Cognac & first class food – what could be better?

Last month, we were invited to attend a Courvoisier pairing dinner at Oriole Bar in East London’s Smithfield Market, which was, as you’d expect, incredible.

Oriole has recently been nominated for Best New International Cocktail Bar in the Spirited Awards 2016, as part of the Tales of the Cocktail competition – no mean feat, but completely understandable once we’d tried their rendition of the Courvoisier Classic Champagne Cocktail.

After a brief catch up with our hostess for the evening Rebecca Asseline, Courvoisier’s glamourous Global Ambassador, we were seated in the side function room off the side of the bar, a small area, which lent a very suitable sense of intimacy to the evening. Following a warm welcome from our hostess, we tucked into our Amuse-Bouche, a pain d’épice topped with sweet potato and camembert which matched perfectly with our champagne cocktails.


We then moved on to a history of the cognac making process, and the rich history of the Courvoisier cognac house and its intrinsic links to the Parisian Golden Age and even as the cognac served at the opening of the Eiffel Tower – truly making it the Toast of Paris! We paired our starter of Courvoisier cured Salmon Tartare with asparagus vichyssoise, poached quail egg and salmon roe, with a snifter of Courvoisier VS. 


Our mains (the Beef Rossini with Duck foie gras was too good to photograph before we tucked in) and the Sole Veronique were great accompaniments to the VSOP, showing that a good cognac can really be a part of every stage of a meal.


The piece de résistance however, was the poached pear and Roquefort crème brulée, alongside the Courvoisier XO. A true showcase of the great skills of the chef at Oriole, and the versatility of the cognac.


The guests in the room were left satisfied – not only from a great meal and tasting of the Courvoisier range – but also with the in depth knowledge of Rebecca. Conversation flowed, not only from those more acquainted with the world of cognacs and Courvoisier, but also those who did not have a knowledge of the brand before this evening.

Once again, thanks must be given to the team at Oriole for putting on such a great event, and providing a great meal and cocktails (the Head Chef, Gustavo, received a much-deserved round of applause upon entering the room), and to Rebecca for being a great hostess to this unique event.

Events like this are not few and far between here in London, and we would heartily recommend for you to visit any tutored tastings or pairing dinners you may find – they always shine a new light on a brand you may think you know well!

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A Cultural Evening in London

London is known the world around for its amazing theatre and arts – and being based in the city’s West End we’re constantly reminded of the great spectacles that are on offer. As Londoners, however, we also know how expensive it would be to try and see everything you’d want to.

So when I was told about the Hammersmith Summer Festival’s free showing of the Royal Opera House’s ‘Il Trovatore’ I jumped at the chance to go. To be completely honest, I had no knowledge of what the opera was about, and opera would not be my go-to subject on Mastermind, but I’ve seen some live shows at the iconic Covent Garden venue a couple of times, and the experience is something to behold!

The set up in Hammersmith’s Lyric Square was simple – some (branded) deck chairs for the early arrivers, and a nice patch of astroturf for those who dropped in late (thankfully we brought a blanket.) With the big screen set up front & centre, and the bars, and restaurants surrounding the venue allowing guests to take their refreshments out with them, the scene was set for a fantastic evening. Also, by some small British miracle, the sky was blue and the sun shone throughout.

It’s no surprise that the opera was incredible – from stage design to the singers – and obviously a great tragedy took place, but even that couldn’t dampen the mood in Hammersmith and the various other live screenings happening across the country.

Long live the London art pop up, allowing us to enjoy lovely British summer evenings and the great arts and theatre the capital has to offer!

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