Life & Leisure

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show has just come to an end. No Korean participation this year, as far as I am aware. Last year Hwang Hay-joung won silver gilt for her Smart Garden sponsored by LG. But loyal readers will remember back to 2011 and 2012, when Hwang Jihae, without a big name corporate sponsor, […]

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The advance of Korea’s longevity

by Philip Gowman 22 February 2017
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According to a study by Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation, “average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030 – and will exceed 90 years in South Korea.” The press release accompanying the report revealed: The five countries with the highest life expectancy at birth for men in 2030 were: […]

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A survey of post-millennials – and South Korea shows its expected malaise

by Philip Gowman 13 February 2017
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Another of those surveys, and guess where South Korea ends up in the rankings? As you might expect from the land of Hell Joseon, the statistics do not look great: second from bottom in terms of overall happiness. Around 1,000 15-21 year-olds from each of 20 countries were surveyed between September and October 2016 as […]

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Enrol now: Korean Cultural Classes starting January 2017

by Events Editor 15 January 2017
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For the first season of Korean cultural courses of 2017 the KCCUK is entering into a partnership with Kingston Adult Education. Courses will be held in the King Charles Centre, Hollyfield Road, Surbiton KT5 9AL. This term, dance and cuisine are added to the list of things you can learn. All four courses have ten […]

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Event news: Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang is screening at Picturehouse Central

by Events Editor 31 December 2016
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My heart sank when I heard that someone was turning this eccentric piece of sporting diplomacy into a movie. And now it’s briefly in the cinemas… Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang Director: Colin Offland. 2016. UK/North Korea. 93min Picturehouse Central Sat 31st Dec 16:35 | Sun 1st Jan 16:45 | Thu 5th Jan 15:30 […]

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Event news: 43rd London Open Go Congress 2016

by Events Editor 24 December 2016
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If you’re looking for something different between Christmas and the New Year and are in the Great Portland Street area, why not look in at the London Open Go (Baduk) Congress? This year it’s sponsored by DeepMind, the company whose AlphaGo computer beat 18-time world champion Lee Se-dol earlier this year. There’s a strong chance that the […]

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In praise of Sancho and Flat Three

by Philip Gowman 5 December 2016
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When you tuck into your bowl of warming chueotang muddy loach soup, with its tangle of green vegetables, shoots and mysterious fishy bits suspended in a tangy reddish-green-brown broth, the condiment you reach for to give it that extra taste sensation is a liberal sprinkling of sancho powder. The pungent, fragrant taste rounds out a […]

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Jinjuu Mayfair opens

by Philip Gowman 1 November 2016
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Marking the opening of Jinjuu Mayfair at 39 Albemarle Street W1S 4JQ there’s an interview with Judy Joo in Food Republic. There’s a nice quote about how she came to open her first restaurant at the beginning of last year: I got a random phone call. My business partner just cold-called me. He said “I’ve […]

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Event news: the hottest K-food in London

by Events Editor 9 October 2016
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The South Korean embassy is organising a Korean food promotional event on 1 November. The Taste of Korea Victoria Centre @ Westminster Kingsway College 76 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PD 10:30am ~ 3:30pm Tuesday 1st November 2016 Register here by 20 October The Hottest K-food in London is organised by the Embassy of the Republic […]

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A selection of clippings from Rio 2016

by Philip Gowman 6 August 2016
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1. The ROK team’s opening parade: who’s the foreign-looking chap who can’t tuck his shirt in or do his top button up? 2. The first selfie to go viral — gymnast Lee Eun-Ju (ROK) with Hong Un Jong (DPRK) (photo: Reuters): 3. The first world record of the games – in archery: “South Korean world […]

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Those foreigner-friendly cookery books keep on coming…

by Philip Gowman 26 July 2016
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Time was when you really couldn’t lay your hands on a cookery book focusing on Korean food that was written by someone who understood the UK market. We were all waiting for Judy Joo’s Korean Food Made Simple – which according to Amazon was published on 19 May this year, though it was available on […]

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Hay Joung Hwang wins Silver Gilt at Chelsea Flower Show

by Philip Gowman 30 May 2016
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Congratulations to Hay Joung Hwang for winning a silver gilt medal for her first show garden at Chelsea. Hwang’s LG Smart Garden combined soft pastel-coloured planting in a very English style with clean, modern lines for an outside living space. The feature which caught everyone’s attention was the cantilevered pergola which reached over the terrace, […]

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2016 travel diary 19: The Scholar’s Garden #1: Yun Seon-do on Bogildo

by Philip Gowman 19 May 2016
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Bogil-do, Wando-gun, Jeollanam-do, 19 May 2016, 10:30am Way back in the mid Joseon dynasty, being a scholar official was a troublesome occupation. If you were a dedicated scholar you had to act in accordance with your conscience and the highest principles. Unfortunately, as happens with whistle-blowers today, your conscience could be severely career-limiting. If you picked […]

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2016 travel diary 9: Busosanseong – the Baekje royal garden

by Philip Gowman 16 May 2016
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Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, 16 May 2016, 5:30pm. The Archaeological Site in Gwanbuk-ri Sometimes, collecting UNESCO points is not as fulfilling as it might be. The item of heritage that has been registered might not be particularly exciting to look at, even though it is historically important. But if a site is historically important you may well […]

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Pojang Korean Street Food opens up in Druid Street Market

by 앤서방 7 May 2016
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Another debut – today is the first day of the Pojang kimbab stall at Druid Street Market in Bermondsey. With so many Korean ‘street food’ ventures trying to reinvent the Korean street food wheel (bulgogi burittos, kimchi burgers, ramen burgers etc) it’s nice to see this enterprising English couple recreating the simple authentic food they […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016 to include Korean-designed LG Smart Garden

by Events Editor 3 May 2016
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Korean garden designer Jihae Hwang won gold medals at Chelsea in 2011 and 2012. It’s a tough act to follow, but let’s hope Hay Joung Hwang also wins success with her LG Smart Garden, entered in the Show Garden category this year. Her style is very different from Jihae’s, with clean, modern lines rather than […]

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Event news: State of Play, a documentary on pro-gamers, to screen at Asia House film fest

by Events Editor 25 January 2016
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Asia House has published the programme for its 2016 film festival. Two films will be of interest to Korea specialists. Steven Dhoedt’s documentary on the world of professional computer gamers, and Benson Lee’s comedy Seoul Searching. State of Play Dir Steven Dhoedt, Belgium / South Korea, 2013 85 minutes, UK premiere Time: Tuesday, 23 February […]

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