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Dining: Fancy a Cup of Tea at Marie?
[ Issue 103 Page 14 ] Friday, December 17, 2010, 04:26:25 Sang Eun Jee eunicejee@hotmail.com

No offence to the people in Daejeon, but when I first moved here, I thought I should forget about all the nice cafés and restaurants in Seoul for my own benefit and mental health. Stressing over something that I would not have seemed like a waste of time and energy. However, my accidental encounter with Marie has provided me with a ray of hope and light that makes my life in Daejeon that much more delightful.

   
▲ The entrance to Marie  /  Sang Eun Jee

 Marie is located in Dunsan-dong, near the CGV Theater. At first glance, you won’t be able to see what is beyond the wooden doors and you may just walk by. Once you step inside, however, you will be astounded by this new world that will disclose right before your eyes.

The first thing you will notice about Marie is the various objects that form a unique ambience. From the European antique furniture, wooden sculptures, and Van Gogh’s paintings on the walls, Marie has everything that will grab your attention. The place is embellished with a velvet couch, chairs, dark wooden tables, and chandeliers. The lights are dim enough to make you feel cozy and comfortable. Even the flowers, mirrors, curtains, wooden floor, and wine racks bear the marks of someone’s careful work. You may be deluded into thinking that you have been invited and are looking into a parlor of a European villa. Or you may think that you are looking around someone’s private gallery. The warm white walls display paintings of Van Gogh, which perfectly match the overall atmosphere of the café. Many candles rest on the table, lighting up the otherwise dark room. The whole place shouts out posh, chic and elegant. My favorite place to sit is at the black, charcoal couches with purple velvet cushions. These couches are great for long hours of talking and drinking tea. However, these are only available for five to six people and reservations are highly recommended.

Secondly, you will be amused by the music they play. This mix of contemporary jazz and classics will soothe your exhausted soul and mind, having a cathartic effect. The music is relaxing, yet entertaining so that you won’t fall asleep; you want to stay awake and enjoy the music for as long as you can. Music alone can give you an interesting topic for conversation while having a cup of tea with your friends. The rhythms of piano and bass will make you tap your feet under the table. It is vibrant yet tranquil at the same time.

Last, but definitely not least, the food. Marie has everything that a café can offer. You can choose from tea, coffee, black tea, French tea, German tea, flower tea, well-being teas, ice cream, and dessert such as cakes and waffles. I am quite fastidious when it comes to food. However, Marie has one of the best selections of desserts I have ever tasted. Especially the Haagen Dazs Waffle, with vanilla and green tea ice cream on top was the best waffle I have ever had. Topped with fresh, in-season fruits such as bananas, kiwi, and cherry tomatoes, thick and creamy ice cream, and genuine whipped cream, the waffle is simply ravishing. Eating it is, as my friend puts it, “almost like a sin.” The waffle itself is not just an ordinary waffle, but a buttery and moist waffle with a nice texture that satisfies your taste buds most amazingly. You must also try the Chocolate Amer and New York Cheese Cake. Unlike other chocolate cakes, this one has a real, thick chocolate taste which really thwarts your efforts at putting down the fork. You can really taste the cheese in the New York cheese cake, which melts on your tongue the moment you take one bite. As for the coffee, I tried the Maple Cinnamon Cappuccino. It has plenty of milk foam and sweet maple syrup to form a perfect harmony, with a sprinkle of cinnamon to give it a bit of spice. Everything on the menu comes in beautiful English bone china cups and plates and you can hardly take your eyes off them. You might as well be enjoying a tea party with a royal family in England.

Marie has everything that I have ever wished for in a café. As I write this article, I even feel bad as I am now introducing Marie to many others and ruining my plan of having Marie all to myself. The only bad point I have to make about Marie is its expensive prices. Tea alone costs approximately 7000 won. If you are like me and must have tea with dessert, you can expect to spend over at least 12000 won. However, I haven’t the slightest feeling of regret; it is totally worth the money. So, why don’t you venture into this unfound land and enjoy the few hours of heaven?

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