“Why Daegu?” – My friends questioned my decision for my trip to this quiet city in South Korea.
My sole reason of going to Daegu was mainly to go to Hogsmeade Cafe – a themed cafe based off – you guessed it – Harry Potter. [Hogsmeade is the name of an only all-wizarding village.] And so far, it is the only Harry Potter themed cafe to be established in South Korea. And potterheads in South Korea are raving all about the cafe on their blogs!
As I make my way to Gyeongsan from Daegu (man…I should have taken the ITX from Seoul to Gyeongsan station, which was right across the neighborhood where Hogsmeade was at.) I realized that the cafe was situated smack dab in the heart of a residential area, with tall apartment blocks surrounding the area. And hills too!
Eyes switching from the road, to the map. After a few wrong turns, at last I found it – Hogsmeade Cafe. Where is it? The map showed that it was near a school and so, I let the sounds of children playing to guide me there. And there it was, right in front of the school gates.
The cafe has a cozy atmosphere to it. It was dimly lit with brown cabin-like feeling to it. There was a digital(?) fireplace and the top, adorned with wizarding artifacts. From books to a potion apparatus, to details like wands, sorting hat and Potter’s glasses. There was also a huge Gryffindor tapestry, with the smaller Slytherin tapestry hanging from the ceiling.
After taking in the sights, I made my way to the counter and placed my order of ‘Tiramisu and Butterbeer’. I am no cake/desert connoissuer but the tiramisu was not great. But the Butterbeer is of more importance! It is after all, the only place in South Korea serving Butterbeer (as far as I could tell). Butterbeer, despite its name, is not beer. I am sure the potterheads who has been tot he Wizarding World in Universal Studios, would know but for those who don’t – it is a non-alcoholic sweet, butterscotch soda drink. Very sweet. And with the added chocolate chips on top, it was very, very sweet.
It was 2pm, I expected it to be busier as the nearby school has ended its’ classes. But alas, there were only the 4 of us – 2 visitors (and from their shenanigans, they must be fellow travelers), the barista and me. For the next hour, I sat there – reading my book, ingesting my Butterbeer and watching the potter-struck travelers. With the constant kpop music playing, the magic of a Harry Potter themed cafe has slowly dissipated. And also having satisfied my potterhead side, I left the cafe and made my way back to Daegu.
PS. with my limited Korean language knowledge, I spotted a sign saying that the cafe would be renamed to “King’s Cross in Urban”. Makes me wonder if they had a trademark issue as I understand that the word “Hogsmeade” has been trademarked by Warner Brothers.
Well, you can ask them yourselves. Here is their Facebook Page: 호그스미드
How did I get there:
- Take the Daegu Subway to Sawol Station and exit at Exit No.2.
- Near the exit, there is a bus stop – Board the bus 100-1 for 5 stops and alight at Oksan Woobang Apartment stop.
- Cross the street, passing through the Gyeongsan Train Station and walk towards the school.
- Take the ITX from Dongdaegu or Daegu Station (10,000won+) and alight at Gyeongsan Station.