Field Trip: Finding Holiday Gift Ideas at Afternoon Tea

Update: As of September 2017, Afternoon Tea has closed all its branches in Taipei

Where did the time go? It’s only three days left until Christmas. It’s work as usual here in Taiwan for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so I’m as busy as ever.  Holiday shopping and gift wrapping is happening in ebbs and flows, as much as my schedule allows (you can see a lot of what’s happening over on my Instagram) I wanted to share with you one of my other favorite places to find holiday gifts for friends, family or office colleagues.  Previously, I haven’t done much shopping at Afternoon Tea, a Japanese brand that sells both homewares, cookware, stationery and clothing because I had the impression that most of the items were too cutesy for my taste.  However, I soon discovered that is completely not the case now.  Currently, there is wonderful selection of items that would make fabulous and functional gifts.

A few weeks ago, I arrived for a lunch date with some time to spare, so I had time to wander around the Afternoon Tea location in the Tienmu Sogo, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.  I’ll show you a few pictures of my top finds in this post.  The stores are a bit crowded, so it’s hard to take clear pictures, without being jostled by other people; and you can’t really move things around that much on the shelves either, so it’s hard to photograph one particular item.  So please bear with the cluttered photos. Now onto my favorites for the holidays!

One of my favorite items is this clear glass teapot. I love the clear glass because you can see what’s inside~ so wonderful for fruit teas. Also, there is a stainless steel lid with an adorable wooden knob.  I imagine that the tea pot lid stays put while pouring, but if you need to steady it with your hand, the wooden knob will be somewhat heatproof.

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Product Discovery: Yong Le Fabric Market Part 3~ The Ribbon Roundup!

The upcoming holiday season has reminded me of my love of ribbons. Ribbons have always been a weakness of mine. I have a habit of saving every pretty ribbon that comes my way, and I can never resist a pretty ribbon on sale.  There are quite a few places to shop for ribbon in Taipei; you can buy them in bookstores, such as Eslite (the Xinyi and Songyan branches both have nicely curated selections) and of course you can buy them at VVG Chiffon. However, ultimately, the place where you will be most spoiled for selection is in the Yong-Le Market area.

For this post, I’m going to introduce three of my favorite shops, where I buy most of my ribbon. They are all located within minutes of the Yong-Le Market building.  (It’s hard for me to give directions, but I’ll include either the shop sign, or the business card, which you can use as a point of reference) I’ll also include a “best finds” explanation for each store, so it’s easier to narrow down your shopping choices. (in case want a more focused shopping experience)

Just a quite FYI before I begin: Most of these stores only accept cash, so make sure you have plenty on hand before you arrive. Based on personal experience, I try to have a handful of small bills and change, which makes the buying process a whole lot smoother.

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