Elv Café; The Hidden Gem of Nagasaki

(Original article can be found here: http://en.japantravel.com/view/elv-cafe )

A quaint café located in the heart of Nagasaki City, Elv will capture your heart and remind you why you fell in love with cafes in the first place.

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My need for small, unique cafés could be perceived as something of an addiction. Without them, I feel myself growing anxious, laying in bed in the mornings wondering what I will do with my life, staring at my simple, hand-me-down kettle with a sigh of bitter disappointment. Considering the fact that I grew up in Britain, my love of cafés honestly comes as no surprise. Upon moving to Nagasaki, I made it my goal to find a café in which I could enjoy the peacefulness of my own thoughts and scribble away in my diary. I was worried at first that I would be doomed to spend my days in the ever-crowded Starbucks, unable to think a coherent thought that deviated from the path of ‘Damn, there are a lot of foreigners in here’.

That was when I discovered Elv.

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A small café, situated alongside Megane-Bashi and its ever-flowing koi-filled river, Elv can be spotted by its small sign and myriad of plants that guard the doorway. With its smooth music and earthy tones, you will feel at home the moment your foot steps through the doorway. For a vegetarian, opening the door to a café you know you are bound to fall in love with is always daunting, faced with the horrid truth that there’s a huge chance you may not be able to eat there. Thankfully, that was not the case with Elv.

Despite the menu being small, its various options are bound to tickle the fancy of anyone who decides to stop by for a bite to eat. And for those of you who appreciate the sweets over the savouries, the chocolate cake will most certainly hit the spot.

With the cold weather still nipping at your nose, Elv has a delicious and very effective way of warming you up. Hot wine! Appealing to the eye and taste buds, it’s a drink for all your senses. Coming in a glass that will bring the warmth back to your hands, this delicious beverage will slide down your throat with an ease that is welcomed. Just be prepared for the moment you look at your bill and realise you had four too many glasses than previously intended. “Just a taste,” my friends said.

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“But I’m not really a coffee kind of person, I would much rather a nice beer,” I hear you say? Well fear not, for Elv caters for everyone. Besides the usual staples, this wonderfully diverse café also has a small range of alcoholic beverages, its most notorious being Belle-Vue Kreik. Having heard many a good word about this cherry flavoured liqueur, I decided to give it a go. The tangy and unmistakable flavour of cherry danced along the sides of my tongue before sliding down with ease. Like an unsweetened cider, this drink is the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

With its eclectic art, smooth music and delicious food, this unique café run by the ever-welcoming George Nakamura will make you fall in love with cafés all over again.

Countries I want to visit

I’ve always loved travelling. Even if it’s a road trip. I feel my heart grow light and my nerves dance as the world around me comes alive. The idea of living a life and never seeing beyond my own garden gate is so frightening to me. Every time  think about it, it’s like an alarm bell going off in my head, telling me I need to move. I don’t know where exactly, I just have  to start walking in some direction.

I recently watched the film, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and I have to admit, I was moved. It smashed my fear of being ‘too old’ or having ‘no time’ into tiny fragments. This won’t last long, however, and soon the mirror of my delusions will be up and fully functioning once more, forcing me to look at a fear a twenty-three year old really shouldn’t have.

But, After my week of travelling Kyushu, I’m ready for more. I decided to make a list of all the countries/specific cities I want to visit or revisit, and I thought It would be nice to share them here. My list is a little small right now, but I’m sure as time ticks on, many will be ticked off and added!

(The little ‘*’ indicates countries I want to revisit.)

And so, without further ado, here is my list of ‘Countries I want to visit’ (In alphabetical order of course!)

  • Canada
  • Denmark/Copenhagen
  • France*
  • Germany*
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • New York City
  • New Zealand
  • Norway*
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • South Korea
  • Sweden/Stockholm
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Have you been to any of these places? If so, where do you recommend? I’m excited to learn more!