Jeju Island has always been one of my dream destinations. I fell in love with it despite knowing a little of it back then – beaches and the Teddy Bear Museum that was shown in the Kdrama, Princess Hours. I still know a little about it because I just want to leave it as a mystery until the day I will finally visit it. Not until I watched Warm and Cozy, which showcased Jeju Island’s people, culture and of course, food. I fell in loved with Jeju even more.
Maendorong Ttottot is a term in Jeju Island, which meant Warm and Cozy. It is the lead, laidback Gun-woo’s restaurant in the island. Gun-woo met hopeful Jung-joo in Jeju Island years after they first met on his 19th birthday when she mistakenly thought that they were twins because of a certain misunderstanding from their past. She moves to Jeju Island to start life a new after she was fired from work, left with no home and found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her. Mistakenly realizing she was dying, Gun-woo would single-mindedly give Jung-woo his restaurant. Gun-woo would still work at the restaurant and would eventually become roommates with Jung-joo. Although Gun-woo and Jung-joo clashed all time, eventually, as we know it, they will fall in love.
Warm and Cozy is a light-hearted romcom, which made me reminisce of how first love, unrequited love, false hopes, and second chances feel. It is okay to feel lost in life, and that one day, you will find your purpose back. It shows us that when all else fails, it will always be our family, who catch us from our fall. No man is an island, find your tribe and love them hard (camaraderie in the community). Forgiveness gives us peace. We don’t forget, we just move forward. How we look at life changes because of a love that is great and that a love like that exists. We give up things that we love for someone you love even more. We do things for love, because of love and with our love.
Yes, Gun-woo giving Jung-joo false hopes through out a couple of episodes were annoying. But every time he does that you just can’t help but smile again. Even you as a viewer would hope and ask if this is it already only to hurt you as much as Jung-joo is. But of course, our boy “Cozy” will be redeemed. Gosh. If you love someone, just say it. If you don’t, say it too. Don’t just give false hopes and hurt the other person. If you want to give yourself to someone, give it your all and of course, let the other person know. You just don’t know how hard it is to walk on eggshells. Of course, in the end, after all the temperature drop and rise, we find Gun-woo and Jung-joo promising each other to not boil or cool down alone but to have a love that is warm and cozy for the rest of their lives.
Warm and Cozy brings us these scenic spots in Jeju Island that would be on my list to go to IF and WHEN I finally wander around. The vivid colors and its natural beauty makes me want to go fly to Jeju at this moment and experience the places that lead to Gun-woo and Jung-joo’s love.
Warm and Cozy, the restaurant owned Gun-woo is actually Café Bomnal in real life. It gives your the view of the sea as it is located in front of Handam Beach. It is a cafe and a guesthouse that can house 4-6 pax. Address: 25 Aewollo 1(il)-gil, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
The luxurious Noblesse Resort, the hotel and resort that is owned by Gun-woo;s brother, Jung-geun is actually Toscana Hotel which is owned by the famous K-pop star JYJ’ Junsu. Address: 3703-5 Gangjeong-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea
The romantic sunrise scene during Jung-joo’s first morning in Jeju happened at Seopjikoji Hill. It is a filed of greenery that is spread beyond a cliff. Stonewalls that will lead your way to the lighthouse. You may also find the most brilliant rapeseed flower fields every April. If you remember it, some of Gun-woo’s menu has rapeseeds because of its abundance in the area. Address: 261 Seopjikoji-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
Seongsan Ilchulbong (Seongsan Sunrise Peak) would be one of the scenic backdrop in a couple of scenes that will make you awe endlessly. It is one of Jeju’s tourist spots where people usually see the sunrise on New Year’s Day. It is said that it is not easy to climb with its steep slope but the wind that you will feel when you get there will make up for it. This is where Jeju Steel Flower Horse Park is located. It is the horse riding park where Jung-joo finds out of her boyfriend’s infidelity. Address: 351-2 Seongsan-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
Because of Warm and Cozy, I learned about Korea’s mermaids, which are the Haenyeos and it there is one thing Jeju is famous for, it is because of these ladies. A Jeju Haenyeo is a woman diver who doesn’t use any breathing equipment as they harvest shellfish and other seafood along the coastal line of Jeju. I read a lot about them right after watching the series. It’s the first time I learned about them. If I researched it right, the location where most Haenyeo scenes at Warm and Cozy took place at the Seongsan Sunrise Peak as well.
Sinchang Windmill Coastal Road is a wind turbine farm, with a long bridge over the ocean and it will lead you to the lighthouse where Gun-woo and Jung-woo hugged each other after they went to the cemetery for Gun-woo’s mom’s death anniversary. Address: 1481-14 Sinchang-ri, Hangyeong-myeon, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
After watching Warm and Cozy, I realized how magnificent Jeju Island is and that it has a lot to offer, more than a Teddy Bear Museum. I hope and pray that someday, I get to finally visit the island.
Back to the series. Overall, I would say that I enjoyed Warm and Cozy. But you know, if they were just honest with their feelings and weren’t a coward, then they wouldn’t have to endure that feeling as if they were hanging on a cliff. For the books, it isn’t the most romantic story but it made me feel good, warm and cozy until the end.
Ps. I am not familiar with the locations, as I haven’t been there. These were just what I found as I researched them. If I made a mistake, please let me know. Details came from various websites. Most photos came from Warm and Cozy official MBC website, otherwise, I found them via Google search. Thank you to all the owners.