If you find yourself wandering around the hipster-heavy Eastern area of Taipei around MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua Station, keep your eyes wide open for the two large red doors and the glass that fills them as they open up to a design surprise and fantastic place to waste away the hours.
Once inside you’ll find another piece of the ‘VVG’ story, a network of quaint designer enterprises such as the VVG Bistro across the street, a bed and breakfast elsewhere in the city and other such eateries where the hip and happening of Taipei’s growing fashionable populous may enjoy something ‘Very, Very Good’.
Though you may be forgiven for thinking they haven’t fallen upon a name yet, the name for this particular boutique and bookshop actually is ‘VVG Something’.
Walking between the doors from the haze you’re overcome by the warmth and cozy feeling inside. The atmosphere is similar to walking into someones age old living room full of ornaments in pottery, metal and plastic, where everything has it’s place and the armchair is warm and worn in.
The warmth from the room wraps you up and sets you at ease to cast your eyes over the many objects that decorate the room on bookcases and shelves and any other place with some space. The items pull you in away from the door and deeper into the shop.
The items that lie around the room are curiosities that leave you dying to pick them up because you’re curious as to how they came to be there, where it’s come from, who used to own it. Everything in the room seems to have a history and collectively give the room a museum-like feel.
Of course, what lies at the centre (literally) of VVG Something is it’s bookshop status selling everything for the design and creative mind, with books to stimulate the cooking side of the mind, the fine arts part, the small little poetry piece and – luckily for us – a travel section too.
Amongst the travel books that took both of our eyes was a collection from the Wallpaper* Magazine Travel Guide series, a series we had the pleasure of discovering a few years ago a few days before our first trip abroad together when we visited Berlin.
The books are fantastic and are filled with a delightful collection of the fantastic design, architecture and eateries in the cities they feature, such as Rome, Barcelona and New York. Not only that, they also all look fantastic lined up together.
It’s certainly one of the nicest places we visited during our time in Taipei, if not our entire time in Taiwan. With Taipei being such the centre of all the attention when it comes to culture in Taiwan (though there is some to be found in cities like Hualien and Kaohsiung), it’s not surprising that ‘VVG Something’ and the other branches in the group have succeeded over the past 15 years and in fact continue to grow with a new branch – ‘VVG Thinking’ – opening earlier this year.
VVG Something13, Alley 40, Lane 181, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei
View VVG Something in a larger map
If you’re of a creative nature and like to treasure the old things in life then a visit to VVG Something in East Taipei is more than in order, and whilst you’re there, be sure to flick through some of the fantastic books before you head across the road to VVG Bistro for something to eat, or out and about the area to pick up a piece of vintage clothing or two.