All posts tagged: City Guide

necessary prov

Necessary Provisions / Singapore

Merriam-Webster defines the word provisions as a supply of food and other things that are needed. For caffeine lovers out in the West of Singapore, they would know all too well what is needed. Nestled deep in the heart of a residential estate, Necessary Provisions is a cafe that understands your daily coffee fix. While their location at Bukit Timah is extremely inaccessible as you would either need a car to go there or make a long trek on foot, the cafe prides itself of a strong following. The food menu is simple and earnest, serving baked goodies, snack plates, and beer on tap. The notable thing here is the cafe’s ambience. The cafe hosts a relaxed environment for out-of-office work or some leisure reading. The interiors offer just the right amount of quiet you need-surreal lighting, dark walls, streaming light, and hushed music contribute to this vibe. There is a big, round communal table in the shop’s center, with stacks of magazine for you to peruse. One can take their time lounging here as …


Agalico Tea Room / Bangkok, Thailand

If literary icon Jane Austen were to have tea time today, no doubt she would seek out Agalico. Agalico is a hidden treasure of a tea room off Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. They are so hidden and low-key that the place is only open on Fridays til Sundays and they work hard to maintain that intimate aura. Owned by Thailand’s prominent landscape artist and interior designer, ML Poomchai Chumbala, Agalico’s secret garden sanctuary is every bit lovely. The all-white interior of the English-style living room perfectly sets the mood for engaging conversations. The canvas couches, rattan chairs, birdcage accents, and orchid displays complement each other to paint a scene that could have been taken right out of a Georgian era novel. The food offerings are also tailored for the quaint tea experience, as they have on their menu homemade scones, apple crumble, quiche, and a wide selection of teas from Europe. The garden outside is the real highlight though, with its rich greenery, bright flowers, glass gazebo, and various sculptures. It is like stepping out …

one olive

One Olive / Singapore

A passion for nature and beauty is their license for a successful venture. For One Olive owners Amy Yap and Nikki Yapp, their shop literally offers patrons a piece of quaint freshness as they craft bespoke flowers and provide events floral design. One Olive exudes effortless charm brought about by the flowers’ simple elegance and the jazz music playing in the background adds more to this aura. Old trunks and wooden tables display their delicate produce while decorative vases showcase their handmade creations. This peaceful oasis of greenery and splashes of color will surely inject a sense of joy, romance, or nostalgia into your day. 61 Seng Poh Lane, Singapore 160061; +65 6779 3543; Words by Evita Limlengco Photography by Franz Navarrete

metropolian hotel

Metropolitan by COMO / Bangkok, Thailand

When Metropolitan by Como in Bangkok conceptualized their hotel, they only had premium travel service in mind. And rightly so, as their space in Thailand has grown to be one of the island’s most admired dwellings. With its flawless combination of white paint and dark wood furnishings, the boutique hotel offers a soothing vibe amidst the city’s business district. The cutting-edge styling of the room is something to envy as both masculine and feminine elements come together to offer undeniable relaxation. This hotel boasts of redefining the dining experience by offering sinfully decadent dishes: Thai restaurant Nahm, Glow restaurant, and Met Bar. Nahm, by Michelin-starred chef David Thompson, has been voted number one in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2014, which puts it in every food lover’s must-try list. With all these features, the allure of Metropolitan by Como is easy to see. 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Thailand; +66 2 625 3333; Words by Evita Limlengco Photography by Franz Navarrete


BooksActually / Singapore

BooksActually is an independent bookstore that curates a great selection of literary pieces, including unique books and magazines. The quirky but homey atmosphere of this place is always a welcome surprise to visitors. The shop itself is filled with charming details, such as wooden boxes, potted plants, and roaming cats (to the delight of cat lovers out there!) Apart from books, they also sell antiques, stationery, canvas bags, and various trinkets. Be sure to allot a good 2-3 hours to explore the shelves and tables displaying numerous enticing finds. 9 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168645; +65 6222 9195; Kenny Leck, co-founder of BooksActually, invites you to browse through their rare print finds. Words by Evita Limlengco Photography by Mathieu Tan & Gladys Soh


Gillman Barracks / Singapore

Entering Gillman Barracks for the first time may leave you slightly bewildered. Low-rise, pre-war colonial architecture dot the arts belt with its whitewashed facade. Enigmatic and still, the apparent allure of this place is really more about a soulful vibe. The quiet placidity of this bohemian 6.4-hectare development may seem intimidating at first. However, we urge you to move beyond its romantic veneer and explore every threshold. Gillman Barracks is a conserved military barracks that has been turned into a contemporary arts cluster. As a joint initiative among three organizations, huge aspirations are in place for the two-year-old project development. Truth be told, the site is still coming into its own. Yet, this is precisely what gives the place its intimate scale. To get the most out of the galleries, go in with a proactive and curious mind. The lack of signage on the building exterior to guide you through the space actually calls for your creative mind to wander. If you really need a clue though, start trekking from Block 9 or Block 47. The two buildings house some of our favorite galleries like the acclaimed Michael …

alila ubud

Alila Ubud / Bali, Indonesia

Alila Ubud Hotel is a tranquil escape made to overwhelm the senses. Nestled in a stunning landscape, the hotel boasts of quiet serenity and breathtaking views every nature-lover dreams of. The relaxed environment, the gourmet food, and the exceptional staff ensure that your experience is beyond expectation. Masterfully blending traditional Balinese architecture with contemporary design, Alila Ubud provides guests with sheer comfort and luxury. Alila Ubud is the top choice to experience all the best that the island of the Gods has to offer. Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan. Gianyar Bali; +62 361 975 963; Words by Evita Limlengco Photography by Franz Navarrete


L’Usine / Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

A must-try when you visit Ho Chi Minh City, L’Usine is a French-inspired cafe and retail store that is a real surprise. Equal parts fashion boutique, creative space, and excellent spot for brunch and downtime, L’Usine stocks uniquely-designed clothing, accessories, housewares, stationery, whimsical vintage items, and fresh cupcakes. Their Vietnamese coffee is highly-recommended as most locals and tourists order this to go with their pastries. Located in an 1890s building that was restored to its original splendour, one cannot help but admire the high ceilings, oversized arched windows, ornate iron columns, and enticing fixtures. L’Usine’s elegant savvy space is well worth it to be included in your city itinerary. 151 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam; +84 (0)8 6674 356; Words by Evita Limlengco Photography by Franz Navarrete


Nosbyn / Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Established in 2013 by designer Nancy Le, Nosbyn specialises in womenswear that can be effortlessly mixed-and-matched with other pieces. This minimalist, light-filled shop in Ho Chi Minh City carries simple and free size clothing items with character that is easy to love. The shop itself boasts of clean lines and classic decor details pleasing to the eye. From its white draperies, beige display blocks, and lively green plants, to the soothing music in the background, Nosbyn exudes a notable, relaxed charm. 3A Ton Duc Thang, District 1, +84 (0)8 6681 3185; Words by  Evita Limlengco Photography by Franz Navarrete