Large plush armchairs, plenty of sunlight, cozy alcoves to nestle in, and plenty of good tea – these spots are great for chilling with a riveting book
We love our cafes. Cafes with great coffee, cafes that serve up beautiful brunches and bottomless mimosas, and chic new cafes that the cool crowd flocks to. But we have a special place in our heart for the cafes that make the perfect hideaway nook to burrow in and laze your weekend away in a quiet bliss. So we combed through all the places we know and came up with 15 gorgeous cafes that you'll want to stay at all day with a pot of tea and that one book you've been meaning to read for the longest time. Start planning your weekend with our cafe guide. Photo: Instagram / @arteastiq ALSO READ: 6 HEALTHY RESTAURANTS IN SINGAPORE YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT This pretty tea lounge and art jamming space in Mandarin Gallery already has a bit of a rep for being a spot for tai tais, thanks to its refined look. And while it is pretty to look at, with a mod-victorian decor style and lush trees filling the floor-to-ceiling glass panels, the teas are definitely worth trying. In addition to the usual high tea sets which feature fruit and floral teas as well as Chinese and Japanese teas, there are also 'tea'tox beverages like the Honey Lavender Tea which comes with a sprig of organic lavender in the cup – which helps infuse the aroma of lavender even more. The one that piques our interest the most though is the dessert tea 'Lady Yang', a lychee tea you pour over a skewer of saccharine lychees dusted in rose powder. Yum. Arteastiq is at Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Rd. Photo: Instagram / @arteastiq ALSO READ: 5 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY TEAS YOU NEED TO TRY AT LEAST ONCE Part art school, part cafe, My Art Space is great to hang out at when it's a sunny day. Why? The ample sunlight that streams in through the skylights and glass walls as well the surrounding greenery from Istana Park make you feel like you're away from the city though you're in the heart of it. Walk past the studio where art students will give you serious painting inspo, before entering the cafe to find a cloudy glass floor that shows glimpses of the fountain the building is perched on. Then choose a simple cup of Gryphon tea from a cutesy palette-shaped menu before settling down in a corner. Beautiful location that's unpretentious and fuss-free. We think you'll like it here. My Art Space is at 31 Orchard Rd. ALSO READ: THIS IS NO ORDINARY TZE CHAR Reading sanctuary with high tea sets and quintessential cafe nosh by day, bustling bar with tapas, wine, small-batch ciders, and cocktails by night. You pick the kind of scene you want. What about us? We'd happily stay here from day to night. There's an endearing mess to this place. Random knick-knacks are strewn around; an assortment of wooden chairs, upholstered seating and stools are clustered around small tables; and pictures bordered in vintage frames fill any wall space that isn't already covered with rows of books. Bring your own book or make a gamble and find one to read from The Reading Room itself. The Reading Room is at 19 Bukit Pasoh Rd. Photo: Instagram / @bryangohey ALSO READ: I TRIED SHARING TRANSPORT, FOOD AND BOOKS FOR A WEEK This unabashedly girly cafe is decked in fairy lights, pink and white paper flowers, and even striped awnings over the cashier. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but if you adore this cutesy aesthetic, Little House of Dreams is definitely for you. What we love most about this cafe are the little semi-secluded areas where you can feel like you have some time alone to yourself. Like the little alcoves with floral patterned seats, and armchairs put behind white picket fences where you can curl up with your book. Little House of Dreams is at Block 8 Dempsey Rd. Photo: Astreem ALSO READ: KIKKI.K’S NEW SLEEP RANGE IS CHANGING THE WAY WE APPROACH BEDTIME Yeah, we're bending the rules with this one a bit as Mellower's primarily a coffee joint and tea only comes second. Still, we picked Mellower for the ambience and view. There's bean bags on the second floor if you want to kick back; barstools and tables which overlook the street crossing so you can people watch while you take a break from reading. Also, we think Mellower deserves brownie points for presentation. Your drink comes with a petite vase of fresh and colourful blooms - a nice accessory for a flatlay. Mellower Coffee is at 108 Middle Rd. Photo: Instagram / @grace 18 ALSO READ: 3 SURPRISING HIKING TRAILS TO CHECK OUT IN HONG KONG You wouldn't think it, but Birds of a Feather – this pretty-as-a-picture cafe with ethereal cloud lamps, verdant walls of ferns, and skylights has an unexpected streak to it. You won't find any eggs benedicts or croissants here, but instead contemporary Sichuan fare. Still, you can grab some teas and tisanes at the bar to sip on while reading. Perhaps some cucumber mint or white pear ginger to complement a serving of Asian spice poached pear? Mmm. Birds of a Feather is at 115 Amoy St. Photo: Birds of a Feather ALSO READ: UNHEALTHY FOODS THAT CAN ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR YOU This tiny tea salon and reading room located between the bars and cafes along Beach Rd is a hidden gem you're not likely to notice till you're actually in front of it. Painted in likeable tones of millennial pink and stone beige, with the occasional cacti and fern to add splashes of pine green, we feel we're in an Insta picture when we're here. There are books on F&B, art and design you can read about, but unless you're into those kinds of things we recommend you bring your own book. A small, selection of teas curated by A.muse, a local handcrafted tea purveyor, is available, and you can pay as much as you want for it – as long as you pay a minimum of $5 per pot. Come here if you're down for some intense reading. When we visited on a weekday afternoon, it was so quiet we felt like we were in a library! Looksee Looksee is at 267 Beach Rd. Photo: Looksee Looksee ALSO READ: THE 4 COOLEST COWORKING SPACES FOR WORK AND PLAY In the hipster enclave of Tiong Bahru, Plain Vanilla's known for some really good cupcakes. Pair the sweet treat with some loose leaf tea and settle down in the open storefront which has its look changed from time to time. The last time we saw it, there's a wooden swing, wooden tables that are close to the ground, carpet grass, and pretty bicycles with cane baskets on the front that you can rent for a quick and fun cardio session. ($10 for one hour, $18 for two hours, and $20 for three hours.) We don't know about you, but we're getting mod-kampung vibes, and we love it. Plain Vanilla Bakery is at 1D Yong Siak St. Photo: Instagram / @alexxrex ALSO READ: 6 FERMENTED FOODS YOU SHOULD BE EATING If you want to head somewhere a little more central (or don't really wanna sit on the ground), try Mercure Singapore Bugis. It's just launched the new East Meets West Afternoon Tea Set ($25.90) which includes Asian desserts like pandan creme brulee and golden durian pillows. The lobby is nice to hang out at, but if you're doing a staycation, take your book and tea up to the pool, so you can dip your toes in the water while having a view of the town. Mercure Singapore Bugis is at 122 Middle Rd. ALSO READ: WHERE TO FIND TRADITIONAL SATAY LOK LOK IN SINGAPORE The Rabbit Hole - you may have seen it pop up on your feed, with your friends standing at the distinct hole-shaped entrance - is a garden bar that specialises in gin. While you can order a pot of tea, we don't see anything wrong in indulging in a glass of gin topped with flowers, fruits or herbs to counter the heat when reading alfresco. Or you could take it inside and sit at the stunning bar that's draped in greenery while you watch the bartender fix a drink for you. The Rabbit Hole is at 39C Harding Rd. Photo: Instagram / @thewhiterabbitsg ALSO READ: ANOTHER REASON TO DRINK WINE: IT'S GREAT FOR YOUR ORAL HEALTH Wildseed Cafe is a must go if you're a nature lover. That's because the retail partners of Wildseed Cafe, Poppy Flora and Nature Studio, are a part of the reason why the cafe stays so impeccably decorated with a beautiful mix of foliage and flower arrangements. If you'd like, you could sip on an original cocktail that has been made using fresh herbs from the nearby garden. Pretty neat. Wildseed Cafe is at 3 Park Ln. Photo: Instagram / @thesummerhousesg ALSO READ: 8 OF THE BEST ZI CHAR PLACES AROUND SINGAPORE When you step past the nondescript wooden door of the shophouse where Tea Bone Zen Mind is located, you'll feel like you've stepped into a different area entirely. Instead of a home or regular shop, you'll find a koi pond, cushioned seating areas to sip tea at, and an overall zen atmosphere. Venture up the wooden stairs, and you'll see private tea rooms that are reminiscent of a traditional Japanese tatami room. It really doesn't feel like Singapore anymore, and we recommend Tea Bone Zen Mind for times when you want to escape it all. Tea Bone Zen Mind is at 98 Emerald Hill Rd. Photo: Instagram / @Yuriiina ALSO READ: IS BREAST CANCER THE ONLY CAUSE OF ITCHING? You'd be reminded of old-school Singapore at The Coastal Settlement. Smooth cement floors, blue and white china in rickety wooden cabinets, and tonnes of retro memorabilia that line the shelves all remind people of simpler times. We like the inside-most part of the cafe a lot – where you'll find lots of big armchairs and floor-to-ceiling glass panels that show you the tropical greenery outside. It feels a little bit like a chalet with an old-school charm, so if that wins you over more than elegant tea rooms, The Coastal Settlement is for you. The Coastal Settlement is at 200 Netheravon Rd. Photo: Instagram / @Singaporeactually ALSO READ: YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE OLD SCHOOL BAKERIES BEFORE THEY'RE GONE Antoinette during weekday tea-times is a lovely quiet space to get some reading done. Not only can you sit back with a pot of tea, you can also try one of their exquisite and delicate cakes which are made without any added sugar. (Any sweetness comes from the fruits used in the cake.) The space is ornate, decorated with large velvety, Victorian-style chairs, vintage frames, candelabras and even a fireplace to boot. But everything has a worn-down quality to it, giving the place a welcoming charm. Just be sure to go when it's not that crowded, as it can get noisy during lunch and dinner times when Antoinette is usually full. Antoinette is at 30 Penhas Rd and Mandarin Gallery. Photo: Female ALSO READ: 7 BAKERIES IN SINGAPORE THAT DO BEAUTIFUL CUSTOMISED CAKES Atlas is known for being the best gin bar in Singapore, not to mention one of the best bars in the world. You'll find an incredible selection of rare and gins, wines, and whiskeys in the collection. But did you know that this regal looking bar also serves fine teas? Try the Atlas afternoon tea set along with the Atlas art deco tea blend which incorporates dry gin botanicals, elderflower and yuzu. You'll also get moreish canapes to snack on as part of the set. We love hanging at Atlas because of the intricate design and art – it feels like we discover a new detail each time we return! On a side note, you might want to make a reservation before heading down, unless you're going on a weekday afternoon, when there isn't much of a queue. Atlas Bar is at 600 North Bridge Rd. Photo: Instagram / @atlasbarsg ALSO READ: THE TOP 10 CRAFT SPIRITS AND COCKTAILS FOR THE GIN LOVER
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