Sometimes, there really is so much to do and so little time to do it all. This is when multi-tasking is useful and some places in Singapore have made it easier for us to indulge in more than one hobby at a time by diversifying their business. Boutique cafes are ideal for doing a spot of shopping then catching up over a coffee, or even a meal. Here are five places to pop into today – and make sure you have enough space in your phone to snap a few photos for your social media accounts, because they look great too.
Carpenter And Cook
Enjoy delicious artisan coffees and teas while browsing through beautiful vintage knick-knacks for your home. You'll be greeted by the smells of freshly-baked pastries such as croissants, tarts and muffins. as well as savoury offerings like quiches, brioches and an assortment of sandwiches. They also sell a range of homemade jams, granola, biscuits and marshmallows that you'll certainly savour at home and are nice gifts to get for your loved ones too, even without any special occasion in mind.
The furniture here is just as appetising – the range of carefully-curated vintage furniture and well as decoration pieces for your home will remind you of days of yore and you'll want to snap them up as soon as you see them too. This is an especially exciting stop for anyone into cute or classy retro items.
19 Lorong Kilat, #01-06; www.carpenterandcook.com
Boufe Boutique Cafe
Just looking at this colonial-style venue will make you fall in love with it immediately, because it's just gorgeous. It's also one of the most Instagram-worthy venues in Singapore, thanks to its minimalist interior, lots of natural light and very pretty food.
It's the epitome of a boutique cafe – even its name is a combination of 'boutique' and 'cafe' – and it serves a very impressive menu, as well as houses a store that sells women's clothes and accessories. Its Mini Unicorn Cake is too cute for words and the variety of food on the menu makes it an ideal spot for brunch, lunch (its last order is 6pm so no dinner here) or even just coffee and cake to rest your weary feet after all that shopping.
308 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park, #01-01; www.boufesg.com
In Good Company
This lifestyle concept store showcases its ready-to-wear collection and serves food in partnership with Plain Vanilla Bakery. The retail space features a range of womenswear, menswear, kidswear and accessories, and there are also product collaborations with several other brands. The minimalist layout makes it look more like a gallery than a store, which means it looks simply beautiful (and you might inadvertently feel a bit arty-farty too).
Do your shopping then head to Plain Vanilla, where you absolutely can't leave without sampling its organic coffee, artisanal teas and an irresistible range of cupcakes, brownies, tarts and a selection of fresh salads and deli-style sandwiches.
ION Orchard #B1-06, 2 Orchard Turn; www.ingoodcompany.asia
Kapok At NDC
Founded in Hong Kong, this brand's Singapore flagship store is located at the National Design Centre and has a cafe too with its partner, Tanuki Raw. The store houses more than 100 brands, half of them by local designers, so pop by here to do your part for Singapore. Homegrown brands include Amado Gudek, Ginlee Studio, The Little Dröm Store and Rye, just to name a few. Whether it's fashion, jewellery or lifestyle products you're looking for, take a peak and see what you find here.
Tanuki Raw, being more of a restaurant than a cafe, recently installed a new coffee brew bar, making it an ideal spot for coffee after your shopping spree. But if you're looking for something more substantial, indulge in their fresh oysters or rice bowls, and be sure to check out their happy hour too.
111 Middle Road, National Design Centre, #01-05; www.ka-pok.com
Opened in March this year, this cafe and retail store celebrates 'the daily life you create'. The store features carefully curated brands for men, with handpicked items and brands of which almost all are exclusive to Monument in Singapore. On offer are American brands that haven't made it to our sunny shores yet, making this a great place to drag your man to, to shop for unique items of clothing – or for you to discover rare pieces that would make perfect gifts.
The cafe brings the renowned Four Barrel Coffee and Samovar Tea brands from San Francisco to Singapore, and serves a range of homemade light bites, artisanal toast, pastries and salads too.
75 Duxton Rd; www.monumentlifestyle.com