Singapore -One of a kind- Books Actually

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Your attention please, rare specimen here. This Independent bookstore, unique in Singapore, almost went out of business several times but survived thanks to owner Kenny and his team’s passion and devotion. Specialised in fiction, they house the largest collection of Singapore literary publications and publish poetry, novel and essays under their imprint “Math Paper Press”. You’ll also go crazy for the wide range of magazines. Plus they have a vintage bric-a-brac at the back, like a tiny tiny flea market. If you have time for only one place in Tiong Bahru. This is it.

ASK: for the hand stitch notebooks and stationery they produce under Birds & Co.

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Singapore -Flower Couture- One Olive

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This little “flower couture” shop is worth having a peep at. Old French songs are playing (ones my own grandparents won’t even recognize). Even if you have no one to buy flowers to, let yourself go to the romantic atmosphere and floral scents. Prices are up to 5 times the Tiong Bahru market next door, but it’s (haute) couture isn’t it?

ASK: to meet Sunday, their star cat even has a soft toy in his image.

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Singapore -Hipster Corner- Strangelets

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This is the story of 4 interior designers and architect friends who travelled the world in order to create a shop that would gather charming and clever items. The result is this little design shop, a response to hyper-mega mass production. High-End. Think tableware by Astier de Villatte, Jewellery by Kiel Mead, lighting by Mark Product…  Beautiful, quirky, and expensive.

ASK: For the singaporeans frozen treats “Popaganda”. And for the crafts from Heart works, part of a social project in Cape Town. They’re one of the few little affordable things to buy in Strangelets.

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Singapore -Shop the local Chic-Nana & bird

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Georgina Koh and Tan Chiew Ling opened this online store and Multi-label boutique in 2011. Their goal is to cater the best of what international and local emerging designers such as Yumumu and Aijek can offer. They sell “only what they would buy for themselves" for the modern and engaged woman. Which wardrobe should be functional including classic pieces and occasional “why not” piece with quirky details.” 
ASK: To see what their kids collection. They have recently started to sell children wear.
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Mumbai -Must shop- Bungalow8

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Since 2003, Mumbai’s beautifully styled first concept store spotlights the very best of Indian inspired design and fashion.  This is where Madonna and Sting shop when they are in town. From dining and living, bath, bed and fashion, everything is lifestyle connected. Walking thru the shop is like living in a dream house. Bungalow 8’s philosophy is to pair “Indian-ness with global-ness”. Charming.

ASK: For their house designed kimonos to bring some cosiness back home

At the time of writing, the Colaba store was about to move to Churchgate.

An organic pop up restaurant helmed by owner Maithili Ahluwalia’s mother is coming up in September.

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Mumbai -Cosy Brunch- Pali Village Cafe

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A 60’s European style restaurant with an Indian touch makes it one of the cosiest eatery in Mumbai. Heritage tiled floor and exposed walls, the decor itself takes you on a journey. Their menu is highly Mediterranean inspired so don’t expect to find typical local food here, for that you’ll have to go to Pali Bhavan next door. However, for brunch, this is the right place to be. Modern and old fashioned.

ASK: For their buttermilk pancakes. It’s just so good.

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Mumbai -Hotel- Abode Bombay

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Literally “Bombay house”, the only so called “boutique hotel” in Mumbai and old restored guest house is tucked in the heart of Colaba historical heritage district. Tastefully designed and furnished with a vintage 20th colonial century and art decor, the cosy 20 rooms meet all budgets. Complimentary breakfast and Wifi. Very convenient for a first time in the city.

ASK: To meet Lizzie the owner. She has very good city and travel tips.

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Mumbai -Arty Café- Kala Ghoda Cafe

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Photographer and owner Farhad Bomanjee created this little café, bakery, and gallery in an early 20th century barn. Its intellectual vibe attracts many students of the area, and is well known for its coffee quality. The organic house blend sourced directly from plantation is made from south Indian Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties. Salads and desserts are also good. Breakfast is served until 13:00.

ASK: for an expresso and a dark chocolate cake, the perfect energy fix equation.  

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Mumbai -Feel Good Cafe- The Nutcracker

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This little feel good cafe serves breakfast all day. Friendly owner Anaheeta Bafna created her mostly vegetarian menu with chefs who have worked in well-known establishments such as The Taj Mahal Palace Tower. Their sandwiches and salads are also worth a try, new on the menu is the Chunky Mushroom Burger. Fresh food is prepared in house, and the coffee, using blends of Robusta and Arabica comes from plantations of the southern peninsula region. While desserts are made from fine Belgian chocolate. “The Nutcracker” is also a posh chick headquarter; If you prick up your ears and listen a little you might be able to catch up on the latest gossip, Delightful.

ASK: For their summer cooler and shakes, goes well with anything.

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Mumbai -Socialite spot- The Table

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It’s a serious affair here, Native San Francisco Alex Sanchez who has been awarded the Best Chef in India title, creates his international inspired menu around seasonal products. Nearly all is procured locally. Small or large plates will adjust to your appetite (and your wallet). The perfect place to dine among Mumbai socialite family.

ASK: For their spiced lamb mini burgers. Good enough to share and to fit into their “lively social atmosphere”.

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