geraldine, the quaint

Dearest ______,

Whenever I hear the word quaint, I think of Victorian chintz, fine bone china with gold inlay, an English garden, Miss Marple’s home in St. Marymead, and now, the quiet little town of Geraldine in New Zealand’s southern isles.

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On the way to Lake Tekapo for our friends’ wedding, we stopped after a couple of hours from Christchurch to get brunch at this highly- recommended place in Geraldine called Verde Cafe and Deli.

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i scream

… for ice cream.

Dearest ______,

We had one of those spontaneous “Let’s get off this bus and eat something good!” kind of things last night.

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After a very satisfying dinner at Longhouse (a popular hawker centre/ food court along Upper Thomson Road), we walked a couple of blocks along the same road to get to the stretch of shophouses that had charming cafes and ice cream shops for dessert.

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DIY pancakes

Dearest ______,

The concept of paying for DIY- anything is probably baffling to our grand parents’ or great grand parents’ set. If I were to put a grumpy grandpa’s hat on, I would lament:

“Why would you go all the way out, pay good money… only to cook your own food?”

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And yet here we are, a bored generation that’s become fixated with the discovery and creation of more and more “experiential” ways of doing things. In design, in shopping, and now- in dining.

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royale eatery

Dearest ______,

Let me just put it out there:
Cape Town is majorly Hipster City. The locals know this too, as evidenced by the countless cracks made about Moleskin- toting, cafe- sitting ironic kids at the stand- up comedy show we caught there the other Sunday.

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If hipster should mean great “gourmet” food and “artisanal” drinks, or an all- around awareness and appreciation for cleverly good design, then I really don’t mind.

What’s more, I think hipster Cape Town is very cool indeed .

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brunch justified at abc

Dearest ______,

Everybody’s into brunching out these days.
But why?“, you might ask.

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If you’ve ever been to the Artisan Boulangerie Co. smack in the middle of the city though (a little off Orchard, along Killiney Road), I reckon you’d be swayed to partake more in this very hip quasi- period of the day (it’s neither breakfast nor lunch, after all).

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chye seng huat hardware

Dearest ______,

Yesterday’s post- band practice “coffee conversations” finally brought us to Chye Seng Huat Hardware, where I’d been dying to go since reading about it online.

Perfect that I brought an engaging conversationalist (and her hilarious partner) in tow, for the first of my surely many visits there.  Cafes such as this one are conducive to all forms of talk: trivial, existential, pseudo intellectual, and the downright funny.

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Snug within the exciting labyrinth that is Little India, Chye Seng Huat Hardware is pretty much everything you want a cafe to be:

1) They have a great selection of coffee beans from all over the world, including those from their own in-house specialty coffee Roastery.

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just desserts

Dearest ______,

… And maybe a cup of coffee or two.

Some places I’ve wandered to for precisely just that and a little required down time.

1) Anythingz Cafe (Tyrwhitt Road, Jalan Besar)

Good: quiet, secluded location
Bad: the unnecessary “z” at the end of the name

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2) Twelve Cupcakes (United Square, Novena)

Good: the cupcakes
Bad: the cupcakes in your bulging gut

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3) Baguette (Vivo City, Harbourfront)

Good: Vietnamese drip coffee (my favorite kind of coffee, ever)
Bad: this mall is almost always too crowded

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Love,

Karlita

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