Here in Singapore, a handful of entrepreneurs became pioneers when they blurred the lines between eatery and gallery with their multi-concept establishments. Whether it’s a hybrid of a cafe and a gallery or a tea house and an art jamming studio, Susan of Travel-trick.com narrows it down to this list of the best dining places for art lovers.
If you love contrasts, you’ll love the juxtaposition between the fancy chandeliers hanging from the ceiling at Arteastiq and the colourful smears of dried paint that cover most of its studio floor. Located on level four of the Mandarin Gallery, a popular shopping arcade in Mandarin Orchard Singapore, this teahouse-cum-art jamming studio welcomes anyone who fancies a bit of social painting. Just walk right in (although resident art tutor Radhika recommends booking a slot at least three days in advance), choose a visual to duplicate or reinterpret from the in-house library of references, and settle down on a stool. Youll be supplied with free brushes, sponges, unlimited acrylic paint, a 50 x 50 cm canvas and one complimentary beverage from the teahouse menu. A couple finishing up their paintings at the Arteastiq studio where daily art jamming sessions take place. After painting to your heart’s delight, sit by the large windows at the gorgeous tea lounge and have a sumptuous meal or simply sip on some gourmet tea.
Address: Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15, 333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-10pm
Painting Hours (Without Tutor Guidance): Daily; 11am-2pm, 2.30pm-5.30pm, 6pm-9pm
Workshop Hours (With Tutor Guidance): Sat; 2.30pm-5.30pm, 6pm-9pm
Tel: +65 6235-8370
Artistry lies within a dark grey shophouse in the vibrant Kampong Glam district. To identify this well-preserved structure along Jalan Pinang, simply look out for its alfresco dining area – the black-and-white flooring resembles the keys of a piano. Beyond its interesting facade, you’ll find a cuboid-shaped interior that seamlessly combines a café and an art gallery where artworks by emerging artists – both local and international – are showcased. When I visited one rainy Tuesday afternoon, stunning photographs depicting slices of life in Singapore had been meticulously framed and mounted on the walls. After checking out the exhibition, I ordered a cup of hot mocha before settling down at the long communal table in the middle of the café, choosing to sandwich myself between a lonesome traveller who was poring over a map and a college student who was typing away on her Apple laptop.
Address: 17 Jalan Pinang, Singapore 199149
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat, 10am-11.30pm; Sun, 10am-7pm; Closed on Mondays
Tel: +65 6298-2420
Just a stone’s throw away from the Selegie Arts Centre is Cups N Canvas, a boutique cafe-slash-painting studio thats patronised by students from the nearby LASALLE College of the Arts. If you’re feeling peckish, simply proceed to the cafe and order any of the delectable items from the all-day breakfast menu. You’ll enjoy dining in a cosy environment where bold artworks have been mounted on the walls to elevate the interior and hopefully incite a purchase. Speaking of artworks, you can create your own masterpiece in the studio that’s partitioned from the cafe by an aluminium-clad glass door. Resident art tutor Jun Hui will be there to offer guidance during the three-hour painting session. It also features a studio where anyone can paint in a relaxed environment under the guidance of the resident art tutor. He shares how his studio is a sanctuary where people can distress and simply paint in a relaxed environment.
Address: 139 Selegie Road, Singapore 188309
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu, 10am-10pm; Fri, 10am-11pm; Sat, 9am-11pm; Sun, 9am-8pm; Closed on Mondays
Workshop Hours (With Tutor Guidance): Wed & Thu, 7pm-9.30pm; Sat & Sun, 3pm-6pm
Tel: +65 6884-6855
Boasting a picturesque waterfront location on the Istana Park grounds is My Art Space. This standalone structure – situated just across the road from Plaza Singapura and the Istana where Singapores President resides – is run by husband-wife duo, Chankerk and Ping Ping. The first floor is home to an eclectically-furnished cafe that serves comfort foods, although new chef Addis is excited to introduce a more contemporary menu that includes a salmon and avocado sandwich, smoked duck salad and churros with chocolate sauce. The second floor features a large art studio where workshops and art jamming sessions take place. I love how natural light enters and permeates the studio, illuminating the canvases that a group of workshop participants were painting on during my visit. Friendly art tutors were checking on their progress, wearing uniforms that bear their business (and life) motto – learn, appreciate and enjoy art.
Address: Istana Park, 31 Orchard Road, Singapore 238888
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu, 11am-8.30pm (last order 8pm); Fri and Sat, 11am-10.30pm (last order 10pm)
Studio visit by appointment only
Tel: +65 6222-1662