4 Hot Spots to Visit Next Time You’re in ION Orchard

Who doesn’t know ION Orchard? The futuristic façade of this building is one of the most prominent things in Orchard landscape, making it almost like an icon to Singapore’s shopping district. ION is known to FD girls as the home of Sephora (a.k.a our mothership) but there are actually a lot more shops to visit there. ION is known for being very selective when it comes to their retail mix of shops, so there’s always interesting selections available for all kinds of shoppers.

I recently went on a trip to ION and here some new (or relatively new) stores I can recommend for your next trip, and a nice little cafe that will complete your shopping session!

1. enVie de Pois

Looking to splurge in one-of-a-kind designer couture piece? enVie de Pois is definitely the store to go. This multi-brand boutique carries exclusive haute couture gowns, pret a porter classic and trendy finery from fashion’s most darling names such as Ellie Saab, Reem Acra, Mary Katrantzou, Antonio Marras and many more. When I visited the store in May, I caught the sights of some breathtaking Fausto Puglisi pieces that were going to be worn by the models on the runway of Samsung Fashion Steps Out 2013. The very same ones Anna Dello Russo were frequently spotted in.

While the dresses were too “out there” to be worn by mere mortals such as moi, they are often quickly snatched by famous actors and singers from around the region, such as Hongkong and (of course!) Indonesia.

2. Crate & Barrell

Raise your hand if you always find yourself entering home furnishing stores and spending some time there, even if you are not currently decorating. If that sounds like you, don’t hesitate..make your way to Crate & Barrell and get ready to drool! The US home furnishings store occupies 16,000-square-feet of retail space on the 4th floor. The store interior is warm and welcoming and the products are merchandised so attractively, you want to grab every item and bring it to the cashier.

As an aspiring baker, my favorite section of Crate & Barrell is of course the Kitchen & Food, where I found my wishlist keeps on expanding, being filled with things I’ve always needed to transform myself into a kitchen goddess, to things I never knew I needed but wanted anyway (Cast-iron garlic roaster! Brilliant!) Another great thing about Crate & Barrell is that the price is very accessible (check their website if you don’t believe me), guaranteeing that you will find something more than worthy of being an ideal gift for loved ones or yourself.

3. Biotherm Homme

Have you ever entered a shoe store, where the chairs and sofas are all occupied by bored-looking men waiting for their wives/girlfriends to finish shopping, you barely have any space to sit down and try on a pair? Spare them your evil eyes, ladies, for these men are enduring the dullest activity subjected to them by us, womenkind, when they can happily sit in front of their couch watching football instead, all in the name of love. Which is why I think Biotherm Homme store is a fantastic idea! Yes, as the name suggests, this store, located on the Basement 3 of ION Orchard, is the brand’s first flagship boutique in the world, exclusively dedicated to the Biotherm Homme customers. The boutique is composed of 4 different areas – a self-service space, an interactive bar, a consultation area and a skincare lounge – where they can enjoy a 30 minute facial that incorporates deep cleansing using Clarisonic! You read that right! Another thing I like about Biotherm Homme boutique is they try to make it as simple as possible for men to choose their skincare products. All the products are color coded and categorized by Cleanse, Tone and Treat routines to differentiate the ranges and to help men find what they need quickly and easily.

So the next time your man lets out a huge complaint when you tell him you just need to go into one more store, just to check out this one more thing – you know where to send him!

4. jones the grocer

When your feet can’t walk any further and your tummy growls for some munchies, it’s time to head to Level 4 and enter jones the grocer! This Australian gourmet food store chain and cafe offers a selection of delectable dishes with fresh ingredients sourced globally or locally. The cafe is warm, inviting and bustling with diners who enjoy their food and drinks in communal tables. While waiting for your meals to come, you can browse their selection of gourmet products – from premium teas to luxury chocolates, handmade pasta sauces or fresh pastries displayed on the bakery counter.

I sampled their brunch menu when I visited jones the grocer and while munching my organic yogurt, muesli, egg benedict and washing it down with fresh gourmet coffee, the food snob in me nodded with approval and made a vow to return next time I visit ION. Highly recommended!