Weekends are for drinking tea and reading

I have been such a slow reader lately because real life keeps getting in the way of reading and blogging time. I’ve been reading V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic books for the past few weeks and I thought I’d finish A Gathering of Shadows this weekend but now it’s almost over and nope, I’m nowhere near the end. I did notice that I’ve visited TWG cafe for three weekends straight, and I brought the two books with me to read. So I thought I’d share some of the pictures that I took.

TWG cafe - group

It all started with this Hobbit-like brunch spread with my ex-flatmates

I’m actually a bit surprised that I’ve never talked about TWG on the blog before. TWG is a Singaporean premium tea brand and I fell in love with their teas when I first moved to Singapore. I was heavily influenced by one of my flatmates who is also a huge fan. My appreciation for TWG tapered off a bit and was recently renewed when I discovered that their all of their food items are infused with tea. I’ve always tried just their pastries and macarons, but now I’ve become a fan of their savory dishes and their scones served with cream and tea jelly.

TWG cafe - brunch

I went back the next weekend to have brunch there again. The tea book has the full list of teas that they serve, including descriptions for each.

TWG cafe - flower tea, scones and macarons

The brunch set included tea, macarons and scones.

TWG cafe - A Darker Shade of Magic

Reading A Darker Shade of Magic with tea in the background.

The picture above was actually regrammed by TWG in their official Instagram account. I thought that was pretty cool.

TWG cafe - A Gathering of Shadows

Scones with two kinds of tea jelly: 1837 Black and Red of Africa. Plus my current read: A Gathering of Shadows.

TWG cafe - A Gathering of Shadows chapter illustration

Chapter illustrations of the UK edition of A Gathering of Shadows.

As always, the resolution is better over at my Instagram account if you guys want to check that out. How about you, how was your weekend? Also, do you enjoy drinking tea as much as I do? Even though I didn’t get to read like I originally wanted to, I had a restful Saturday (woohoo nap time) and was able to visit a new-to-me place on Sunday. So still a pretty good weekend overall… which I need to remind myself as I face the dreaded Monday.

The Reading Room Cafe

I first found out about The Reading Room book cafe in Singapore from an Instagram post. I’ve been visiting book cafes in Manila and was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are some cafes in Singapore that have a similar set-up. Of course, any cafe can become a reading cafe as long as I have a book or my Kindle with me. But it just feels comforting to hang out in a place that’s filled with books. So that was what I ended up doing on a Sunday afternoon.

The Reading Room SG - outside

The Reading Room SG - inside

The Reading Room SG - artwork

I try to stick to the same size of pictures when I upload them here on the blog and because of this, the resolution is a little better on my Instagram account. You can see the pictures here, here and here. Not posted on Instagram but I thought I’d share the meal that I had, which was a brunch set and Himalayan salt coffee:

The Reading Room - brunch

The Reading Room - coffee

It’s a cozy cafe that’s easy to get to, because it’s within walking distance of a train station. The chairs are comfy, the lighting is good and the music isn’t too distracting. So I was able to read a bit after finishing off the food that I ordered. Will definitely keep coming back to this cafe. 🙂

How about you, how did you spend your weekend? As always, I’m in denial that the weekend is over and will try to squeeze in some reading time before going to bed.

Other book cafes I’ve visited:
Tweedle Book Cafe, posts here and here
Book and Borders Cafe
Cool Beans Cafe

Tweedle Book Cafe on a Friday Night

I’m back in Singapore soil but still behind on blog posts so I have a few more Manila-related posts that will (hopefully) go up in the coming days. I’ve been meaning to visit Tweedle Book Cafe again after my initial visit last December. So when friends asked me last Friday where I wanted to meet for dinner, I suggested this place. You know you’re a book nerd when you bring your friends to a book cafe on a Friday night. Woohoo, reading party! I’ve been encouraging them to read more so I wanted them to experience a book cafe. 🙂

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - long table

Dinner (TWG first edition tea, salpicao with egg and kimchi) and signed copies of Agay Llanera’s books:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - dinner

Only Vintage Love is mine, given by Chris Mariano as a gift back when it was launched and recently signed by the author when I met her in person. I’ve yet to read it! The rest are copies I got for my friends Ena, Chuchay and Mich to read and share. These three have inherited and borrowed books from me before, and were also super excited to get signed books as Christmas gifts last year. I love it when real life overlaps with my book blogging life.

Here are #romanceclass books available at the cafe:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - romanceclass

Delicious hot chocolate infused with hibiscus, made in Cebu by The Chocolate Chamber. Served in a pretty tea cup:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - hot chocolate

Last but certainly not the least, I brought books that I wanted to pass on with me. Unread books are sad books so I’ve been passing on physical copies of my books because they just get neglected in Manila while I’m in Singapore. Some of these I’ve read, some I’m not planning to read anytime soon. Most of them have pages that have started foxing (getting brown spots) and yellowing because of heat and humidity, even when they’ve been stored in a bookshelf with a glass cover:

Foxing - donated books

I didn’t want them to waste away so I thought it would be better to pass them on. The upright ones on the left went to my friend Ena, the right-most stack went to my friend Chuchay and the two stacks in the middle were donated to the cafe. You can visit the cafe and read those books if you wanted to.

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - donated books

I think it was a Friday well spent. I was back in Tweedle a week later, but only to drop off more books to be donated. I passed by the cafe right before heading to the airport for my flight back to Singapore. This was the stash I donated:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - more donated books

I’m glad book cafes are becoming more of a thing in Manila. They aren’t as common in Singapore but I believe that’s because Singapore has a pretty good public library system, something that the Philippines doesn’t have. Obviously I want these book cafes to flourish, which is why I will try to keep donating books whenever I can. 🙂

Book and Borders Cafe

Book and Borders was one of three book cafes that I visited during my trip back home in Manila for Christmas. The other two were Tweedle Book Cafe and Cool Beans Cafe. I’ve been back in Singapore for a week and I’m still trying to catch up on work and chores so I haven’t been able to post this sooner.

Like I said in my earlier book cafe posts, I think it’s awesome that more and more book cafes are popping up in Manila, and that I was able to visit three of them in a short span of time. Will keep my fingers crossed that I get to visit more of them the next time I come home.

Book and Borders was the biggest book cafe out of the three that I saw. And it felt more commercialized than the other two, like it had a similar feel to Starbucks or Coffee Bean instead of a cozy indie cafe. Still, it seemed like a good place for any reader to hang out in.

Book and Borders - entrance

Book and Borders - couch

Book and Borders - tables

Book and Borders - B&B

Here are the books in their YA section:
Book and Borders - YA section

They also had bookish items on sale at the cafe:
Book and Borders - necklaces

Book and Borders - mugs

The food that we ordered:

Book and Borders - chicken

Grilled chicken

Book and Borders - grilled cheese

Grilled cheese sandwich

Book and Borders - drink

Some kind of iced coffee that had frozen cream

While I didn’t really do any reading in these book cafes, I still had fun checking them out. If I was still based in Manila, I’m pretty sure I’d be visiting these book cafes often. I should also search for book cafes in Singapore, I’ve heard of at least one here.

Cool Beans Cafe

As mentioned in yesterday’s Tweedle Book Cafe post, I have been able to visit other book cafes in Metro Manila during this trip. I really like the trend of book cafes popping up all over the metro, and I’m sure I would hang out at these locations on a regular basis if I was still based in Manila. One of the cafes that I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now is Cool Beans Cafe, which I discovered when I watched the Filipino romantic comedy English Only, Please. Some scenes from the movie were shot in that location. I visited Cool Beans with my mom when we found ourselves in that area one evening.

Cool Beans - sign

Cool Beans - bookshelf

Bookshelves with comfy couches in front of them

Cool Beans - bookshelf 2

Cool Beans - bookshelf plus couch

Cool Beans - national geographic

Cool Beans - food

Dinner was Vigan longganisa penne and herb-crusted creamy dory

To be honest, I was surprised with how small the place was. We were lucky that we even got a table. I guess part of the charm of the cafe is its coziness. I definitely would have loved this cafe as a student! Given the size of the place, I’m not really sure if it’s a location where you can stay and read for hours. I’d say it’s worth a visit if you’re into book cafes (like I am).