Beautifully Bauhaus-inspired bungalow interiors mixed with the flair of the 1950s Singapore
It’s the best of both worlds: the decorum of the French bon vivant mixed with the sunshiny nature of Singapore‘s weather, bringing in the luscious interiors of plush furniture and the gracious green ferns that drape wooden shelves and highly regal ceramic pots. Merci Marcel breathes the air of France, but in the tropics, where leather and rattan intermix without snubbing each other, woven with the thoughts of sustainability—one found in its delightful terracotta tiles, lovingly handmade by Cotto Etrusco craftsmen.
A neon Marcel greets one by the entrance, a subtle hint of the surprises to come, but it doesn’t give away much, for deep indoors is a plethora of secrets to uncover. The café, for one, is a jungle of wild vines and Danish chairs, convivially bound together with the happy hue of mustard-motif tiles and amber-glowing lamp lights.
As Chef Nicolas Nguyen Van Hai presides over the kitchen, out comes the charming plates of cold cuts, cheese and brioche. These are for starters. The acquired taste can then proceed to a heaping of Perigourdine before jumping into the harmonious flavours of Tarte Flambee. Occasionally, a glorious fragrance of fresh croissant wafts the nose, especially with French butter melting on the flaky pastry.
Food is a delight, but the atmosphere, much more. In the lounge, more than a thousand French Rosébottles are on display on the spectacular arched shelf, surrounded with small seating for cosy snacking pleasures and friendly chatter. A few steps beyond is the Patio, an al fresco wonder that invites the lingering views of the Winter Garden, an intimate corner enveloped by the calming gardens of the Royal Thai Embassy.
From here, Indonesian artist Lim Masulin’s handwoven gift is recognizable from the ceiling, an alcove rattan weave, intermixed with the landscaped fronds and palms, and a mural that exudes with the spirit of Colourism, as illustrated by Tiphaine Sartini, as a nod to Singapore’s verdant atmosphere. One is not to forget, however, that the real star is the boutique, a festival of furniture spanning 600 ft long, cataloguing every wish for French tropics and more, with sightings of monkey and banana lamps from Seletti World, plus a few more quirky curations from the flagship brand. www.mercimarcel.com
© This article was first published online in Nov 2019 – World Travel Magazine.