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3 capitals that will never cease to inspire us

February 13, 2023

3 capitals that will never cease to inspire us

You probably know by now that we take pride in being a multi-cultural team here at Strawberry and it comes as no surprise that we love to travel.
Although it sadden us that we can't leave our country for now, that that doesn’t mean we stop daydreaming about our next destination. Deciding
where to go next is no easy task...

but there's always that one place that holds a dear place in our hearts, maybe because of the memories we built there or simply because it soothes our eyes.

We asked 3 different team members about their favorite capital. Here's what they had to say.

1. Paris

Through the eyes of our French designer Philippine

There’s something magical about Paris. Sitting at the crossroads of traditional stores with century-old savoir-faire and avant-garde art galleries, this capital is an endless source of inspiration. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées... what’s not to like, right? But that, in my opinion, is just the tip of the ice berg. There is a plethora of places in this effortlessly chic capital humming with creativity and fine art that will make you fall in love with it!

My go-to tip is when you visit Paris, make a point to stroll aimlessly because every corner tells a different story. My favourite neighbourhood to visit is Le Marais, located on the Rive Droite, in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement of the city.  Come warmer months and the neighbourhood just buzzes with life. Bistros open their terraces to welcome chic Parisiennes to sip on wine and just casually watch people walk by.

Then there’s Place des Vosges, the most charming square in Paris, where I can sit for hours just soaking in the atmosphere. Unlike common squares, this one happens to feature not only a lovely architecture,  fountains, perfectly manicured gardens, but also art, shopping, and restaurants. Oh and for treasure seekers, walk along the edge of the Seine down Rue Saint-Paul and you might be lucky enough to spot an antique fair on the way!

Where you’ll find me:

  • Place des Vosges
  • Palais de Tokyo
  • L'Éclair du Génie

2. Lisbon

Through the eyes of our Portuguese designer Matilde

Exuding a laid-back vibe, Lisbon seems to cover all the right bases, offering a little bit of everything for everyone: culture, great weather, inspiring architecture and delicious food. The view of never ending terracota rooftops and the tile decorated façades turn the city into an Instagrammable paradise, at least for us designers. Oh and thanks to the dreamy soft pastels adorning buildings throughout the city, wouldn’t it be cool if Lisbon were to strike up a partnership with the Pantone guys? Just saying…

A city of contrasts, Lisbon can be cosmopolitan as it can feel traditional, it can be as international as it can be local. Blending oh so effortlessly the old and new, cultural appreciators can lose themselves in the history while design enthusiasts can easily craft an entirely different visit.

As a Portuguese, I’m immensely proud of how the city has evolved, but equally I feel eternally connected to the city’s true treasures — the typical “tascas” which are not a Spanish bodega, nor an Italian osteria, but close enough, and watching sunsets on one of the many “miradouros”, view points of the city to mention a few.

Where you’ll find me:

  • Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
  • Casa do Alentejo
  • LX Factory

3. Singapore

Through the eyes of former resident Sylvia

Many refer to Singapore as a “bland modern city,” with gleaming high-rise buildings and sophisticated infrastructure, but digging a little deeper, there’s far more to this city-state turning 55 years old this year.

You can wander around Marina Bay and enjoy the perks of being in a big, modern city, and in 5 minutes, arrive at Tiong Bahru or Telok Ayer, a perennial fave and hip hotspot for cafes, heritage shophouses and old-school charm.

Here, architects have embraced the idea that humans have an innate desire to connect with nature and incorporated it in building design. Every where you turn you’ll find plants and concrete blending oh so seamlessly. It was in Singapore that I learned about the principles of biophilic design, which may explain why I found comfort in setting up our office within über lush collaborative workspace, Second Home.

Having lived close to 4 years there, I left with a huge appreciation for how the country is led and managed, often describing it as “the country ran like a corporation”. And just like a company, it cannot afford to be complacent. Every update or “new product launch” is carefully planned, ensuring it merits enough press attention. Most recently, it was Airport Changi’s Jewel Terminal with the the world's tallest indoor waterfall. Before that was Gardens by the Bay, a nature park spanning 101 hectares in the Central Region of Singapore and Marina Bay Sands.

So for those thinking of heading East, consider giving Singapore a try. You won’t regret it.

Where you’ll find me:

  • The Halia (restaurant) at Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • Spago Bar and Lounge
  • My Awesome Café

The more places we see while traveling, the more we realise we haven’t seen; the more we learn, the more we realise we don’t know. So whether you travel to escape life or to seek much needed inspiration, we hope our little guide has planted a seed of curiosity and that soon enough you can take some time and go check them out for yourself.

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