Let’s be real: when we say the Philippines is a tropical country, we actually mean the weather can get very hot and humid here all year long.
So, we Filipinos really like staying fresh, whether it’s through taking a cold shower every morning (or night!) or through enjoying a really cold refreshment or dessert in the middle of the day. When going out, we also prefer staying at a location with more of that maaliwalas feeling to keep us fresh and comfortable, and not sticky and sweaty. Especially with the pandemic, being in open and well-ventilated spaces with fresh air (and social distancing) would make us feel more comfortable with the idea of enjoying the outdoors.
This is something that café and restaurant owners take into consideration with their businesses as well. Let's take inspiration from what they do: they usually incorporate a lot of greenery inside (and outside) their establishments, as well as natural materials such as wicker and abaca for their furniture and décor. On top of this, an essential element of a café with all a fresh vibe is natural light; whether it’s streaming through a window or shining through a light fixture via a bulb that exudes the temperature of daylight, it’s an absolute must in order to create a cooler and more comfortable atmosphere in the space. Other elements such as large open windows and neutral color palettes are also integrated into the design to complete that fresh look.
The red brick walls and the amazing view of the trees and plants outside create a very cozy ambience for you to just sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of nature. For a fun little fact, this café is only 15 minutes away from Pinto Art Gallery!
Three Squares Cafe + Bar 📍 The Alley at Karrivin Plaza, Makati
If we wanna talk about where food, drink, and design really meet, it’s at Three Squares Café + Bar.
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This innovative café is located in an actual furniture store called Design Story, and they sell a variety of furniture from four different brands, featuring minimalist home decor such as couches, lamps, chairs, and light fixtures.
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n Metro.Style’s interview with the interior designers of Design Story, Stenie Coyuito-Tay shared this about the design of the store: “[W]e grabbed this opportunity and made sure that the new space was light, airy, multifunctional and flexible which reflects how people design their homes right now.” With this, being in Three Squares Cafe + Bar may make you feel like you’re in your ideal modern home, and will bring you a lot of inspiration on how to revamp your home’s interior!
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Cafe Yama 📍 Crosswinds Tagaytay
Cafe Yama is the perfect getaway for people who not only love nature and the outdoors but also love Japan!
This café takes influence from Japanese traditional design, so it makes you feel like you’re actually in Japan from the paper lanterns hanging around the whole café, to the traditional parasols on the ceiling, to the Japanese-style painting on the wall.
What makes this place more exciting is that it’s an outdoor café and sits on a hill, so you can enjoy Tagaytay’s view while also enjoying the food, drink, and ambience at Cafe Yama. Outside of the main establishment, there are booths where you can further immerse yourself in the greenery at the hilltop.
When you enter the café, you are immediately greeted by the stone pebbles on the floor, and not just a few pebbles to a certain corner, but the entire half of the café’s floor is filled with white stone pebbles.
The wooden couches, the big windows, and the rattan lights add to the café’s charm, and the plants add a splash of color to the minimalist white of the café’s interior. So, at Sunday Sunday Café, you’ll really feel like you’re at a beach café even though you’re in the middle of a city!
This restaurant is actually the baby sister to the Café Fleur restaurant in Pampanga, and is the owner, Chef Sau’s, gift to his mother, as Le Petite Café Fleur aims to keep his mother’s legacy alive. The restaurant takes on a very modern and local take on its interior design.
But, just like Sunday Sunday Cafe, Le Petite Café Fleur has a beach restaurant vibe to it, as the marble stone flooring, utilization of wooden walls and furniture, and the straw roof design by the entrance and the counter add a coastal touch to the whole restaurant, making it feel like a beach getaway without the presence of an actual beach.
Like a few of the cafés we previously mentioned, Café GUILT is surrounded by greenery, both inside and outside of the main establishment, so you are embraced by nature from the moment you walk through the front gate.
The rattan chairs and lights also take influence from a more coastal design, so we have that beachside vibe here as well at Café GUILT. On top of this, the café embraces a little bit of modern design with the paintings hung up on the wall, as well as with the patterned pillows on the orange couch inside the café.
The branch at the beach is located in Il Corso Lifemalls, and the design is really catered to a beach café, with the utilization of rattan chairs and tables. The café counter also looks like a food or drink stall that you would typically see by the beachside, so it further gives you the impression of a beach café. The branch by the bukid is located in Busay, and the design of the café here is pretty simple, with its wooden tables and benches, as well as rattan chairs.
The café’s design is very industrial in nature, as it’s mainly driven by greys, browns, and wooden furniture. The art from the gallery is what adds more color and depth to the entire place, and besides the sitting areas provided by the café itself, there are also a few tables at the gallery where you can sit down and enjoy your coffee and food.
It lets you immerse yourself in nature as well through its outdoor dining areas. The dining areas outside are positioned in such a way that you can really sit down, relax, and look forward to the greenery in front of you.