Top 10 Places to Visit on River Valley Road

1. Galeri Nila/Galeri Utama/Viridian Art HouseThis new cluster of art galleries is located side by side at the foot of Fort Canning Park and showcases artworks from a wide range of local and international artists. Currently on show at Galeri Nila and Galeri Utama respectively are nature-inspired paintings by Marisa Keller and Alison Wilson, and watercolor works by Choo Meng Fong. Sculptural works are the mainstays at Viridian, where you can also enjoy pastries and coffee at the cafe after browsing through the works.2. Garage @ RVThis guerilla concept boutique located on the ground floor of a two-storey shophouse has the industrial look down pat with concrete flooring and an all-glass exterior. Step inside and you’ll find a respectable range of covetable mid-priced chinos, jeans, buttoned-down shirts, T-shirts, jackets, knits and shades from brands like People’s Market, House of Holland, I Heard They Eat Cigarettes and SUPEr by RETROSUPERFUTURE.3. OcoutureA must for fans of designer brands who are unwilling to pay full price. This specialty store gets its stock directly from Europe so prices are extremely marked down. Hugo Boss shirts for men are just $144 upwards. For the ladies, a great range of shoes and huge bags spanning brands like Celine, Lanvin, Mulberry, Prada and YSL ($128 upwards) will do you just fine. We also like the place for its classy black interiors and huge fitting rooms that are great for trying on multiple pieces.4. LightsSimilar to the plethora of lighting specialists found at Balestier, only better. All the fixtures at this River Valley lightning boutique, especially the giant chandeliers ($3,000 upwards) are adorned with hundreds of Swarovski crystals and are a sight to behold. If you don’t intend to break the piggy bank to own one, there are affordable mini versions ($500 upwards) up for grabs.5. Five & DimeA tidy little spot along River Valley Road with undeniably charming decor—mint green wooden chairs, a bar counter with sweet treats in glass stands and a bright red coffee machine that’s reminiscent of Aussie cafes. Western dishes like fish and chips and Japanese-inspired items such as braised Kurobota pork belly with cha soba ($25) are not bad. But we’re more in favor of the very moist banana cake studded with chocolate chunks ($6) here.6. La VillaSet in the former River Valley Primary School, this restaurant by the Senso Group has a beautiful setting. A tranquil, bright interior overlooks a small garden and field, with tables outside for a refreshing alfresco option. The food is pretty good, especially its seared tuna loin with spaghetti vongole. Still one of our favorite places to wine and dine after all these years.7. Toni & GuyFor the latest in hair trends, look no further. Let the always funky hair maestros do their magic at this spot that comes replete with stylish black counters and moody yellow lighting. Go for an edgy Mohawk look or a sleek, solid bowl outline that will set you apart from the crowd if you dare ($59 upwards). Otherwise, simply get your hair washed ($49 upwards) after all that walking about.8. DreamThis interior furnishing specialist certainly lives up to its name. The 18,000 square feet two-storey space features an eclectic range of mostly contemporary European design furniture and deco pieces. Browse through room after room filled with brands spanning Cassina, Sancal, Knoll and Asplund. Highlights include the quirky Tati cloth rack by Asplund ($1,844) and Air sofa by Sancal ($12, 727).9. Icon GalleryFounded by expat Brits James and Esther Walton, this art space is one of the few places where you can get your hands on music-inspired original artworks, fine art prints, photographs and sporting memorabilia. Highlights include original photographs by Celia Philo for David Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane album ($1,200-6,000) and a black and white photograph featuring both Muhammad Ali and The Beatles ($6,000).10. The Body FirmEnd your journey here for a much deserved pampering. Wind down with a 60-minute Lavender facila treatment ($88) or indulge in the 90-minute Sheer Indulgence package ($185), which includes using warm Manuka honey to massage your face. Pedi and mani are also available at just $29 and $39 respectively.