My Perfect Weekend with personal stylist Sera Murphy

Korean-American personal stylist Sera Murphy has lived in Singapore for about seven years. PHOTO: SERA MURPHY

Who: Korean-American personal stylist Sera Murphy, 36, is the owner of The Reoutfitter, a boutique in Mohamed Sultan Road selling pre-loved designer clothes. She moved to Singapore in 2010 and stayed for about four years before returning in 2020 with her husband, 41-year-old lawyer Sean Murphy. They have two children – Maddy, six, and Theo, four.

“I always start my day with a strong cup of coffee. I walk with my kids and dog to Tanamera Coffee at Robertson Quay or Kith Cafe at Great World. Usually, the kids get a special treat like pancakes or chocolate croissants. It is nice to have a few moments with the family in the morning without the weekday chaos when they have school.

We have a long-standing tradition every Sunday to get Korean barbecue at Supulae in Tanjong Pagar Road. My kids love Korean food as it makes them feel more connected to their culture, and my six-year-old eats kimchi with me. The staff there are so lovely, always giving the kids extra banchan (side dishes).

If we don’t get Korean barbecue, we are likely scootering or biking to Zion Riverside Food Centre in Zion Road for hawker fare.

Japanese restaurant Nanjya Monjya Waterfront in Havelock Road, along the Singapore River, is another staple. The kids have udon while the grown-ups have sushi. If we are lucky, we get to spot otters swimming in the river.

I am also around UE Square a lot for my kids’ classes and use it as an opportunity to drop by my favourite Vietnamese restaurant, Moc Quan. It has the best pho ga, a soupy chicken noodle dish.

Dong Bei Cai Guan in Bukit Batok is a hidden gem. It is located in an industrial building and difficult to find, but is my favourite place for north-eastern Chinese fare. Go there in a group so you can try more dishes.

My favourite thing to do on weekends is go on a walk or hike with the family. My son really likes spots like MacRitchie Reservoir and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve because we get to see monkeys, which he is obsessed with.

We also really love smaller parks like HortPark, which is dog-friendly. If we have a full morning, heading to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is always a fun adventure. There is nothing like getting out into nature and seeing all the wildlife Singapore has to offer. I love trying to identify the birds I see, so I think bird-watching is my next calling.

Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa is also amazing for families. It has access to a private beach and a huge breakfast buffet. The activities the hotel arranges at the pool are great fun for kids and adults alike. It is really like being on holiday on a different island, just closer to home.

Sometimes, I go shopping. Local fashion label In Good Company at Ion Orchard is my favourite spot for modern basics. I also go to another Singapore designer Sabrina Goh, who has stores at Paragon and Raffles City, for interesting cuts, colours and easy-to-wear fabrics.

I really love buying books too. There is just something about the smell of fresh, untouched paper that makes me want to buy everything. I love popping into Books Kinokuniya, getting lost and picking up a coffee-table book and some gifts.

During the pandemic, I became a plant person. I love to garden on weekends, repotting and taking care of my plants on the balcony.

At night, I’ll unwind with a glass of wine and talk to my plants. There are studies that plants are healthier if they are given words of affirmation. I like to think I am doing that for them like a good plant mum should.

I have an upcoming weekend trip to Thailand that I am very excited about. My kids love travelling. I also hope to travel to Hong Kong now that the restrictions have loosened, to catch up with friends and do some outlet shopping.”

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