There’s a funky new boutique space in District 1 that is showing itself to be a real treat for all comers. David Campbell and Tracey Mitchell have opened a second Villa Royale location right off of Ham Nghi. Dubbed Villa Royale Downtown Teahouse and Antiques, the French colonial villa-style space opened its doors in November 2016.
David and his new business partner Tracey Mitchell are seriously proud of their latest project, blending all the best aspects of the Saigon food and retail scene, sympathetically restoring a near empty shell into a functional and glamorous space.
There’s a passion for the fine and collectable that is obvious, as they artfully display, for sale, a worldwide array of antiquities and collectible pieces. David basically travels the world and picks up antiques from everywhere. Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and he brings them back to the shop, and onto the shelf.
What’s different about the downtown location? The team provides freshly prepared, homemade meals, salads, baguettes, and desserts. Including, of course, the very necessary indulgence that is synonymous with the success of Villa Royale: the cheesecake. Not to forget the obnoxiously tasty salted caramel pie.
There’s lasagna, crab cakes, milkshakes, and all of the fruit juices one could possibly dream of. Tea enthusiasts will delight in over forty different flavours available from the finest artisanal teahouse in the world, TWG. Extended opening hours will see Villa Royale Downtown serving morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, high tea (bookings recommended) and supper. Sugar lovers please note: dessert is served at any time of the day.
The team is so proud of the space, and as you amble your way up the ancient feeling staircase to reach Villa Royale, you will feel as if someone was taking you back in time. The space had been abandoned for 10 years, and so this revival has really highlighted a sliver of Saigon history that has been knocked down and renovated in many other parts of the city.
“It’s a very eclectic mix of motifs,” says Tracey Mitchell. “It’s turning itself into an artistic space for individuals. People feel very comfortable in this space. We have people pulling tarot cards for their clients, cosplay groups hanging out, creatives across all different artforms spending their time here. Ville Royale photographs beautifully, and is swiftly evolving into a fantastic small-to-medium-sized event space.”
It’s beautiful, with a potential for a couple solid hours of exploring the various antiques on display. Villa Royale Downtown also hosts a happy hour. Monday to Friday from 4 to 8pm enjoy a fifty percent discount on glasses of wine.