Thanks to the generosity of our friends with their home and hearts we have spent many a lovely time in Singapore and this week has been no different. The warm envelops you as soon as you step from the plane and at once we feel at ease. Familiar places and the rituals that go with them make me as happy as the excitement of exploring somewhere new. I love that I know where to top up my mobile phone in the baggage hall, where to get cash and a taxi from, and to wait for the blue or red cars and not take the black limousines that without a word of warning will charge you double the price for the same journey. All of these things remind me that I am in some small way at home.
We’ve done the usual supermarket stock ups, although we didn’t need much having filled our bags in England. The visa run to the Indonesian embassy was seamless, our third time now and like old pros we arrive, dressed appropriately, documents at the ready, knowing we could get our photos taken inside and were in and out within thirty minutes. The staff are all incredibly helpful and smiley making it one of our all time favourite embassies to visit, collection two working days later making it also one of the quickest.
We hiked along the Kent Ridge with its majestic trees and views over the ship yard and growing high rises, the heat intense and comforting until six miles in my hips protested at each new step and we called it a day with ice cream at Vivo City. I LOVE THE TREES IN SINGAPORE, LOVE THEM, really totally love them so this was a great day and to be honest any day that includes ice cream is a great day in my book, thank you kindly Ben and Jerrys.
As a super special early birthday treat we were taken to Sunday Brunch at Raffles, one of the best loved hotels in the world and with good reason. Built in the late nineteenth century it has stood the test of time, lasting the Japanese occupation and becoming a national monument in the nineteen nineties a century after it was built. The dining room is elegance personified with an army of immaculately dressed wait staff to cater to your every need. The brunch kicks off with the eponymous cocktail, Singapore Sling, for which Raffles is renown. J and I chose to forgo the wine pairing, day time drinking has never been my strong suit and I’m pretty sure after a few glasses I would have forgotten about all the wondrous food that was to be eaten and BOY let me tell you it was wondrous.
Under the tutelage of master bruncher Andrea we headed first to the seafood table and stocked up on Maine lobster and prawns. Two trips later it was time to move on the amuse bouche little glasses of perfection, lobster, tuna, prawn layered with caviar, cauliflower mousse and more. After these little palate cleansers and while the others headed for oysters, something my hereditary haemochromatosis precludes me from enjoying, I partook of the scallops or little parcels of heaven as I am now referring to them.
Full yet? Well even if I was there was no way I was stopping when there was a room full of food I had done little more than glance at. Slices of melt in your mouth beef from Omaha and Australia were paired with Welsh lamb as tender as butter. I might have headed back for more scallops in between tiny portions of pan seared foie gras and caviar and salmon covered blinis but in no time at all I was staring contemplatively at the dessert table where miniature pieces of magic were laid out endlessly. My first plate included the tiniest creme brulee, a salted caramel doughnut filled with insanely delicious creme patissiere and a selection of hand made chocolates. My second, an almost wafer thin mint too far, of chocolate mousse and more mouth watering chocolates and then…I was done… sadly as I hadn’t even ventured near, amongst others, the jaw dropping cheese table. Near the end, Taras asked for a glass of the ‘flavoured’ water on the bar which turned out to be Pimms, something every Brit worth their salt is more than familiar with but that American Andrea and French Taras had never been introduced to, several glasses later they were most definitely hooked. Needless to say there was no need for dinner that day 😜
We’ve a few more days to run errands in and then after an amazing week it will be time to head back to Bali first then Nusa Lembongan…it has been too long and I can hear the ocean calling my name Xx