A TIMELESS JOURNEY IN SINGAPORE
Travel Diaries | 04/30/2020
A TIMELESS JOURNEY IN SINGAPORE
And we’re off to Singapore!
We settled in Singapore in September 2019 after a long adventure in China, in Shanghai. Guided by our quest for an Endless Summer, Singapore has become obvious to us. The desire to discover another environment, find a connection to nature while keeping an urban context, and be able to develop the PALEM brand in an endless summer environment. Singapore is amazing. Behind its facade of a model city, tidy, well organized, hides a maze of fascinating neighborhoods that immerse us into China, New Delhi or Business districts without any barriers or borders. The nature is essential and coexists naturally with HDB, temples, hotels, houses, which gives this unique charm to the city.
A TIMELESS JOURNEY IN SINGAPORE is the first part of a trilogy dedicated to Singapore. Here we reveal our best addresses, from the most emblematic and modern ones to the most charming and traditional ones. We will discover with Ariane Nabarro, French-speaking guide passionate about Singapore, the garden city which fascinates by its singularity and we will meet Stéphanie Lehembre, author of Singapore ARTitude, who brings another look at the city and places Art at the heart of our daily lives.
STAY HERE :
THE ICONIC RAFFLES HOTEL
After two years of renovation, the most emblematic Singapore's historic palace has recently reopened.
Inaugurated in 1887, the Raffles Hotel named in honor of the British Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of the city, was then only a modest 10-room pavilion by the sea (since then, Singapore has gained ground on the sea and therefore the sea is no longer visible from the hotel ! ).
Facing this magnificent ivory colonial-style facade and greeted by the emblematic Sikh porters, you will immediately be immersed in a memorable timeless journey.
During your stay, take the time to taste the famous Singapore Sling at the Long Bar, a cocktail concocted for the first time in 1915 at Raffles Singapore and which has since become the country's national drink.
Here (unlike the rest of the city!), you will be allowed to throw something on the ground: the peanut peelings !
Since its reopening, the hotel has also welcomed two emblematic figures of French gastronomy: three-star chefs Anne-Sophie Pic and Alain Ducass.
For these two restaurants, La Dame de Pic and BBR by Alain Ducass, remember to book !
FEEL THE GARDEN CITY VIBES AT PARK ROYAL ON PICKERING
Located in the heart of the city, the unique architecture of this hotel will draw your attention with its 15,000 m2 of hanging gardens. Did you know that nearly fifteen full-time gardeners are required to maintain these green terraces ?
An article on the theme of Singapore, the garden city is coming soon with Ariane Nabarro from Singapore sur Seine.
DISCOVER THE SHOPHOUSES: SIX SENSES DUXTON
During your stay in the city-state, you will hear about the famous and charming shophouses.
The shophouse is the traditional house where the ground floor historically served as a commerce and the first floor was then the home of the family who owned the business. You will have the opportunity to discover entire streets of magnificent colorful shophouses everywhere in Singapore (at Chinatown and Haji Lane of course but do not hesitate to go further and discover them at Emerald Hill, Everton Park or Joo Chiat).
The Six Senses Duxton is a row of these famous heritage shophouses restored with care and elegance. This majestic Boutique Hotel has 49 unique rooms reflecting the rich history of Asia. With this very first urban hotel from the Six Senses chain ideally located in the heart of a vibrant district, you will not have enough days to discover the many bars and restaurants that surround it !
The first PALEM Showroom in Singapore will settle down on this same street, don't forget to visit us during your stay !
Gastronomy… a real shared passion between Singaporeans and French. A countless choice of bars and restaurants awaits you in all areas of the city.
A LOCAL BREAKFAST AT YA KUN KAYA TOAST
Real Singaporean institution, we recommend you to taste the traditional local breakfast: the kaya toast. Simple and delicious, it is made of toasted sandwiches spread with butter and kaya, a delicious jam made from coconut milk and pandan leaves. If you become addicted to the pandan, you will also have to taste the fluffiest cake that exists: the Pandan chiffon cake by Bengawan Solo (do not trust its green color which is in fact entirely natural with pandan leaves)
Served with boiled eggs and a delicious Kopi (coffee in Singapore), you're ready for a day of discovery !
Created in the early 1940s, dozens of addresses exist today in Singapore, but we have a preference for the terrace of the first outlet located on China Street.
ESCAPE IN A BLACK AND WHITE AT TAMARIND HILL
At the top of Labrador Park, you will feel like you have left Singapore when you arrive in front of this imposing and magnificent colonial bungalow in the middle of nature.
There are many colonial buildings like this in Singapore known as the Black and White.
The Black and White were built by the British in the 19th century. During the second world war, the Japanese soldiers invested the places. Today there are around 500 Black and White left in Singapore.Malaysian-inspired architecture, the Black and White skillfully blend Asian inspiration with the English roots of its architects.
HALT ON THE QUAY AT EMPRESS
At the edge of the quays, sit on the terrace of Empress to admire the magnificent view of the CBD and the Singapore River. This river was once used by merchant ships to transport their cargo to the warehouses that bordered it. This former Singapore trade hub has now been transformed into a lively area with tourist bars and restaurants.
We particularly appreciate the Empress Pekin Duck, which they carefully cut out in front of you. Following the Chinese tradition, each guest prepares their own pancake with pieces of duck and vegetables accompanied by a delicious sweet and savory thick sauce.
Take advantage of the ideal location and the light breeze along the river to end your day with a gentle digestive walk on the quay.
A LITTLE TASTE OF FRANCE AT MERCI MARCEL
Do you miss France? Then head off to one of the three Merci Marcel addresses in the city. Marcel Croque with Bayonne ham and Morbier cheese or Ravioles de Royan, dumplings filled with Tête de Moine cheese, here you will for sure recharge your batteries with good French products!
The decoration is neat, all the furniture has been carefully selected to immerse us in a friendly and comforting atmosphere.
If you choose Orchard's address, stop by the charming concept store adjacent to the restaurant where you will find some pretty independent brands.
*** Not easy to select only few addresses given the abundant choice.
Craved for some dimsums?
The famous Din tai Fung chain is of course present throughout the city but we particularly like the dimsums of Swee Choon, an institution since 1962 where you should not be afraid to queue before savoring these delicious dumplings on stools in plastic.
Don't miss the many food courts for a must-have chicken rice or a delicious laksa. During the evening, stop at the most charming food court, Lao Pasat, to taste the yummy satay with peanut sauce. Every evening, the street surrounding Lao Pasat is closed to traffic. Sit outside on a table surrounded by CBD buildings with a view of this old market and its beautiful iron structure imported in 1894 which remains intact today.
A special occasion to celebrate? There is of course Odette located in the heart of the National Gallery with his adorable chef Julien Royer, awarded best restaurant in Asia for the second consecutive year.
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city by strolling through the different districts. Get lost, take the time to admire the magnificent Peranakan tiles, marvel at the shophouses…
Imagine living in one of the beautiful and mysterious colorful houses of Blair Road. As you stroll along this "five-foot path", this traditional covered passageway which shelters sun and rain, admire these extremely well-preserved shophouses dating from the 1920s and let yourself be transported back in time with these flowery tiles and pastel colors.
Wander the busy Keong Saik Road and open the doors to one of the many bars and restaurants of the street. Get some fresh air on the cozy rooftop bar of Potato Head, let yourself be surprised by the flavor associations of Neon Pigeon or by Spanish tapas around Olivia's open kitchen. Enjoy an ice cream at Apiary to well end the day.
For a more "village" vibe, head east to the Joo Chiat neighborhood. At the heart of these beautiful shophouses: bakeries, cheese factories, fruit and vegetable merchants, furniture restorers and pretty independent boutiques like The AC or Hat of Cain.
SIP A COCKTAIL IN ONE OF THE BEST BARS IN THE WORLD
Among the 12 best bars in the world, 3 are in Singapore so take advantage of your stay to discover them !
In a cozy atmosphere, immerse yourself in the different eras that New York knew through unique cocktails from Manhattan.
At NATIVE, we focus on creating cocktails from local ingredients: mango, ginger, cinnamon... A real experimental approach to discover surprising cocktails !
The Atlas is maybe the most incredible bar in the city. Located in Parkview Square (often nicknamed Gotham City), this imposing Art Deco-inspired building will transport you back to the New York 1920s. Admire the high bronze ceilings with the ornamentation but especially focus on this 15 meters high incredible bar.
This is no longer the case today but notice these little pulleys at the top of the bar, which were used few years ago by women with angel wings to fly and catch the bottles selected by customers.
Haw Par Villa
To go off the beaten track head for a walk at Haw Par Villa! Created in 1937 by the inventor of tiger balm, this curious stopover immerses you in Chinese mythology. Kitsch and surprising, you will discover in particular the torments that await sinners in the other world.
The classical must-see in Singapore are not to be put aside during your stopover here: Wonder at Gardens by The Bay, walk at East Coast Park, Tree-top-walk in the MacRitchie jungle, stroll in the gardens and museums, immersion in Little India or Chinatown… The city-state will surprise you!
GO FURTHER :
The attractiveness of Singapore also comes from its geographical location. So, when you are in Singapore, take the opportunity to explore the surroundings!
Thirty minutes drive to cross the Malaysian border or forty minutes by ferry to arrive in Indonesia, two hours flight for Cambodia, Vietnam or Thailand ... All you have to do is define your dream destination! You will also then have the chance to appreciate the efficiency of the best airport in the world, have a good trip!