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My Singapore Weekend

Singapore resident Julienne Low reveals some insider tips as she takes us on her ideal weekend in the city. Photos by Justin Eeles.

One of the highpoints of living on the equator is that sunrise can be your alarm clock, with the cool mornings providing the perfect motivation for a stroll or quick jog. One of my favourite morning routes is the path along the Singapore River from Marina Bay, past Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, to Robertson Quay. This is where modern Singapore was formed as a thriving port city in the early 19th century and the go-downs, warehouses and shop-fronts have been lovingly restored into three separate lively night-life centres.

Boats still ply the river but are no longer filled with the exotic spices and produce from around South East Asia that built the foundations of this historical trade city. In their place is a network of river taxis and boat tours, making the trip as leisurely as you like it, with lots of stops to hop on and off if it’s too hot to walk. The spices may be stored elsewhere but there is still coffee and Common Man Roasters at 38 Martin Road offers some of the best in town, with great food as well. I usually start with pear apple celery juice, which comes in a cute jar with the celery stick as garnish, a Flat White, (what Australian can start a Saturday morning without one), and the Common Man Veggie Wonderland, a feast of eggs halloumi, avocado, spinach, grilled tomatos, mushrooms and sourdough. An ideal way to start the weekend!

Suitably fed and watered, I like to pop into some of the malls along Orchard Road with ION Orchard an easy favourite with its blend of high-street brands, high-end designers and local Asian labels. The food court in B4 is not to be missed for some local cuisine with the fish ball noodles a firm favourite. Another is the new Robinsons Department Store at the Heeren (260 Orchard Rd). The Harvey Nichols of Singapore, Robinsons offers an eclectic choice of clothes, accessories, household products, vintage bags and boasts almost a whole floor dedicated to shoes! They also feature a complimentary stylist service to help you shop for a new outfit, set in luxurious rooms on the 5th floor, ideal if you can’t make up your mind which outfit suits you the best! And don’t miss Luke’s Bar and Chop House on the 3rd Floor alongside Ladies Fashion, a new hidden gem that offers one of the best views on Orchard and the ideal place to celebrate a new purchase.

With your shopping done, I’d go for sunset drinks at one of Singapore’s many rooftop bars. With One Altitude, Level 33 and Ku de Ta all vying for attention, there are also a host of smaller more intimate choices for an alfresco sun-downer. One is Kinki, a quirky Japanese Manga themed bar, located in the old Customs House in Marina Bay, where the happy hour lasts until 9pm on Saturdays.

After sunset, I like to head to Club Street, which closes to traffic on Friday and Saturday evenings, transforming it into a popular hang-out for expats and the local crowd. Bartini (46 Club St) is a favourite for pre-dinner drinks, just avoid the temptation of trying too many of their cocktails! Around the corner, dinner at Lolla (22 Ann Siang Hill) is an intimate affair, either sitting at the counter watching the chefs prepare, or downstairs at the communal table. The tapas inspired menu is prepared with passion and the quality of the produce is what makes this restaurant one of the best in town. Must try’s are the tomato salad, tuna belly tartare, and the lamb cutlets, washed down with a beautiful glass of red.

If you fancy an inspired nightcap, take a short walk over to the recently opened Sugarhall on Amoy St. Here the bar specialises in artisanal rum based cocktails and is a quirky, friendly place to end the night.

Sundays usually start at a more leisurely pace, with yoga on the beach or in the park (refer to intheloop.com.sg for the latest events) followed by a well-deserved brunch. Dim sum is a Sunday tradition, either at one of the many outlets of Din Tai Fung or at Yum Cha in Chinatown (20 Trengganu St), an authentic Cantonese experience with trolley service. After lunch, I’ll explore the colourful streets of Chinatown before enjoying a relaxing foot massage at Bath Therapy Foot Therapy (59 Temple St), just down the road from Yum Cha.

Once rejuvenated, a great place to enjoy the afternoon is Tanjong Beach Club (120 Tanjong Beach Walk) on Sentosa. Located on Tanjong beach, this bar/restaurant/club always attracts a good crowd, drawn by the cocktails, dj’s and chilled-out vibe. Providing the perfect reminder that Singapore is a tropical island, TBC is the ideal place to watch the sunset and enjoy the rest of the weekend in style.

Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road
Ph. +65 6836 4695
www.commonmancoffeeroasters.com

Robinsons The Heeren
260 Orchard Road
Ph. +65 6735 8838
www.robinsons.com.sg

Kinki
70 Collyer Quay
Ph. +65 6533 3471
www.kinki.com.sg

Bartini
46 Club Street,
Ph. +65 6221 1025
www.bartini.com.sg

Lolla
22 Ann Siang Rd
Ph. +65 6423 1228
www.lolla.com.sg

Sugarhall
102 Amoy Street
Ph. +65 9732 5607
www.sugarhall.sg

Yum Cha
20 Trengganu Street
Ph. +65 6372 1717
www.yumcha.com.sg

Bath Therapy Foot Therapy
59 Temple Street
Ph. +65 6226 6289
www.bathculture.com.sg

Tanjong Beach Club
120 Tanjong Beach Walk
Ph. +65 6270 1355
www.tanjongbeachclub.com

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