I love to travel. It steers me from a mundane everyday routine, and thrilling new sights serve as a refreshing feast for the eyes, momentarily taking me out of the city skyline I see oh so often. But travelling also makes me appreciate home. When the plane touches down and our national carrier announces through the PA system, “To all Singaporeans, welcome home," I almost never fail to feel a strong sense of pride brewing for the Lion City.
Singapore may fall short of perfection, but every country has its own shortcomings. Who are we to say what’s perfect and what’s not (except when we talk on-fleek brows, then yes, perfection is key)? Just the mere fact that I am able to walk the streets in the wee hours of the morning after a girls’ night out feeling safe and secure — a luxury that many others cannot afford — makes me feel lucky to call Singapore my home.
Want to know where to stay, shop, eat, and play in the Little Red Dot? Just ask a local — me!
For no-frills convenience, Lloyd’s Inn is a stylish 34-room boutique hotel situated in Somerset. With its clean and sleek white-themed rooms designed with simplicity in mind, this is a haven for the minimalism lover. Just a 10-minute walk and you’ll arrive at the start of Singapore’s renowned shopping street, Orchard Road.
If you’re all about cafés, bars and clubs, the newly opened (and newly restored heritage building) The Warehouse Hotel would be right up your alley. Located at Robertson Quay, within walking distance to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, expect to see tastefully designed interiors with a dark colour scheme, brown furnishings, and leather sofas that almost resemble an uber cool bachelor’s pad.
Looking to indulge? The modern luxury counterpart of The Fullerton Hotel, The Fullerton Bay Hotel is a five-star establishment that offers a panoramic view of the iconic Marina Bay, with high-class service to boot.
Local departmental store TANGS may offer everything from fashion and beauty to food and home and living, but to satisfy your taste for local labels and designer fashion in one destination, make a trip down to its flagship at Tang Plaza.
Pronounced as “fou-face”, Singapore-based cult-favourite makeup brand Faux Fayc’s flagship boutique sits at Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut. Our recommendation? The best-selling Fauxlash Mascara Duo for major lash drama. It also happens to be the brand’s first product.
Gallery & Co. may be the “official museum store” of National Gallery Singapore, but you’ll be taking home more than just “another” souvenir. An F&B and retail concept store in one, the design-oriented space’s offerings range from books and design collectibles to homeware and fashion.
For the “Singapore flavour," make a trip to Jalan Besar to tease your tastebuds with a messy but mouth-watering plate of Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice. This Hai Nan style curry rice dish is generously drizzled with curry gravy and flavoured with ingredients of your choice, such as pork chop, cabbage, battered prawns and more.
Need your caffeine fix? Coffee from Chye Seng Huat Hardware (CSHH) is brewed from dedication, passion and integrity. I remember my first coffee experience at CSHH. I had ordered a cup of coffee and was watching the barista work on my brew. He was about to hand my order over to me before he paused, proceeded to take a sip and pour it away. He then served me a new cup.
I may have found the perfect melt-in-your-mouth beefsteak at Michelin-starred CUT by Wolfgang Puck. The first Asian branch of the Austrian-born American celebrity chef's restaurant, you’ll be expecting to pay an exuberant price for premium steak — but I’d say it’s worth splurging on for a special occasion.
From hawker fanfares to concept cafes and fine dining restaurants, it’s all about the food in Singapore. So don’t forget to check out the vibrant café scene here in neighbourhoods like Tiong Bahru, Duxton and Upper Thomson.
If you’re the adventurous type, make sure you take a bite into the “King of Fruits” during the durian season (usually between June and August). Make a trip to the “cleaner” part of Geylang, which is famous for its durian stalls. You’ll either love it or hate it.
Singaporeans love our pop-up stores, events and markets, that’s why notable brands like Chanel recently opened a pop-up café here, while ArtBox Bangkok stopped by for a few days during the Good Friday long weekend. Remember: the pop-ups are where the locals are at, so expect big crowds with great vibes.