Friday, August 26, 2011

Guest Blogger: Rhonda Bannister hits up Singapore

Our Editor-in-Chief, Rhonda Bannister, travels a lot! It's all part of the job, and she keeps very busy indeed - her latest trip has been to Singapore, where she has been keeping us up to date about some serious shopping extravaganzas and fabulous dining experiences. She's more than happy to be our guest blogger today ... read on for a little insight in to a day with Rhonda on the streets of the bustling, trendy metropolis Singapore.

Haji Lane, Singapore
Fabrics on display, Arab Street

Guest Blogger: Rhonda Bannister 
In Singapore for a few days with my mate Pammie and loving it ... the food, the shopping, the people. We stumbled on to a 60s time warp when we stepped off Beach Road - a busy downtown thoroughfare  - into Haji Lane. Fabulous old shopfronts with walls adorned with cartoonish images painted in psychedelic colours house little cafes, like the groovy Pedra Negra Cantina & Cochina which looks like a great place to start an evening out. There's also some little boutiques selling cool clothing and accessories, and tattoo shops like the one pictured! Plus coffee shops like Le Bistro Parisien where we indulged in french pasties and coffee - but only to keep our strength up for what was going to be a long day of snooping around.

About half way down the lane we turned right and ended up in Arab Street on the corner of Baghdad Street ... WOW if you're looking for fabrics or want to have an outfit made this is the go to place. Gorgeous silks in the most beautiful colours and patterns sell from around Singapore $70 a metre and other divine fabric display have signs saying $70 for an outfit - bargain! My next trip I'll have a few outfits made for sure!

Hopped a cab and fast forwarded a couple of centuries to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel - OMG! This place is amazing. Got the lift to the 56th floor to be rewarded by gobsmacking  360 degree views of this great city. Pressed my nose - or in this case my camera lens - to the glass gate separating we plebs from the very up-market hotel guests enjoying cocktails around the rooftop pool ...YES PLEASE, next time I'm definitely staying here.

Marina Bay Sands

Next stop was the shops at Marina Bay, and although we couldn't afford to actually buy anything it was fun to window shop all the luxury brands and out of this world jewellery.  And this really was pure window shopping .... everything we saw here was so outrageously expensive and out of our realm of reality, but utterly exquisite and worth the few moments of dreaming. So dream on we did!

Dream shopping at Marina Bay Sands

Dining at Pizzeria Mozza (the best pizza!)

We then checked out the lunch menu at Daniel Boulud's very chic Bistro Moderne but decided it was a better dinner option and put it down for a return visit. Lunch was instead spent next door at Pizzeria Mozza where Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich have combined their prodigious talents to create a warm, inviting, happening restaurant, so we were happy we tried it. We had such a great lunch here - two hours later after a bottle of very expensive Italian Rose and goats cheese pizza ( we both agreed it was the best pizza we had ever eaten with such thin, crisp dough! ) we hopped another cab to Orchard Road, intent to do some serious shopping.

Ion at Orchard Road

Orchard Road is THE place to shop in Singapore if you want variety ... and I do mean variety - from some excellent department stores (where I bought 3 pair of leather shoes and two Nine West handbags for under $300!!) to all the well known overseas brands and here, including Mango, Top Shop, Massimo Dutti, Zara, etc - and of course the luxury brands which are omnipresent throughout Asia.

Great day out!  If anyone tells you Singapore is boring tell them boring is as boring does!

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