I've declared today the official rest day of this holiday.
I'm writing to you from our hotel room over more impressively speedy hotel wifi as I sip on green tea and nibble at some excellent dark chocolate I picked up at the duty free in Singapore.
Here's a visual.
Was at the gym earlier gazing at this view from behind a very complex step machine.
And prior to that, participated in the tea ceremony hosted by the groom's side of the family. There's often a 'light lunch' afterwards which features at least five different bain maries filled with rice, noodles, seafood, a chicken dish and a vegetable dish. This is accompanied by platters of meticulously peeled and sliced exotic (to me) fruit plus dessert. It's hearty, comforting food and personally, it's often a meal I rate more highly than the more complex dishes of the dinner banquet.
So I guess you can understand why my day of rest has featured a whole lot of gym time. I need stomach space for tonight's feast.
Further to my comments in my previous post about child friendly facilities in Singapore, here are some photos of the general standard of bathroom and parents rooms at your average mall on Orchard Road.
This is what I was telling you about regarding the filtered water machines and cushioned change mats.
Okay. I suppose I should 'fess up. A big part of the reason I'm not at the mall with the rest of the family today is this. Both bags are already bursting at the seams from Singapore. I'm glad my subconscious knew better than to believe me when I swore to myself that this would be a trip where I'd not be doing much shopping.... By the way, Singapore have a very efficient Tourist Refund Scheme available on purchases above $100. It's around 5 - 6% back. You need to present your passport at your retailer to obtain the bar codes you scan at the airport. The process occurs at stations at the departures area of the airport. After getting your total, hop over to the inspectors who ask you a few polite questions (like 'what did you get at Goyard?') before waving you on your way without often having to see what you've bought.
We had a few hours to spare in Singapore yesterday between our flight and checking out of the hotel. The air conditioning of the shops on Orchard Road was the most sensible place to spend that time.
We spotted a gold bar ATM from above.
And a herd of prams outside a cafe at around 11am. It's one of those universal signs of a popular shopping centre, isn't it?
We were at Tiong Bahru Bakery at Tangs. Home of Singapore's best croissants. There's a craze here at the moment for salted egg croissants but as a creature of habit, it was the almond croissant for me. The bakery was doing a very brisk trade in take out office orders when we visited. People from nearby offices were streaming in to pick up massive pastry and coffee orders to take back to work.
I wish I had room for one of those flip flops...
Tiong Bahru Bakery gets my vote for being the first place we visited on Orchard who did babycinos.
|Attempting to satisfy Toddler SSG's babycino withdrawals....|
Of course, the moment we found one, Toddler SSG had other things on his mind. But he returned to the babycino in the end. The only thing missing was the marshmallows but it was so delicious he barely missed them.
|Daily Singapore coffee price check - this large skinny mocha was $8 SGD.|
It was a lovely croissant. Not as buttery as what I'm used to with the Australian varieties but delicious all the same. The dough's a bit sweeter here than at home. I'm also very glad that the bakeries of Singapore have also resisted the straight croissant movement that Tesco initiated. I love the history and tradition of foods and to simply change them for convenience and commercial interests irks me.
It always amazes me that despite being surrounded by some of the fanciest, glitziest stores in the world, Toddler SSG's most favourite thing about them is their water features. He could spend hours trying to get into them or running around them (if they're fountains) giggling madly to himself as he tried to high give the jets of water as he goes.
I left H&M empty handed - all three of stores I visited, actually. It's another place I'm getting too old for but I'll always keep an eye out for the collaborations, just in case they ever do another collection with Marni.
|Toddler SSG ended up getting more out of our H&M window shopping than I did.|
The Providore stores are a foodies paradise. Besides offering meals and drinks, their shelves are stocked with an amazing collection of artisan foods, most under their own label.
Corners and details of the store I visited reminded me so much of Sydney.....
As Toddler SSG downed his tall glass of freshly squeezed apple juice (complete with a garnish of a perfect disc of dehydrated apple), I sipped at my glass of prosecco.
On our travels, I found this interesting bit of news at Uniqlo. Liberty London is collaborating with Uniqlo and the collection launches at the end of this month. I do hope we get this range in Australia.
Keeping with the British theme, I had a prawn sandwich for lunch - followed by a more local slice of papaya.
I'm going to miss beautifully cut fruit at bargain prices when we get back home...
Ditto the sushi burritos. They're a thing in Singapore. Don't worry, there's nothing Japanese Mexican fusion about them, they're just a larger version of sushi hand rolls that are lighter on the rice and heavier on the salad. Sydney food trend oracles, we need these as a priority, please make it happen.