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Old 15 Jun 20, 10:50 PM  
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Wordsworth
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Location: Auld Reekie
Day 3, Part II: Happy Hour and Garden Rhapsody

Tonight, rather than venture out for dinner, we’d decided to utilise happy hour in the lounge. We weren’t that hungry after our Chinatown dining adventure so the idea of nibbling on canapés and drinking cocktails was rather appealing.

First up, another Singapore Sling for me.



DH was on white wine all night so I haven’t taken a photograph of his glasses.

We also both had our first round of the evening’s hot canapé trio - we had two of these each over the course of the evening.



These were all delicious, especially the soup. And a visit to the cold selection was also called for.



As you can see, I was trying to be restrained! I did not, however, show the same caution when it came to the cocktail list, deciding I needed to try both the regular margarita and the watermelon version.



I then had one more Singapore sling for the road, which looked very similar to the first one on this post so I guessed you wouldn’t need to see it again.

We probably could have managed at least another drink each before happy hour ended, but we wanted to leave the hotel sharpish to catch the second showing at Garden Rhapsody, down at Gardens By The Bay.

We duly made our way to Bugis MRT and were soon back down by MBS, where we found ourselves fighting the crowd leaving the first showing! Thankfully it soon thinned out and we made our way towards Supertree Grove.







Tonight we’d decided to watch the show from directly under the trees, and we were early enough to be able to find a good spot to sit and wait.



While more people did arrive, it never got too crowded, which was good.

As for the show itself, I love light shows set to music so predictably, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t take that many pictures as I wanted to concentrate on the show, but here are a couple of mine:





And a few of my husband’s shots:







The trees stay lit up for a bit after the show ended so we experimented with a few selfies while we waited for the initial rush of people leaving to calm. Once it all went dark, we made our way back towards MBS and the MRT, visiting a couple of familiar landmarks on the way.





We were soon at the hotel, where we popped into the club lounge for a final cup of tea (peppermint for me) before heading to our room, where we ate the remaining egg tarts as a late night snack then headed to bed!
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Old 16 Jun 20, 09:39 PM  
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Day 4, Part I: Michelin Star street food, Orchard Road & MBS

Today we were going to check out of the Intercontinental Singapore and into Marina Bay Sands for our final night.

First up, though - breakfast! And as I seem to have two identical photos of pancakes I’m going to assume both DH and I had the same this morning.



We then collected our (thankfully small) suitcases from our room and headed back to the lounge to check out. Although we were checking out, they offered us new key cards that would allow us to access the lounge later in the day, if we wanted the afternoon tea service (which we were never around in time to sample). The service was great in the lounge during our whole stay and this was just another example of that; I would definitely stay here again.

Now, part of the reason that this is a food and trip report is that good food and dining out are things that DH and I really enjoy. Bearing that in mind, we knew exactly where we were heading first - we wanted noodles! And not just any noodles, but Michelin Star noodles.

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle was one of the first street food stands to be awarded a Michelin Star (in 2016) and it has held onto it ever since. Accordingly it also has a reputation for queues of up to 2 hours, so we wanted to get there relatively early. After a quick trip on the MRT, we were in the queue by 10.30ish.



We were lucky to be right on the threshold of the building at this point, as it wasn’t long before the queue extended down the street.

As the name suggests, the stall focuses on “bak chor mee” or minced pork noodles. There are only 5 items on the menu, available in various sizes. We had plenty of time to decide that we’d share option number 2, in the $10 size (largest), as we ended up waiting about an hour before it was our turn.



It became apparent why it took so long as you got closer to the kitchen and could watch the chef work - each dish received individual care and attention. There were no huge trays with ready cooked ingredients just waiting to be dished up - each serving was cooked to order, with just the required amount of noodles being put to boil before each of the individual pork components (including minced pork, thin slices of liver, crispy skin, a meatball and dumplings) received the treatment in another pan, being added and removed as necessary to ensure everything was perfectly cooked. It was quite something to watch!

Eventually though, our order was up.



I know some people will think we were crazy to wait an hour but to us, it was more than worth it. This was by far the best noodle dish I’ve ever had - each element was distinct and full of flavour while also complementing each other. And I’ll never have a cheaper Michelin Star meal in my life!

As you can imagine it took a lot less than an hour to eat our bak chor mee, so once we were done we headed back to the MRT. We made our way to Orchard Road with the intention of checking out some of the shops.

We window shopped the luxury good stores and browsed in most of the more realistically priced options. The only things I bought were a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and a Minnie T-shirt from Uniqlo; you can take the woman out of Disney but...! We also bought a Fanta slushy to drink but it wasn’t that pleasant.



While we drank we discussed what to do next:

(1) head to Raffles for a Singapore sling,
(2) head back to the intercontinental for afternoon tea there, or
(3) collect our luggage and head over to Marina Bay Sands to check in.

We discounted 1 almost straight away, because DH isn’t a fan of slings so there seemed little point in doing something he wouldn’t enjoy as much. Deciding between 2 and 3 was more difficult but we decided to go with 3, as we like getting our money’s worth and I’d booked a club room at MBS that should give us access to their afternoon tea offering in Club 55.

Once we had our bags, we used our MRT pass for the last time to get to MBS. Club checkin is in the sands lounge to the right of the main check in desk; we had no wait at all to be checked in. Although we were there before official check in time of 3pm (we arrived just after 2pm), there was no issue checking in early and we were also proactively offered a late check out for the next day, of 1pm rather than 11am, which fitted nicely with our plans!

We headed up fifty two or so floors to our room to be greeted by a new friend.



I was definitely happy with our room!





And the view from our balcony wasn’t bad either.



We were keen to get up to Club 55 to sample their afternoon tea though.

You are greeted at the reception desk by the door and shown to your table, where you could request tea and soft drinks from the lounge staff. There was a hot and cold buffet offering a selection of sweet and savoury items, I think I had 3 plates in total but only photographed 2 so let’s pretend I’m less greedy than I am.





Suitably full (yet again) we headed further up the building to check out the iconic infinity pool. No time for a swim just now but we’d be back!



We could access the public MBS viewing deck with a swipe of our room key so wandered through there to take in the sights.





I also managed to purchase a frozen Singapore sling, I’m not sure how that happened!



The resultant brain freeze suggested i’d had enough excitement for the moment, so we headed back to our room to rest and plot our activities for the rest of the night.
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Old 17 Jun 20, 06:43 PM  
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OB1LukeLucas
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I’m pleased you managed to sample happy hour again-I know you were on a mission for the crab the other night but I was thinking I would have gone with the cocktails (I’m from a little fishing village so the ‘free’ cocktails were always going to be the winner for me)
Some more great photos, the orchids look beautiful and the light show looked really nice.
I think your hour wait was well worth it as you say I don’t believe you could get that kind of value ever again unless you went back for more noodles!
A hard decision on the options for the day I think I would have gone with 3 too although I would have loved to do Raffles, it’s not the same if you both aren’t really going to enjoy it-I doubt my hubby would be that bothered
The view from your room and the hotel itself looks great, can’t believe the trip is nearly over, it was great that you got a late check out.
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Old 17 Jun 20, 08:36 PM  
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Originally Posted by OB1LukeLucas View Post
I’m pleased you managed to sample happy hour again-I know you were on a mission for the crab the other night but I was thinking I would have gone with the cocktails (I’m from a little fishing village so the ‘free’ cocktails were always going to be the winner for me)

A hard decision on the options for the day I think I would have gone with 3 too although I would have loved to do Raffles, it’s not the same if you both aren’t really going to enjoy it-I doubt my hubby would be that bothered
I’ve done chilli crab now so it would be cocktails all the way next time.

I’d have liked to do Raffles but I guess it’s just an excuse to go back
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Old 17 Jun 20, 09:11 PM  
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Day 4, Part II: MBS, more lights and a rooftop swim

Our evening began in pretty much the same place as our afternoon was spent; Club 55! Club hotel guests get exclusive access for a couple of hours in the evening, for a selection of free drinks (champagne, wine and spirits/mixed drinks but no cocktails) and a canapé selection.

We arrived promptly in the hopes of getting a window table and were delighted to be led straight to one with a city view.



I always enjoy being able to watch the sun set and when you can drink fizz while doing it, so much the better!



DH was on white wine again. The staff were incredibly attentive in terms of top ups all night, even ensuring they stopped by just as the end of the “happy hours” approached. (Yes, we stayed there for the full time...did you not read the bit about free champagne? )

We also enjoyed a selection of savoury and sweet canapés from the self-serve buffet while chatting and admiring the view. Here are a few of our plates.









I really enjoyed the evenings we spent in the lounges of our hotels - it was lovely just to feel able to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

The sun, meanwhile, was continuing to set.



After finishing our final drinks, we decided to take the lift up to the pool deck and go through to the public viewing deck for some night time photos of the view.









And then we popped back to our room because we’d read we’d possibly be able to see and hear the first showing of Garden Rhapsody from our balcony. We could!





We already decided that we would go back to Supertree Grove to catch the second showing, so shortly after the first ended we headed for the lift. We had decided to skip going to the viewing area to catch this show, but in a bit of a bonus we were able to watch Spectra, the MBS light and water show, through the window at the end of the corridor.





This time we’d decided to watch Garden Rhapsody from the side of Supertree Grove, and found a spot on the grass which gave us a great view.







I loved the show - it’s twinkling lights and good music including Disney and John Williams, so who wouldn’t?

We stayed for a bit after it ended to take more selfies and then popped into the still open food court to see what was on offer, but didn’t much fancy anything. Back to the hotel, then!

I’d been contemplating getting up early to go for a swim in the famous rooftop infinity pool, but the prospect of a night swim was too tempting to resist so I got into my costume and up we went! DH can’t swim so he settled down on a lounger while I popped into the pool.

It was quieter than it had been in the heat of the day but still busy - and most people were more interested in taking selfies than actually swimming. I think I probably did more (lazy) strokes than most of the other pool goers combined! I did, however, have to get a selfie as well (obviously!) so borrowed DH’s camera phone; it takes much more flattering selfies.

Even so I don’t like putting pics of myself on the internet, and especially not pics of me in a swimming costume, so you’ll have to make do with photos sans moi.





I did a bit more swimming, and then we headed back to our room to prepare for our much-anticipated final day lunch (yay) and the long flight home (boo).
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Old 18 Jun 20, 03:27 PM  
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Perfect evening, views and free flowing champagne sound an excellent combination. Stunning photos once more.
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Old 18 Jun 20, 08:31 PM  
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Day 5: Shopping, Star Dining and Flying Home

Our last day in Singapore!

We ate breakfast in Club 55; once again there was a buffet offering and I focused on trying some of the more local dishes.



We then headed downstairs to the Shoppes at MBS.

We were there before most of the shops opened because we wanted to watch a cycle of the Oculus. This was really cool.





I mentioned that on a previous day we’d scoped out both Sephora and B&BW but not bought anything. For the former, this was because I’d spotted a sign in Sephora that people staying at MBS would get a discount on showing their room key. Now that I had a room key, I purchased two bottles of a Boscia cleanser that I really love (annoyingly US Sephora branches no longer stock it).

For B&BW, I had been holding out to see if there was a candle deal, as my mum had asked me to get her a watermelon lemonade candle if possible. On our last day, a discount “buy two candles” duly arrived, hurrah! I purchased my mums candle, plus a Japanese cherry blossom candle to gift her for Christmas as it’s her favourite scent. For myself I got an autumn themed 3 wick candle holder.



After a brief trip outside to watch the Oculus whirlpool from above, we headed back to our room and finished packing up our suitcases. While we’d flown out hand luggage only, we were going to check the two cases in for the return trip as the cleansers were more than 100ml. Having the later checkout was great as it meant we hadn’t needed to rush out with our bags earlier.

We didn’t need the full 1pm checkout though, as we had lunch booked for 12.30pm. Around 12, we headed downstairs to leave our luggage with the concierge and drop our key in the express check out box.

In addition to trying starred street food, I wanted to experience Singapore’s Michelin starred fine dining, so before the holiday I’d spent a bit of time researching options for a final day lunch. Labyrinth immediately seemed like a great option, as it promised the chef’s interpretation of his Singaporean heritage, so I booked it!

It was about a 20 minute walk from MBS; we contemplated getting a taxi but decided to brave the walk. It was hot but manageable. We took some pics on the way.



The restaurant was a bit tucked away in a shopping centre but we found it easily enough and were soon seated. We decided to do the longer tasting menu (we had more than enough time so why not!) but decided the full matching wine experience might be a bit too much in advance of a long flight home. One bottle of wine would sadly have to do!



We were also provided with a set of cards for the table. There was one card per course; on the front was a picture of the basic dish and on the back, the chef had written about his thoughts and memories about the dish.



This was a fantastic experience; I cannot say enough good things! Not only did all of the food taste exquisite - even the durian petit four wasn’t as bad as I’d feared! - the staff clearly had the complete knack of being able to tailor their service to what suited each table.





In turn they were more formal with the table of business people, genially social with the solo diner, and relaxed and joking with us in response to our manner.



I learned from the above dish that sea grapes are DELICIOUS!





Fine dining can be rather formal in some places, which is not my personal taste, but there was no danger of a stuffy experience here - they knew exactly how to respond and react to put people at ease.







My favourite courses were the shrimp, the chicken rice and the kaya toast dessert; the latter was also the most photogenic of the sweet courses.







We’ve been lucky enough to have a number of 1 & 2 star meals around the world and we agreed afterwards that this was probably one of the top experiences. An incredible treat.

Our walk back round to MBS was slower due to our full stomaches, but thankfully a little less humid too.



We wanted to set out for the airport reasonably early to have time to explore the Jewel, but it wasn’t quite time to go yet, so we headed for the Renku bar and lounge in the MBS lobby where I had one more cocktail (a cherry slinger, which had many of the same ingredients as a classic sling) for the road. DH was on white wine as always.



We had decided to get the MRT out to the airport since we had plenty of time so, after collecting our bags, we bought cash tickets for the trip at the station and got on the train. The journey was painless and we were soon at the airport station, where we returned our tourist pass cards in exchange for the deposit, before making our way to the Jewel.

The waterfall is impressive; it’s a bit nuts to think it’s in an airport!





We wandered around for a bit, admiring the various artworks on display, then headed to check in.

The BA club check in was in a separate little room where you actually sat down with the attendant. The process was again quick; we swapped our hold bags for boarding passes, eased through the premium security line, I picked up some salted egg fish skins my BIL has requested, and we settled in the BA lounge to wait.

I had a G&T (or two) and some food from the buffet.





Our flight was on time and once it was in the air, despite the late hour (departure time was 22.35) we had the usual pre dinner drink (gin) service:



And then dinner:





In my distress at going home, I seem to have failed to photograph dessert!

I variously watched films, read my book and dozed for most of the rest of the flight, until it was time for breakfast before landing.



Again, I’d clearly given up on food photos by now, as I have no pic of the hot course.

Our arrival back on UK soil was smooth; we passed through flight connections and security without encountering many other people, due to the early hour.

In the BA lounge I had a bowl of porridge (I have a photo but I assume no one is that desperate to see it). I declined the third breakfast I was offered on the short hop to Edinburgh but DH enjoyed it:



We landed on time, collected our luggage, grabbed a taxi home and that’s the end of this report!

We loved Singapore and would definitely love to spend more time there in future. I would have loved to visit more hawker centres (and drink more slings!).

That said I’m not sure we’d feel the need to stay at MBS again. It was great to spend the night, but we also enjoyed the relative calm of the Intercontinental, and it was easy enough to get around from there.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this report; writing it has certainly lifted my lockdown gloom! Many thanks for reading.

Edited at 11:03 AM.
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Old 18 Jun 20, 09:23 PM  
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Fantastic report, thanks for sharing all those great thoughts and pictures. We are hoping to stop over for a few days on our way to Oz and I think this has just made my mind up to defo do Singapore instead of Dubai.
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Old 18 Jun 20, 11:56 PM  
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Originally Posted by Dr.JumbaJookiba View Post
Fantastic report, thanks for sharing all those great thoughts and pictures. We are hoping to stop over for a few days on our way to Oz and I think this has just made my mind up to defo do Singapore instead of Dubai.
Thank you for reading! I am missing not having one of your food reports to read.

Having stopped over in Dubai once I would definitely recommend Singapore over it; I was not a Dubai fan (although I will note it was years ago that we went, so it may be different now).
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Old 19 Jun 20, 07:34 AM  
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Really enjoyed reading your report and it brought back fabulous memories of our trip last year. It’s a wonderful place and there is so much to see.
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