Several wonderful hours in Singapore.

The hubster and I visited Singapore as part of our Honeymoon some twenty two years ago. “What’s that I hear you say? I must’ve been a young bride?” Fast forward to 2018, and the eldest offspring Melina has just spent 5 glorious months at University in Singapore on a swappy semester abroad whereby she studied her normal course plus travelled about with her newly acquired mates. The hubster and I have popped out to pick up Melina, plus are going to hop around to some other parts of the hood whilst we’re here. Sadly this has only left one day at the beginning of our tour and one at the end to be in Singapore. Things have really changed in all the years and I’m not talking about just my physical appearance, but Singapore to a very young ahem bride didn’t seem as exciting as it is right now. I just thought I’d share what we did and how to feel like you are getting some traction even if you only have a few hours to spare like us.

  • We arrived into Singapore early, which was helpful. We looked like we had been dragged through hedges and aged significantly after our flight. I wonder if the pilot can take an alternative route home, not near The Himalayas, my goodness it was rough. We headed straight for our hotel for our first night in hope that we could check in several hours early. One can always hope and this time the hoping turned to an early check in. Very lucky I know. I had visions of the hubster and me kipping on the sofa in the lobby with unkempt hair straggling all over and dribble on the plush cushions. I need not have feared. We had a little siesta and shower before walking to the Orchard Drive shopping areas then wandered into the Paragon centre where I was pulled swiftly outta there after falling in love with a pair of sparkly wedges that cost eleventy billion dollars. Next we had a coffee and checked out the world from a window seat at the Tiong Bahru Bakery. The daughter was enroute from a ghastly Shakespeare exam so we met up and headed for Boon Tat street. Now… I had been told to savour some Satay in this said street, and after marching the hubster and daughter up and down this Satay street for 5 times searching for the best satay, was flummoxed that I couldn’t find Satay at all! The hubster was starting to get hangry, so we settled in a very friendly little place. The lovely chap suggested little Asian DimSum and various dishes and we devoured them excitedly. They were very cute, well executed and fragrant. We stayed around an hour, quaffed a couple of cheeky vinos and then walked to Chinatown via a very strange alley that backed onto several restaurants. I peered into the kitchens and witnessed an array of exciting produce. I felt slightly uneasy at raw fish not being on a Blue chopping board, but guess colour coding isn’t the top of the agenda in Singapore. We wandered about Chinatown which I guess is much better at night and took a Uber to Clarke Quay where we hopped on a river cruise. We spent a fab forty- five minutes seeing all the iconic buildings and learning about the very interesting history whilst soaking up the sun and taking selfies. After this, we returned back to catch up on our sleep for a couple of hours before heading back to Clarke Quay for Dinner and drinkies. We invited Kayley from Maryland who has been buds with Melina the past few months to join us. Kayley, being a student also, was totally up for eating properly for a change and we decided at the girls request to dine Mexican by the river. It was apparently happy hour, but there wasn’t anything happy about the measures of Chardonnay and frankly knocking off one dollar a drink isn’t the type of happy hour I’m used to. I knocked back three Chardonnays and still felt as sober as a judge. The food was great though, Mexican Calamari and quesadillas for me. Totally scrumptious. We walked after dinner and went to a very undyynamic bar that brought out cocktails one at a time. We had ordered four and I think the bar chap only had one shaker poor thing. The hubster and I left the girls and went for one more drink at the Canary Bar on the fourth floor at the Grand Park hotel. This place is so relaxing and we sat near the pool outside and had another minuscule Chardonnay costing eleventy billion pounds. My goodness Singapore is quite pricey but lovely. It’s a wonderful place and I’m thankful for its safety that’s protected my cherub for the past few months.


Who needs New York when one resides in Newbury?

To be honest, one has been feeling a tad glum of late.  Things have not been going too well for me work wise, however I’m all about positive thinking and looking at the bright side of life.  I’m also into reading positive quotes and  poetry of which I can identify with and generally doing everything I can to keep my pecker up.  I’ve taken to writing a journal, and am having a bit of therapy to get any negativity out of my mind and must say this really helps.  Whilst maintaining a positive stance, I decided to seek the positives in the home town that I reside in,  as all too often we can become consumed with gloom.  I hope that this will be useful for any one visiting or just a general reminder to my neighbours!

Here we go then, in no particular order.

1- The Racecourse.  I’m no expert on racecourses, but I believe it to be a decent course.  I certainly have a jolly good time whenever I go.  I tend to go racing maybe three or four times a year.  I’ve got a good mate who invites me to her box, and I get very merry on the endless champers.  I love a day at the races, never win anything but it’s a good craic.

2-The Corn Exchange. I love this little theatre, I prefer going to the cinema here too, it’s much more intimate, and you can take a glass of vino in with you.  I’ve been to many a production here, and the Pantomimes are hysterical at Christmas.

3-Highclere Castle.  It’s stunning and full of Downtown Abbey charm.  Events happen here all the time.  Its wonderful for the odd tour, also it’s a fabulous Wedding venue.

4-The Vineyard Hotel.  I of course have to mention this place.  The hubster runs it, one of the most special places to dine, with the most amazing wine list.  The bedrooms are luxurious, service is sublime.  If they don’t get a michelin star this year, then I’ll be well miffed. The afternoon tea is awesome too.

5-The Woodspeen. Another lovely place to eat.  Michelin starred, but very relaxed whilst being high end at the same time.  One of the best steaks I’ve eaten demolished by moi recently.  Really like this place, plus there is a cookery school too.

6-The Walks.  There are plenty of local country walks, from The Chase at Woolten hill, to Snelsmore Common, to The Ridgeway. Great for the canine babies.

7-Golf.  We seem to have an abundance of Golf courses.  Donnington Valley is one of the best, but seriously there are loads to suit all budgets.

8-Spas. Again The Vineyard hotel and Donnington Valley both have lovely Spas where one can chill and luxuriate one.

9-Shopping.  Well, this is a tricky one, as our Town centre is a bit of a patchwork.  There are a few nice shops and chain restaurants, but also a few dire ones.  It’s probably best if you’re going to venture into Town to park at The Parkway end.  We have the usual favourites plus some goodish coffee shops.  Waterstones has been revamped and worth a little pop into for a coffee and a flick through some pages.

  • 10-Must say I’m struggling now! But Angelica’s Terrace in Camp Hopson, Newbury’s main department store is worth a little jaunt to.  It’s recently been refurbished and sells coffee, teas, Proscecco and Artisan products amongst other things. The furnishings are very glam, it’s quite lovely and you can sit Al fresco on the terrace and look across lovely Newbury!