Antoinette French patisseries


Do you have a sweet tooth like I do? :)

Thanks to a friend I discovered a great new place last Friday night. It’s called “Antoinette” and it’s actually a very cosy tea salon! I had never been to a tea salon in Singapore and my first experience was a great one!

French patisseries in Singapore

The decor may seem a little kitschy but when you look closely, all the furniture is different! And that gives the place a more “homy” touch!

French patisseries in Singapore

Dessert-wise, the patisseries we had were really to-die-for! One chocolate nougatine layered pastry and one strawberry mousse… So fine and delectable !! Add in a little tea (they have a wide selection!) and there you are in heaven

French patisseries in Singapore French patisseries in SingaporeFrench patisseries in Singapore

And I was amazed by their attention to detail! All the cutlery is customized with Antoinette logo, a large “A” letter incrusted in gold…

If you want my opinion, the decor isn’t really “French” but more of a “Versailles” style – which provides great photo opportunities for locals ! But coming from a French I must say it has a touch of “kitsch” atmosphere… but don’t get me wrong, I find it fun !! :)

They have various outlets in Singapore, including some on Orchard Road. I went to the one near Lavender MRT station. Small and cosy, loved it!

So here you go. Go try out Antoinette. Best French patisseries in Singapore !!

Traveling around Singapore


Singapore is a great place to stay. Like I heard someone say recently, “Singapore is no longer just a pass-through place“.

But I’m sure if you’re a foreigner staying in Singapore for a while, you must have heard people around you say that, “Hey, Singapore is great! But what’s really great too is how connected Singapore is and how easy it is to go on a getaway somewhere in Asia just for a couple of days!”

I must say I agree with this :)

Singapore is one of the world’s most connected city, and is geographically very well situated in Southeast Asia. Think about it… 3 hours from Hong Kong, 2h30mn from Bangkok, 1hour from Bali… Isn’t that the dream? For us westerners in Singapore this truly adds value to our stay, as an open door to discover Asia…

Singapore in SE Asia

From my experience, when planning for a trip, airfare can be quite expensive. People will argue that low cost airlines are really cheap… Tiger Airways, Air Asia, Jet Star, and most recently Scoot.

But I would like to add that “low costs airlines are really cheap” IF you book early!! It happened to me so many times to plan a trip just a few weeks in advance, and tickets we’re really not cheap.

At one point, non-low cost airlines like Cathay Pacific and Silkair can be cheaper!! Here’s a great website that I use to compare flights and make sure I get the best bargain: http://www.skyscanner.com.sg/.

Regarding destinations, there are so many that it’s hard to choose… Here’s a great website to help you decide: www.tripinasia.com. It was recently created by some friends of mine, and it’s really comprehensive and useful! If you like it you can join their growing community of fans on Facebook.

Trip In Asia website

A few of my personal favourites would be:

- Malacca for Peranakan delights and jewelry shopping
- Bintan for an easy beach vacation
- Bali if you have more time, to unravel temples’ secrets, rice fields and volcanoes
- Kota Kinabalu for a visit of Orang Utans
- Hong Kong for a shopping and Dim Sum treat
- Bangkok for nightlife and fun…!!

Also you might want to keep an eye open for local festivals in each destinations, to make sure your trip has the right timing to make it a truly unforgettable experience :)

Hope you like my tips!! So now let’s get started on planning your next getaway from Singapore!!

Emerald Hill


A few weeks back, I was looking for a place to grab a beer with some friends visiting in Singapore. Someplace casual, easy to access, and not (too) expensive… so I scratched my head… and thought of Emerald Hill !!

I don’t know whether you are familiar with this area, but to me the first time I went there was really a good surprise and it has been one of my favourite spots in Singapore ever since.

Contrasted Singapore

Contrasts of Old & New Singapore

The first great thing about Emerald Hill is that it’s super conveniently located just off Orchard Road. It’s a few steps away from Somerset MRT and the mall 313@Somerset.

The second great thing is that as soon as you turn into this uphill street you forget that you’re on Orchard Road! The place is peaceful, green, quiet… and it’s only shophouses and traditional Chinese mansions. It’s truly amazing, in all honesty!!

Emerald Hill

Atmosphere on Emerald Hill

There are a few outlets here, mainly bars and restaurants. Their deco is also really nice. The one on the picture above is traditional Chinese with red lanterns lit, but there are also more Westernised places like Que Pasa, a Spanish tapas bar with a really wide selection of wines. I personnally like Que Pasa, with a quiet alfresco area, and a quaint deco inside, with wine bottles on the wall and authentic wooden tables…

Emerald Hill evening sky

Clear skies tonight

Overall, Emerald Hill is a good spot when you feel like trying something else for an evening out in Singapore. Clarke Quay and Club Street are great nightlife spots, but I feel after a while you sort of grow out of it…

I would strongly recommend Emerald Hill for a relaxing night out. However if you prefer sitting outside, it’s usually quite crowded so you should go there early!

Green Emerald HillGreen Singapore at night

Isn’t it nice to keep discovering hidden places… sometimes you think you’ve seen it all, and yet a new place is just round the corner! :)

The Arts Science Museum


One thing about Singapore is that you have many many many malls… and fewer opportunities to access world-renowned art exhibitions. I’m not saying that there are no art exhibitions, just that when something worthwhile is out, it’s good to go have a look!

This week-end we decided to go see the expo “The Art of the Brick” at the Arts Science Museum.

The Art of The Brick

It was my first time inside the Arts Science Museum - you know, the flower-shaped building right next to Marina Bay Sands hotel. My first thought was that it’s a bit strange to have to walk through MBS to access the museum (either this or you have to swim across the river!), but maybe that’s just me being an non-Singaporean again :) given that back where I used to live, museums are very rarely associated to hotels or shopping malls…

The Singapore Artscience Museum

I had heard of the “lego expo” through some friends who recommended it, so I thought I’d give it a try. I must admit I was a little put off by the price (15S$), but then again maybe I’m a little spoilt, since I’m used to free entrance to museums back in France…

But once I was inside, it was really quite interesting!! It’s amazing to see how much work the artist, Nathan Sawaya, has put into these pieces… Each art piece is at least a few thousands pieces of lego bricks and a few months of work! And the result is breathtaking!

The thinker - lego version

A blue man lost in his thoughts…

Breaking free

Breaking free… love this piece!!

There were also places in the exhibitions where you could try to build your own lego art masterpiece, which was fun! And it definitely encourages creativity and makes you realize what the artist is doing really takes some sense of perspective and a whole lot of patience… Not to mention knowledge of the human anatomy and body proportions, which it seems Nathan masters perfectly!

What I really liked is that the artist explored a variety of themes, and was really poetic about the way he presented it. I’m not a good art critic but I spent a great afternoon :) Thank you Nathan!

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This visit also got me thinking… Why is it that in Singapore visitors like to leave with a picture of themselves? When we entered the expo we were asked to pose in front of a giant blank page holding a giant pencil, so that they could take a picture of us, and sell it to us of course.

I would think these are takeaways aimed at tourists, but it’s actually meant for locals! In the same way, there was an empty seat next to the blue-thinker-man, so that you can take a picture next to him…

Surprising – to me – but also quite fun if you get into the game!! … I guess maybe it’s a cultural thing :) And I must admit sometimes I like to be part of this photo-photo game myself !!

A slice of Mexico in Singapore…


Do you ever get tired of Asian food? Sometimes I do… Not that I don’t enjoy it (on the contrary!!) but just that after a while it’s nice to go for a change…

When I feel like having something different for dinner, one of my favourite places is Piedra Negra, a Mexican restaurant and bar on Haji Lane. “Piedra Negra” (which means “black stone”) actually has nothing to do with Black… it’s extremely colourful!! And I love it because the atmosphere is lively and very latino-like!

Deco at Piedra Negra

Deco at Piedra Negra

Deco at Piedra Negra

Some of the deco reminds me of Barcelona, some of South America… Actually the menu is not all Mexican, as you can have Spanish tortillas or South American empanadas! Hmmm yummy all my favourites! A luxury to have these in Singapore maybe?

Piedra Negra is also a great chill out place, and I recommend you try the nachos, served with guacamole, frijoles, jalapeno chili (careful there, it’s really spicy!!), and covered in melted cheese – see picture.

Tacos muy buenosAlso a good combination, have it with a glass of cool sangria, or frozen margarita (even though in the Singapore heat it will not stay frozen for long).

Prices are reasonable too, and the staff is really friendly. There is an outdoor area as well, right along beach road, which is very pleasant on a windy evening…

Go check it out and tell me what you think! :)

Blog statistics for 2012


As this is the last day of the year, WordPress has provided a statistics report for the year 2012! In short:

27,000 views this year…

15,000 visitors approximately…

82 comments overall…

41 visitors per day on average…

34 posts so far…

25 blog followers…

… and most importantly ONE BIG THANK YOU to all my readers and supporters !!

Let’s keep up the good work :)

If you want to learn more about this blog’s statistics : Click here to see the complete report. I especially like the “where did your visitors come from” part… Check it out it’s fun!!

Christmas season in Singapore


Season‘s greetings to all !! 

For non-Singaporeans spending the Christmas season in Singapore this year, we’re probably thinking the same thing… It’s really interesting to have a hot Christmas!! I don’t know about you but usually in my home country Christmas comes together with cold temperature, snow… and a hot chocolate by the chimney :)

This is not my first Christmas in Singapore… At first I was a little put off, like probably other fellow expatriates living here. It’s just so different from our usual Christmas atmosphere! But Singapore always has something different to offer. What I like most about being in Singapore around Christmas and New Year’s Eve is:

- the Christmas decorations around town make you feel like it’s Christmas (even though inside you might be dying of heat!). Sometimes I feel lightings are too colourful and shiny, but it’s a good start to help you get in the mood :)

- Business partners will most likely deliver hampers or small gifts to your office! That’s part of the small things that make me happy!

- But most of all, you still feel like you’re on holiday in summer :) !! Don’t you just love waking up to a warm weather and having a cooling drink by the beach next to neighbouring coconut trees?

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Speaking of Christmas decorations… did you know that each year there is an implicit “competition” for the tallest Christmas tree in Singapore? Especially between Singapore attractions and hotels, but also including shopping malls… Check out these ones for example!

Xmas tree @Ngee Ann City

Ngee Ann City

Xmas tree @Shangri La lobby

Shangri La Hotel lobby

I even heard last year that Singapore Flyer claimed they had the tallest Christmas tree in Singapore… even though their Christmas tree is not a tree!! So which Christmas tree is your favourite this year? :)

new year images

And as the end of the year approaches, here’s wishing you a wonderful new year of 2013 !!

Zouk Out 2012


Hey guys! Have you heard of ZoukOut? Surely you’ve heard of Zouk, one of the most famous night clubs in Singapore. Zouk usually features very good electro-dance DJs, and also had (until July this year) a very popular theme night on Wednesdays, the Mambo Jambo night, where they played retro music from the 80s.

Well, Zouk decided in 2000 to bring the party… to the beach!! Branded “ZoukOut”, this annual event is a dance music festival where world renowned DJs fly in to Singapore. A must-do for newcomers!

The stage at Zoukout

The stage at Zoukout

This year I went there for the first time. The ticket price was (I felt) very high… 98 S$ per person for just one night (there are 2 nights, usually Friday and Saturday). You do have an early bird ticket at 78 S$ but you really have to be quick to get one, as tickets sell REALLY fast!!

I reached Siloso beach (on Sentosa) around midnight with some friends and there was already quite a crowd. The festival showcases artists from 8pm to 8am… so you can imagine the size of the event :D ! I found the beach quite nicely set up, with sponsors booths lit up, and 3 large well-positioned scenes (not too close from one another). It’s also well thought that there are many bars, all around the area, and they are numbered so it’s easier to find meeting points with your friends.

Lightings at Zoukout

Lightings at Zoukout

There are also a few “fun” booths, were you can participate to games or have your fortune told by a guru… Quite entertaining I must say! And of course some food and beverages outlets, with a quite diverse range of options, however quite expensive as expected. If you’re lucky, you might also catch the 5mn fireworks – as we did!!

Fireworks at Zoukout

After a while though, I felt the music was not of my taste, and the crowd really started to bother me (with time crowds get drunker… ;) ) so I headed home. But I think if you’re really into electro/disco/trance music you will definitely enjoy this event. This year’s edition featured Calvin Harris and Paul Kalbrenner for instance!

My recommendation is to go if you like beach parties and excitement :) but think about it twice if you’re weary of the price, or do not like crowds too much! Also, if you go, please wear comfortable footwear, and remember not too bring any food or drinks with you, as it will be taken at the entrance (but you can buy food and drinks inside).

For more info on ZoukOut music festival, it’s right this way!! So… ready for party time?? :D

Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden


Well, it’s been a while since I haven’t written anything here… but I’m back! And even more so, I have now moved to Singapore and am ready to discover new places to share with you :) How great is that? Yoohoo !!

I recently went back to the Botanic Gardens, and re-discovered how big it is. It’s really a great feeling to be able to step out of the buzzing city for a while and relax. I particularly like the Symphony Lake, especially at the end where it stretches out to a little wooden hut where you can cool off and observe turtles swimming by…

Another bit of the Botanic Gardens you really don’t want to miss out on is the National Orchids Garden. It is very famous and is worthwhile for any person who likes orchids (but who doesn’t really?) !! As you may know, most Orchids are bred by humans, and Singapore was particularly skilled in creating orchids and assigning them to political personalities, so as to honour other countries. You can have a look at the “VIP Orchids” wall in Burkill Hall, it truly is very interesting. And did you know who the last VIP Orchid from Singapore was dedicated to? Prince William and Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge…! In September this year.

Here is a selection of beautiful Orchids in the garden:

No wonder the Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid was proclaimed National Flower of Singapore!!

So if you are planning a visit to the Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden (which you should), remember that entrance fee is 1$ for students and seniors, and 5$ for adults.

Also, I would recommend you to find a convenient bus line for you to go there (there are many). Another option would be the MRT station “Botanic Gardens” on the Circle Line, however it will take you to the far end of the park, so you might have to walk a little distance. Enjoy !! :)

Seah Street Deli


Who says Singapore is boring and always the same? If you look hard enough, you might find a couple of surprising places… like this American Diner on Beach Road, incorporated into the Raffles Hotel building !

Seah Street Deli is a very surprising restaurant to find in the Raffles Hotel. While you might be expecting fancy European food or beautifully served Chinese meals, Seah Street Deli will serve you typically American food! Interesting for a restaurant located in an iconic hotel of Singapore right? :)

Their menu includes salads, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, pizzas and snacks… basically anything you might be in a craving for if you are American and miss your home country. The portions are huge too, so make sure you don’t eat too much during the day before you go there :)

I must admit the food is sometimes a little oily or fat… However one of the reasons why I love this place is because of the atmosphere! The decoration, floor and furniture really make you feel like you are in a whole other place. There’s even a jukebox in a corner!! And even though I’m not American, I love to be able to “travel” while still being physically located in Singapore. Well, actually, located in the HEART of Singapore!!

That is yet another great thing about Singapore, it’s that it is truly global and connected to the world, and not only to Asian countries!! I guess that is why so many Foreigners choose to settle down in Singapore… not only are there great career opportunities, but it’s also a place where you can feel at home, no matter which country you are from!! And from my point of view, it is very rare to feel at home in another country… so if you are American and need a taste of home, do try out this restaurant! And let me know what you think :)