Day 1: Around the track
For the past 11 years, September has seen the Lion City roar into action with the annual Singapore Grand Prix. But aside from the on-track activities, the neighbourhoods surrounding the circuit offer a host of exciting attractions. Start your day with coffee and toast topped with banana, nut butter and coconut mousse at The Glasshouse.
Then, explore the city in a restored vintage Vespa sidecar with a Singapore Sidecars tour. Choose the Civic District route, which gives you a preview of the Formula One race circuit as it zips around landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, St Andrew’s Cathedral and Fullerton Square. Continue the motorsport theme at the nearby South Beach, where the Classics in the City exhibition (14–16 Sep) displays 30 iconic automobiles, including three championship-winning F1 cars.
All the action is bound to whet your appetite, so head to Madame Fan at the NCO Club for a spot of modern Chinese fare with a twist. Lounge in plush red armchairs as you tuck into signature dim sum items like char siew bao (barbecue pork bun) with wolfberries and crispy aromatic duck made extra special with buttery, nutty kaluga caviar. Walk off the impending food coma by traipsing over to the ArtScience Museum to check out “Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes”, a special exhibition that spotlights the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s key characters from the past decade.
Further your local cultural education at the Singapore International Photography Festival (from 6 Sep), which takes place at venues across the city, including the National Design Centre and Gillman Barracks. Swing by the Arts House to check out Mark Neville’s “Child’s Play & Other Stories” and Laura Letinsky’s “Still” (from 14 Sep). Once you’re done perusing the exhibitions, rest your weary feet and take in the skyline with a ride on the Singapore Flyer. If you’ve got tickets for the Formula One race, present them and pay just $11 for the second passenger on Singapore Sling and Premium Champagne flights (valid 7–13 Sep). To end the night, take a taxi to Kimme on Amoy Street. This newly opened bistro concept is where you’ll find chefs Sun Kim and Louis Han dishing up their inventive take on modern Asian cuisine.
Day 2: When night falls
After an action-packed first day, take it easy until sundown – which is when the Little Red Dot is at its prettiest. Kick off your evening at the sky-high Lavo, a restaurant and rooftop bar with an outdoor terrace at Marina Bay Sands. Drop by between 5pm and 7pm to take advantage of its one-for-one special on signature cocktails as you enjoy stellar views of the city’s skyline at sunset.
For dinner, head down to the newly opened Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, direct from New York. Sink your teeth into the juicy Greg Norman Burger made with wagyu beef and blue cheese, but save some room for one of its trademark CrazyShake milkshakes like the Cotton Candy. Walk off the sugar high at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, open till 11pm daily (and till 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays). You’ll find an impressive array of boutiques such as Hermès, Cortina Watch, perfumery Henry Jacques and pearl specialist Mikimoto.
New additions include London-based Turkish brand Bora Aksu, known for its demi-couture creations and lavish tulle dresses, and Singapore’s first Puma Select store stocked with premium collaborative merchandise from the likes of Fenty Puma by Rihanna, MCM Puma Suede and the Weeknd. Then, take a walk on the wild side at the Singapore Zoo. Explore the new Rainforest Lumina night walk, which takes you through 11 illuminated zones. For culture vultures who prefer to stay downtown, opt for Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay where, in conjunction with Malay Language Month, Cipta Cita (which translates as “inspiring creativity” in Malay) shines the spotlight on some of the region’s best vocal artists, such as Amni Musfirah and Iskandar Rawi.
Before hitting the party circuit, regroup at craft beer bar The Guild on Keong Saik Street. You’ll find 10 distinctive brews on tap, including the unusual Young Master Cha Chaan Teng Gose – a tart and refreshing German-style beer that’s brewed with salted lime. End the night at Lulu’s Lounge, where there’s always a party going on until the wee hours of the morning. During the F1 period (14–16 Sep), it’ll stage a nightly Va Va Vroom burlesque show fronted by the Sugar Blue Burlesque performers from Australia. While you’re there, pop over next door to Amber Lounge, where certain Formula One drivers will be strutting the catwalk during a one-night-only fashion show (15 Sep). This is also where they’ll be partying once the chequered flag has been waved (16 Sep).
Day 3: A need for speed
Have a lie-in and start the day late with a leisurely brunch at Clan Cafe, the only part of new members-only club Straits Clan that’s open to the public. The coffee is top-notch – beans are roasted by local Coffee pioneer Papa Palheta – and the otah (grilled fish cake) toast with melted Comté cheese is a current favourite with Singapore’s scenesters. Also on the menu are hearty grain bowls, salads and broths. Linger and take in the stylish digs by design firm Takenouchi Webb and eye-catching tropical arrangements by Humid House.
Now that you’ve fuelled up, it’s time to get your heart pumping. Take a short taxi ride to Clarke Quay and strap in at the GX-5 Extreme Swing, where you’ll take a brave 50m drop at speeds of up to 120km/h. Continue the adrenaline rush over at Marina Bay Sands, where you can rent a Lamborghini or Ferrari from Ultimate Drive. Navigate towards Changi Airport and enjoy the 16km drive down the East Coast Parkway. As you draw closer to the airport, keep an eye out for planes landing and taking off, which makes for a pretty picture against the palm-dotted shoreline.
With your adrenaline fix sorted, it’s time to slow things down at The Ritz-Carlton Spa by enjoying a truly unique Cello Concerto massage, where a cellist will play in synchrony with the therapist’s movements. Carry on the relaxed vibe with a scenic drive down to Panamericana at Sentosa Golf Club. Choose a table on the terrace – which overlooks the golf course and the Singapore Strait – and tuck into juicy, slow-roasted lamb in a rosemary and thyme glaze; crispy pork belly and scallops with jicama salsa; and snapper ceviche with paw paw, citrus, coconut milk, chilli and coriander.
With your belly full, take a meandering stroll down to Resorts World Sentosa. Along the way, make a small detour past the Marvel-themed Sentosa Sandsation (1–16 Sep), an exhibition featuring 15 stunning superhero sand sculptures. Finally, make your way over to the Royal Albatross and set sail on a sunset cruise, where you can end the day on a high note by climbing the mast and taking in a view of Singapore from above.
This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine.