August 2015


August 2015

Italianreview the Wine Picks NEW PLACES Best Pizza DIVINE DESSERT

Cycling in Women’s ISSUES COOL FURNITURE For Your Home Office LOS ANGELES

Dual Careers WHO WINS?

Domestic Help


Editor’s Letter As I sit in the UK, in a house fit for a Jane Eyre remake, I am reminded of the benefits of recommendations, and the reason why Expat Living was started with them at its core. We booked a “cottage” online, which turned out to be part of the third floor of an old home – an ex-country club, now part of a mobile home park. Three storeys of 80-degree-steep stairs and no lift, with four 30kg suitcases and an 86-year-old mother in tow was a challenge. The “views over the Lancashire countryside” were indeed as the website said: beautiful – that is, the few inches we could see of it through the teeny-weeny windows; the same windows that open one inch. In the glorious heatwave of nearly 30 degrees Celsius, it was unbearable. At night, we needed to close the teeny-weeny windows to stop the sound of the dawn chorus that ran from 4am to 8am, not to mention the dogs in the nearby kennel that howled most of the night. As we pushed open the creaky dark doors into the dark magnolia living room, my children who are accustomed to “Asian luxury” looked at me with total confusion. What had I done to them?! Even though they have lived nearly all their lives in the heat of Singapore, functioning without air-con or even a fan is still not something they can do.


NEWS Keeping you up to date with the latest news and promotions around town, plus heaps of online-only content. Tip: For fabulous EL travel deals, go to EVENTS CALENDAR You’ll never miss a concert, play, sale or exhibition again. Plus, upload your own events for free by hitting “Post an Event” on the homepage (top right). WHERE TO BUY A COPY Head to for a list of retail outlets where you can buy the latest copy of Expat Living. Better still, subscribe at expatliving/shop. HOW TO SELL YOUR OLD STUFF Looking to sell off items online or in the magazine? Post all the details and photos by hitting “Post a Notice” on the homepage (middle left).

So we are cutting the time here short and heading to the other option: sleeping on relatives’ uncomfortable pull-out sofas! Yes, it’sdefinitelyworthgettinga recommendation first. Not that it’s always a guarantee, because we all have different standards and likes, but it helps if we can cut some of the risk down. Hope your holiday went more smoothly than mine. If you’ve just arrived, we hope you’re settling in and getting to grips with things. Our new City Guide is just out, so do order one at cityguide if you need to knowmore about anything related to living in Singapore.


NEXT MONTH’S MAGAZINE Antiques • Afternoon Tea • Indonesia






Italianreview the Wine Picks NEWPLACES BestPizza DIVINEDESSERT

Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET


Women’s ISSUES


DualCareers WHO WINS?

Flexible DomesticHelp

Front Cover: Cookyn Inc’s Panna Cotta (; photography by Michael Bernabe

Expat Living Publications Pte. Ltd. has taken every reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of the information contained in this publication, but accepts no responsibility for the content of advertisements published, and no liability for mistake, misprint, omission, typographical error, loss or damage suffered as a result of relying wholly or in part on the content of advertising or editorial published herein. Expat Living Publications reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or advertorial for any reason. All artwork designed by Expat Living Publications or any part of this publication may not be reproduced in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by means - graphical, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording, taping, etc, without prior permission in writing from the Publishers. Expat Livingmagazine has been certified by the Audit Bureau of Circulations for a total average net circulation of 18,455 per monthly issue. The audited circulation figures will be posted on CONTACT US General Enquiries +65 6259 0058 | Advertising Sales +65 6259 0058 | Subscription +65 6478 7153 | Production +65 6478 7169 | Editorial & Media Releases Calendar of Events Events Expat Living Hong Kong | Websites | I Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 18 Howard Road, 08-10 NoveltyBizcentre, Singapore 369585






NEWS 20 What’s New in Town 24 Dates for Your Diary 32 Social Pages: Photos from recent events 36 Forum: Readers’ letters 38 Subscribe and win!


68 New at Leisure Farm: Top-spec Italian kitchens 71 Expert Voice: Fitting out work spaces for different personalities 78 Readers’ Recommendations: Home offices 81 Buying Guide: Desks, chairs, consoles and bookshelves

LIFE & FAMILY 114 News 120 Noticeboard:

SG50 Tribute: 40 What Makes


Births, classifieds and more

122 Employment:

Singapore Special EL Staff on Why They Love SG

How to be dual-career expats


126 Buying Guide: Back to school 128 School Focus:

HOME 46 News 51 Showcase:

PROPERTY 95 Serviced Apartments: The verdict on two of Singapore’s best 101 Hot Property: What’s on the market? 106 Street Talk: Potong Pasir

Teaching children to be resilient

131 School Focus:

All about mindfulness

132 Legal Issues:

Errant expats and their indiscretions

Bode owner Jenny Lewis’s Eng Neo Avenue house

134 Readers’

Recommendations: How to find the right domestic help

58 Showcase:

Karen Cvornyek’s East Coast shophouse

136 Social Pages:

Photos from recent events







WINE & DINE 168 News 172 Bar Tab: New nightspots reviewed 175 Everything Italian:


150 The Party People:

A sneak peek at this year’s F1 Podium Lounge event

152 On the Stage:

Live music, dance and theatre

Restaurants, recipes, wine recommendations and more 190 Great Recipe Swap: A healthy chocolate spread and carrot cake balls 192 Hawker History: The story of Singapore’s famous food centres 194 School Lunches: Healthy and tasty ideas for kids

156 On the Screen:

Big and small screen highlights for this month

158 On the Wall:

What’s on in the art scene this month

160 On the Page:

Recent book releases


TRAVEL 200 News 204 Short Breaks:

Getaway recommendations in the region

212 Bintan Weekend: Discovering another side of the Indonesian island 216 Cycling in Los Angeles





Established in 1971, Mohan’s is one of Singapore’s oldest and most reputable tailors. Our made to measure suits and dresses can be ready for you in as few as 8 hours. Our clients include diplomats and CEOs, and our quality workmanship makes us popular with locals and expatriates alike. We also have offices in Britain, Germany, Scandanavia, and Florida, USA. We accept all major credit cards. Listed as one of the top 150 companies and awarded “The Best of Singapore in Service Excellence 2007” by Singapore Tourism Board. A CUT THE REST above

PRICES FROM: $30 $45 $45 $55 Shirts Pants Blouses Skirts Dresses Suits $140 $180

14 Scotts Road, #02-73 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213 Fax: +65 6733 2535 | Email: Please call +65 6732 4936 or +65 6732 3892 for free transport to Mohan’s




HEALTH & FITNESS 226 News Women’s Issues 229 Treating Fibroids 234 Hysterectomy Fact File

232 Weight Management:

Surgical options for slimming down

REGULARS 243 Numbers & Websites 244 Horoscopes for August

246 Advertiser List 248 Parting Shot:

How to Be a Good Child


For the latest updates, find us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter @ExpatLivingSg





New choices and things to do, buy and try

Super Tree Celebration A good place to catch the National Day fireworks and Air Force aerial displays this month is Gardens by the Bay. From 6 August, a special music and light show will run nightly at the Supertree Grove, backed by nostalgic hits from yesteryear. Check out the special admission deals for a welcome cool-off in the conservatories. The next evening, 29 August , you can dance the night away with The Dozen – one of the best-known Kiwi cover bands – and emcee Dominic Bowden from The X Factor and Dancing with the Stars . Did you know, by the way, that New Zealand was the first country to officially acknowledge Singapore’s independence? 7pm. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. Book a table at . DOUBLE HEADER Back again this month are the Heineken Cities Festival and the annual New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Aotearoa Ball . On 28 August , Heineken takes over Chijmes for a night of beer-drinking and dance performance acts including flamenco, K-Pop, break-dancing and more. 7pm. Free.

Heineken Cities Festival 2014

PARTY FOR A CAUSE A homegrown support service for women, Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) celebrates 30 years of working towards gender equality. Save the date (7 November) for a big birthday ball at the Shangri-La Hotel. Meanwhile, you can expect plenty of glamour and goodwill at the Singapore Committee for UN Women ’s annual Say No to the Oppression of Women (SNOW) Gala. An appearance by astronaut Dr Anousheh Ansari is guaranteed to inspire guests to dig deep to raise much-needed funds.

9 October at Capella Singapore. |

STEPS IN THE PARK IS BACK! The misery of modern-day slavery and the extent of human trafficking is slowly receiving more media coverage, but there is still much to learn about this heinous illegal industry. STEPS in the Park is holding a five-kilometre awareness- raising run and encouraging participants to take action. Meet at OCBC Square, Singapore Sports Hub. 7.30am, 12 September. Tickets cost $15, including a T-shirt. Stick around for live performances, exhibitions, film screenings and a lucky draw. Register at .




It might have come and gone, but the seventh annual Pink Dot event deserves a special mention for this photo of more than 28,000 people who turned out to form a giant human pink dot. The community event aims to help build a kinder and more inclusive Singapore, despite the many challenges that remain in dispelling the discrimination and prejudice that face lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. in Your Heart Put a Little Love


A new community programme aims to connect volunteer cyclists with the pioneer generation who are no longer physically able to cycle independently. The Danish Technical University recently gave a rickshaw to Singapore, so keep a look out for a rickshaw with elderly passengers and a happy volunteer enjoying the benefits of cycling: fresh air, being outdoors and socialising with others. The Cycling Without Age movement began in Denmark and is quickly gaining momentum, with a chapter recently started here. Organisers are reaching out to potential volunteers for a range of roles.

BUILDING LEADERS If you want your daughter to be a leader, then maybe Girl Scouts is for her. Scouting builds courage, confidence and character, encouraging girls to strive to make the world a better place. Through USA Girl Scouts Overseas (Singapore), your daughter will make friends for life with girls from more than 25 countries, doing things she can’t do anywhere else in the world. Find out more about how both you and your daughter can get involved at





SING50 (7 AUGUST) Showcasing 50 years of local music, Sing50 celebrates songs from different genres, cultures and communities that were composed, performed or made popular by Singapore artists. Singapore Sports Hub, National Stadium, 1 Stadium Drive. Tickets from Sports Hub Tix. NATIONAL DAY PARADE (9 AUGUST) The most highly anticipated event of the year, the National Day Parade celebrates the nation’s golden jubilee and will be a spectacle not to be missed. The Padang. For tickets and more information, visit MASAK MASAK (UNTIL 10 AUGUST) Children’s Season at the National Museum of Singapore returns with Masak Masak, promising endless fun in the form of family activities, colourful playgrounds and interactive installations suited for children aged three to seven. National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road. For more information, visit

ECHOSMITH LIVE IN SINGAPORE (11 AUGUST) Get ready to sing along to popular anthem “Cool Kids” as the Sierota siblings from Californian indie pop band Echosmith perform for the very first time in Singapore. The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets from Sistic. KODALINE LIVE IN SINGAPORE (13 AUGUST) LAMC Productions presents Kodaline. Live for the first time in Singapore, the Irish quartet will perform popular hits like “High Hopes” and “Love Like This”. *SCAPE Playspace. 2 Orchard Link. Tickets from Sistic. PESTA RAYA (13-16 AUGUST) The Esplanade presents Pesta Raya, an arts festival that celebrates the heritage of the Malay community in Singapore. Highlights include Indonesian rock band Noah live in concert, and Yusof , a play about Singapore’s first president. Esplanade. For more information, visit Tickets from Sistic.

If the idea of running 42 gruelling kilometres on your own makes you shudder, you’ll appreciate the Asics City Relay; in Singapore’s first relay- only night marathon, you get to split the distance between yourself and three friends. Singapore Sports Hub, The National Stadium, 1 Stadium Drive. For registration and more information, visit

Inculcate the love of learning and discovery in your kids at this national event that celebrates the dynamism of science, engineering, technology and biomedicine. Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre

Road. For tickets and more information, visit

Asics City Relay

National Day Parade




The Color Run

INTERPLAY: WHERE SCIENCE MEETS ART (UNTIL 16 AUGUST) Marrying art and science, Interplay sees the coming together of some of the best digital media artists in Singapore and the rest of the world. This exhibition hopes to spark conversations about technology and its social implications. Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road. For more information, visit SAIS OPEN HOUSE (21 AUGUST) Jump at this opportunity to discover what a day is like for a student at the Stamford American International School, on a campus that has three swimming pools, two indoor sports arenas, dance studios and a 500-seat theatre. Stamford American

International School, 1 Woodleigh Lane. For more information, visit SINGAPORE NIGHT FESTIVAL (21-29 AUGUST) The return of this annual post-sundown event promises mesmerising art installations and captivating performances by local and international artists under the night sky. Bugis and Bras Basah. For more information, visit Deemed the “happiest 5K on the planet”, The Color Run returns for another year, and once again participants can expect to be doused from head to toe with coloured powder at the end of each kilometre. For registration and more information, visit THE COLOR RUN (22-23 AUGUST)




IMAGINE DRAGONS LIVE IN SINGAPORE (25 AUGUST) Imagine Dragons’ Smoke + Mirrors Tour brings the American alternative rock


DC Justice League Run

Look no further for the best diaper and milk sales than the largest baby fair in Singapore, returning this year with 800 brands and 10,000 products, available at up to 80 percent off. Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Raffles Boulevard. 50 YEARS OF ART-MAKING (UNTIL 30 AUGUST) The Singapore Tyler Print Institute showcases the potential of print and papermaking at this SG50 exhibition that presents contemporary works produced within the creative space of this institution itself. The Singapore Tyler Print Institute, 41 Robertson Quay. For more information, visit DC JUSTICE LEAGUE RUN (30 AUGUST) Be part of the first superhero- themed run in Singapore. As a team, you can represent Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman or the Green Lantern and earn the title of Fastest Hero of the Year at the end of the 5K race. Sentosa. For registration and more information, visit

outfit to Singapore for the first time ever. They’ll entertain the crowd with songs like “On Top of the World” and “It’s Time”. Singapore Indoor Stadium, 2 Stadium Walk. Tickets from Sports Hub Tix. MY NINE LIVES WITH STEVE WINTER (25 AUGUST) Wildlife photojournalist Steve Winter shares his amazing experiences of photographing the big cats of India, Brazil and Hollywood for National Geographic . Esplanade, 1 Esplanade Drive. Tickets from Sistic. HEINEKEN CITIES FESTIVAL (28 AUGUST) Heineken invites you to unravel a night of surprises and discover the hidden gems of six different cities: Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore — all in one location! CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street.

Imagine Dragons

Heineken Cities Festival




GLAMOROUS GIVING (1-2 SEPTEMBER) A fashion, accessories and homeware clearance sale in support of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, this event will feature over 30 independent local brands, designers and boutiques, all selling their stock at clearance prices. Hollandse Club, 22 Camden Park. For more information, visit SINGAPORE STREET FESTIVAL (UNTIL 6 SEPTEMBER) A social and community project by Annie Pek, this festival aims to develop talent among the local youth and features graffiti showcases, street football tournaments, break-dancing competitions and more. Orchard and Somerset. For more information, visit SINGAPORE TOY, GAMES AND COMICS CONVENTION (12-13 SEPTEMBER) Pop culture fans can celebrate the world’s best in toys, games, comics, animation and design at this annual event. The 2015 edition features professional illustrator Adam Hughes, who’s worked on characters like Catwoman and the X-Men for DC Comics and Marvel Comics respectively. Marina Bay Sands. For more information, visit PLAN AHEAD SEPTEMBER 2015

EarthFest at Marina Barrage

SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (18-20 SEPTEMBER) The 66th season of the Formula One World

Championship makes its stop in Singapore, promising adrenaline-pumping races and electrifying performances by the likes of Pharrell Williams and Maroon 5. Marina Bay Street Circuit. For tickets and more information, visit EARTHFEST (26 SEPTEMBER) Featuring a farmer’s market, a food fair, eco-carnival games, live music, screenings and more, EarthFest is fun for all ages and hopes to inspire and empower us all to work towards a sustainable world. Marina Barrage, 8 Marina Gardens Drive. For more information, visit




SCENE AROUNDTOWN Recent events, openings & parties

A Royally Good Cause Guests put on their finest regal and military attire to enjoy a reception, raffle and special screening of A Royal Night Out at Rotary Club of Tanglin to raise funds for a sarcoma support group here in Singapore. Hosted by the Sarah Grace Sarcoma Foundation and Kick Sarcoma, the evening raised $13,000 toward the cause. Named in honour of sarcoma patient Kenneth Lai, who devoted his last days to researching the disease, the support group will offer psychosocial group meetings and transport for patients tomedical appointments, and raise awareness about the “forgotten cancer”.




Go, Team! Singapore’s first dedicated ekiden – that’s a relay race between teams of four runners over a distance of either 21.1K (corporate and school teams) or 42.4K (open) – the inaugural Mizuno Ekiden 2015 took place on Saturday, 18 July, starting from and finishing at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. Organised with Japanese grace and efficiency, it also featured a festival race village selling Japanese fare and promoting Japanese culture, from sushi to sumo wrestling. We loved that this first event was comparatively small, but don’t doubt that it will grow from strength to strength. Something to aim for next year, perhaps?

Fifty Years of Printmaking Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) welcomed guests to the opening night of its exhibition, As We Never Imagined: 50 Years of Art Making, featuring contemporary works made at the institute’s creative space alongside defining prints of the 20th and 21st centuries. Guest of honour Dr Liu Thai Ker, along with other notable figures in the arts scene, got an up-close look at STPI’s best artistic collaborations, including works by emerging international and regional names, and established Singaporean artists.




Readers’ thoughts and comments

Glamping in Seletar

Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. For sharing her experience and tips,

My friends and I loved Amy Brook- Partridge’s July issue story on the Riggirs’ gorgeous black-and-white colonial house in Seletar Camp. Mandy’s taste is fabulous and her home looks amazing. Without articles like this that show real expats in actual properties throughout Singapore, how would newcomers like us even get to know about these neighbourhoods? Please don’t stop bringing us as many stories as possible on different people and their homes.

Susannah Morris wins a bottle of champagne.

Mozzies and Mould Looking back at my old copies of Expat Living , it was a pity I didn’t read the December 2014 article on preparing your home before going away and leaving it empty. The advice to turn off the power and the water is all good, as well as taking precautions against dengue mosquitoes. During our three-week Christmas holiday with family in Sydney, a toy bucket on the patio had filled with water during torrential rains, and a spot inspection by the NEA showed traces of larvae. Singapore is a fine city, as we found out! Also, our wooden and leather furniture was full of mould. This time round, I’ve arranged for our part-time cleaner to come in once a week to air the place, check for mould and make sure everything is ship-shape. (Still, fingers crossed.)

– Josephine Edwards

Ed: We can promise you that!

Working Backwards I have the strange habit of reading magazines from the back to the front, which used to drive my ex- husband crazy. But it makes good sense with Expat Living , because the Parting

Shot on the back page is one of my favourite bits. I love reading other expats’ genuine thoughts on life here. To get to the point, I’ve got a funny story that I would like to share. What are my chances of getting it published?

– Susannah Morris

– Naomi Buckley

Ed: That’s the joy of a magazine – you can dip in and out of it at random. To be featured on our back page, send us 500 words on something related to expat life. Humour is always good! For more details, check out this month’s back page.

Ed: Good idea! Another good idea is to give a spare key to a friend or neighbour who would be happy to keep an eye on your place and contact you in case of a problem.

Email us at



A FREE BRUNCH, when you subscribe!

This fantastic three-hour brunchbreaks the mould of Chinese dining by combining a contemporary take on Cantonese cuisine, with a delicious cocktail programme. Situated on the fourth floor of the Grand Park Orchard, Mitzo offers diners 40 different types of gourmet Cantonese dishes, each focusing on quality, while offering an innovative twist on traditional dishes. Alongside this, there is a variety of scrumptious free-flow cocktails, wines and beers available. Be one of the first 70 to subscribe to Expat Living this month, and you’ll receive a FREE brunch for two, worth $236 at Mitzo .

Save 30 percent when you sign-up for a two-year subscription. For only $110 (usual price $156), you get: Two free flow brunches at Mitzo, Grand Park Orchard, worth $236 (first 70 subscribers) 24 monthly copies of Expat Living delivered to your postbox Monthly fashion and beauty supplement, LIV A one-year subscription is also available for $78.



August2015 Issue156



Women’s ISSUES


DualCareers WHO WINS?

S$6.50 MCI (P)134/02/2015



January15 Terms & Condition: Gift is applicable for purchase of print subscription (1 or 2 years) and while stocks last. Orders received after 15 August will start with the October issue. For overseas subscription rate, please email Scan the QR Code or visit

BEST 10 OF THE With50-year celebrations in full swing, KATIE ROBERTS takes a look at 10 authentic Singapore qualities and experiences, and what makes them special.


1. HARMONY. Multicultural diversity and mutual tolerance are the bedrock of Singapore society, and the long-term effect, which the entire community values, is order, cultural harmony and mutual respect.

3. CHOPE-ING. By all means reserve a seat at a restaurant with a telephone call or an app; but at a hawker centre, all you need is a packet of tissues. There’s a minefield of cultural nuances around this practice, and vigorous debate too, but for now, if you spot an empty table, you can “chope” it with tissues while you buy your meal.

2. MUSTAFA’S. Department stores may not be unique to Singapore, but what’s not to love about this gargantuan shopping paradise, open 24 hours? Pick up a Myanmar mango, a can of Spanish anchovies, Irish butter, a Colgate toothbrush, a Citizen watch, a pair of Crocs, and even a toilet, all in just one shopping trip!




4. SAFETY. While not totally crime-free, Singapore is renowned as one of the safest countries in the world. Recently, cyber-crime has become an area of concern, with internet love scams and e-commerce cheating on the rise. Security cameras are everywhere; did you know that this year the police force is rolling out body-worn cameras?

5. SINGLISH. A mishmash of English, Hokkien, Malay and Mandarin, Singlish is known for its directness and sense of fun. While everyone can add lah to the end of a sentence, do you know your shiok from your kiasu? Check out

7. BAMBOO POLES. S l u n g o u t o f HDB highrises – and sometimes ironically referred to as Singapore’s national flags – these sturdy poles are per fect for drying clothes in the tropical sun.

6. RESPECT. Calling older men and women “Auntie” and “Uncle” shows a respect for age and authority, and fosters a sense of community between old and young, rich and poor.

8. HDBS. These public housing apartment blocks built by the Housing Development Board are a triumph of city living, and highly regarded for their community feeling and relative affordability. They also help to overcome the issue of land shortage in Singapore; over 80 percent of the population calls an HDB flat home, and about 90 percent of these resident households own their flat.

10. TAXI UNCLES. Every city has its own breed of taxi drivers. In Singapore, some are outspoken, opinionated, and a mine of information ranging from where to find the best roti prata to what to make of the Government’s latest immigration policy; others are quiet and reserved; but the vast majority are wonderfully honest. The Bangkok Post reported in 2012 that a Singaporean taxi driver found 26 million baht (S$1.1 million) in cash in his taxi, and carefully returned all of it to the grateful owners.

9. DARING DESIGN. Marina Bay Sands is an instantly recognisable Singapore icon. Although it was only completed in 2010, at a cost of $8 billion, it’s hard now to imagine the skyline without it. The hotel has 2,561 rooms and, hanging over the casino, a 7.1 tonne chandelier, one of the world’s largest, featuring 132,000 Swarovski crystals.




“ It’s never cold , it’s safe for teenagers to get around on their own, and it’s central to the world. ”

Rebecca Bisset



In celebration of Singapore turning 50, we asked Expat Living staff what they love about life in the Lion City.

Verne Maree


“I can go for a jog at 11pm and still get home safely!” Liana Talib

Colin Purchase

and the taxes

“It’s safe,

are low.”

good for kids,

Jacqui Young

“The Singaporean clouds.” Michelle Castillo-Mohlman “Greenery and the beaches.” Veena Gill

“It’s safe and easy .” Grace Bantaran

“Every time you leave an air- conditioned environment it feels for a split second like you’re on a summer holiday.” Danielle Rossetti

“Early-morning jungle adventures, and cracking open a frosty bottle of Tiger in a rustic hawker stall in the heartlands.” Shamus Sillar “BRUNCHES, AWESOME "LOW TAXES, MY HELPER AND DIN TAI FUNG THUNDERSTORMS AND THE PROXIMITY TO EVERYTHING .” Jade Botta Emily Finch




“Botanic Gardens boot camps and pool parties with the

“How clean and safe it is! For my young son’s sake I appreciate how many great parks and free water-play areas there are too.”

family.” Amy Brook-Partridge

Katie Peace

“Cleanliness and hygiene.”

Ezra Gideon

“My teenage children being able to roam at night without me worrying they could get kidnapped, the variety of architecture, proximity to Bali, and incredible diversity.”

“EFFICIENCY – with taxis, for example.” Leanda Rathmell

“Community spirit, cleanliness and food.” Anna Tserlingas




Nur Hanani Kamal Luddin

“Harmony.” Beatrice Ng

Karin Galley-Dick

GREASY FOOD.” Azlinda Said

clean “Safety – and Mustafa’s!” Katie Roberts “It’s a environment.” JeanneWong “Public transportation is the best!” Kym Bernabe

“Permanent summer, hawker food and walks along the Singapore River.” Amy Greenburg

“It’s a melting pot of CULTURES, jam-packed with amazing RESTAURANTS – I heart the FOOD in Singers!” Natalie Whittell




Danish Design




Hot shops and what to buy right now

RESURRECT YOUR RUGS Got a precious rug in need of emergency help? Hedger’s Carpet Gallery offers a carpet cleaning, restoration and repair service, carried out by its expert in-house team. Call 6462 0028 to arrange an assessment; from there, the team will recommend processes to bring your carpet back to life, as they did with this carpet. Visit 15 Dempsey Road, #01-09 , or go to .


DISPLAY ART Own your own affordable art with IXXI’s modular art systems, now available from Make Room . Made of durable, waterproof and sun-proof synthetic paper squares, they form a piece of wall art that is easy to install and easy to remove. IXXI’s collection includes collaborations with the Van Gogh Museum, The National Gallery, Getty Images and the Natural History Museum.


LUXE LIVING ON OFFER Not simply expert at fuss-free home makeovers, Arete Culture also has over 300 styles of cushions, hand-embroidered duvets, artisan rugs and one-off collectibles at its retail store. New products include large statement mirrors, and floor and table lighting, including designer-inspired lampshades. Plus, Expat Living readers can enjoy an exclusive 15 percent off all purchases during August – just quote “EL15”. The showroom is at 63 Hillview Avenue, #09-08 , or go to for more information.




AWARD-WINNING DESIGNS Singapore-based interior design firm Design Intervention has won four awards at the Asia Pacific Property Awards, the highest number awarded to any single design firm this year. For the second year running, it took home the gong for best interior design for its Kasara Townhouse project, which will be re-judged in London in December for the World Awards.

Missing a little British luxury in your life? Furniture brand Timothy Oulton has added a new range to its Dempsey Hill showroom, featuring the Glacier collection ( pictured ), with burnt timbers encased in acrylic and formed into tables, as well as a variety of new leather sofas, chandeliers and leather bags. Head to Timothy Oulton at Curio , 14c Dempsey Road , to see it for yourself. Styl ish & British

PIECES OF HISTORY Looking for a piece of colonial furniture for your home? The Past Perfect Collection has a new shipment of British colonial dining and side tables, easy-chairs, Portuguese cupboards, Dutch chests and other heirlooms from India’s colonial past. All genuine antiques that have been lovingly restored. Find out more at , or visit the showroom at 896 Dunearn Road, #02-01D Sime Darby Centre .

RETRO REVIVAL Take a step back in time to the 1960s and visit Retro Colony ’s showroom, stuffed full of Japanese and Swedish furniture from that swinging era. Products can be bought online at retrocolony. com , but it’s worth heading to its award-winning landed home showroom at 47 Nemesu Avenue to experience the pieces in person; just be sure to make an appointment first by calling 6676 3817 .




FAREWELL HOME By Amy Brook-Partridge; photography by Ken Tan

Catching JENNY LEWIS before she and her family move out of their black-and-white colonial house on Eng Neo Avenue, we find out about her love of textiles and why, after eight years in this house, they’re downsizing .




An Arne Voder console sits along the window, and the couch is a re-covered B&B Italia piece. The metal side-table was bought in Sri Lanka, and its stand is a Cambodian reel found in Phnom Penh by Jenny years ago.

Who lives here? Jenny Lewis, Richard Bleasdale, Gracie Bleasdale and, when home from university, Alex Bleasdale Where they’re from: Jenny is from New Zealand, Richard is Scottish How big the house is: Two storeys, three bedrooms How long they’ve lived here: Eight years out of 11 years in Singapore Jenny’s favourite pieces: Arne Vodder side table and Michael Parekowhai artwork




F rom the outside, and to the uneducated eye (mine!), Jenny’s house looks like a classic black-and-white home. However, according to Julian Davidson, author and expert on Singapore’s historic houses, this property is not actually a colonial property. Jenny says, “Apparently, it’s only black-and-white because it’s been painted that way. They were built as university houses, but many people do think they’re historic.” Colonial or not, Jenny’s home has a distinctive and striking style that resonates from her background and expertise in the textiles business. She has been running her fabrics company Bode from home since 2008, and the distinctive fabrics she imports can be seen dotted around the place, including the vibrantly coloured bumblebee cushions from Timorous Beasties that she sits against in the garden. Since theproperty is ownedby theSLA (Singapore Land Authority), Jenny and her family have made only a few alterations to it themselves. Many years ago, she recalls, her husband Richard built a tree house for the children, but due to the shallow roots of the indigenous tree it fell down the very next day. “I’ll be sad to leave this house; it’s such a nice, easy place to live in. I don’t think we would be leaving if the owners had done more to look

after the place, but I also feel the need to move somewhere closer to town, into something smaller.” Jenny’s Bode business has already moved out of her home and into the Tan Boon Liat Building on Outram Road, so there’s even less need for space. “Our eldest daughter is at university and our youngest is of course getting older, so it’s really time to move.” Fabric Fashions Having worked within the graphic design and branding industries for many years, both in her home country New Zealand and then briefly in Scotland, Jenny decided it was time for a change: she would work for herself once they’d established their home in Singapore. “I found working in branding frustrating, and felt I was just drifting along,” she says. “I’d always liked interiors, and I thought – naively, it turns out – that there wasn’t such a leap from graphic design and branding to interiors. But of course there was!” One of the most important things for Jenny, and a turning point for the business, was to foster strong contacts within the interior design industry. She counts many of the architects and designers she works with her as her style influences. Her projects span commercial and residential

Left to right: A Chinese chest from Just Anthony, and driftwood artwork by artist Simon Shepherd. “Although none of these shapes really go together, they work well rearranging your ornaments every three months to refresh the look.” “I’ve bought art from Stephanie at Fost Gallery in the past, and I’m about to buy another piece from her. For people who like really modern art, she’s the one to go to; she’s nice and her artworks are not overpriced.” because of the colour. I recommend







properties, and her company mandate is to create collections that are interesting and not the norm in Singapore. “I think that trends in fabric and wallpaper design move faster than they used to, and technologies such as digital printing have introduced greater diversity.” Brands such as Designs of the Time, Timorous Beasties, Florence Broadhurst, and Liberty Arts Fabrics, to name a few, can all be seen in her stylish new showroom. Jenny points to travel as another of her style influences, including the bits and pieces she picks up along the way. We talk about one of her favourite destinations, Sri Lanka, where she and her good friend Dean, previously her business partner at Bode, nowown a house together. Scrolling through the pictures she has of the place on her phone, it’s evidently stunning, and she says she’s looking forward to many family holidays there. Closer to home, she’s not so keen on the imminent hunt for somewhere else to live. “It’s hard looking at moving; there’s always something wrong with the places you see, but at the end of the day you just have to compromise.” With that we take a walk around her current (for the time being, at least!) home.

From top: Crockery from Indonesia Bode is well known for its director’s chairs and deckchairs

such as this one




Fost Gallery (“excellent for contemporary art that is affordable, and a lot of interesting Singaporean artists – we just bought an incredible piece by an artist called Grace Tan”) #01-02 Gillman Barracks 1 Lock Road Artistry Café and Bar (“for music and hanging out in the Arab Street area”) 17 Jalan Pinang 6298 2420 | The Providore (“they’re really passionate; I just bought some orange bitters from them the other day – it makes such a difference to a gin and tonic, and even makes cheap gin taste good!”) #05-03 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6221 7056 | JENNY'S RECOMMENDATIONS

The Projector (“a fabulous new cinema in an old movie theatre on the fifth floor of the Golden Mile Building; it shows all the interesting movies that don’t make the blockbuster cut here”) #05-00 Golden Mile Tower 6001 Beach Road

Ronin Cafe 17 Hong Kong Street

28 Hong Kong St (“for cocktails and the best bar food”)

Bode Fabrics (“We also now carry Vantage Concept rugs. Pauline has the best selection of both natural and glamorous rugs.”) #05-10 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9040 3996 |




By Katie Roberts; photography by Ken Tan

When I visit KAREN CVORNYEK on a balmy weekday morning, she is calmly juggling her job as head of B+H Architects in Asia, preparing to host 40 people at a party to celebrate her daughter’s first Holy Communion, and hosting family members who are visiting from Canada. Husband MARK CEOLIN, President of Red Gate International Media and Marketing Group, conveniently dials in from Shanghai to participate in the interview, and Tofu, one of their three dogs, eagerly jumps up to add his input too.

Who lives here:

Karen Cvornyek, Mark Ceolin, Sebastian (15), Mattea (10) and three dogs

Nationality: Canadian Other cities they’ve lived in: Tokyo, 3.5 years; Rome, 2 years; Shanghai, 10 years; Toronto Property size and type: Two-storey, four-bedroom shophouse Location: Upper East Coast Road Home style: Modern, with a historical context The family’s favourite room: Outdoor kitchen and living area Their favourite piece of art: Vietnamese zodiac animal

paintings representing each family member’s zodiac sign







Why the East Coast? Karen: We were attracted to the East Coast’s outdoor lifestyle and the opportunities to get out in the fresh air, not to mention its proximity to the airport for our frequent travel. Why this house? Karen: We spent a lot of time looking! We were open to any new area and looked all over the city. But it was the outdoor kitchen, the character, and the location within the Siglap neighbourhood that clinched it. For Canadians, who are used to a cold climate, this house offers a wonderful lifestyle. It feels good to live somewhere that reflects Singapore’s history, culture and heritage. We like the eclecticism of our modern furniture within a historical context, and the black-and-white style can go in any decorating direction. Mark: I’ll admit I wasn’t totally convinced about the East Coast, but I’ve grown to love it! We take full advantage of the location and the easy walk to restaurants. In China, we always had to drive long distances to find food or a coffee, so we love living on vibrant Upper East Coast Road, and being part of the city. East Coast Park is just five minutes by bike and we enjoy riding as a family; that’s not something we did in China, and it’s a definite step up. How do you feel after a couple of months of settling in?

Top: A white, modern dining table and chairs are juxtaposed

against a more traditional setting

Left: Russian nesting dolls from Harbin in northern China, atop and inside Chinese display cabinets Bottom: The long upstairs hallway leads to four large bedrooms, its walls ideal for displaying mementos, awards and other keepsakes




Tell us about your furniture. Karen: We lived in five very different places in Shanghai, including a lane house in the French Concession and a villa in the outer suburbs, so our furniture is an eclectic mix. We brought much of it with us, including the grand piano, and supplemented this with some outdoor furniture. Shanghai is a totally different lifestyle and there were some gaps we needed to fill. The table and chairs are from Teak & Mahogany, and the colourfully painted bench is made from recycled wood sourced from old Indonesian fishing boats. These white walls are a perfect canvas for art; tell us about your collection. Mark: All the artwork really means something to our family, as it’s been collected during our years of living and travelling in Asia. The larger-than-life images captured by Shanghai photographer Wang Gangfeng are a reminder of our time in that city; delivery carts dragging gigantic stacks of recyclable plastic oil bottles, and people riding bicycles despite the rain, are common daily scenes on Shanghai’s chaotic streets. The century-old historic map imprint includes the street in the French Concession where we bought and renovated an old lane house.

Above: Outdoor dining area, with furniture from Teak & Mahogany

What’s inside? From the street, the size and spaciousness of this shophouse is not obvious. Its tenants are benefitting from the owner’s clever renovation, which has created a unique and family-friendly residence. Downstairs are living a n d d i n i n g r o oms , and a large open-plan outdoor kitchen and lap pool, while upstairs are four bedrooms and an eno rmous s t udy configured in what was once the light-well void.







How did the move to Singapore transpire? Karen: We were based in Shanghai for 10 years, despite arriving there on a one-year posting. So in 2013 we were looking for a lifestyle change, and at the same time an opportunity opened up to expand B+H Architects, one of the largest Canadian architecture, planning, interior and landscape design firms, into Southeast Asia. Mark: While we loved working in Shanghai, living there is a challenge. It’s one of the world’s great cities, but everyday life is affected by traffic, pollution and the size of the city. Moving to Singapore was a positive move for both family and business. Tell us about your work here. Karen: Since opening its first operation in Asia in China in the 90s, B+H has branched out to Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. In Shanghai we designed the Microsoft campus and the Pudong Sheraton hotel, and numerous other mixed-use developments. It was the expansion in healthcare here that brought me to Singapore, where we have several hospital projects underway. These include two buildings at Changi General Hospital, the National University of Singapore Centre for Oral Health (with close to 300 dental chairs!), and a new Community Hospital at Singapore General Hospital. Just over the border, the new Gleneagles Medini Hospital at Johor is nearing completion.

Top centre: The Thai-style bronze Buddha statue was purchased in Bali; Mark carried it back on the aeroplane, much to the Top right: Retired Vietnamese water puppets purchased in Ho Chi Minh City, while the family was passing through for a beach holiday amazement of the flight crew Opposite top: An eclectic mix of modern furniture in the living room includes unusual round chairs by a designer in Shanghai; large photographs of Shanghai street scenes adorn the wall behind them. Mattea is the pianist of the family – the grand piano

Mark: I started a media, marketing and public relations company called Red Gate in Shanghai in 2003. Much of my work is still in China, including the production of film and TV shows, corporate and consumer events, and trade delegations. My achievements include pioneering the inaugural Shanghai Fringe Festival in 2006, and creating a three-day street festival in the centre of Shanghai for 400,000 people. Now, I creatively help my clients based in Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia to get exposure in the Chinese market. Speaking Mandarin helps. It was a hobby during my first year in China, but has become a real asset in doing business now. We are closely involved with the Canadian business community in China and Southeast Asia; in fact, I sit on the Boards of the Canadian Chambers of Commerce in both Shanghai and Singapore. What do you think will keep you here in Singapore? Karen: Undoubtedly, our respective business operations, plus the lifestyle we enjoy as a family. We value the endless summer and fresh air, and the freedom the kids have to roam about in safety – not to mention the great schools and business environment. As Canadians, we feel very comfortable living in a country that espouses our multicultural values.

arrived with her from Shanghai



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