Animated publication

FEB 2023




A few months before that first issue, I had put a little pamphlet together for a few of us who needed to work (with the first school fees on the horizon). It was calledWomen atWork and offered services frommy photography through to someone’s quilt-making workshops. I’dgonearoundpopping it in letterboxes and had a couple of responses. At the same time, a friend’s husband was setting up Expat Living. The aim was to help people make decisions on what to buy and do, by getting recommendations from other expats. Twenty-one years ago this month, I was looking at the first edition of Expat Living wondering how I’d done it! The layout process had been fairly painful as I had to direct designers just to move even little things around the page. I learnthowtouse InDesign very quickly after that!

The journalist he’d asked to be the editor had declined, so he askedme – and I said I would “give it a go”! I then became a shareholder, and after about eight years he sold shares to friends of mine – so it’s still very much a family-run business. My first editor’s letter photo showedme workingat thedining roomtablewithmy daughters (then three and five) sitting next to me. And not much has changed! My eldest works with me today, and the youngest did through her uni holidays. The shareholders have children too – I wonder if any of them will get involved when they’re old enough? The EL team is very special to me, and I’ve seen many of their children grow from babies to teens (towering over me). It makes a huge difference having good people around you, especially as you go through the ups and downs of life and business. They are dedicated to bringing you a good read and a look into the lives of others living in Singapore. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with fantastic advertisers, some since day one. Without all of their support we wouldn’t havemade it, so a big thank you to them and our readers! Not sure if I can say “here’s to another 21 years” –but, as always, wecan “give it ago”!

Our first issue back in 2002

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

PS Please remember to vote for your favourite businesses inSingapore t h r o u g h o u r 1 1 t h Readers’ ChoiceAwards. Details on page 24.

Most of the Singapore team with their families in late 2022.


Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor


SECTION EDITORS Health & Fitness: AMY GREENBURG Life & Family: PATRICEA CHOW Wine & Dine, Travel & Leisure: DEEPA CHEVI Home & Property: AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE Fashion & Beauty: YIMIN HUANG | VERNE MAREE Lifestyle: GEORGINA HOCKLEY | MEGAN HOBSON Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET Client Services (Ads) NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Production JUDIT GÁL Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | JEANNE WONG

Cover: Braganza House, Sri Lanka by E&A Interiors Photography: Mo Arpi

CONTACT US Call or WhatsApp: +65 9112 0652

General Enquiries: info@expatliving.sg Advertising Sales: sales@expatliving.sg Subscription: subscription@expatliving.sg Production: production@expatliving.sg Editorial: editorial@expatliving.sg Calendar of Events: calendar@expatliving.sg Events: events@expatliving.sg Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd (timesprinters.com) Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 36 Carpenter Street, #02-01 Carpenter Haus, Singapore 059915






Children’s beds and furniture ideas

Upfront 16

What’s on in the coming month Letters and thoughts from readers Photos from events around town Turning 21: How Expat Living has grown Subscribe or join us at an event! How to vote in our Readers’ Choice Awards Things you might not know about Singapore







Life & Family 54

Home & Property 30 Décor news and styling advice 34 Meena’s “country haven” at King Albert Park 40 Kids’ furniture recommendations 42 Buying Guide: Children’s bedrooms 48 Street Talk: Living in Pasir Ris

The latest news for parents and kids Noticeboard: Babies, birthdays and pets A look at Hello Bello products for bubs Romantic gifts from A Raft of Otters Valentine’s shopping at Cluny Court A brand new kindergarten wing for CIS Sporting stars at SJI International Five-day holiday camps for kids! How not to date…






A community effort at Dulwich College Which social clubs to join? What we’ve been reading and watching How Aleksandra changed her life direction

68 70


78 84

Our chat with a Latvian expat





Great gifts for Valentine’s Day


Adventuring with family! 109

Wine & Dine 92

Restaurant openings and other foodie news Where to find a great Greek feast Farm to door in 36 hours Recipe Corner: V-Day food and drinks!


96 98

100 Great date night ideas

Travel 106

Hotel hotspots and destination news


Family-friendly vacations in the region Visiting Sri Lanka: the do’s and don’ts Chlöe’s villa near Galle Fort Travel according to your zodiac sign!

Greek eats 94


114 120



A workout in water

Style & Beauty 124

The latest shopping and fashion news What’s new in store at White Ginger Romantic jewellery for 14 February Beauty products and makeup updates How to get luscious lashes and brows





137 Slimming treatments to try 140 All about the deep-plane facelift 142 Aesthetic plastic surgery for breasts

Gifts of love 128

Health & Fitness 148

Medical news and wellness events Time for a health check?

152 155

Aqua workouts with The Ripple Club


Fitness tips to get back on track Tackling breast cancer – an update


Regulars 162


Challenge yourself with our Puzzle Pages February horoscopes – what’s in sight? Important contacts and this month’s advertisers Parting Shot: The art of unlearning


Spring/ Summer looks





Tekkie Talks! (22 & 23 FEBRUARY)

IT support company Tekkie Help is hosting "Tekkie Talk with Bo", a series of online training/information sharing events focused on different tech-related topics. The Zoom sessions are approximately an hour long, with time at the end for Q&As. It's $10per sessionand topics are covered indepth so you come away withagoodunderstandingof the subject andan implementation plan, if applicable. The next one, on 22 and 23 February, is: “Why every Mac household should use family sharing”. Get in touch at tekkiehelp.com or call 8113 8682 .

Romeo & Juliet Valentine’s Day Performance (12 & 14 FEBRUARY) EnjoyaspecialValentine’sDayperformance by a travelling band of cycling actors from the UK called the HandleBards. With three seasoned performers and fun props, they present Shakespeare’s plays as you’ve never seen before: fast-paced and uproariously funny! The play takes place at two venues: Tanglin Club Theatre on 12 February, and City Sprouts Rooftop, Level 5, on 14February. Tickets are available from $78 at eventbrite.sg .

Canadian International School Enchanted Garden Party (25 FEBRUARY) Celebrate the opening of the new kindergarten wing at CIS at the school’s special EnchantedGardenParty. Families with children aged two to six years are invited to come and learn more about the kindergarten’s learning philosophy. There’ll be multilingual storytelling sessions, purposeful play in the mud kitchen, an outdoor

obstacle course, and more. You’ll also get to explore the huge 2,600-square-metre Outdoor Discovery Centre. The event runs from9amto 12noon–bookat cis.edu.sg/enchanted-gdnl or email communications@cis.edu.sg for more information. Jacopo Pagin – Strategies Against Time Exhibition (UNTIL 26 FEBRUARY) The first solo exhibition of Italian artist Jacopo Pagin, Strategies Against Time is showing at 39+ Art Space. A painter, installation artist and sculptor, Pagin’s dream-like, luminous canvases transport viewers on a voyage through his imagination, and a journey through art from the Renaissance to the contemporary era. Admission is free. 39-plus.com

Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2023 (UNTIL 19 FEBRUARY) Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall with an exciting line-up of programmes and activities for all ages. There are family friendly offerings such as lion dance and festive drumming workshops, temple tours and heritage trails, storytelling craft activities for little ones, and an openhouse weekend (4-5 February). Check out the full programme list at sysnmh.org.sg/en .

Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2023



Boutiques at the Pit Building (17 TO 19 MARCH) Boutiques at the F1 Pit Building returns for a fresh and exciting line-up of over 250 of Singapore’s best independent designers and brands. This one-stop shopping destination features exclusive launches across women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, furniture and home décor, lifestyle products, and children’s toys, fashion and more. Beyond shopping, youcanalsodiscover opportunities to give back to various communities, unwind with food and drink, and pick up new skills at workshops. Get tickets online before the event to skip the queues. Tickets are $5 for unlimited entry throughout all three days of the event. Children under 12 enter for free. boutiquefairs.com.sg

Kawaiimpressionism Exhibition (UNTIL 26 MARCH)

Kawaiimpressionism is Simone Legno’s first full solo exhibition in Singapore. The world-famous Italian artist also known as Tokidoki has launched a new series of paintings featuring updated versions of fashionable women in various states of life, found on classic Japanese woodblock prints. For Singapore Art Week in January, an exclusive figurine was released in a special showcase calledHopHopHurray. Visit the free exhibition at ART NOW. artweek.sg/events/kawaiimpressionism

(Tu)gether Exhibition (UNTIL 31 MARCH)

The Singapore Chinese Cul tural Centre’s Roof Garden comes alive with a spectacular rabbit-themed art installation exhibition to welcome the Year of the Rabbit. Entitled (Tu)gether, the installation is created by local artanddesignstudioWhisky and Foxtrot LLP and presents a cast of characters fromChineseNewYear mythology. The characters showcase local CNY practices enjoyed together with family and friends. Entry is free. singaporeccc.org.sg/events/tugether

Joo Choon Lin: Dance in the Destruction Dance (UNTIL 16 APRIL) Dance in theDestructionDance is anatmospheric environment designed by artist Joo Choon Lin at Tanjong Pagar Distripark. It’s a performance space and art installation that features several artworks: Glue Your Eyelids Together , I Only Make Friends With Money and Beatific Perfume . Joo’s multisensory environment is also an instrument for storytelling, drawing attention to how industrial materials continuously change their appearanceandmeaning in thecontemporaryworld. Admission is free. Find details at the Singapore Art Museum website, singaporeartmuseum.sg .

FEBRUARY2023 17 expatliving.sg


The winner of this month ’ s letter of the month will receive a 150ml Eau De Perfume, Iris by Chloe worth $375! To share your opinion with us on articles or topics, please email us at info@expatliving.sg .

Out & About Kudos foranothergreatmagazine, EL! It’s like a new wind is blowing; I am loving the Singapore Pages and always look forward to the Events pages. I have been on someawesomewalkswith the very awesome Susan Knudsen-Pickles, and to some fantastic talks (dealing with menopause, keep those coming!).


Think you know Singapore well? Which of the island’s expressways (the ones with the three letter acronyms) is pictured here? Bonus points for the name of the bridge!


Last month: Our December issue featured a photo of Bedok Jetty.

Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!

A BIG BUNCH OF BICHONS After a two-year hiatus, PetExpo returned in November, and it saw a record crowd of 33,000 people and 10,000 pets come through the doors. Speaking of records, it was also the scene of a new entry in the Singapore Book of Records, for the Largest Gathering of Bichon Frise – 105 Bichon Frise dogs brought together at one time.



Party Winner! I would like to extend my heartiest thank-you for the special invitations thatwewonto theSkechersSundown Live Countdown Party. It was an amazing event – my family and I enjoyed it a lot. Have a spectacular year ahead! Fiona Leong Ed: Thank you for the message; so glad you enjoyed It – it looks like fun!

OLD PHOTOS Currently showing at the National Gallery is Living Pictures: Photography in Southeast Asia , a display of over 300 images from the mid-19th century until now, captured by photographers across the region. It includesworks from Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand, but also some interestingold snapshots of Singapore. #1 “Harbour View” (late 1890s) German expat Gustave Richard Lambert set up a successful photographic business here in the 1880s – it would become the leading studio in Southeast Asia. This photo shows Singapore harbour, with Col lyer Quay and Cavenagh Bridge in the background. #2 “Group Photograph of a Chinese Man andWomen” (c.1910)

9am 3 JAN

Singapore Living - bring your kids! Coffee & Info Morning Establishing your new life in Singapore

#3 The monkey is mostly found in the Nee Soon Swamp Forest in the Central Catchment, between Upper Peirce Reservoir and Upper Serangoon Reservoir. #4 Despite being protected from


8 THINGS ABOUT THE RAFFLES’ BANDED LANGUR If you were to gather all the Raffles’ Banded Langurs in Singapore together at one time, you’d sadly have a much smaller group than the Bichons mentioned above! But there’s some good news for this rare monkey – find out in this fact file, below. #1 The Raffles’ banded langur is native to Singapore, and is found here and across the border in Johor and Pahang. Also known as the banded leaf monkey or banded surili, it’s namedafter Sir Stamford Raffles, who included an identification of the animal among his research materials on Singapore. #2 Themonkey grows up to 60cm long, with another 60cm or so of tail, and weighs between 6 and 8kg. While its fur is dark, with some distinct white colouring on the chest and thighs, the babies are predominantly white. 8.30am 13 JAN 10am

1947, numbers are tiny – in fact, it’s critically endangered. However , whi le numbers droppedas lowas 12 at onepoint, this grew to around 40 a decade ago, and then60 in2019. The current count is 66 by one estimate, and 70 by another. Heading in the right direction!

Feng Shui Talk Learn what the Year of the Rabbit has in store for you


#5 Authorities hope that the Eco-Link@BKE, the large bridge of native vegetation that crosses the BKE at one point, will help the animals move from area to area, and perhaps repopulate Bukit TimahNatureReserve (where they haven’t been sighted since 1987). #6 TheRaffles’ banded langur is fussy. It eatsmore than twodozen plant species (leaves, fruit and seeds), but will apparently travel longdistances to find its favourite food. Okay,we’vebeenknown do the same. #7 Themonkey’s call has beendescribedby amammologist as “a harsh rattle followed by a loud chak-chak-chak-chak”. #8 While the Raffles’ banded langur is one of only three primates in Singapore (with the long-tailed macaque and the Sunda slow loris), in2020, a fourth specieswas spotted– twodusky leaf monkeys, who are thought to have swum across from Johor.



Explore Singapore’s newest park 18 JAN

Rifle Range Road Nature PaRk

The Lee fami ly hai led from Guangdong in China and set up an extensive photography business in Singapore, including LeeBrothers Studio onHill Street, near the Armenian Church. It became well known for studio portraits like this one. #3 “At Rest” (1964) Wu Peng Seng (1915–2006) was a noted landscape photographer who sett led here in 1954 , working for a Chinese language newspaper.Hebecameknown for his imagesof scenesof kampongs and the daily life of fishermen.

28 JAN

Burns Night & Ceilidh Join the Singapore St. Andrew’s Society for a celebration of Robert Burns!




The exhibition runs until August. See more at www.nationalgallery.sg/livingpictures. @nationalgallerysingapore

Photos: 1. Collection of National Museum of Singapore 2. Lee Brothers Studio Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore 3. Image courtesy of Wu Peng Seng family

9am 31 JAN



Urban CLEAN-UP Walk and clean our city with One Planet

The latest copies of EL really invite readers and their families togoout andabout (beach clean-up anyone? I am IN!); Lord knows we have been rooted to our houses for too long! I’m already looking forward to your February issue! JANUARY2023 30 expatliving.sg Scan to register or visit expatliving.sg/ELevents NEWS-DigitalShoutout J1 JK SS.indd 30

13/12/22 6:31 PM

Olga Grant

A big congratulations to our December competition winners A two-night stay at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas – Ashley Bentley $200 CDL gift vouchers – Louise Alfonso, Jodie Chambers, Belinda Clarke, Victoria Argent and Lina Boehm

Ed: Thanks, Olga, it’s always so nice getting this kind of feedback. Hope you enjoy the Feb issue, our 21st anniversary one!


Saying Goodbye I will be leaving Singapore, but I have so enjoyed reading your excellent high-quality magazine over the past year. Thank you. Esther H. MacFarlaine Ed: Wishing you all the best in your next adventure!

JAN 2023


January 2023 Issue 246




MCI (P) 059/02/2022

Email us at info@expatliving.sg





Celebrating with a Bang! TheBritishClubSingapore hadabusy and fun festive season , ce l ebrat i ng Christmas and New Year with families, friends and fireworks.

Getting Ready for Chingay Performers spent plenty of time rehearsing for this year’sChingayParade (3-4February), the largest street performance and float parade in Asia.

Cleaning Our Beaches

Mother Nature was given the idea l Chr i s tmas present in December with One Planet hosting a family clean-up of the beach at Pasir Ris. Well done to everyone who participated!

FEBRUARY2023 19 expatliving.sg

After Expat Living Publications is formed in September 2001, the first Expat Living magazine rolls off the presses with a launch at Park Mall

EL goes digital with our first website

We settle on a statement colour and emphasise the word “Living” as our Singaporean readership grows

Feb 2002

sep 2005

apr 2007

mar 2005


A new logo design!

Our publications are released in e-mag form on Magzter, so you can read on the go

jun 2012

feb 2012

Our 10-year anniversary comes around and we celebrate with a retro disco at Hard Rock

We launch a shiny new website!

At the Asian Publishing Awards, Expat Living wins the Excellence Award for Best Feature (Interior Decoration)

jul 2013

feb 2014

Nov 2013

expatliving.sg hits one million page views – woah!

Plenty of people move to Singaporeandsay they’ll behere for “a couple of years”, only for it to turn into five or eight ormore. But, if you’ve been around since the first Expat Living magazine appeared on the shelves, then you really are a long-timer! Thismonthmarks the 21st anniversary of the mag, andwe’re super happy tohave reached themilestone. (Whodoesn’t love turning21?) We’re also pleased and honoured to have been able to keep readers informed and entertained for somany years! That’s awhole lot of interviews, events, reviews and press trips, and even more writing, photography, design and production. If you’re more of a recent arrival to Singapore, oranewcomer toourpublications and websites, these pages show a brief timeline of some of our major milestones and changes over the years. We’re looking forward to the journey continuing, whatever twists and turns it might bring!

It’s our biggest awards haul yet, with eight gongs at the MPAS

We reach a fab milestone, with the publication of our 200th issue of Expat Living in Singapore

MAR 2019

March 2019 Issue 200 S$6.90 FACIALS • YOGA & PILATES • NEW ZEALAND MCI (P) 074/02/2018


nov 2018

mar 2019

Awards 2018, including Golds for our print publications in Singapore and Hong Kong, plus our websites, social media, editors andmore






EL in Hong Kong

HK$48 HOME DÉCOR & DESIGN • THAILAND & VIETNAM Dec 2019 — Feb 2020 Issue 50 & Style

also hits a major milestone, as our 50th issue goes to print

issue th Greatprizes tobewon!

COVID-19 arrives and we learn to adapt! We also move to a new co working space at The Hive

dec 2019


EXPLORING From Iceland to Thailand & Vietnam

PublicHoliday dates for2020


Heading somewhere nice? Our Travel Guide arrives

We release our first annual City Guide to help newcomers

jun 2008

nov 2008

mar 2009

Sep 2009

An upgrade to our logo

We focus on all aspects of wellbeing in our first Body & Mind Guide

Mums with kids get an extra hand with the annual Kids’ Guide

feb 2009

We give readers a voice and launch our first Reader Awards

We launch our Facebook page and the Likes start to roll in!

Time to start tweeting! We join Twitter @ExpatLivingSg

EL wins Best Integrated Media Brand at the MPAS Magazine Awards

Hello there, sister! Expat Living Hong Kong is born

Party time! EL releases its 100th issue

Jan 2011

jun 2011

oct 2010

nov 2011

nov 2010

may 2011

reader awards2011 wInner

LogoSticker-RA2010.indd 1

9/21/11 1:09 PM

We take home the Excellence Award at the Asian Publishing Awards 2014 for Best Online Launch

We winWebsite of the Year at the MPAS Awards, along with Editor of the Year

Oops … we did it again! EL wins multiple MPAS Awards including Best User Experience of the Year

More success! EL wins Gold for Best Website by a Media Owner 2014 at the Spark Awards for Media Excellence by Marketing Magazine

aug 2014

nov 2014

jul 2022 may 2014

may 2015

Time for a fresh new look for our website too!

We’re enjoying a snap-fest on our new Instagram account, @expatlivingsg

Expat Living turns sweet sixteen!

Makeover time! The

mag gets an elegant new design, while our sister publication in Hong Kong follows suit

It’s the MPAS Awards again, and we win for Expat Media of the Year and Lifestyle Guide of the Year

jun 2015

feb 2018

sep 2017

apr 2016

nov 2016

We’re announced as a finalist at the Singapore Book Awards 2022

jan 2023

feb 2023

Expat Living turns 21!

We kick off the new year with the launch of our 11th annual Readers’ Choice Awards

Readmore about the EL team at expatliving.sg/about-us !

FEBRUARY2023 21 expatliving.sg


Trading financial markets Discover how to trade 2023’s market opportunities using CFDs


9 FEB 10am

Mother of Teens coffee & chat Meet other teen parents


Labrador nature and coastal walk Discover a whole new Singapore

22 FEB

Scan to register or visit expatliving.sg/ELevents



FEB 2023

VALENTINE’S DAY • KIDS’ ROOMS • FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS February 2023 Issue 247 S$8.80 MCI (P) 059/02/2022





FEB 2023

VALENTINE’S DAY • KIDS’ ROOMS • FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS February 2023 Issue 247 S$8.80 MCI (P) 059/02/2022




Your subscription includes free access to the digital edition on the Magzter app

Scan theQR code or visit expatliving.sg/subscribe


Your travel kit will include BIOEFFECT EGF Essence, EGF Day Serum, EGF Serum, EGF Body Serum and a hydrating cream. BIOEFFECT was founded by three Icelandic scientists who discovered a way to bioengineer a plant-based human replica of EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) in barley plants. This skincare is clean, pure and plant based, suitable for both male and female. To learn more, visit bioeffect.com.sg.


Product sizes: 2.5ml to 15ml

FEBRUARY2023 23 expatliving.sg Your gift will be delivered to you within a week of your order. Subscription orders received after 15 February will start with the April issue. You can cancel your subscription at any time by logging into your account on our website.

Vote for your favourite businesses in Singapore and stand a chance to win amazing prizes. Your votes will help reward businesses that have been doing a great job, and help spread the word about them – plus you’ll be rewarded, too! Prize winners will be notified via email and the results of the awards will be announced online in April 2023! Best of luck! Our annual Readers’ Choice Awards are back for the 11th year!

Private IslandGetaway with Telunas Resorts

One winner will get to enjoy a two-night stay for a family of four in the Overwater Villa at Telunas Private Island, worth over $2,200! Includes meals and round-trip domestic transfers.

24 The Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards is an open platform for you to vote for any of your favourite businesses in Singapore. You can vote for more than one business in each category, however multiple entries will not be counted. Terms and conditions, and further details can be found at expatliving.sg/readerschoice. OCTOBER2017


Voting ends 15 Feb 2023

RelaxingSpaTreatment at La Source Spa & Salon Three winners will each receive a $300 voucher for either a facial, massage or hair treatment at this tranquil urban retreat.

Funwith Family and Friends at BOUNCE Singapore Five winners will each win four tickets for a one hour fun and fitness jump time at Singapore’s indoor trampoline park, worth a total of $107 each.

Luxury Staycation at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Two winners will each win a two-night stay for two adults in a luxury room, worth over $2,000 each, with breakfasts included.

Sunday Brunch at voco Orchard Singapore

One winner will get to enjoy an indulgent brunch buffet for two worth $236++ at Opus Bar & Grill, and savour mouth watering dishes from Japan, France and Italy, along with local favourites.

Hands-on Classes with Brettschneider’s Baking & Cooking School Two winners will get a $260 voucher each for a hands-on baking session at the school’s state of-the-art, purpose-built kitchen nestled in the green leafy suburb of Hillcrest, Bukit Timah.

Orchard Singapore

Scan to start voting or visit: expatliving.sg/readerschoice

Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!

Exploring A WANDER IN WOODLANDS Singapore’s 23rd Heritage Trail has opened. The Woodlands Heritage Trail takes in 15 heritage sites, tracing the long and varied history of this part of Singapore’s north. There are three different themed routes you can follow: #1 Communities of Woodlands Religious institutions and community landmarks (1.5 hours with public transport, 4km) Parks and other green spaces (1.5 hours on bicycle; 2.5 hours on foot with public transport, 15km) WhileWoodlands is known as Singapore’s “gateway toMalaysia”, theheritage trail alsoexplores thehistory of early 19th-century settlers, includingOrangSeletar and Teochew migrants, plus the area’s pivotal role in World War II, and the stories of the communities who’ve calledWoodlands home ever since. #2 Woodlands at War Former military sites, including Kranji War Cemetery (2hourswithpublic transport, 9km) #3 A Journey through the Woods

FROM TOP: Kampong Lorong Fatimah in the 1980s The Causeway in 1962 AWoodlands hawker stall in 1963

Did You Know? • Woodlands was originally referred to as “Kranji” or “Mandai”. • Its newer name comes from a 19th-century bungalow that Edward John Leveson, Italy’s Consul in Singapore, built there as a holiday retreat. • A railway service to Malaya existed even before the Causewaywasbuilt. Once the train reachedwater, itwas carried across the Straits of Johor on a special wagon ferry, before continuing north from Johor Bahru. • Kampong Lorong Fatimah ( pictured above ) was a Woodlands villagebuilt onthewaternear theCauseway. Residents were relocated to HDBs in the late 1980s.

• Kranji War Cemetery was once the cemetery of a prisoner-of-war camp established by the Japanese in 1942. • More than 4,400 fallen soldiers are buried at Kranji andmore than 24,000 soldiers who died without a grave are named on the Singapore Memorial. Viewed from the air (and visible on Google Earth), the Memorial resembles the silhouette of a WorldWar II warplane. • Many old places of worship in Woodlands still operate today, including the Church of St Anthony of Padua, Hong Tho Bilw Temple, MasjidAn-Nur andSri Arasakesari SivanTemple.

Download a map at roots.gov.sg, and view a video of the trail at go.gov.sg/video-woodlandsheritagetrail.

Photos: Hawker stall, National Archives of Singapore; Kampong, Sofea @ Noraini Abdul Rahman; Causeway, National Heritage Board



TINY THOROUGHFARES There is a Short Street in Singapore – it’s not far from the Tekka Centre, across Rochor Canal Road. It’s possibly called that because it’s short (around 300m) but it might also be named for a banker called Septimus Short.

Either way, it’s not Singapore’s shortest street. That honour perhaps goes to the 80-metre Finlayson Green, at the south end of Raffles Place. It takes its name froma 19th-century chairman of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce. We say “perhaps” because if you include themany small offshoots frombigger roads, you could argue the shortest in Singapore is Tua Kong Green, a 25m branch of Jalan Tua Kong in Siglap. Then there’s Jalan Ulu Seletar, next to Masjid Ahmad Ibrahim, a mosque in Seletar. It’s currently only fivemetres long! It’s actually a very old road that was oncemuch longer, but most of it is currently cut off fromuse, leavingprettymuch just enough roomtoparkacar. Bukit TimahRoadandYioChuKangRoadare among the longest roads in Singapore, but they’re both trumped by the expressways (the longest of which is the PIE, at 42.8km). Singapore’s network of paved roads, if placed end to end, would reach China.

Think you know Singapore

well? What’s shown in this aerial photo?

Last month: Our January issue showed the East Coast Parkway (ECP) where it passes next to Costa Rhu condo



SINGAPORE’S NEWEST GREEN SPACE Eight things to know about Rifle Range Nature Park, which opened in November. #1 It’s locatedonthesiteof thedisusedSinSeng Quarry, a granite quarry that was once 55 metres deep. #2 The name comes from Rifle Range Road, once theaccess road to theBukit TimahRifle Range, later the Singapore Gun Club. The Club relocated in 2001 to Choa Chu Kang. #3 There used to be a kampong here too, evident from the cultivated fruit crops that still exist. #4 Why“NaturePark”andnot “NatureReserve”? Nature parks in Singapore act as green buffers for public activities, protecting the nature reserves, which are areas of rich biodiversity and native flora and fauna. #5 TheColugoDeck, reachedbyahalf-kilometre hike, is a clifftopdeckoverlooking theQuarry Wetland,withadesign inspiredby theSunda Collugo (or flying lemur) in flight.

#6 This is the first net-positive-energynaturepark inSingapore, with energy harvested from solar panels at the site. #7 Five species of kingfisher inhabit the park, along with wetlandbirds suchas theYellowBittern. Youcanspot them from bird hides like the one pictured above. #8 While the various trails in Rifle Range Nature Park are relatively short, the Gaharu Trail leads to MacRitchie Reservoir for a much longer outing.

To get there, take exit A from Beauty World MRT and follow the Rambai Boardwalk. There’s a carpark on Rifle Range Road.

FEBRUARY2023 27 expatliving.sg


30 Décor news and styling advice 42 Cool furniture for kids’ bedrooms 48 Street Talk:

Living in Pasir Ris

Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

FEBRUARY2023 29 expatliving.sg


Sleeping with Storage Made with solid teak and featuring a total of five storage compartments on the headboard, Soul & Table’s new Alcove bed is here to pull double duty as a nightstand to keep all your sleep essentials close. The Alcove bed is one of the latest additions to the store’s constantly expanding Signature collection, inspired by their customer’s needs. To view the collection, go to soulandtables.com.sg .

Knives Out Cut like a pro with the chef’s edition Damasteel knife set. The range would make an ideal gift for anyone looking for a professional, durable and long-lasting cutting experience. The set is available online at the WMF Official Store on Lazada and Shopee, and in stores at Takashimaya, Metro, BHG, TANGS, OG and Isetan, retailing for $1,799. For more information go to wmf.sg .

Cool Candles Designed in collaboration with Bangkok based fragrance brand Copenn, Rye has launched The Art of Glass, a glass candle set handblown by artisanal glassblowers. Comprising 280 grams of scented hand-poured soy wax, The Art of Glass is presented in a glass candle holder and pinched bell jar alongside a textured steel tray. It comes in two signature scents: Dimorfig, a crisp, botanical daytime scent; and Cellarage, a musky, woody night time fragrance. Find out more at r-y-e.co .

Artifactt’s beautifully crafted tableware, drinkware and homeware will have you pining to update your own home pieces. Founded in 2021, the brand aims to connect artisanal makers and creators with collectors and homeowners. In-store you’ll find pieces from Europe and Japan, including Serax Belgium tableware and Utsuwa To Design, created by pottery artist Yuta Miyazaki. The gallery-like showroom can be found at #01-06 Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road . Artisanal Creations



Making your home both beautiful and kid-friendly!

Arete Culture’s founder and creative director Caroline Chin Geyler shares her professional tips on home design and décor.

Our clients often think that having kids means their homes can no longer be styled and furnished to their taste.Whilea littlecompromise is sometimes necessary for the safety of children, we believe your home can be every bit as stylish as your pre-kid life, if not more so! General guidelines Storage is even more important when there are children around. Consider closed storage options like sideboards and storage chests for games and toys. Let kids have a say in redecorating their room by picking out a favourite accent colour, or designing the room around their interests.

For homes with young children A round coffee tablewith a temperedglass or tile topmakes it easy to clean up spills. Keep table décor to aminimum– stack coffee table books and a single box to hide remote controls. Got open-shelf storage in communal areas? Add open-top storage boxes to the bottom tier. This makes it easy to access and hide toys, a win-win for kids and adults. Low-pile rugswithanabstract patterncanhelphide stains and make cleaningeasier. Most kids enjoy playingon the floor, so a rug is both a styling essential and an invitation for kids to play. For homes with older children Use accent cushions and throws to create an inviting living area to let them hang out comfortably. Ottomans andpoufs alsodoubleas foot rests andextra seating when friends are over.

Arete Culture | 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 | 9640 3829 | areteculture.com



MEENA HALCYON chats about her home choices in Singapore and what she loves about living here, and she shares some recommendations.


Tell us a bit about yourself. My husband and I moved to Singapore four years ago with our three-year-old and expecting another – who is now four years old. We moved here from Seattle, Washingtonbut are originally fromGurgaon in India. Myhusbandisanentrepreneur specialising in thedata sector. I’ma transformationcoach who works to empower women through styleandconfidenceandhelps themachieve their goals. Where did you first live when you came to Singapore and why? Our first apartment was in Orchard. We had moved here from the Seattle suburbs so we wanted to live among the hustle and bustle of the city. The back door of our apartment building opened right into ION Orchard, which we enjoyed a lot for three years. Once COVID hit and we were locked in the house, our priorities changed; that’s when we moved to King Albert Park. What areas and types of properties did you look at? We were looking for space and peace. The kids wanted to run around and play, my husband wanted to work from home and I didn’t want my privacy invaded when working on my laptop. Our real estate guys Ronald and June listened, understood and showed us some properties in Orchard, Sentosa and Bukit Timah. But we fell in love with King Albert Park at first sight.



When you’re styling your house, take baby steps – don’t buy everything at once.

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What were some of the things you loved about it? It was very green and very zen. We still wake up and sit outside every day as a morning ritual, see our daughter taking her school bus while having our coffee. My husband does personal training in the morning but most days he just goes for a bike ride in the Rail Corridor that’s outside the back door. Can you believe we have a back door opening right onto it? We feel like we’re living somewhere very far away fromthe city, right in the lap of nature – somewhere in the countryside yet so close to the city. Also, a variety of birds shows up at our home, and the squirrel my kids have named Joey is another regular fixture. The monitor lizards are now friends, but when I saw them for the first time I stayed in bed and didn’t move! That was until the previous tenants I texted toldme theywereharmless and totally cool. We’re cohabiting in this bit of nature, so we make sure we’re very nice to them. Would youbelieve it if I said, “I only saw this house right before moving in?” Because of pandemic restrictions, we couldn’t see the house as a couple, so only one of us could come for the inspection. We flipped a coin to figureoutwho; I stayedoutside thegatewhile my husband checked it out.



When I sawthe interior for the first time, Iwas very happy with the cleanmodern finish – the hard wood floors, vintage-style windows, high ceilings and beautiful clean look with huge doors on either side was so beautiful. The next thing I did was bring in all our furniture and place it in the designated rooms. Fun fact is it immediatelydisappeared. So I hadto improvise theold furnitureandbuynewones as required. Space was very important for us, especially asmy kids were running all around the house. I wanted to do it in a minimalist way, adding a little bit of our personality without changing the character of the house and keeping in mindour needs and lifestyle. And that’s exactly what I did. This house was done and dusted in a month, exactly as you see it now. What were the first things you bought for the house when you moved in? I bought additional shelves for thebar, plus the diningtable, a sofaandtwomoreKallax shelves for the kids’ room. What have been your best furniture or home décor buys? I love the sofa and the life-size mirrors in the house; they bring a lot of nature inside through reflection. The Himalayas painting

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shows snow and stupas in the background and is one of my favourites. I’ve placed a huge vase of dried flowers next to it – these are symbolic of a lively, colourful and beautiful childhood that’s freshly preserved in my memories. I enjoy seeing it every day. Any advice for newcomers to Singapore? There’s a wide variety of places to live in, so take time and check out different options before moving. The two places we’ve lived in can’t be compared to each other. In terms of designing and styling your house, take baby steps and don’t buy everything at once. Prioritise function over design. Remember that less is more – having more will always weigh you down, in more ways than one. What do you love most about Singapore? It’s safe and beautiful, living here is easy and the people are very nice. When you meet people in the salons, wet markets and shops you visit on a regular basis, you feel like you’ve bonded with them, and they’re super nice to kids. Name three of your favourite public holidays and why they’re special. I like Diwali, because you can feel the positivity and see lights everywhere. There’s also a real celebration vibe at Chinese New Year – plus I love mooncakes! And my kids have a tremendous amount of fun at Halloween. Any regional trips on your bucket list? I’m yet to visit Japan, Korea and the Philippines.



#04-21/22 ION Orchard crateandbarrel.com.sg Roche Bobois #01-02 Boon Siew Building, 75 Bukit Timah Road roche-bobois.com Boulevard Outdoor Inspirations Multiple stores boulevardoutdoorfurniture.com SCHOOL UWCSEA uwcsea.edu.sg DENTIST Dr Ansgar C Cheng specialistdentalgroup.com/dr-ansgar-c-cheng THINGS TO DO Walk or cycle the Rail Corridor railcorridor.nparks.gov.sg

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Children’s bedrooms benefit from furniturethat’scosy, safe, functional and fun. We asked a couple of Expat Living readers for their recommendations.

Benji, Kyrie, Adley & Cosmo (Singaporean)

We wanted a chest of drawers that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing – something to fit the kids’ clothing and, later on, their toys. Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing had somany lovely pieces, it was hard to pick just one! We heard about the store through word of mouth – there were some really strong recommendations. Their service level is superb and the quality of their furniture is really good. They don’t scrimp on anything – the inside of the drawers are genuine wood as well and not veneers that are more common in other places. We thoroughly enjoyed the shopping experience frombeginning to end. The shop is in a warehouse area and had a little pond with fish for the kids to look at (and feed!); it made the shopping experience fun for the kids too. Felicia from Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing also helped with space planning; even though Iwas just buying the one piece, she was kind enough to adviseon theplacement of other pieces in the home. Her experience in design andplanninghelpedus immensely, and the delivery of the itemwent smoothly too, thanks to a friendly delivery team. Our chest of drawers for the kids’ roomwas exactly what wewanted! The shorter drawers on the topwereperfect for socks and little towels, and the deeper ones for bedding and clothing. Later on, they can be used for toy storage, and they’ll be easily accessible for the kids. You can also opt for soft closing for the drawers so there are no sudden slams in the home!

The quality of furniture at Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing is excellent; we haven’t had any issues at all after using the store for years! We’ve added other pieces from them recently, such as our dining table and accent chair. Everything is sturdyandwell built. Theyalsodocustomsizes andcolours, and canbringanydesign ideas youhave to life. Theybuild locally andsource their wood ethically. And we didn’t even have to worry about wait time because, for customorders, they’re willing to loan you a similar item to use while you wait, at no extra charge!

Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 203A Henderson Road (Wing A), #11-01 & 02 6737 2322 | gallery278.com



Whitney and Ciarán Gunne (Singaporean & Irish); Seán & Rory Gunne Wewere lookingfor abunkbedbut I was worried about safety, so we wanted to find one that was sturdy and had good safety features. I also wanted to add a touch of fun to the room so the kids can really enjoy the space. I did a lot of research online and Piccolo House came out in a lot of the top recommendations for children’s furniture. The team was amazing! They wereveryresponsivetomyinquiries andgave recommendationsbased on the room size and odd layout that we had. More importantly, our renovation was running late and I had to change the delivery date more than five times – they always accommodated the change with a smile. The customer service was top-notch. We bought two modular single bunkbedswithastaircase inwhite. As the kids wanted the theme of under the sea, I thought the white bedwouldbeanicecontrast to the blue of the room. We also bought the airplane bookcase, which added a touch of fun to the room. There were a lot of choices onlinebut ultimatelywe chose Piccolo House for the safety and design. The design is timeless and we love it; and the material is very sturdy so I’msure it will last us a very long time. More importantly, the customer service was excellent – that’s why we would definitely recommend PiccoloHouse, especially toparents who are maybe still unsure of what they’re looking for, or to those who need some flexibility with renovation timelines that are moving around.

Piccolo House 10 Ubi Crescent, #01-63 Lobby D Ubi Techpark 6743 8884 | 8346 7428 | piccolo-house.com

Photo: Ken Tan

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Make shopping for kids’ furniture child’s play with this collection of beds and accessories that everyone will love.

York bunkbed, customisable frame and fabric panel, in solid teak wood and printed cotton, Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing








1 Design concept, interior design, accessories and styling by Arete Culture 2 Ardecor mirror, in iron and cane, Originals 3 Round turquoise silver flower hide rug, available in 1.5m or customisable to any size, The Cinnamon Room 4 Kiri one-seater cosy-up armchair, upholstered by Kirkby Design, Jon Burgerman fabric, in solid teak and printed cotton, frame available in different colours and customisable fabric, Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 5 Mika combi-bunkbed, can be converted to two single beds, made in Europe out of a combination of MDF and oak, Deer Industries

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6 Design concept, interior design, accessories and styling by Arete Culture 7 Hart kids’ bookcase, in solid teakwood with child-safe paint and customisable colours, Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 8 Round pink and white triangle hide rug in 1.5mor customised size, The Cinnamon Room 9 / 10 Combiflexmodular semi loft house bed with comfort step, made in Europe of solid beech wood andMDF, Deer Industries 11 Nami chest of drawers with optional add-on change table, designed in France by Theo Baby, Island Living 12 Oceane convertible baby bed, adjustablemattress heights and toddler bed, designed in France by Theo Baby, Island Living 13 Jacquard cushion in kilimargile, with super soft texture, zip closure and removable covers, Originals 14 Quax loft convertible cot to bed, Deer Industries 15 Karpenter study desk and Hart side chair, in solid teak wood, Villa NovaWalkies wall stickers, Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 16 Union Jack hide rug, 1.2mx 1.8m, Union Jack hide cushion cover, The Cinnamon Room



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