The Referral Guide for SINGAPORE
MEET THE EXPERTS C ol lecting Art Real Clothes FOR REAL WOMEN
Food Focus New Restaurant Going Vegan Thai Favourites
The Farm at San Benito Exclusive Amanpulo Bound for Boracay Simply Cebu The P hil ippines
ALEXANDRA PARK P lantation House Black-and-White
NEWS WELCOME MAT
Editor’s Letter Co-habiting is never easy, and when someone is a snorer it’s an additional issue. Many of us have learnt to say “Roll on to your side, dear”. If that doesn’t work, a quick jab with the elbow often does. But what happens when the culprit isn’t human?
I’ve just had two nights of sharing a room (and sometimes the bed) with a very sweet spaniel, Coco. She doesn’t like sleeping on her own.
Throughout the night she snored – three varieties of snore, in fact: a regular constant one, a snort and a snuffle. Then there were the noisy dreams – cat-chasing ones, probably, as that’s her favourite pastime. And if she wasn’t snoring or dreaming, she was scratching and chewing which was even noisier. “Quiet, dear” didn’t work, and when I patted her once rather sternly she just got up and moved across the room to start up again there, dragging her feet to make an odd shuffling noise at the same time. Sharing a room with a newborn baby is easier than sleeping with Coco. I think all of this follows directly from my editor’s letter last month where I mentioned that when it comes to pets, rabbits are the way to go! As with every city, noise pollution is the norm in Singapore, whether it’s nearby construction work, traffic or someone sniffing behind you in a queue. I suppose it’s all meant to train us to acknowledge the noise but not let annoyance get the better of us. Most of the time, we can’t do much about it. I suppose that’s the lesson I’ve learned from Coco, too. I’ll let you know if she’s still alive by the end of the week…
PS: I hope you enjoyed the swimming rabbit video last month; this time I have uploaded one of a friend’s Labrador – with equally specialised skills.
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NEWS What’s New in Town
PROPERTY Hot Property: What’s on the market?
Dates for Your Diary
Decorating a two-bedroom River Valley apartment
A tour of Singapore’s colonial 99 black-and-white buildings with Geraldene Lowe
LIFE & FAMILY News
Buying Property in Batam
Moving or Relocating?
Births, weddings and more
Street Talk: Anthony Road
Mum’s The Word
The Joys and Challenges of Fostering Children
An Alexandra Park Black-and-White
Tech Savvy Students
Sideboards, consoles and benches
Grange Road Glamour
A look back in time at Tanglin Trust School
SUBSCRIBE NOW! See page 337
MiddleEast China Lakes&Mountains AbuDhabiAdventures ExoticEscapes
Environmental news that matters
Social Pages: Seen around town
DESIGN IDEAS Kitchens&Bathrooms MEALSFOR UNDER$15 NutritionSpecial INTOWN BestCupcakes EVERYTHING UNDERTHESUN
ARTS & LEISURE Tips on Collecting Art
WINE & DINE News
The Taste Test:
In the Studio with Artist Belinda Fox
New restaurants, reviewed
On The Stage
On The Screen
On the Page
Where to go and what to order
Meet the Authors of a New Book on Fort Canning Hill
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
Social Pages: Seen around town
Words on Wine
Amanpulo, Pamalican Island 234
Boracay via Clark
• MADE TO MEASURE IN 8 HOURS • MAIL ORDERS WELCOME • ALTERATION SERVICE PROVIDED
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: email@example.com Please call +65 6732 4936 or +65 6732 3892 for free transport to Mohan’s
Fashion for Real Expat Bodies
HAIR & BEAUTY News
COMPETITIONS Fabulous Prizes up for Grabs 334
Tried & Tested:
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HEALTH & FITNESS News 304
Numbers & Websites
Going Vegan: Is it for you?
The Body Firm Comes to Orchard
Shelley von Strunckel’s forecasts for May
The Farm at San Benito
Parting Shot: Beating the heat
Follow the Osteo Path
She might only be 26, but Anna Berezovskaya is one of Russia’s most exciting and inspiring contemporary artists. We were certainly impressed with the detailed, fantastical and whimsical paintings from her previous exhibition at REDSEA Gallery in 2011. Following the sell-out success of that exhibition, Anna returns to REDSEA this month with An Enchanted Story: Volshebnaya Skazka , a two-week showcase of 24 of her most recent oil paintings (including Seafarers , left), starting 18 May. Judging from our sneak peek, it’s no surprise that the value of Anna’s paintings has risen 60 to 70 percent since her last solo show. Block 9 Dempsey Road, #01-10 Dempsey Hill. redseagallery.com
We’re feeling spoilt for choice, with another world-class attraction opening here. The River Safari is a journey into the wildlife and cultures of eight of the world’s great rivers, including the Mississippi, the Congo and the Yangtze. Giant river otters, salamanders, stingrays, manatees, squirrel monkeys and dwarf crocodiles are just some of the 300 species of animals to be seen. The 12-hectare park includes a massive freshwater aquarium and a panda forest housing superstars Jia Jia and Kai Kai. A boat-ride through the Amazon exhibit opens later this year. riversafari.com.sg River Safari
Passionate about culture, art and history? If you have the time and energy, consider becoming a museum guide (or docent) at the National Museum of Singapore, Peranakan Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum or Singapore Art Museum. Friends of the Museums offers lectures, field trips, training in guiding and public speaking, and an opportunity to meet like-minded people from all over the world. Find out more at an information session on 21 May from 9.45am to 12pm at the Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place. fom.sg Museum Maven
No Internet Required
The seemingly never-ending search for the perfect summer dress may finally have come to an end with the launch of Otkúda ’s new summer collection. Casual blouses, skirts and dresses in bright colours, floral prints and flowing fabrics are perfect for Singapore’s tropical climate and can be made to measure. To celebrate the opening of its online shop, Otkúda is offering free delivery within Singapore until 30 June. houseofotkuda.com Little Summer Dress
Good news for those planning a trip: Google Translate on Android now works offline for over fifty languages, including French, Spanish,
Chinese and Arabic. Other
nifty features to ensure you never get lost in translation include voice recognition, a handwriting function and camera input support so you can snap a picture, brush your finger over the parts you want translated and voilà ! Search Google Translate in the Google Play Store.
School Visit The newest school in Singapore is Dulwich College International , which opens its five-hectare campus this August. Prospective parents are welcome to go along to find out more about the school and its curriculum at Parent Information sessions, where they can speak with the college’s experts in Early Years education and Mandarin. Ralph Mainard, Deputy Master from Dulwich London, will be joining the 10am session on 9 May. 2, 9, 22 and 29 May and 6, 12, 19 June. 10am and 6.30pm. dulwich-singapore.sg Wor ld V iew
Ever wondered what secrets Egypt’s 3,000 year-old pyramids and tombs contained? You don’t need to get on a plane to play archaeologist: find out at the brand new Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb exhibition at the ArtScience Museum . There are over 100 exhibits of mummies and artefacts from the British Museum’s renowned collection, plus hands-on, interactive opportunities such as an embalming workshop and a 3D film of the unwrapping of a mummy. marinabaysands.com/Singapore-Museum Mummy Mystery
Expert expatriate financial advisers, Globaleye , have moved to an even more convenient location at 80 Raffles Place, #26-05
UOB Plaza 1 to better serve their clients. To celebrate their new
home, they are giving away a jar of candy
in the month of May to each client who mentions
Expat Living . globaleye.sg
Walk The Talk
Unknown to most of us, there are over 35,000 elderly, sick or handicapped people in Singapore who are living alone in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Support Habitat for Humanity’s Project Homeworks, whose volunteers clean and sanitise these people’s homes, by bringing your family down to Gardens By the Bay East. Kick off your shoes and join the Habitat-Barclays Bare Your Sole 2013 barefoot 2.5km or 5km walk to help Singapore’s less fortunate. To win tickets for your family (worth $95), visit www.expatliving.sg/competitions. 1 June. 9am to 12pm. bareyoursole.org.sg
Besides friendly service, lush greenery and world-class holes, Laguna National Golf and Country Club ’s exclusive membership privileges for all Country Club members are guaranteed till – gasp! – 2040. That’s right, it’s the longest membership lease of any club in Singapore. Call 6248 1706 to set up a personalised club tour. lagunanational.com Tee Off!
Instant boiling water straight from the tap? Yes, please. The innovative Grohe Red kitchen system at Interior Affairs promises just that. It comes with a child-safe handle with pull-and-turn closure to prevent accidental scalding. Grohe CoolTouch technology optimally insulates the entire tap to ensure it’s always cool to the touch, even with a running tap. Perhaps it’s time to put away the electric kettle? $3,926. interior- affairs.com.sg
Bored of the same old shops in Orchard? Head straight to The Fair on 21 and 22 May to shop for quirky children’s products, trendy accessories, leather bags and shoes, lacquerware, homeware, gourmet food, and health and beauty products. To complete the one-stop-shop, there are even professionals on hand to dish out practical financial advice. You could also be in with a chance to win a $50 gift voucher when you spend over $100. 581 Orchard Road, Hilton Hotel Level 3. fairsandbazaars.com Shop At The Fair
May CALENDAR 1 CLASSIC OSCAR WILDE (1 – 4 MAY) OTHELLO (1 – 19 MAY)
LEGO ART (1 – 26 MAY)
The Importance of Being Earnest paints a comedic tale of courtship, hidden identities and the foibles of high society, interpreted here by Wild Rice. Drama Centre Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. wildrice.com.sg DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE (1 – 12 MAY) The Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole is a poignant yet humorous portrait of a family searching for what remains possible, in the most impossible of situations. DBS Arts Centre, Merbau Road. Tickets fromSistic. pangdemonium.com
The Art of the Brick is the first major museum exhibition to use Lego bricks as the sole art medium, transforming the humble blocks into awe-inspiring sculptures. 10am to 10pm. Marina Bay Sands, Art Science Museum. marinabaysands.com An exhibition of British artist Tim Wakefield’s contemporary and unique “soundwaves” artwork, featuring songs by Coldplay, Pink Floyd, ABBA andmore. Meet Timat the gallery on the opening weekend. Free. Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am to 6.30pm; Sunday 11amto5pm. IconGallery, 476River Valley Road. Call 6735 4550. icongallery.sg The secrets of mummification and burial practices are revealed in this new exhibition, which includes artefacts from the Egyptian collection of the British Museum. 10am to 10pm. ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands,10BayfrontAvenue.Call66888868. Tickets from Sistic. marinabaysands.com 3 GLASS ANATOMY THE MUSICAL (3 – 12 MAY) Ataleoffriendship, loveandfame,thisMandarin musical is based on the award-winning 1983 Taiwanese movie Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing? . Tuesday to Sunday 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 3pm. The Esplanade Theatre, 1EsplanadeDrive. Call 62221526. Tickets from Sistic. toyfactory.com.sg SOUNDWAVES (1 – 31 MAY) MUMMY: SECRETS OF THE TOMB (1 MAY – 4 NOVEMBER) 4 FARMERS’ MARKET (4 AND 18 MAY) Find gourmet meats, wines, organic vegetables, cheeses, breads and home- baked goods from passionate producers. 9am to 2pm. Loewen Gardens, Dempsey. thepantrycookeryschool.com Learn the secrets of the theatre at a workshop on Billy Elliot presented by two experienced West End actors. For children aged seven to 11 years and 12 to 18 years. $450. 9am to 5pm. Centre Stage, 15Woking Road. Call 6732 7211. centre-stage.com MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOPS (4 – 5 MAY)
The tradition of Shakespeare in the Park continues with Othello , one of the Bard’s most enthralling tragedies. Great a picnic blanket and join the fun. Fort Canning Park. Tickets from Sistic. srt.com.sg
TULIP MADNESS (1 – 20 MAY)
The Flower Dome is transformed with 40,000 multi-coloured tulips, four authentic windmills and a range of hands-on activities. 9am to 9pm, Flower Dome at Gardens By The Bay. gardensbythebay.com.sg
Gardens by the Bay
11 JUNGLE NIGHT RACE
Race through the jungle with only a headlight to guide you over a 6km, 12km or 18km course. Or try the afternoon obstacle course for parents and childen. First event at 3.25pm. Mandai. singaporenighttrail.com.sg
Antiques fromChina andMyanmar by Apsara and Planter’s House. Cocktail and viewing at 7pm. Auction at 8pm. Free delivery. Orchard Parade Hotel. Call 6735 5018. firstname.lastname@example.org
14 LIVE BASKETBALL
Fast and furious action as the Singapore Slingers and the Indonesian Warriors compete in the last game of the ASEAN Basketball League. 8pm. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from Sistic. singaporeslingers.com
A Whimsical Tale
6 WANT TO TEACH YOGA? (6 MAY – 14 JUNE)
OPEN HOUSE (9 – 10 MAY)
Join the Tirisula Yoga 200-hour yoga teacher- training course. $3,900. Monday to Friday, 8amto1pm.Call90098889or85715701. tirisulayoga.com
A chance to discover the EtonHouse “inquire- think-learn” curriculum and find out if it suits you and your child. 9 May 4pm to 7pm; 10 May 9am to 5pm. EtonHouse Pre-School, 718 Mountbatten Road. Call 6846 3322. etonhouse.com.sg 10 STAMFORD OPEN HOUSE Stamford American International School invites you to its new campus to meet with the teachers and learn about its programmes. 9am. 279 Upper Serangoon Road. To RSVP call 6602 7247. sais.edu.sg EXPAT LIVING MUMS, BUMPS, BABES AND KIDS MORNING Pregnant or just had a baby? Join us for coffeeandtomeetothermumsandmums- to-be. Babies and children arewelcome, of course! 9.30amto11.30am.ThePantry, 75E Loewen Road, Loewen Gardens. RSVP to email@example.com. CARPET APPRECIATION Get to know carpets and how to buy a quality item. From10am to 12.30pm and 6.30pm to 9pm. Hedger’s Carpets, 15 Dempsey Road #01-09. Call 6462 0028 to book. hedgerscarpetgallery.com.sg
17 FOOD REVOLUTION DAY
A series of local events aims to raise the profile of food education as a key to transforming millions of lives globally, led by UK chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver. Read more on page 223. Supporters include Balanced Living, UWCSEA and SG Organics. Check Facebook Food Revolution Singapore for details. The Kransky Sisters are an eccentric musical comedy trio from Australia who perform on instruments ranging from the tuba and the musical saw to kitchen pots. Esplanade Recital Studio, Esplanade. Tickets from Sistic. PIECE OF CAKE (17 – 18 MAY)
7 FANCY FAIRE (7 – 8 MAY)
Clothing, toys, jewellery, bags, shoes and lots, lots more at one of Singapore’s most popular fairs. 7 May from 10am to 7pm; 8 May from 9.30am to 5pm. Orchard Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 442 Orchard Road. fancyfaire.com
9 PENFOLDS WINE CHECK
A one-of-a-kind clinic for Penfolds red wines that are 15 years old and above. Includes quality assessment, re-corking and certification by professionals. Register at www.penfolds. com/en/Penfolds/ReCorking-Clinics. SHOP, SHOP, SHOP In a follow-up to Boutiques at House on Dempsey, new and returning vendors showcase fashion, accessories, bags, jewellery, home décor and more. 9am to 9pm. Gallery Hotel, Robertson Quay. facebook.com/BoutiquesatFortCanning
18 A WHIMSICAL TALE
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra presents a fantasy journey through a whimsical universe, inspired by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and others. 11am and 1pm. For children aged four to 14. University Cultural Centre Hall, NUS. Tickets from Sistic. sso.org.sg
MEN’S FUTSAL Even ifyoucan’tgetateamtogether,comealong to a three-hourmen’s indoor futsal game, but be prepared for fast and furious action on the pitch. 3pm to 6pm. Offside Futsal Park, 2 Whitley Road. Call 6325 9387. futsal.espzen.com
CHARLOTTE’S WEB (18 – 19 MAY)
This classic tale of a pig and a spider is brought to life by The Players Theatre. Saturday at 11amandSunday at 1pm. KallangTheatre. Tickets from Sistic.
Art: Anna Berezovskaya
Honey Ant Gallery
ART: ANNA BEREZOVSKAYA (18 MAY – 1 JUNE)
Following a successful collaboration in 2011, REDSEA Gallery is hosting a solo exhibition for young Russian art sensation, Anna Berezovskaya. An Enchanted Story: Volshebnaya Skazka runs for two weeks. redseagallery.com
20 ACE FESTIVAL (20 MAY – 8 JUNE)
24 FEELING DIRTY? (24 MAY – 9 JUNE)
This smorgasbord of artistic and creative entertainment for children aged three to 14 includes The Magic Porridge Pot , workshops and storytelling sessions. Alliance Française Theatre, 1SarkiesRoad. Tickets fromsistic. acefestival.org
NEWCOMERS’ LUNCH Join Expat Realtor on the last Wednesday of every month for lunch and a chance to meet somenewfaces. AuPetitSalut.Noonto2pm. 40CHardingRoad,Dempsey.RSVPto9171 3392 or 6255 1027. expatrealtor.net 30 THE FAIR AT HILTON (30 – 31 MAY) Enjoy a day of refreshments, shopping and fun. 30 May from 10am to 7pm; 31 May from10am to 5pm. Free admission. Grand Ballroom, The Hilton, Orchard Road. Call 6235 3608. fairsandbazaars.com 31 HONEY ANT GALLERY (31 MAY – 16 JUNE) Central Australian Aboriginal artists present their distinctive work. Opening night on 31 May, 7pm to 9pm. Exhibition from 1 to 16 June, 10am to 6pm. RSVP for opening night to singapore@honeyantgallery. com. John Erdos Art Gallery, 6BDempsey Road. honeyantgallery.com
The stage version of Dirty Dancing has great music, romance and sensational dancing. Tuesday to Sunday at 8pm, plus 2pm show on weekends. Grand Theater, Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic.
21 THE ENORMOUS TURNIP (21 MAY – 8 JUNE)
28 SUMMER FAIR (28 – 29 MAY)
The story of a tiny mouse and an enormous turnip. Cute characters, memorable songs and a clear moral message for everyone. For children aged three to 14 years. Alliance Française Theatre, Sarkies Road. Tickets from Sistic. itheatre.org
Taste the offerings at the gourmet food and wine section while you shop for holiday essentials and summer gifts. 28 May 10am to 7.30pm and 29 May 10am to 5pm. Raffles Town Club Ballroom, 1 Plymouth Avenue. Free admission. Call 9693 2338. theexpatfairs.com 29 TIDDLER AND TERRIFIC TALES (29 MAY – 2 JUNE) From under the sea, out on the farm and deep in the jungle come terrific tales, woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters. Wednesday to Friday at 5pm, Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 2pm, 5pm. DBS Arts Centre, Merbau Road. Tickets fromSistic. aba-productions.com
EXPAT LIVING SPECIAL COFFEE MORNING
Window to the Past and Consilium Law come together for a morning of stylish home décor and expert legal advice. Booking essential. $10, includes a goodie bag. 10am to 11.30am. Registration at 9.30am. Window to the Past, 3 Kung Chong Road. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNDOWN MARATHON (31 MAY – 1 JUNE)
Not afraid of the dark? Run 10km, 21km or 42km after sunset. sundownmarathon.com
Calendar Plan Ahead
1 BARE YOUR SOLE
A barefoot walk that raises funds to help children and adults in disaster-stricken areas improve their living conditions. 9am to 12pm. Gardens by the Bay East, Tanjong Rhu. give2habitat.org3
TENNIS CAMPS (3 JUNE – 5 JULY)
Morning and afternoon camps for children aged four years and up. The TennisClub, 200Turf City #01-63. Call 64662643. thetennisclub.com.sg
5 DANCE INDIA (5 – 9 JUNE)
6 BUBBLE LEGEND (6 – 9 JUNE)
1 ISS SUMMER SCHOOL (1 – 26 JULY)
A programme jam-packed with workshops, training, choreography and performances from Apsaras Arts. apsarasarts.com
A multi-million-dollar bubble and special effects show that has dazzled audiences around the world. Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets from Sistic. rwsentosa.com
Adventurous and creative summer schools for childrenagedfourto18years. ISSInternational School, 25 Paterson Road. iss.edu.sg
9 THE ADDAMS FAMILY (9 – 28 JULY)
17 WANT TO TEACH PILATES? (17 – 28 JUNE)
Amusical about the story of the love between Wednesday, from the unusual Addams family, and a boy neither of her parents has ever met. Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets from Sistic.
Looking to gain fitness and flexibility? Join the Pilates mat-work instructor training course. $2,300. Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 1.30pm. Call 9009 8889 or 8571 5701. tirisulayoga.com
16 PHANTOM RETURNS
18 STOMP (18 – 23 JUNE)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed masterpiece, now into its 27th year in London’s West End, continues to play to full houses around the world and has been seen by over 130 million people worldwide. Marina Bay Sands Theater. Tickets from www.MarinaBaySands.com/Ticketing.
Following its acclaimed performance at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, STOMP returns with new routines, new choreography and new music. Marina Bay Sands Theater. Tickets at Sistic.
20 BALLET UNDER THE STARS (20 – 28 JULY)
24 SUMMER SCHOOL (24 JUNE – 2 AUGUST)
The annual classical and contemporary ballet performance returns for the 17th year to stage Giselle . 7.30pm. Fort Canning Park. singaporedancetheatre.com
The Canadian International School runs programmes for children aged four to 13 at its Lakeside and Tanjong Katong campuses. Call 6345 1732. cis.edu.sg
For more events this month, go to expatliving.sg and click Calendar.
LETTERS Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. For his good idea – and great compliment! – John Dowling wins a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut.
The Milky Way? Compliments on your April issue, another fantastic read. I especially enjoyed Verne Maree’s article on nutrition, especially the advice for parents of picky eaters and advocating an 80-percent plant-based diet. However, as a naturopathic nutritionist,
Size Matters Referring to your Ingela Johanssen’s back page article in your March issue, I’d like to make the point that internet shopping can be a pain, and so is having to wait to shop until your next trip to your home country. What we really need is a database of information on places where people who require European sizes can go to get good products in Singapore. It would need to be tested by expats, with a review, feedback and ratings
I was surprised by the advice that milk and dairy products are the best way to build young children’s bones, after so many recent studies have shown the opposite to be true. Marie Woodhurst Ed: Then you’ll be glad to read our interviewwith fellow-nutritionist Aileen Lane on page 311, and her advice on alternative and better sources of essential calcium.
system – not just marketing noise. PS: I love your work generally and am glad you exist.
Ed: A good idea – and a great compliment!
To Buy or not to Buy Whenever my new Expat Living arrives I immediately pounce on it and turn to the property pages. It’s not that we aren’t happy in our current condo, it’s just that I hate being at the mercy of this expensive and volatile
Telunas comes up Trumps Thank you to EL for your recommendation! After reading “Simply Sugi”, Yusrina Yusoff’s December 2012 article about the resort of Telunas on Batam Island, I decided to book a long weekend there when my mother and my nephew visited in February. The resort was everything Yusrina said it would be: no pool, no aircon, no internet, no noise, no plastic or bright colours. Just a wonderfuly simple
rental market. Thanks to your property market updates, even if we can’t afford to buy right now, at least we can still dream! Maggie Williamson Ed: Good luck, and remember that Expat Realtor is a great source of advice on either renting or buying.
return to nature, with impeccable service. I don’t want crowds of people descending on the place after reading this, but I had to thank you – it was exactly what we were after.
Email us at email@example.com
They’ve MOVED! This month, three of our favourite furniture and home décor stores have moved to exciting new premises, so remember to update your address book.
For one-of-a-kind antique furniture from India’s bygone Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial eras, visit The Past Perfect Collection in Bukit Timah. A new line of decorative accessories has just arrived in the
Banyan Shade , known for traditional and contemporary Indian art, has relocated to Tanglin Mall. From handcrafted wall paintings to terracotta vases ( shown here ) and exotic trinkets, the new store is a soothing visual treat with plenty of options to suit every home. 163 Tanglin Road, #03-08 Tanglin Mall. banyanshade.com.sg
spacious store to complement their stunning colonial furniture. 896 Dunearn Road, #02-01D Sime Darby Centre. pastperfect.sg
Ethnicraft has set up new 100-square- metre showroom in Eunos, where customers can view the furniture in person before purchasing. All Ethnicraft furniture is crafted from sustainable solid teak sourced from teak plantations or reclaimed Javanese timber. By appointment only; flexible timings. Email info@ethnicraft-online. com. ethnicraft-online.com.sg
Transforming Trees New York-based luxury furniture brand Hudson is showcasing its inaugural collection at Artspace@Helutrans from now till the end of May. Known for sourcing wind- or storm-damaged trees and transforming them into artistic furniture forms, Hudson’s avant-garde pieces, including the Lipstick console shown here, are handcrafted by a team of 24 craftsmen and made to order to ensure no piece is identical. hudsonfurnitureinc.com
ODDS AND ENDS Look no further than Bungalow 55 for eclectic accessories to jazz up your home. The charming store stocks a unique range of home accessories, lighting, tableware and hemp rugs handpicked from Europe, America and Australia. EL readers who present this page get up to 20 percent off selected items. For a preview of their sale items, head down to the store on 30 and 31 May. 501 Bukit Timah Road, #01-05A Cluny Court. thebungalow55.com
Swingin’ Away One of the best ways to spend a sunny afternoon is to lounge in the shade in a comfy hammock with a good book. The Toucan Shop ’s hammocks, wholly handmade by artisans in Latin America with 100-percent fair trade cotton, are right up our alley. They come in a variety of colours, sizes and styles. Available at When Billy Grows Up at 10 Jalan Serene, #02-13 Serene Centre. thetoucanshop.com
Charming Chairs A great way to spruce up your living room is to add an eye-catching accent piece. One of the 10 styles in John Erdos ’s new upholstered furniture collection is the Elizabeth armchair in indigo ( shown here ), lime or mustard. It is subtle enough to stand alone, yet adds a quirky touch. $975. johnerdos.com.sg Whether you have a lush garden or a small balcony, you can count on IKEA ’s summer outdoor collection to dress up the space without breaking the bank. Put some colourful Springkorn throws and cushions on a modular Ammerö sofa and a plastic Skarpö armchair to create a laid-back, budget-friendly outdoor lounge area. ikea.com/sg Lazy SummerDays
A part from the black-and-white houses I’ve glimpsed during my weekly lollop around Adam Park, this was my first chance to see a black-and-white up close. It didn’t disappoint. The 1895 Plantation House, designed and built by Alfred John Bidwell, has all the outstanding attributes of a traditional black-and-white, with the Mayo family’s unique stamp on it.
In the lush greenery of Alexandra Park, where the sounds of nature are a constant, British expat Jane Mayo takes me on a nostalgic journey through the dream home she had her eye on for almost ten years before she and her family moved into it in 2006.
It starts at the steps that lead from the front porch to the verandah dining area. Old Indian stone pieces on either side of the steps are used as candleholders. “If we’re having a party we’ll put candles inside them and I’ll ask the children to find frangipani flowers to line the stairs with. It’s a lovely way to welcome people into the house,” says Jane. The verandah is without doubt the defining feature of this house. Taking
By Amy Brook-Partridge
Haven Children’s Home at Pasir Panjang to join us.” Jane ensures there is plenty of Christmas food for guests, while her husband David finds people to sponsor the significant drinks bill. During the evening, and after the children have sung their Christmas songs, they hand
people at their home to sing carols and welcome in the Christmas season. “We were told when we moved in that this was a tradition that came with the house, so we simply kept it going. We’ve made it even more special by inviting the children from the Salvation Army Grace
up over 90 square metres of frontage, this is where the family effectively lives. From breakfast with their three children, to dinner and drinks with friends, it’s built for relaxing and entertaining. On the second Thursday of December each year, the family hosts up to 200
My main focus was to make the house light. If I had my way I’d
whitewash everything, but David’s range is broader than that. I have to indulge him in certain things
cranes and a lot of Tiger beer to get this up the steps,” Jane laughs. Behind the verandah is the expansive living room, dominated by two three- metre-long custom-built Chesterfield sofas, which sit opposite each other. Designed by Jane – one in leather and
Imported from Bali, the single narrow piece of wood is five metres long and sits on two stone pillars. The wood quite literally weighs a ton, and each pillar is 200kg. Due to its enormousness, it had to be a certain thickness so as not to break in the middle. “It took 15 men, two
round a red bucket for charitable contributions. Corporate and company events have also been held at the house, but Jane says the best times are their meals with friends and family, sitting around the suar wood dining table on the verandah.
they now live. “In those days it was just a conversation with the landlord, and then we literally chose a weekend andmoved. It really couldn’t have been simpler.”
one in velvet – and made by interior designer Debbie Brooks, Jane is very proud of them; but, as with the dining table, “Lord knows what we’d do with them if we had to move out,” she says. House swap As we sit on the verandah, overlooking the garden and neighbouring houses, Jane tells me how she had admired their current home for many years. She and David lived in an old, dark, two-bedroom condo on Napier Road when they first arrived in Singapore, followed by two years in a shophouse on Balestier Road prior to their move to Alexandra Park. “We spent 11 years in a cute house on Hyderabad Road. It was lovely, but it started to get very small when the kids came along, so we began looking for somewhere a little bigger nearby.” A
knock on the door from a neighbour asking if they were looking for a bigger house led to a house swap, with the Mayos moving to 6 Russels Road where
This house has so many beautiful structural features and such an impressive history; it just needed a little bit of attention to take it back to where it was.
Jane likens the style of the house when they first moved in to a Victorian parlour. Heavy blue drapes covered sections of the delicate latticework, much of which was boarded up; it even had a snug for the man of the house, which has since become the children’s den. “All that was missing was the aspidistra,” she jokes. “I think this house has so many beautiful structural features and such an impressive history, it just needed a little bit of attention to take it back to where it was.” Knowing that these houses are meant to be open and light, she tore down the boards and drapery and renovated the kitchen area. She knocked through a doorway from the living room to the kitchen and built a concrete counter top as a bar. “My main focus was to make the house light. If I had my way I’d whitewash everything, but David’s range is broader than that. I have to indulge him in certain things.” These certain things include vintage signs, which he picks up from
wherever he travels; they can be found all over the house. One large antique shop sign, picked up by David during a trip to Vietnam some years ago, hangs in the living room. Jane’s 18-year-old daughter Chloe, who plans to study art at Central St Martin’s in London, has been given carte blanche to paint over the sign’s original red and gold paintwork, and even after the first coat it is looking decidedly more contemporary in Jane’s whitewashed living space. “It’s not quite right yet, but it’s getting there.” The pink theme runs through the living space and into the kitchen, including the antique French dining set that Jane and David brought back from France. “Some husbands would say there’s no way you can bring those back on a plane, but David just rises to the challenge. It came with us in our suitcases; we had kids’ armbands part- blown up around the glasses, and the plates wrapped in clothes.” Every item made it in one piece.
Two dogs, plenty of cats and some Little Bunnies Between the sofas in the living room is a Barcelona daybed designed and made by Geri Murphy from Originals, whom Jane has known for 17 years. Showing the battle scars from a recent catfight, it’s not the only piece in their house targeted by their pets. “I do like cats; we’ve adopted and inherited some, but the street cats need to learn better manners if they want to live in my house.” The family’s two black Labradors, Truffle and Luigi, bound upstairs from the garden to say hello, and it becomes clear that Jane doesn’t discriminate when it comes to pets. “I used to keep chickens, but gave them to the zoo when bird flu hit Asia. And we are going to get another rabbit.” This won’t be the only little bunny in the garden. Jane runs Little Bunnies – The Outdoor Classroom for pre-schoolers that she set up ten years ago with her
concept. Learning in a natural and fun environment results in happy children.” Little Bunnies has also been fortunate enough to operate on location in the nearby National Parks’ Hort Park.
business partner Jane Sale. One of the “schools” operates from Jane’s home. “Our main aim is to give young children the chance to experience the great outdoors through an outdoor classroom
The pursuit of love Aside from the “little bunnies” running around, Jane and David have three children of their own, the budding artist Chloe (18), Scarlet (13) and Charlie (11). It becomes apparent, as I nosily delve
into how the couple met, that David had Jane in his sights from a relatively early age. They met 25 years ago at a London advertising agency, but it took three “gos” before David eventually managed to lure Jane to Singapore in 1995. “A few days after we arrived he took me to see Les Misérables , possibly the most boring thing I’ve ever seen, and then proposed over late drinks in Raffles Billiard Room. We have always had such a great time together. We’re the best of friends. He’s my real-life knight in shining armour.” Her knight clearly has plenty of influence throughout the house, and its latest stylish addition, a clever trompe l’oeil-effect wallpaper from Designer’s Guild that has been placed on the ceiling, was David’s choice. Apparently, he also harbours a slight obsession with Chairman Mao: a couple of mini-statues stand in the living room, including one
“It’s a fantastic place to learn and work. We believe that it’s important for young children to know where food comes from, and as we grow our own vegetables onsite there is more chance the children will eat them, too.”
that had a fight with a vacuum cleaner and came out unscathed.
“This used to be a very quiet place, way off the beaten track, but if you see The Interlace condominium going up near Queensway and all the ‘pre-PR’ in the newspapers about Queenstown and how old it is, it won’t be long before Alexandra Park is finally ‘discovered’. We know it can’t last for ever; we hear things all the time about what they might do to this area, but it’s truly unique.”
Shop Make Room
March of time Like almost all the black-and-white houses in Singapore, 6 Russels Road is owned by the government. As Singapore changes, however, and the west coast continues to develop, the Mayos can feel the march of time in Alexandra Park.
1200 Depot Road, #06-01 9113 1274 | make-room.net
Originals 896 Dunearn Road #02-03 Sime Darby Centre 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg Eat Eco Gourmet Café 30 Labrador Villa Road 6479 8885 facebook.com/ECO.Gourmet.Cafe Tamarind Hill 30 Labrador Villa Road Labrador Nature Reserve 6278 6364 facebook.com/TamarindHillSG
The Naked Finn 41 Malan Road Gillman Barracks 6694 0807 | nakedfinn.com
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Bright Side On the 1 Weather-beaten oak console on wheels, $1,395, House of AnLi , 18Mount Pleasant Drive, 6251 0410, houseofanli.com 2 Kaufman sideboard, $1,850, John Erdos , 7A & 7B Dempsey Road, 6735 3307, johnerdos.com.sg 3 Ottawa sideboard, $3,245, BoConcept , #04-01 Paragon, 6736 0777, boconcept.sg 4 Curved sideboard, $1,299, D’Galleria , 10 Ubi Crescent Ubi Techpark, 6763 1886, dgalleria.com.sg 5 Cross-legged stainless-steel console, price upon request, Design Intervention , 75E Loewen Road, 6506 0920, designintervention.com.sg Choosing sideboards, consoles and benches can be a difficult task, whether you plan to use them for storage or mainly as decorative pieces. But gone are the dull and stuffy options of previous design eras; look what’s on offer these days!
6 Two-door cabinet, $1,200, FairPrice Antique , 315 Outram Road, #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building, 6270 2544, fairpriceantique.com 7 Painted pine sideboard, $3,200, China Collection , 20 Malcolm Road, 6235 1905, chinacollection.com.sg 8 Zhang collection antique sideboard, $2,300, The Shophouse , 6 Rochester Park, 6344 0100, theshophouse.com 9 Tibetan cabinet, starting from $3,200, Art Trend Gallery , 7C & 9 Binjai Park, 6468 7116, arttrendgallery.com.sg 10 Portuguese colonial rosewood settee, price on request, The Past Perfect Collection , 896 Dunearn Road, #02-01D Sime Darby Centre, 6737 3078, pastperfect.sg
11 Double sideboard, $2,425, Ethnicraft Online , 9739 2804, ethnicraft-online.com.sg 12 Sideboard in oak veneer, $2,450, Natural Living , 9 Penang Road, #03-01 Park Mall, natural-living.com.sg 13 Six-drawer oak and iron console, $1,295, House of AnLi , 18Mount Pleasant Drive, 6251 0410, houseofanli.com 14 Flatbar sideboard, $2,817, WTP The Furniture Company , 3 Kung Chong Road, 6235 2760, wtpstyle.com
15 Beechwood sideboard, $399, Lorenzo , 601 Sims Drive, lorenzo-international.com 16 Storage cabinet. $9,533, Dream Interiors , 456 River Valley Road, 6235 0220, dream-int.com 17 Finn faceted sideboard, $5,625, Gilt and Folly , 6 Scotts Road, #03-07 Scotts Square, proof.com.sg 18 MonteCarlo teak console, price upon request, Teak & Mahogany , 100E Pasir Panjang Road, #07-02/03/04 Century Warehouse, 6273 8116, teakandmahogany.com
19 Recycled elm series sideboard, price upon request, Woody Antique , Block 13 Dempsey Road, #01-05, 6471 1770, woodyantique.com 20 Two-drawer console, $875, Ethnicraft Online , 9739 2804, ethnicraft-online. com.sg 21 Indigo Coast console, price upon request, Verandah Living , 896 Dunearn Road, #02-02C Sime Darby Centre, 9026 7061, verandah-living.com 22 Teak console, $1,500, Galanga Living , 211Henderson Road, #01-02, 6475 2633, galangaliving.com
23 Solid wood Sonnen console, $2,280, Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing , 278RiverValleyRoad,67372322,gallery278.com 24 Kava console in oak andbrass, $1,668, WTPTheFurnitureCompany , 3 KungChong Road, 6235 2760, wtpstyle.com 25 MadamStoltz foldable console, $639, Make Room , 1200 Depot Road, #06-01, 9113 1274, make-room.net 26 Glass console, $680, LUSH , 73 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Centro Bianco, 6858 5882, lush-lush. com 27 Nina console, price upon request, Proof Living , #03-15 ION Orchard, 6509 0555, proof.com.sg 28 28-drawer cabinet, $2,690, OriginAsia , 372/ 372A River Valley Road, 6733 7384, originasia.net
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