Singapore Day 2

Today was one of wandering and relaxation.

We are staying in the Bugis area and it was alive with activity. We were surrounded by places of worship. A Hindu Temple, the Central Sikh Temple, St Joseph’s Church, Churches of Saint Peter and Paul and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.  It is surprising in the modern hustle and bustle there is such a vast array of historic sites harking back to the early colonial days of the British. Singapore gained independence on 9 August 1965 and we were in the midst of their 58th birthday celebrations.

Hindu Temple

We continued to wander and soak up the sights, sounds and smells of Singapore.

 

Washing day

Bugis Street

The spiral staircases in Bugis Street

Then we found Raffles. How very colonial. It’s hard to believe that this magnificent establishment had such humble beginnings in 1887 as a 10 room hotel on the beach. Whilst we couldn’t manage to get a booking for afternoon tea, we did enjoy a local coffee – Kopi, made on evaporated milk and condensed milk. Then we found the Long Bar famous for The Singapore Sling.  Probably the most expensive cocktail I have ever had at $50 (AUD).  It’s skillfully mixed from Widgets London Dry Gin, Benedictine, Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco, Ferrand Dry Curacao,  Raffles Signature Grenadine, pineapple  juice, fresh lime juice and spice plantation bitters and served with a hessian bags full of peanuts in their shells. We were encouraged to brush the discarded shells onto the floor – incidentally it’s the only place in Singapore we couldn’t be fined for littering.

The creation of the cocktail has an interesting history harking back to the colonial days when unfortunately ladies could not consume alcohol in public. So, for the sake of modesty, teas and fruit juices were their beverages of choice. Then a clever bartender saw the niche market and created the cocktail that looked like a fruit juice but was actually infused with gin and other liqueurs, making the beverage pink to give it a feminine flair which, together with the use of clear alcohol, led people to think it was a socially acceptable drink for women. With that, the Singapore Sling was born.

The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel

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