Friday, July 30, 2010


Although I had been to Singapore many times, I had never been to Kampong Glam which is the Malay Muslim district. And look what I had been missing out on... shop after shop of exotic fabric, beads and craft supplies, not to mention lots of gift and nick nack shops selling a vast array of items to decorate my home.
My first stop was Arab Street which is where all the fabric and bead shops are. The amount of fabric shops was a little overwhelming, and since I didn't have the time to explore each one, I just chose the first one on the street, Aladin's Fabrics". This store stocked so many gorgeous silks, chiffons, batik and songkets. I didn't notice and Japanese fabrics in this particular store, but there were other stores that did.
Pretty shop houses on the street leading to the mosque. These shops sold lots of interesting things suitable for souvenirs.

Islamic mosque.

There were some funky little cafes in this street also which looked like a nice spot to chill out and people watch.

The fabrics were very reasonably priced. I also purchased several varities of batik from a batik fabric store.

Stuffed toy shop. So kawaii.

The shop above specialised in purfumes and scented oils. They could make up a purfume to your design. I purchased some essential oils of mandarine, lemon grass and lime, and also bought one of these delicate little purfume bottles.

I just love the architecture and colours of these old shophouses.

I also visited 3 bead shops, which sold hundred of varieties of beads, Swarovskis and findings.

See my next post for a look at my purchases of the day. All in all, a very enjoyable day for a craft fanatic.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I love the Raffles Hotel Gift Shop, and I always stop by whenever I am in Singapore. There are so may beautiful things in this shop that make lovely souvenirs, plus plenty of objects to decorate your home. I purchased these vintage style suitcase travel labels. I love Asian things from this era.

I think it would have been an interesting time to travel around the far east.

Gorgeous beaded photo frame.

Some replica botanical prints to go with the ones I bought on my last trip. They look fabulous in frames.

A Singaporean tiger. Apparently they were once native to Singapore.

Greeting cards which I will frame as well.

Vintage travel advertising posters.

This is the wonderful gift shop interior ( pic from Raffles website) You can even buy their products online, but it's much more fun to go to the actual store, so you can have afternoon tea at their cafe as well !

The hotel lobby. I want to live here.
It may be cliche, but you really must visit the Raffles Hotel if you are in town. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Whenever I visit Singapore I always make sure we go to the famous Raffles Hotel. It is such a romantic and beautiful hotel. I like to imagine what it would have been like staying there during the Colonial days.

This was the first time we visited the Raffles Museum which is within the hotel grounds, near the shopping arcade. It contains many artefacts and nostalgic items which portray the hotel's history.

An old rickshaw.

A model of the hotel grounds.

An autographed book and letters from my favourite author, Somerset Maugham.

You will notice there are several places in Singapore named after him. He stayed at length at the Raffles whilst he wrote some of his novels which are based on the Colonial days in South East Asia.

This looks like an original Louis Vuitton suit case.

I purchased one of these replica advertising posters.

Momentos of Her Majesty's visit.

Apparently tigers were once native to Singapore, but you won't see them around anymore sadly.

I love the pristine whiteness of the walls in this hotel.

The courtyard where one can sit and sip a Singapore Sling whilst listening to live music on a lazy afternoon. Sounds good to me!

I always make time to have afternoon tea in the Raffles coffee shop. You can have high tea in the Tiffin Room, but I think it is quite expensive. So the more economical option is the cafe, which sells divine cakes which are all served on Royal Doulton china, so it's still a little posh! My cake was a creamy chocolate and banana concoction.

The interior is so quaint, in keeping with the hotel's history. You can also have Yum Cha there at lunchtime.

My son had this wicked chocolate cake.

The hotel's grounds are truly spectacular, filled with lush, tropical plants.

One day, I'd like to stay here.

I love these exotic plants. The colours are so vibrant.

My favourite plant; the heliconia.

I think this may be a ginger plant.

The front verandah.

So please take time to visit the Raffles Hotel. It is a unique little piece of Singapore's history. The cafe is very affordable for afternoon tea and it is enjoyable strolling the hotel's grounds. Visitors are permitted to enter the hotel lobby, which has some spectacular floral dispays. And of course, there is a wonderful shopping arcade. Many of the shops are high end, so you may just want to window shop there. However, the Gift shop is fantastic and it sells some really lovely Raffles souvenirs as well as some stylish and unusual Singaporean gifts. I went a little nuts in the gift shop, so have alook at my next post to see what I found.
The Raffles Hotel will take you back to a bygone era, smack bang in the middle of a high tech city. I love it!