Aren’t we all secretly still searching for that new high; a reinvention of the very familiar? Well, I find it in Singapore, choosing to stay in an old, and now made-good, boutique hotel of local character comprising a row of refurbished chophouses – in Singapore’s Chinatown.
If the red-lip sticked, smiling staff in red velvet lapels and cuffs, wearing diamante brooches didn’t ring alarm bells, the shocking pink walls on my way through the rabbit warrens of hallways had me wondering what was in store. But the bed was very comfortable (for the one night in town before boarding my cruise on Silver Wind)! I could sense the incredulity in my sister Anne’s brain in her reply on receiving my email with some photos, “You’re staying in a bordello???? A”
It was a friend of some years, Manoli of Grand National fame, who brought the whole experience further to life, thus reaffirming my decision to move away from the Singapore of downtown to the outskirts of Chinatown and the CBD. It’s the happening place for all the trendy bars and restaurants – all set up in old Chinese chophouses. Too many beers, and five plates of sweet potato chips (at last count) at Jigger and Pony in Amoy Street only whetted the appetite to soldier on into Ann Siang Road and Lolla sharing tapas (and I can’t remember where the white wine came from) with another friend, Wendy.