T+L Hometown Hit List: Singapore

We asked our writers for their favorite places to travel domestically. Here, Christian Barker tells us where he fancies in Singapore.

By Christian Barker

Jan 27, 2021

OUR NORMALLY JETSETTING WRITERS may be bound in by borders these days, but they’ve amassed enough intel on their home countries to last a lifetime. We asked five T+L contributors in five countries to tell us about the places they’ve been psyched to visit or would like to finally return without the rest of us pesky international tourists getting in the way. Basically, we asked them to think of domestic travel as the silver lining of pandemic prohibitions. (Just don’t tell them we’ll be booking immediately once we can use our passports again.)

Here’s our staycation bucket list for Singapore, by Christian Barker.

Why listen to Christian?

For two decades, Christian Barker has worked as an editor and journalist for publications including The Rake, Forbes Asia, Robb Report, Tatler and T+L Southeast Asia. While he also writes about topics such as business, sustainability, entertainment and wellbeing, luxury is Christian’s speciality — providing guidance on how and where to expend one’s time and money in the most discerning manner possible. Unsurprisingly, his Singapore crisis-time bucket list eschews the zoo, sightseeing and theme parks in favor of more rarefied pastimes. Follow Christian on Instagram: @christianbbarker

Christian’s 8 picks of Singapore:

Raffles Hotel

I’ve lived in Singapore for 15 years and though I’ve visited the property often, I’d never slept at this city’s finest, most famous hotel — Raffles. With just 115 suites in total, it’d be challenging to secure a reservation under normal conditions, and once borders reopen, vacancies at Singapore’s newly renovated grand dame will doubtless be rare indeed. Thus, checking in at Raffles was top of my crisis-period must list. It’s a pleasure to report that the two evenings I spent in its post-colonial splendor were pure bliss, above and beyond expectation.

La Dame de Pic

After three-plus hours of sumptuous seven-course degustation and matched wines at this gourmands’ mecca, you really don’t want to move far, so combining a stay at Raffles with dinner at La Dame de Pic is the savvy move.

Tiffin Room

Historic spot the Tiffin Room’s global fame guarantees that its tables — laden with sophisticated, nuanced Indian cuisine — will in the future experience demand hotter than the fieriest vindaloo. Visit now, Singapore residents.

Kevin Seah Bespoke

Singapore’s most renowned, painstaking men’s tailor normally takes a few months to handcraft a suit, but at the moment, with fewer foreign dignitaries, international tycoons and royalty popping in, Kevin may be able to whip something up a bit more swiftly. A nice linen ensemble, may I suggest?

The Hour Glass

Travelers purchase about half of all luxury wristwatches sold. One side effect of tourists being trapped in their homelands: all the more covetable Rolexes and in-demand Pateks for the domestic consumer to choose from. Carpe diem.

Newton Circus

The city-state’s best-known hawker food center is widely considered a bit of a tourist trap, but the truth is, there’s no shortage of excellent fare to be had here — and now, no issue finding a seat, either. Go ahead and order the crab, lobster and jumbo prawns without fear of overcharging, as it’s plainly evident you’re no gullible holiday-maker. 500 Clemenceau Ave. North.

Mandarin Gallery

This Orchard Road mall is home to Rimowa, Zero Halliburton and Tumi. “When there’s blood on the streets, buy property,” they say. Similarly, when no one can travel, it’s probably a good time to snap up some high-end luggage.

Writers Bar, Raffles

Alright, one last valentine to Raffles. When nattering international visitors return, it will be nigh on impossible to actually write here, which is why I grabbed the chance to quietly jot down a few words (these very words, in fact) at this temple to literature and libations.

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