Photo ©Valerie Chen – Click! Photography Singapore
From Seoul to Singapore. As I was continuing my journey back towards Australia I made a second pit stop in Asia to visit the Singapore Rapha community and enjoy another little adventure.
With only a 36hr timeline, the goal of the trip was to try and cram in as much as possible to make the most of the time. After an overnight flight from Seoul, I stepped off the plane at sunrise to the hot and humid conditions that Singapore is so well known for.
Chris and Kalif from Rapha South East Asia (my hosts), greeted me at the airport as we continued onto my hotel in downtown Singapore to get refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
I first met Chris at a Rapha event I was involved with in Taiwan a few years back, and he remembered about my love of good food. So naturally first port of call was to fill the stomach with breakfast.
Singapore has a large expat community due to many international businesses having offices here and the city reflects this. It felt like I was already back in Australia with the amount of Aussie accents you hear around the bustling downtown area. What this means though; there are plenty of choices when it comes to finding great cafe’s and more importantly breakfast spots.
Chris and Kalif took me to a very Australian cafe aptly named Boomerang. It’s a café, bar & bistro that serves Australian cuisine from breakfast through until dinner. If you want somewhere to catch the latest AFL or cricket match, then this is your place; with a number of screens around the café showing plenty of Aussie sports action to enjoy whilst you eat.
After breakfast I had time to myself to go exploring before our evening event at the Athlete Lab Singapore. I had a little wander around close to the hotel but I decided I wanted a relaxed day to recover from the overnight flight from Seoul.
I pampered myself at a day spa and enjoyed a spot of shopping before finding my next gastronomic experience. For lunch I discovered ‘The Providore‘ in Raffle’s place, a beautiful open space in the bustling downtown business district. As you can probably guess from the name, it’s a cafe that is all about creating good food in all its forms; wholesome, traditional, innovative, nurturing and nourishing.
The Providore is a busy spot amongst the business crowd but the food didn’t disappoint. Plenty of hearty and healthy options with high quality ingredients sourced from all around the world and a refreshing drinks menu to match. What I loved most about this spot is that it’s more than just a cafe; it’s also a deli, bakery, grocery and cooking studio. So if you liked what you ate, you could buy many of the ingredients there and learn how to make it yourself at home.
Post lunch it was time for a siesta by the hotel pool, enjoying views over the Singapore river before getting ready for the evening program.
With pizza and beer on hand as the room filled with people and the atmosphere grew. I was ready for a great night of sharing stories from the season that was and answering many questions on a range of topics that was thrown at me. It was a nice opportunity to meet the Rapha cycling community here in Singapore and enjoy a pleasant evening together.
The following morning I was joined by a number of members from the Rapha cycle club – Singapore Chapter and enjoyed a lovely ride together. Cruising the city streets in the darkness awaiting the sunrise before stopping for a photo opportunity with the iconic Marina Bay Sands tower and Singapore flyer in the background.
All ride we could hear the sounds of a storm brewing and 10 minutes before reaching the coffee shop at the end of the ride, the heavens decided to open and we got blasted with a massive downpour of rain. It was a typical tropical storm that lasts just long enough to make everything wet and dirty and then disappears agains. Soon enough though we were at Sarnies cafe (another Australian owned cafe here in Singapore) out of the rain and enjoying coffee, breakfast a few laughs, good conversations and of course it wouldn’t be complete without a few happy snaps.
With bikes duties done and my bags packed, it was time to make the most of the last few hours I had left. I continued my gastronomic and shopping tour as Singapore has so much to offer in this department.
Lunch had me at an amazing little breakfast and lunch spot called Punch. Slightly hidden along the busy North Canal Rd, you can easily walk past it. It’s only a small space but has a lovely minimalistic interior featuring neutral colours paired with a pleasant array of greenery. It was a small menu but everything on it looked amazing, plenty of healthy and hearty options including smashed avo, buddha bowls, zucchini fritters, just to name a few.
Whilst I was still in Asia, despite Singapore having a very Western and cosmopolitan feel, I couldn’t leave without having at least one ‘local’ dining experience, and that was saved for my final dinner. Chris and Kalif took me to a local restaurant where I had the opportunity to try a few of the Singapore specialities. Plenty of flavour and spice in all of the dishes and the perfect way to finish my time in Singapore.
The final hour had me watching the spectacular light show coming from the Marina Bay Sands, lighting up over the bay, followed by a quick visit to the floating Louis Vuitton store to just admire all of their amazing pieces. This particular store is a must visit even if you aren’t in the mood for buying anything but appreciate high fashion, design or architecture as it’s a pretty unique space.
36hrs was up and it was time to head to the airport to fly home to Australia. I quick thank you to Rapha South-East Asia and the Rapha Singapore community for making my short stay really enjoyable. Lovely meeting everyone who came along to our events and enjoy the great collection of photos, mostly by Click! Photography Singapore that were captured during my time in Singapore.