22 April 2015

'Charcuterie, Cheese and Wine Unlimited' Promotion - Vine Lounge at KUVO

One of our recent Friday evenings saw us visiting a fairly new bar and restaurant concept on Orchard Road. The Orchard Road area is not somewhere I often go out in the evening now, I think partly because I work there so like to go elsewhere in my free time and at the weekends, for me at least, it is very crowded. KUVO (where we were wining and dining) is actually in the Orchard Shopping mall, an older looking mall (to me) that although I was aware of I'm fairly certain I've never been in before and assumed I probably never would. KUVO then is a bit of a hidden delight tucked away in amongst the malls and busyness of Orchard Road and is well worth checking out.

KUVO offers a multi-concept approach to dining with four different ways to enjoy an evening however you choose. It's a surprisingly large space (spanning over 9000sqft) offering distinct areas to enjoy some bespoke cocktails, an extensive range of wines, a spread of dishes in their restaurant or to spend some of your hard earned cash in their gift shop. I like the fact that the different areas are divided off, ensuring that, however you want to spend your evening, you know you'll be surrounded by like-minded individuals. Each area has a pleasant intimacy and is very welcoming ensuring that you'll be able to enjoy your evening to the utmost.

Interior of the Vine Lounge, KUVO

The areas within KUVO include the Ambrosia I and II and Gazebo, the main dining space where you can dine on a selection of Western and Asian inspired dishes, the Elixir Bar for cocktails and small plates to match the drinks and the Vine Lounge housing over 140 wine labels including several exclusive selections. Our evening was spent in the Vine Lounge where we got to enjoy KUVO's current 'Charcuterie, Cheese and Wine Unlimited' promotion which is available now until 31 May 2015.

Interior of the Vine Lounge, KUVO

The Vine Lounge, described as 'a welcoming oasis for urban warriors seeking a laidback spot to satiate their love for wine' is a relaxed spot to enjoy wine in the company of friends and loved ones, though it would also make a good choice for drinks for more formal occasions too. As you can see in the photos above it has a number of comfy sofas and seats to unwind in, whether in large or small groups, after a busy day along with a bar on the far wall which you can sit at as well if you wish. It was nice to note that the seating is far enough apart from others that you don't spend your evening unwittingly eavesdropping on other people's conversations or them doing it to you.

Their "Charcuterie, Cheese & Wine Unlimited" promotion, is pretty impressive as you can enjoy unlimited servings of charcuterie, cheese and wine for $78++ per person. The promotion is available every Friday and Saturday, from 9pm to 12 midnight and runs from now until 31 May 2015.

Deluxe Charcuterie and Cheese Platter

During our visit we were able to enjoy a selection of the wines available in the lounge alongside our platter, note that these are subject to availability. Our wines for the evening were;

  • Antica Fratta Brut (one of the Vine Lounge's exclusive selections)
  • J.Hofsttater Pinot Bianco (one of the Vine Lounge's exclusive selections)
  • Markowisch Pinot Noir
  • Pierre Jean Chardonnay
  • Arlequin GSM
My preference is for white wine I have to admit so I had a glass of the chardonnay to start and then stuck to the Italian bubbles (Antica Fratta Brut) which went down very nicely. My husband also tried the Arlequin GSM, a red, describing it as light and refreshing. I had a little too and even for me it was pleasant and I'm pretty sure I could have drunk a glass.

The deluxe charcuterie and cheese platter included the following;
  • Cold Cut (Pork Salami and Prosciutto Ham)
  • Cheese (Taleggio, Bleu de Bresse)
  • Olives (House marinated, Sun-dried tomatoes)
  • Dried fruits, prune and apricot marmalade 
  • Toasted walnut and table wafers
This was absolutely delicious and well worth trying. What's not to like about cured meats and full of flavour cheeses all washed down with a few glasses of wine? Alongside delicious, sharp and tangy marmalades, just right for adding an extra zing to your plate and a different texture to your food. The pickled garnish of vegetables were also very tasty. I only tried the taleggio cheese, a soft cheese, as I admit I'm not really a blue cheese fan (my husband was delighted to benefit from that) but this was surprisingly mild and very very pleasant. He definitely wasn't getting any of that one!

As I've mentioned with the current promotion, the platter, and the wine are on an unlimited serving between 9pm and 12 midnight, Friday and Saturday nights. All the more reason to go and sample it very soon! I don't think you could possibly leave hungry and the platters are perfect for sharing, or just simply eating it all yourself.

Close up of that meat and cheese goodness in the Deluxe Charcuterie and Cheese Platter

The 'Charcuterie, Cheese and Wine Unlimited' promotion, offering unlimited servings of charcuterie, cheese and wine at $78++ per person, is available now until 31 May 2015. The promotion is available every Friday and Saturday night from 9pm until 12 midnight

#02-01, 321 Orchard Road
Orchard Shopping Centre
Singapore 238866

For reservations telephone: (65) 6733 8272

Opening Times

The Vine Lounge and Elixir Bar (tapas and wine)
Sunday - Thursday - 12noon - 1am; last order: 12.30am
Friday - Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays: 12noon–2am; last order: 1:30am

Elixir Bar (Cocktails)
Sunday - Thursday: 5pm–1am
Friday - Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays: 5pm–2am

12noon–11pmdaily; last order: 10.30pm

This blog resulted from an invitation and represents the thoughts and opinions of the writer. All information on this blog is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy or timeliness and the writer will not be liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the display or use of this information. All text and photos on this blog are the original works of the writer unless stated otherwise.

Thanks to Food News PR and KUVO for the kind invitation.

12 April 2015

Bodiam Castle

Before leaving the UK to embark on another adventure (more on that soon) we managed to fit in one more day out, to another castle, this time Bodiam castle in East Sussex. We sure do like our castles! It was yet another very cold day and this time we also had to deal with cold rain and a keen breeze as the castle is in quite an exposed spot. So once again our exploring ended with a visit to the cafe for hot drinks.

Bodiam castle is another favourite from my childhood, being fairly close to where I grew up I visited it numerous times, and for me conjures up all those images of what a fairytale castle in a moat should look like. The castle dates from the 14th century and is what is known as a moated castle, for obvious reasons. You can see the castle sitting in the middle of the moat in the photo above. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, for him and his family to live in.

Hope those ducks paid the entrance fee.

Whilst from the outside the castle appears intact once you get inside the castle walls you discover that it is mainly ruins inside, as you can see in the following photos. It is not known exactly when it became a ruin, it was in fact dismantled or slighted which means it was deliberately destroyed to prevent it from being used as a fortress and not, as you might imagine, destroyed in a battle. This was quite common during and after the English Civil War. After being partially deliberately damaged it passed through a series of owners before eventually being given to the National Trust for protection in 1925.

Despite it being a ruin inside there is some information around to tell you a bit about the castle and you can still make out quite easily the layout of some parts of the internal castle. You can also climb the outer walls and go up inside the towers to the top to get some lovely views over the castle and beyond into the East Sussex countryside. Given it was so cold on the day we visited though being up high didn't make it feel any warmer or less exposed. They also have a short video to watch, luckily indoors, which gives a very informative account of the castle's history right up to the present day.

It was great fun to be back at Bodiam castle after a very long time. We all did say perhaps we should have waited until the weather was a little warmer but, if I'm honest, although it was very cold I kind of enjoyed it as a brief break from the weather in Singapore. There was no danger of us getting hot and sticky on that day! Also, despite it being the school holidays, it was possibly a little quieter on our visit as a result of the inclement weather. I think this castle is great for both adults and children as there is lots of exploring to be done amongst the ruins and battlements. It's a place you can let your imagination run away with you and do a little daydreaming of knights and battles. Definitely one to visit if you are in the area.

07 April 2015

Chill Out Bars Goes East

My husband has been writing again about some more bars for you to check out, this time all in our neighbourhood in the east of Singapore. He can be found on Twitter, @AskSirStamford 

Trenchard Arms is a narrow bar (set in an old shophouse), situated on East Coast Road between Haig Road and Joo Chiat. The bar could nominally be called a British Pub. The decor includes wood panelling and wall paper fashioned from old covers of the UK’s upper class (posh people) society magazine, (there are many pictures of Her Majesty The Queen) Country Life and a long wooden bar running half the length of the establishment. The name of the pub is inspired by the acknowledged founder of the Royal Air Force, Lord Trenchard and a number of items point to this heritage, the aircraft throttle beer taps, the aluminium and leather armchairs, they are really comfortable to relax in over a cold pint at the end of a hard day. To add to the British feel there is a statue of a bulldog that often stands at the end of the bar smoking and drinking (he worn a Santa hat on Christmas Day). Drinks include a range of cocktails, wines (including that rarest of finds in Singapore, a Rose), cider and beers (there are ales on tap, as well as a range of craft bottled beers). Food options cover burgers, fish & chips (everywhere has this in SG), a ploughman's (cheeses and pickles etc) and fabulous pork pies imported from Blighty. At weekends the food selection expands to cover the standard brunch items offered by the sister establishment next door (Rabbit Carrot Gun) so includes eggs (many ways, including Benedict, Florentine, or plain fried and scrambled), bacon, sausage and, more recently, Lancashire’s finest export to the world, black pudding. The place is great for Saturday afternoon people watch (a founder needs to observe) or to catch a rugby (a thug’s game played by gentlemen) match or a BPL game (a gentleman’s game played by thugs) on a Saturday night. The F1 races are also shown. By the way the owner of this blog has also written about both places too, take a peek here to read it for yourself.

Scotch egg - just one of the British themed items on the Trenchard Arms' menu

Lower East Side is another great place on East Coast Road for cheap happy hour beers and sparkling wine (1 for 1 everyday, all day until 8 pm) and a touch of Mexican food. The fish tacos are really good and with all, the dish can be ordered with varying levels of spice. Those that can manage to down a level five set of tacos will eat for free, I chickened out at spice level four, the day they were slow bringing the next beer to extinguish the burning inferno in my mouth. We have previously mentioned the place as a weekend brunch joint (not sure if this is still available, can anyone confirm?) but here is all about the ale.

Brotzeit is a German Bar / Restaurant on the corner of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road (diagonally opposite AliBarBar and opposite i12 Katong). The bar forms part of a chain with other branches being in Vivo City & Raffles City (I have even been to one in Saigon, next to the Hard Rock Cafe). The food is excellent, ranging from pizza, Teutonic sausage to the ubiquitous and enormous pork knuckle (we have shared this between the two of us and not managed to finish it) with its marvelous crispy crackling, sharp potato salad and tangy sauerkraut. However the main event is the beer, brewed German type and served in a range of vessel, there is a litre stein that is almost impossible to pick up and warms up too quickly in the very inclement Singapore weather. There is also wine, including in the past a Christmas mulled wine, this was a reminder of the gluwein we sipped on a cold day in Cologne in the shadows of the Dom, otherwise known as the cathedral, just before Christmas in 2009.    
Now that I work at home I often get a degree of cabin fever towards the end of the afternoon, so to alleviate this we decided to try a new bar (for us) that had been recommended to me awhile ago (by a Welshman). The bar is called The Tuckshop (made by locals) and is situated beside the Geylang River on Guillemard Road not far from Dakota MRT. The road is named after a 1920’s Singapore Governor, Laurence Nunns Guillemard, who amongst other things laid the fountain stone for the Causeway linking the island to Malaysia. The bar itself has an industrial minimalist feel with a range of inside and outside seating options and a set of long tables built on what looks like and probably is scaffolding. Drinks on offer include a range of beers, including a number of unusual craft ales from around the world, have a Shepherd Neame (England’s oldest family owned brewer) Spitfire, and wines and spirits. There are a range of food options ranging from light bites to more substantial meals (the portions were not very generous, so I use the term substantial very loosely). The style of food could be described as Singaporean / Asian / Western fusion. I had the fish and chips, which unusually was a deep fried piece of salmon, with a wasabi dipping sauce. This was very tasty. The owner of this blog had a beef noodle dish (see the photo below) that looked great also. We didn’t have dessert, but the choice is a range of traditional ice cream sandwiches.

Exterior of The Tuckshop

Interior of The Tuckshop

The owner of this blog tried the delicious Beefalicious Noodles when we visited

All in all, a good place for a chilled out couple of beers. The place opens daily at 5pm, with happy hour on draft beers until 7pm. The bar staff come around and remind you of the approaching end of the cheaper drinks, which I thought was a nice touch.
For a bar with a view, try Brussels Sprouts, at Big Splash on East Coast Park (like Brotzeit they do have other bars in other locations in Singapore). At Big Splash though you can sup ales from the fine beer producing nation of Belgium, whilst listening to the lap of the South China Sea waves. The food is not to bad either, with fries and mayonnaise, mussels (cooked in a variety of sauces / broths) or fish and chips. Though really for fish and chips, in my opinion, just go to Smiths on Tanjong Katong Road (they have another branch in Bukit Timah) and be done with it, they also sell beer.
Further east, in Siglap, try The Dog and Bone, great for Saturday night footy or The Sidewalk Tavern for a Sunday Roast and a few jars.
Previous posts have covered The Cider Pit (again check out this separate post by the owner of this blog about The Cider Pit as well) and The Immigrants (Peranakan tapas and Asashi) on Joo Chiat Road and Bar Bar Black Sheep on Tanjong Katong Road (they also have other branches in Singapore). If you need any more bar suggestions in Singapore check out the posts in the links below which include those just mentioned and many, many more! 

Finally let me know if you know of anywhere in Singapore I should be checking out!

03 April 2015

Lancaster Castle

We've recently returned from a flying visit back to the UK. Whilst that time was primarily spent with our families we managed to fit in a couple of day trips out, the first of which was to Lancaster castle.

As you'll know the UK at this time of year certainly isn't as warm as Singapore and the day we visited Lancaster castle was no exception. It was bracing to say the least and warm drinks at the end of our visit were very welcome! My photos are deceptive there was definitely a keen breeze that day.

The Gatehouse, entrance to Lancaster Castle

I knew nothing about Lancaster Castle before our visit and had no idea it was quite unique in that it was being used as a prison up until March 2011 and part of the building is still used as a Crown Court. In fact on the day we visited there was a sitting in progress so we were not able to view all of the building. As it is still used as a court this also means you are restricted on photo taking in some parts too, regardless of whether the court is in session or not. 

The early history of the castle is not clear but it is believed it was founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort. In 1164 the Honour of Lancaster (basically a large estate) which included the castle came under Royal control and it was first used as a prison in 1196 with its role as such becoming far more important after the English Civil War and continuing after that.

Entering through the Gatehouse you are faced with the view in my photo above. Quite a daunting site I imagine if you had been sent here as a prisoner. Before we entered the building our guide gave us a bit of an overview of the history of the castle and pointed out the Well Tower or Witches Tower (in my photo below). We weren't able to enter this building but this was where the Pendle witches were held whilst awaiting trial here in 1612. In case you haven't heard of them the witches lived during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603) and James I (1603 - 1625). James I had a strong belief in witchcraft and passed an Act imposing the death penalty on any one accused of it. The Pendle witches were two families (from Pendle) headed by two elderly widows, several of who were accused of being involved in witchcraft. The trial took place in August 1612, ten people were found guilty, sentenced to death and subsequently hanged on a moor near Lancaster.

The outside of C-Wing

After our introduction the tour began by us entering the door right besides the white cordoned off area you can see through the gates in the photo above. If you want to visit yourself please note that you have to join a guided tour, due to parts still being a working court. Inside here we were not permitted to take any photographs but this area was the prison laundry when it was last in use. Being such an old building it seemed pretty spartan inside, though, of course, bar a few signs indicating what it was previously used for it is now just a largely open room.

We were taken to view the room that now houses the jury when they sit to make their decisions. From this room you can see the 'hanging corner' where, as the name suggests, executions took place up until 1865. We were told that only a handful of executions were for murder with many more being for other crimes such as burglary and robbery. Our guide explained that after the execution the bodies could not be buried in the local church yard so many were buried in the ground directly beneath the hanging corner which is now a car park. Quite a chilling thought. We were also taken to what is known as the Drop Room where we could see relics of many executions and the types of implements that were used to restrain and punish prisoners.

The Well Tower or Witches Tower (where the Pendle witches were held whilst awaiting trial at Lancaster castle)

As we came back down from these rooms to leave this part of the castle we were shown some of the original prison cells. These cells were rediscovered in 1931 and the thick oak doors on them have been dated back to the 16th century. You can enter the cells on the tour (including one with no lighting) to experience how small and cramped they would have been. At the time of their use the only means of light was from a small opening above the door which could also be closed plunging the inhabitants into total darkness. One of the cells is also reportedly haunted, presumably by the ghost of a former prisoner.

Inside C-Wing

The final part of the tour took us into C-Wing, the last part of the castle to still be used as a prison. As I mentioned it only closed in 2011 so this part has been left pretty much as it was prior to closure. This meant we got to see inside more modern prison cells. They still didn't look that pleasant but obviously not as dark and dingy as the very old cells we'd seen before. We also saw where the prisoners were served their meals and could look up the stairs at the floors above, but you can only look at the cells on the ground floor.

Our tour of the castle concluded here and as I mentioned it was a pretty cold day so we made a hasty retreat to the coffee shop for a warm drink. The tour was really interesting and our guide was excellent, keeping it relevant for both the adults and children in our group. If you are in the area I definitely recommend a visit.

29 March 2015

Red Dot Roaming - Harbourfront MRT - Marang Trail and the Henderson Waves

Red Dot Roaming recently took us down to Harbourfront MRT to explore the Marang Trail and further on to the Henderson Waves. You can actually walk a lot further than we did that day if you wish, our walk makes up a part of the Southern Ridges which stretches between Kent Ridge park and Harbourfront, but we decided that might be worth saving for another time. Most likely approaching from the other side and walking towards the point that we reached on this walk .... watch this space! Conveniently, as well, that part of the walk also lines up nicely with MRT stations, more Red Dot Roaming for the future I think.

Anyway back to our walk from Harbourfront MRT. Leaving the MRT station are signs pointing you towards the trail and as long as you take the right exit the start of the trail is literally right outside of the station. For reference it starts on the opposite side of Telok Blangah Road from Vivocity.  

A helpful sign just outside the MRT station

The trail is not actually that long but is a reasonably steep climb up steps and sloping footpaths taking you into Mount Faber park and ultimately to the top of Mount Faber, so be prepared to get warm. Whilst researching our walk I'd noticed on a map an indication of graves on the trail which sparked my curiosity greatly. I find graves very interesting, as anyone who reads my blog regularly may have noticed and I wasn't disappointed, tucked away amongst the undergrowth was an old Malay grave. I've since read that there was a Malay kampong here called Kampong Marang. However I really don't know much more than this, does anybody know anything more about this area and the graves? I'd love to hear from you.

Malay grave in the undergrowth on the Marang Trail

Walking on along the trail as we climbed higher we got some good views across to Sentosa and of the cable car. It didn't take long though to reach the top and enter Mount Faber park which is one of the oldest parks in Singapore. We actually visited Mount Faber not that long after we arrived in Singapore in 2010 and took a ride on the cable car over to Sentosa too but I'd not been back since then. It was interesting to approach it from a different point, last time we cheated and got a cab to the top, and good to revisit the park again which, as I mentioned, gives good views over the surrounding area.

This time though our plans were to keep walking beyond Mount Faber park and on to the Henderson Waves which would take us into Telok Blangah Hill park. Whilst we walked on through Mount Faber park the route took us away from our views towards Sentosa and instead gave us great views across the city, looking towards the HDB blocks you can see in my photo below and the CBD in the distance. As with a lot of the walking I've done in Singapore the paths are carefully laid out and signposted, great for not getting lost and suitable for all the family to enjoy.

Soon enough we arrived at the entrance to the Henderson Waves. The Henderson Waves is actually a pedestrian bridge, the highest in Singapore at thirty-six metres. The bridge connects Mount Faber park and Telok Blangah hill park. The bridge gets its name because it has a wave format to it which rises up and below the deck that you walk on. These 'waves' provide shelter and rest points along the walk over the bridge. The views from the top of the bridge are also pretty good too, looking down on the busy Henderson Road below and across back towards the city.

View from the Henderson Waves

Henderson Waves

By the time we reached the other side and entered Telok Blangah hill park, which has been in existence since the early nineteenth century, we were starting to get a little tired from the hot sun. We wandered around a little bit more but really wanted somewhere just to rest for a while and refresh ourselves before deciding what to do next. As we walked around we fortunately stumbled upon the Alkaff mansion. The mansion is a beautiful colonial building built in 1918 by Syed Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Alkaff. The Alkaff's were a family of traders whose ancestors had arrived in Singapore from Yemen in 1852. It was built as a retreat for the family and to entertain their guests and was well known for hosting high society parties in the 1930's. The property was acquired by the Singapore government in 1984 and after a period of disuse was eventually converted into a restaurant and eventually became an Italian restaurant in 2011.

I had previously heard of the place but wasn't sure it would really be suitable for what we wanted right at that point. However as we approached we discovered there was also a terrace area outdoors serving drinks and food in a relaxed environment. All we wanted was a cold drink and so we ended our exploring enjoying a refreshing drink in the shadow of the colonial bungalow. There were lots of families there doing the same or enjoying something to eat so this is clearly a popular spot to stop after a walk in the area. 

We decided to end our walk for that day having been out in the heat of the day for a few hours. We promised ourselves we would complete the walk by starting from the other end of the Southern Ridges and make our way towards the mansion from that side at some point soon.

Alkaff mansion from the terrace

17 March 2015

St Monica's

I have to admit that Boat Quay is not generally my first choice of places to go for a night out in Singapore these days.  Nearly five years of living here have made me appreciate there is a lot more to the island than this little stretch, but when St Monica's came on to my radar I was curious and decided to give it a go.  St Monica's is at the far end of Boat Quay, well past all the initial bars and restaurants that engulf the unsuspecting tourists as they explore this spot.  Make sure you keep on walking to discover it for yourself.

St Monica's is marketed as a dive bar which, according to Wikipedia, is an informal pub or bar often considered disreputable, sinister or a detriment to the community.  When I thought about it a little more I realised that I have often described places as dives (though maybe not in Singapore) and that this was never meant in a complimentary way.  St Monica, after who the bar is named, is the patron saint of alcoholics, disappointing children, victims of adultery and difficult marriages which only adds to the idea of it being a thoroughly dodgy but, let's face it, an interesting type of place to go to.  These two points got me even more curious!  St Monica's didn't disappoint and is rather cool and definitely worth a visit whatever your personal situation may be.

The bar is actually in the former location of the Spiffy Dapper, look out for the sign (pictured below) above the side entrance door of the shophouse and make your way up the steep, dark staircase to the second floor above.  Once you are inside you'll instantly notice that St Monica's is stripped back, dimly lit, basic and wonderfully unpretentious, a breath of fresh air amongst all the other bars in the area.  The decor is minimalist with simple tables and stools for sitting on and just a couple of framed collages of various rock band logos on the wall behind the bar.  There is no drinks menu to peruse, what you see behind the bar in terms of beers (they carry a range of American and English craft beers), ciders and spirits is what they have but the barmen can also make you a cocktail or two if you want.  I'm not a beer drinker so stuck to spirits and also had a cocktail, a particularly good daiquiri.  I do need to get back again to sample some others though.  My husband tried one of the beers, as recommended by the barman, an unusual whisky based one from Scotland.  The beer is brewed with Scottish water which is then conditioned in barrels used to mature Scotch whisky giving it a unique taste.  You can see the bottle in the photo below.

Looking towards the bar

The soundtrack to enjoy your drinks too is a fabulous rock one, there was some great music the night we visited and plenty of those rock anthems we all know and can sing along to from the 70s and 80s.  It's loud and fun and has had me humming a few of those classics all week!  With St Monica's laid back vibe it'll be no surprise that it feels like you can go there dressed as relaxed as you want, it's all about turning up, enjoying a few drinks and having fun.  Naturally being on the second floor of a shophouse in Boat Quay also guarantees a nice view over the Singapore river and down on to the crowds passing by below.  We sat right by the windows and there was something sort of fun about spying down on everyone walking past underneath.

Peeking out on Boat Quay below from the shophouse windows

View towards the Central Business District and Boat Quay from the Elgin bridge

I loved St Monica's and its 'couldn't care less' attitude and think it's definitely a welcome addition to the scene in the Boat Quay area.  Somewhere I would definitely choose to go to again.  Go find it too asap and let me know what you think!  

St Monica's is open Monday - Saturday from 6pm - 1am.  

Check them out on Facebook or on Instagram, @stmonicas_sg 

12 March 2015

Singapore Jazz Festival 2015

This past weekend saw us head off to the Singapore Jazz Festival 2015, very excited to be enjoying an evening of top quality performers.  The festival made its debut in Singapore last year (and we were lucky enough to have gone then too) and returned again this year, featuring some of the best artists in the business all overlooked by Marina Bay Sands and the CBD skyline.  The festival featured over 250 artists, including international Grammy award winners, chart toppers as well as some of Singapore's own jazz stars.  Although the festival is billed as a jazz festival its organisers state that it is a celebration of jazz inspired music and its influence across all music genres, guaranteeing an exciting mix of performers.  Also ensuring that everyone attending should have a great night and be able to enjoy the music on offer.

Ready to enjoy the night, armed with our FIJI Water, the Official Artesian Water for the festival

It was a lovely evening with pleasant temperatures and after a busy day at work armed with our bottles of FIJI water, the festival's official artesian water, we arrived ready to enjoy the evening.  The acts performing on Saturday night included, DJ Maurice Simon, Charlie Lim, Indra Lesmana, Snarky Puppy, Naturally 7 and Jessie J.  The performers we saw were all good but for me the highlight of the night was Naturally 7.  I'd not heard of them previously but they are an American based acapella group with a distinct style known as vocal play.  Check them out on YouTube if you don't know them already, they are amazing!  They sang a range of well known songs and were absolutely mind blowing!  I really can't sing their praises enough.  Jessie J was headlining the festival and the last act of the night and whilst I admit I did enjoy Naturally 7 more, she too was very good, she has a powerful live voice and certainly kept the crowd entertained.

The main stage

Asides from being a great night out the Singapore Jazz Festival also has an important social and development element to it.  A part of the proceeds taken from the festival goes towards supporting the Foundation for Arts and Social Enterprise in the nurturing and promoting of local jazz talent through a Jazz Academy.  These artists are then, in due course, expected to help future generations of talented musicians to achieve the same success in a 'creative circle of help'.  They also want to raise the profile of Singapore generally as a regional and international hub of arts and culture.  Something I've certainly seen developing recently right across the board.

The perfect backdrop to the festival

We had a great night out at the jazz festival yet again, the setting is perfect and the backdrop stunning.  Let's face it, it's a great skyline and one I never get tired of.  I'm pretty sure the 2016 festival will be even better!  Definitely one for your diaries. 

This blog resulted from an invitation and represents the thoughts and opinions of the writer. All information on this blog is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy or timeliness and the writer will not be liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the display or use of this information. All text and photos on this blog are the original works of the writer unless stated otherwise.

Thank you to Food News PR and FIJI Water for the kind invitation.

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