20 December 2015

Fort Siloso and the Skywalk

Fort Siloso was one of the first places I visited when I moved to Singapore over five years ago but since that very early visit on a slightly rainy day which was also my first encounter with wild monkeys I've never returned. All that changed recently however which also meant I got to walk across the fairly newly opened Skywalk.

I did mention my first visit to Fort Siloso previously on my blog but this was only in passing in one of my very early posts from my first few months here. So now I think it's high time to make up for that properly! Fort Siloso is actually the only restored coastal gun battery from the twelve that originally made up 'Fortress Singapore' at the beginning of World War Two. A fort was first built here in 1874 when it became necessary to protect Singapore's port as trade flourished.

The fort went on to play a role in World War Two when the guns were turned inland from their usual position pointing out to sea to defend Singapore against the land invasion by the Japanese. During the subsequent Japanese occupation the fort was used as a Prisoner of War camp and after the Japanese surrender was used by the Royal Navy until it was handed over to the Singapore Government at the time of the British withdrawal from Singapore.

Now you can go and visit the fort for yourself and learn about its history. The information about the fort is nicely displayed in the various buildings and mainly focuses on its role during World War Two. Apart from a couple of parts which you do have to pay for it is completely free to explore. The displays consist of everything you'd expect with information boards, photos, pictures, videos and interactive sections. We visited mid-week and it was pretty much empty. The first time I visited was on a Sunday when you'd expect it to be a little busier but I don't recall there being many people there then either but perhaps this was because it was a rainy day. This little part of Sentosa is quite different from the rest of the island and if you are looking for something more than just the usual pursuits available here it is well worth stopping by.

Of course, as I mentioned, we also got to walk on the new Skywalk which opened earlier this year and which you can now use to get to the fort. When you arrive at the Skywalk you take a lift (I think you can also take the stairs) up eleven storeys and when you step outside there is a great view from the treetops. Here you can see across Sentosa and back to the mainland, spy the cable car, spot some of the iconic condos in the area and, if nothing else, enjoy a pleasant breeze too.

Like lots of similar attractions when you first step out of the lift there is an area with a glass bottomed floor so you can stand on it and look down to the ground below. I couldn't resist taking the standard 'feet on the glass floor' photo when I was there. The actual walk then takes you at treetop height over parts of the fort and surrounding area, giving you an interesting bird's eye view of everything. The skywalk is also free and worth doing if you are going to visit Fort Siloso.

As I said this part of Sentosa is just a bit different from much of the rest of the island, maybe that's why it was relatively empty on both my visits? Either way though it is just as worthy of going to as the rest is and for those of you who write off the rest of the island then perhaps this is the bit you should be going to. It's great to see that this fort has been preserved and this important piece of Singapore's history is being shared. 

07 December 2015

Christmas Comes Early at Ryan's Grocery

If you are still making your Christmas dinner plans and planning on cooking at home at some point over the festive season, look no further than Ryan's Grocery for all your Christmas goodie needs! Whether you are looking for a joint of beef or a delicious piece of ham Ryan's Grocery have got it covered and best of all they offer a range of organic and gluten free products!

Ryan's Grocery was inspired by the founders' son who suffered from various food intolerances. After many trips to Australia to source organic meats and gluten-free produce for him and in the process forming relationships with many specialist producers in Western Australia they set up Ryan's Grocery as a means of supporting a community of customers here who also suffered from various intolerances. Ryan's Grocery has a full-service butchery on site which sources and exclusively imports grass fed organic Blackwood Valley beef from Western Australia. The beef is imported by the carcass and then sectioned into various cuts and offered for sale in their store. As well as beef you can also get antibiotic-free, hormone-free, free range chickens and gluten-free, preservative-free, organic sausages made on site to a home recipe.

As I mentioned above for Christmas Ryan's Grocery has some very special offers to get your taste buds tingling and get your festive season off to the right start. They've made it exceptionally easy for you by offering some Christmas Gourmet Roast sets containing a range of products. Christmas Roast Set A (priced at $298 for 10-12 people and including two complimentary bottles of Latasha’s Kitchen Relish and Chutney worth $31.90) comes complete with a roast turkey (5-6 kg) and a choice of house-made mushroom or chestnut stuffing and cranberry sauce. The set also includes a delicious organic, grass-fed roast beef (2kg) marinated with Italian mixed herbs and a gluten-free honey baked ham (1kg).

Image courtesy of Food News PR

If that doesn't sound right for you there is also the Classic Christmas Roast Set B (priced at $198 for 10-12 people and including a complimentary bottle of Latasha’s Kitchen Relish worth $15.95) this one comes with a roast turkey, honey baked ham and a free-range Linley Valley roast pork (2kg) marinated in red wine and garlic. 

If you are looking just to order individual roast items never fear because you have the option of taking home a grass-fed organic roast beef (2kg for $160), free-range roast pork ($60 for 2 kg) or an antibiotic-free free-range roast chicken marinated with red pepper, onion, garlic and parsley ($50 for 2kg). In addition to this, Ryan’s Grocery also offers a host of grass-fed lamb and beef cuts that are perfect for grilling or roasting for your Christmas meals.

Image Courtesy of Food News PR

If you are after some sausages instead, Ryan’s Grocery are offering three different sausage platters consisting of their gluten-free organic sausages, handmade on site (priced at $29 for 8-10 sausages depending on the platter). With a variety of flavours that include Steak and Merlot, Australia Bush Tomato Pepper Berry and Cranberry & Chestnut. All sausage platters also come with a complimentary bottle of Absolute Organic French Mustard.

Image Courtesy of Food News PR

All orders must be placed before 18th December 2015. From now until 8th December 2015, customers can also receive a 10% early bird discount for all Christmas Gourmet Roasts, Meats and Sausage Platter orders.

As well as the delicious meats Ryan's Grocery are also offering a range of Christmas gifts and treats direct from Western Australia. These include, a Great Southern Truffles Gift Hamper ($39.90), a Colmena Pure Honey Collection (from $28.00 onwards), the Triston Bay Dressing Gift Pack ($29.00) and Sweet William’s Santa’s Chocolates ($6.50). Take a look at their website for further details.

Image Courtesy of Food News PR

Orders for gourmet roasts and gluten-free sausages can be placed in-store or online at www.ryansgrocery.com. Orders for Christmas gift sets can only be placed in-store. Christmas home delivery is available for purchases above $200.

Ryan’s grocery is located at 29 Binjai Park and is open daily from 10am to 8pm (except Thursdays when they open from 9.30am to 4pm).

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