Our vibrant garden city will soon be celebrating its 55th birthday on 9th August. While we may not be able to watch the National Day Parade from the seats of Singapore’s iconic floating platform this year, here are some other ways we can celebrate this beautiful country from the comforts of home if you’re looking to avoid the crowds over the National Day weekend (we’re still in DORSCON orange after all).

Eat

The history of Singapore’s Peranakan culture harks back to the 15th century; what better way to celebrate the country’s rich melting pot of cultures and heritage than by tucking into authentic Michelin-starred Peranakan takeaway from Candlenut at COMO Dempsey for a heartwarming dinner. Our favourites are the Chef’s Mum’s Chicken Curry and Aunt Caroline’s Babi Buah Keluak. 

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, the Chili crab from Jumbo Seafood is a must. You can add on the National Day SG55 set menu bundle which comes with other local favourites such as Deshelled Prawns fried with cereal and Mee Goreng.

Dimsum lovers can yum cha at home with Yàn’s Taste of Home August special that draws inspiration from some of Singapore’s most well-loved dishes including Char Kway Teow and Soy Chicken. 

Drink

Toasting with a glass of English Sparkling wine on Singapore’s National Day…sounds weird, right? Yet, Nyetimber’s Cuvee Cherie entices with a fine balance of zest and sweetness, perfectly matched with fragrant, lightly spiced savoury dishes and flavours found in Asian cuisines. Balance is the basic consideration when pairing the wine; the classic palate of many Asian cuisines is hot, sour, sweet, salty with a hint of bitterness, so slightly sweet wines such as Cuvee Chérie are a good contrast to the salty flavours, while matching some of the sweeter elements of these dishes. 

Nyetimber’s ambassador Murray Lang loves pairing the wine with Laksa for a fresh take on the Singaporean favourite. In honour of National Day, Analogue Wine Merchant is offering a special Nyetimber Bundle, priced at a discounted S$283 until 9th August.

Tipple up local style with GudSht’s bottled cocktails. In celebration of National Day, they’ve concocted a liquid breakfast duo – the Neslo Gao Peng, which features rice vodka infused with white cacao, Milo, and fresh-brewed coffee, and the white rum-based Kaya, I Beg Your Pandan, which brings together local kaya, coffee liqueur, and a fresh milk-and-oat infusion in one creamy brew.

Watch

In addition to the live broadcast of NDP2020 on the telly, indulge in Singaporean-made movies that are coming to Netflix ahead of National Day in a dedicated ‘Singapore, Now Streaming’ row. Highlights include Ilo Ilo (a domestic drama chronicling the day-to-day of the Lim family during the 1997 Asian financial crisis), 881 (a musical-comedy-drama film following two sisters who form a getai band) and Singapore Dreaming (following the Loh family’s aspirations for a better life and the harsh realities that prevent them from fulfilling those aspirations).

Explore 

Explore the best of Singapore’s art scene through the National Gallery’s virtual experiences and enjoy these special programmes for Singaporeans to celebrate compassion and kindness amidst adversity. Let art soothe, inspire and unite us.

History buffs can partake in a virtual tour of the Istana, where they’ll be treated to little nuggets of history on one of Singapore’s oldest heritage sites. The National Museum will also be hosting virtual conferences titled Zoom Into History this week, leading up to National Day, where visitors can interact with museum artefacts from its permanent collection like the cheese plate, voiced by local actors and comedians.

Check out the rest of our website here.

Circuit breaker has seemed to help us unearth our secret talents, with many flourishing into bakers, baristas and bartenders overnight. Now that we’ve slowly but surely emerged out of lockdown, most of us are more than happy to hand the baton back to the experts. While most bakeries and cafes remained open for takeaway, what we’ve missed most is an artfully crafted cocktail, shaken or stirred right before our eyes. Though bars in Singapore haven’t technically been given the green light to reopen yet, the V&VPR team have put together a list of places where you can already treat yourself to a well-deserved celebratory drink, while staying responsible of course! We’ve also included a few stellar delivery options for those who aren’t ready to venture out just yet. 

For the Design & Ambience

  1. ATLAS

Known for its impressive gin tower and Gatsby-esque interiors, ATLAS is a clear winner if you’re looking to treat yourself. You’ll be whisked away on a sensorial journey from the moment you step into the Art Deco bar; stunning champagne-hued drapery, striking gold and bronze balconies, and, of course, the intricately crafted gin cocktails. Said to own the most diverse collection of gin in the world, with over 1,000 bottles of the spirit, this is a far cry from your personal circuit breaker stash. Fret not if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed — all you have to do is tell the team your favourite gin and flavours, and they’ll recommend a concoction made just for you. 

  1. Deadfall at Barbary Coast

No attention to detail and design was spared with Barbary Coast. Inspired by the district in San Francisco of the same name during the mid-1800s, the dual-concept bar spans two floors of three historic shophouses. Designed by award-winning hospitality design and branding studio EDG Design, the establishment holds two unique concepts under one roof – The Ballroom and The DeadFall – bringing to life both the grit and glory of the gold mining era. While the lush Ballroom on the second floor remains closed for now, immerse yourself in the rough, ready and rustic vibes of The Deadfall. New must-try cocktails from their refreshed menu include the French Highball with Remy Martin Cognac and Soda, as well as Tommy’s Margarita with Mezcal, Lime and Agave.

For the Fresh Air

  1. Bob’s Bar at Capella Singapore

Inspired by Havana’s glory days and Capella Singapore‘s distinctive old world charm, Bob’s Bar is the ultimate tropical escape to get your dose of fresh air. Step outdoors to the Terrace and unwind on plush daybeds with a magnificent view of the lush foliage. There’s no other place we would rather be to celebrate our new-found freedom, soaking in sweeping sea views while sipping on bespoke cocktails on the breezy terrace. V&VPR tip: Bob’s Bar is offering a special cocktail from now until 31st July so make a date with your mates and nab an al fresco spot (limited to groups of five of course)! Capella Singapore is also reopened for staycations, so make yourself a room reservation if you want direct access to this Havana haven all day long.

  1. Loof

Instagrammable neon sign? Check. Spacious open-air seating? Check. Fusion bar grub and delicious cocktails? Check and check. Although one of Singapore’s first rooftop bars, Loof seems to have been designed especially for our new normal, with all the elements needed for a good time, while still abiding to safety and social distancing measures. We’ve missed indulging in their iconic chili crab waffle fries and their BCM grilled cheese paired with a medley of Southeast Asian inspired cocktails. We’ll be having a Lychee Bubble Tea cocktail please, to make up for the months of being bubble tea-free.  

For the Adventurous

  1. Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall

Departing from its previous digs in Boat Quay, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall reopens on Haji Lane, just in time for phase 2. Retaining its distinctly local flair, the cocktails here focus on classics that are embellished and reimagined with a nod to well-loved Singaporean drinks. The menu ranks the drinks on a sliding scale of lethal-ness and bitterness, taking reference from kopitiam words po (Hokkien for ‘thin’ or ‘weak’) to gao (‘thick’). On the po side, there’s the Gin Fizz; for something in the mid-range, try the Blood & Sand, or go all-out gao with the rye whisky-based Old Pal

  1. Native

Ranking No. 6 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020, Native has been a true trailblazer. Led by Vijay Mudaliar, the bar takes its inspiration from the local and regional landscape, serving cocktails with foraged ingredients, from jasmine blossom to turmeric leaves. Perhaps most well-known for its weird and wonderful cocktail Antz (featuring ants scavenged from around Ann Siang Hill), this award-winning establishment is for the adventurous among us.

For the Homebodies

  1. LAIBA

Homebound Happy Hours are ideal for those of us who are still reticent about going out and about. LAIBA is Asia’s first premium bottled cocktail brand, bringing signature cocktails to your doorstep expertly curated by award-winning mixologist Michael Chen, considered one of the best in Asia. The cocktails come perfectly premade in sleek bottles so you don’t have to worry about the ratios and recipes. We love the refreshing Passion De-Light with cucumber vodka, lemon and passion fruit, as well as the Twisted Negroni with strawberry and rosemary infused gin, Campari, Cinzano Rosso and Punt e Mes. 

  1. Kiki’s Reserve

This cocktail delivery brand has absolutely nailed its design – we would order from them just to get our hands on their kitschy bottles. Their cocktails live up to the hype – choose from six different options, from Kiki’s Osmanthus Yuzu Gin to Kiki’s Sangria. They’ve also launched an exclusive travel range, inspired by cities such as Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo. This one’s perfect for all those getting cabin fever to get a taste of wanderlust without having to leave your couch. 

Kindness and community have never been so important. During these unprecedented times there has been an amazing rise in incredible thoughtful kindness from individuals, brands and companies to support those in need throughout the pandemic. The impact of the Covid-19 virus has changed our outlook and the way we live our lives, shining a light on the importance of human connection and a sense of community.

Check out some of the amazing Singaporean companies, international brands and donors that are giving back during this time – from helping frontline health professionals to building lifesaving machinery and assisting less fortunate members of the community.

Singapore’s Initiatives:

International Contributors:

Famous Donors:

For more information on Covid-19 topics, please visit our blog here!

Throughout the past month, the number of Covid-19 patients in Singapore has surged. Worryingly, the vast majority of those infected have been Singapore’s migrant workers living in dormitories. To curb the spread, these accommodations have been declared as isolation areas and unsurprisingly, many have also been identified as Covid-19 clusters. 

The climbing toll aside — at publishing, Singapore has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia — the Covid-19 outbreak has also brought migrant workers’ cramped living conditions to light globally. Many Singaporeans came to truly understand the living situation of the country’s 400,000 migrant workers for the first time, including financial insecurity and lack of access to healthcare, on top of cramped conditions. 

A silver lining is that many in the local community started to ask the same question: how can I help our unsung heroes? Studies have shown that how we choose to spend our money or time impacts our happiness and emotional well-being. Evidently, giving to those less privileged than us activates the reward area of the brain which makes us feel happy. 

A number of volunteer-run organisations as well as charities in Singapore have rallied together to assist our migrant workers with daily necessities while they’re in isolation; from monetary contributions, donation drives for meals, snacks, beverages, games, clothing, data cards and more are also ongoing in our city. We’ve highlighted some ways that you can help. We ask that you consider extending a helping hand to our migrant workers who build our roads, our buildings, and ultimately, our city — for which, we are deeply grateful. 

Donating money

  1. Migrant x Me is a social enterprise that is committed to raising awareness of the migrant worker community. Continuing to build an inclusive Singapore through fundraising efforts, donations go towards long-term education programmes, emergency funds for workers in need, future events to bridge the local and migrant communities. Throughout this pandemic, the money has also gone towards forming care packages including data top ups, vitamins and masks.
  2. Healthserve is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing healing and hope to migrant workers. Through their medical clinics, casework, social assistance, advocacy, research and outreach programmes they work to address the complex and intertwined needs of migrant workers – from medical to legal, physical to emotional, mental to social. All donations from 10th April will be directed to HealthServe’s general fund to support their operations that helps more than 10,000 migrant workers every year. All outright cash donations for $50 or more will receive from IRAS 2.5 times the value in tax-deduction.
  1. Migrant Workers’ Centre is a non-government organisation whose mission is to champion fair employment practices and the well-being of Singapore’s migrant workers. MWC has set up a fundraising campaign where charitable donations will go towards food and accommodation costs as well as everyday essentials such as toiletries. It has also partnered with Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach to distribute care meals and packs to more than 250 dormitories. 
  1. TWC2 is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to promoting equitable treatment for migrant workers, they strive to help workers through difficulty and throughout this pandemic they have been assisting in a number of different ways. You can donate through their giving page and the money goes towards phone top-ups so that the workers can speak to their families and friends back home. 

Volunteering

  1. Majulah Belanja has joined together with other charities to raise funds and collect goods. The charity is focusing on addressing immediate needs such as food, basic necessities, promoting meaningful occupational engagement for health & well-being and consolidating resources for an online support hub. Volunteers can assist to ensure that the needs of those in Singapore’s dormitories are met through answering requests on their website – from phone chargers, to fans and toiletries. 
  1. ItsRainingRaincoats is an initiative that aims to spread kindness to migrant workers in Singapore by improving the lives of workers through imaginative, innovative and authentic strategies. They recently launched Mad Wish, Making A Difference While I Stay Home. At this time, where migrant workers are stuck in isolation and the vast majority of the Singapore workforce works from home, the organisation launched a remote programme for learning English. As many migrant workers have expressed interest in improving their English, it is an ideal time to skill up. Conducted purely online, anyone can volunteer as long as you can speak English and can spare 45 minutes a week!

Donating goods

  1. City of Good is a vision of a Singapore where individuals, organisations and leaders come together to give their best for others. It is run by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre. The #SGUnited portal has been put together by NVPC after consulting with charities on their needs. There is also an online form specifically for donating in-kind to migrant workers. 
  1. It’s Raining Raincoats is also pooling volunteers and resources together to match donors and migrant workers. They update their social media channels regularly as they have their ear to the ground on changing daily needs. For more information on how you can help, follow their social media channels for details on donating goods such as old phones, games, colouring pencils and more. 

Making masks

  1. #CYC300kMaskChallenge is run by heritage made-to-measure tailor CYC. If you have a sewing machine and some basic skills, we urge you to join the movement. CYC provides the template for anyone who can commit to making 300 masks in 10 days or less. While they have enough volunteers for now, those interested can still sign up to be part of their waiting list or database for future needs. 

For more inspiration to get you through this circuit breaker, check out the rest of our blog here.

In light of the developing Covid-19 situation, we are all doing what we can to #SaveFnbSG, and Singapore’s restaurants and bars have got some fantastic offers for everyone to indulge in over the next month:

Indulge in some of the city’s best menus at home

Asian fusion restaurant Butcher Boy invites guests to indulge in meaty menus at home. Offering either delivery or pick-up options, Butcher Boy’s new take-away menu includes classics such as Butcher Boy Bacon & Cheese Burger, the flavoursome Fried Chicken Yuzu Kewpie Bao and the exquisite Crispy Primrose Farm Pork Belly. These mains can be accompanied by delicious sides including the famous Szechuan Brussel Sprouts. Diners can pair their feasts with a selection of premium wine and beer, or their favourite cocktails.

Pasta Bar, the go-to artisanal pasta restaurant has launched ‘Fresh Pasta Home Cooking Kits’ and ‘Bake Yourself’ Lasagna Trays (from $120)that can be delivered, or picked up from the restaurant. Accompanied with cooking instructions, the kit has everything consumers need to feed a family of 2, 4, 6, or more. Offerings like Hand-Cut Tagliatelle, fresh Rigatoni can be combined with a variation of delicious sauces such as 24-hour beef Ragu, Pesto ‘Genovese’, and San Marzano Tomato & Basil. For diners who wish to add wine or starters to complete the meal, options for a Salami Platter, Burrata, and a selection of wines are also available.

How about an at-home Mexican Fiesta? Papi’s Tacos has created a take-away package for groups of 4-12 to liven spirits during this tough situation. Available for order on their website, the DIY tacos come with a choice of three fillings ranging from their signature grilled fish, chorizo sausage, shrimp, and mushroom. No true fiesta is complete without delicious Mexican drinks, with pre-mixed margaritas in either classic lime, strawberry, spicy mango, or grapefruit.

Enjoy a drink, or two at home

Employees Only provides drink enthusiasts with quality cocktails to enjoy at home during this time. Employees Only has launched pre-batched cocktails available in 350ml including the likes of the Old Fashioned, Negroni, Martini, or a refreshing Cold Brew Martini. The offers range from each sold individually at $80, a selection of 3 at $220, or flights of 5 at $350. The famous EO Negroni is also available in a large 750ml format that’s perfect for 6 or more people at $150.

Elegant and refined, Nyetimber has been dedicated to the production of the finest English sparkling wine for the past 30 years, and numerous accolades and awards have positioned the brand as an internationally renowned producer, surpassing all expectations of what can be achieved in English winemaking. Nyetimber is available to purchase online in Singapore at Analogue Wine Merchants.

Importer of fine wines, Angra Wines is passionate about sharing some of the world’s best wine in Singapore. Now offering a flash sale across many top wines, Angra Wines has up to 50% off on delicious vintages. For more information, please visit the wine list here or call +65 6532 7791 to order. 

Advocates for extraordinary spirits, EC Proof are offering an incredible warehouse sale on a range of discounted items from recipe books to glasses or even your favourite spirit, EC Proof will have you sorted for any at-home cocktail evening! For more information, please visit their website or call +65 8228 0113 to place your orders today. 

Together we can #SaveFnbSG!

Check out the rest of our page here for more insights and inspiration!

Philanthropy has always been at the core of V&VPR — this has underscored the way we approach our business, from a robust client portfolio of brands that advocate for responsible travel and sustainability, to putting aside hours to volunteer as a team for charitable organisations and non-profits. This year, we are taking this mission one step further, and we are delighted to have partnered on a pro-bono basis with Limitless

Limitless is a non-profit organization that was founded to help youths in Singapore build hope, find worth, and live destiny-driven lives. Founded by Asher Low in 2016, Limitless strives to offer support to young people who may feel powerless as a result of any number of psychological and societal factors, including poverty, mental illness and social inequality.

According to international statistics, depression is an epidemic, with teenagers and youths in their early twenties being especially vulnerable. Almost 8% of teenagers are affected by depression, with suicide being the second leading cause of death among adolescents worldwide. Extensive research has also pointed to the fact that a third of young people struggling with depression do not seek help. Left untreated, depression can lead to other issues, including eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide. 

Through a series of outreach programmes, education, social work, counselling, and mentorship, the Limitless team are aiming to reach youths from all walks of life to inspire, empower and equip them to live purposeful, fulfilled, and happy lives. 


The V&VPR team are looking forward to supporting the team at Limitless with their media and communications strategy. If you would like to find out more about their cause and how you can help, please visit https://www.limitless.sg

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and the recent travel restrictions enforced, many of us are looking to support Singapore-based hotels for a staycation, or two! Here are V&VPR’s favourite staycation packages:

Six Senses Maxwell

Located in Singapore’s bustling Chinatown, Six Senses Maxwell is set in a block of heritage shophouses and boasts a state-of-the-art spa, gym and a rooftop pool. The Weekend Great Escape offer includes daily breakfast, 30% off a-la-carte menu items and 30% off select treatments at Spa Pods.

InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay

The boutique riverfront hotel is situated on buzzy Robertson Quay and offers guests the perfect staycation. The Weekend Special Offer includes complementary use of Tokyo Bike’s for guests to discover the sophisticated neighbourhood and enjoy the vibrant dining and lifestyle offerings on the hotel’s doorstep. Guests will also enjoy breakfast at Marcello, full access to the gym and lap-pool and late check out on Sunday – to enjoy an afternoon stroll along the river.

Capella Singapore

Located on Sentosa, Capella is the ideal sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s city life. The property resides on 30 acres of lush rainforest and is a serene destination to relax and rejuvenate. The new Sentosa Golf Getaway allows guests to enjoy a round of golf at the award-winning Sentosa Golf Club, voted the “World’s Best Golf Club”, before retreating to the privacy and luxury of Capella Singapore. Specifically tailored for couples, the Perfect Time for Two package allows guests to pamper themselves with a rejuvenating spa retreat at the property’s award-winning Auriga Spa. The getaway is complemented with delicious breakfast at The Knolls, and cocktails at Bob’s Bar with stunning views of the South-China Sea.

Marina Bay Sands

Singapore’s most famous landmark, and for many a bucket-list hotel with its picturesque infinity swimming pool, Marina Bay Sands is offering an exquisite staycation package. The bundle includes a complimentary room upgrade, early check in, breakfast at RISE restaurant, Spago Bar & Lounge, Adrift or in-room dining, access to the famous swimming pool and 1-for-1 cocktails at Adrift. This offer is also inclusive of free cancellation – allowing guests to book with confidence.

On Friday 7th February, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits hosted a preview event in Singapore for their exquisite range of lovingly crafted alcohol-free, classic spirits.

Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious and founder of the movement, was present to share her personal experiences, assess the history of drinking, and help re-evaluate our perception of alcohol.

The sober curiosity movement has seen a sharp increase in traction over the last few years, as people have become more in-tune with their own personal wellness journeys. It has been increasingly reported that Gen Z is the least-boozy generation to date, with more pressure at school and work being cited as the main reasons behind this change.

But what exactly is sober curiosity?

According to Ruby, it’s exactly that – to be curious about sobriety:

“[Being sober curious] means, literally, to choose to question, or get curious about, every impulse, invitation, and expectation to drink, versus mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture.”- Ruby Warrington

Often, Ruby argues, we drink on autopilot, with the expectation to drink at social occasions being firmly rooted in society. The sober curiosity movement encourages a judgement-free exploration of one’s relationship with alcohol and conscious drinking.

Drinking is socially ingrained

From weddings and birthday parties to work events and holidays, we commemorate  many of life’s greatest moments or achievements with alcohol, with Champagne in particular being synonymous with celebration. Often, people declaring that they are abstaining is met with resistance by other members of the party, or else it is assumed that there is an underlying reason – namely pregnancy or alcoholism – behind the decision.

A rise in month-long sober social experiments such as ‘Dry January’ and ‘Sober October’ are becoming more commonplace, suggesting that people are looking for an ‘excuse’ not to drink, but how can the movement shift these mindsets and allow sober curiosity to become accepted, as opposed to reinforcing the notion that you either drink or you don’t.

So, what’s the alternative? Living sober curiously

The movement towards sober consciousness has inspired the creation of and market for viable non-alcoholic alternatives, which offer those opting out of booze a tasty, ‘grown-up’ tipple to enjoy. Brands such as Lyre’s are paving the way, lowering the ‘barrier to entry’ for the sober curious club and creating a talking point, bringing the questions of sobriety to the forefront of the conversation.

Every Lyre’s spirit is designed to look, taste and sashay around the palate just as its alcoholic counterpart might, whilst allowing drinkers to remain clear-headed and in control. Lyre’s will be available in Singapore from mid-March, and we can’t wait!

For more information on Lyre’s, and to take a look at their full range and recipe suggestions, visit their website.

If you are interested to learn more about Ruby Warrington and her journey towards sober curiosity, you can purchase her book ‘Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Deep Connection, and Limitless Presence Awaiting Us All On The Other Side of Alcohol’ here.

As expectant parents seek to make the most of their last few months of alone time before their new arrival, the ‘Babymoon’ has seen a continued rise in popularity. For Singapore-based families, The Sanchaya and Capella Singapore provide two of the most luxurious options, without the need for flying, making them perfect for trips up to the last trimester. 

The Sanchaya

Bintan’s most sought-after estate has launched Baby Love – a 3 night stay designed especially for parents to-be. The all-encompassing experience includes one 60-minute massage for both guests, with options including the “Mum to Be,” a prenatal massage that uses gentle techniques to relieve the discomforts of pregnancy. 

Also included is a traditional English Afternoon Tea, a cocktail/mocktail session, and return Emerald class ferry tickets – The Sanchaya is situated less than an hour from Singapore by boat, removing the need to fly and making it the ultimate convenient escape, even in the later stages of pregnancy. 

Capella Singapore

Throughout the last decade, Capella Singapore has cemented itself as one of the most luxurious hotels in the region. 

Nestled in the lush rainforest of Sentosa Island, Auriga at Capella Singapore is a peaceful cocoon for expectant parents to rest and rejuvenate ahead of their new arrival. 

Priced at SGD 718, the Couple Babymoons experience includes a Prenatal Massage and Organic Rose Facial for mums-to-be, and a New Moon Swedish Massage and Gentlemen’s facial for dads-to-be, as well as a nourishing hair and scalp treatment for two. After a morning of relaxation, the pair are invited to  afternoon tea at Chef’s Table, where they can enjoy an array of bite-sized sweet and savoury favourites and an extensive Ronnefeldt tea selections.