The Raffles Hotel
I’m thankful to have a friend here in Singapore that will do all manner of girly things with me that my husband wouldn’t be caught dead doing. One of said girly things was to attend brunch at the Raffles Hotel. The Raffles Hotel is a beautiful colonial-style hotel that opened in the late 1800’s and was named for Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles. The hotel was originally seaside, but after years of land reclamation the hotel is now situated nearly 500 meters from the sea.
In the early 1900’s Raffles was a favorite of locals and travelers alike, who would gather to eat, drink, and dance in the hotel’s ballroom, restaurant, and bars. Despite its popularity, the hotel didn’t fare too well during the Great Depression and was closed. Toward the end of World War II, the hotel was used as a temporary camp for prisoners of war who were being released. In the late 1980’s the Raffles Hotel was declared a national monument and underwent a two-year restoration project, returning the hotel to it former grandeur.
The hotel’s major claim to fame is the invention of the Singapore Sling in the storied Long Bar. Raffles also claims to have been an inspiration to many literary talents, touting as guests Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, and Ernest Hemingway. Today, it’s a popular spot for their famed brunch and beverage, attracting businessmen from the nearby Central Business District and tourists from all over the world.
Hannah and I were seated for brunch and decided to pass on the S$30 Mimosas, although they did sound tempting. The brunch spread was impressive: curries, pastas, fish, oysters and shrimp on ice, carved meats, and an amazingly stocked salad bar. The dessert bar was even more impressive: miniature crème brulee, tiramisu, bread pudding, chocolate mouse, and small dishes filled with local fruits turned into beautiful, sweet, concoctions.
Hannah and I at Brunch
After brunch, Hannah and I went upstairs to the Long Bar so she could have a Singapore Sling. I’d already tried it, so I opted for a Summer Sling instead. The Long Bar was much more casual than the dining room for brunch. Rattan fans waved from the ceiling and each table was stocked with a box full of peanuts in their shell, and cracked shells were strewn about the floor. We felt like tourists sipping on our fruity drinks, watching slightly sunburnt Caucasians saunter in with cameras slung around their necks. But unlike the tourists, Hannah and I had both forgotten our cameras. Thankfully we were able to document the outing with our iPhones!
The Long Bar
Hannah and I enjoying early afternoon beverages
The rest of my iPhone photos are here.