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Honeymoon - Part 1

Journey to Singapore

We had a fun and fabulous time getting in the holiday spirit the BA lounge - things are so much more fun when they're "free", and we had enough time to experiment making our own champagne cocktails. Everything was as smooth as smooth can be and it makes flying - even from Heathrow - a pleasure. I (Emma) saw Sir Roy Strong at the buffet counter in the BA lounge but no one else seems to know who he is. The 12-hour flight passed by in a trice, mainly because we were so replete with Christmas spirit that we fell into a comfortable coma on our flat beds, waking up in Singapore. Again, the transfers were sheer pleasure as we were collected from Changi airport by a be-flagged Raffles limo complete with damp flannels to freshen up.

Singapore

Several interesting things about Singapore: they drive on the left; they only cross the road when the man is green; there is a counter to let you know how long you have to get across the road; alcohol is extortionate at £15 for a bottle of Blossom Hill in the supermarket; it's the monsoon; no one has nut allergies; their Christmas decorations are very classy, yet they don't really shut for Christmas; a Singapore evening's entertainment appears to be going to the local shopping mall and shopping; the tropical weather's wonderful, hot and steamy.

Raffles

Wow, what an amazing place. First, let's get the criticism out of the way: the famous "Long Bar" is held up to be a colonial, traditional place where a tiger was shot under the billiards table in the nineteenth century. The reality is that it's a mock-Irish bar with an overloud band, crap decor, no tiger, no billiard table and a floor that needs a good sweep. And even the peanuts on the tables are small and mean. That said we did enjoy the cocktails, including the ubiquitous Singapore Sling.

Raffles itself is just beautiful: high ceilings bedecked with multitudes of langorously circulating fans, endless white walls (we saw the paintwork being touched up, even on Christmas Eve), shiny dark teak floors and colonial furniture carefully placed. Our suite was fabulous: we had a parlour with slippers laid out by the front door, strangely; interior, shuttered windows between parlour and bedroom, and a wonderful two-basined dressing room. The bathroom was pretty much the size of our flat; and contained a surfeit of fluffy white towels. Our bed was huuuuuuge - must be seven feet wide and so, so comfy. Outside our suite we had a pair of chairs and a table overlooking a lush tropical garden with little birds tweeting and fountains playing gently. We brought in Christmas sat on the verandah sipping champage and listening to the gentle sound of rain against the foliage next to us.

This-morning we've used the roof-top pool (somewhat colder water than we were expecting, but very refreshing), and we are now sat by the pool drinking beers while writing this. It's hard to imagine that we're right in the middle of a throbbing city - the only thing that gives it away are the high-rise buildings nearby - with the pool surrounded by greenery and the birds singing in the trees.

Food

We've managed to sample a variety of the city's offerings already: Japanese BBQ (including yummy Wagu beef), American-style muffins at breakfast; Starbucks(!); German sausage and sauerkraut; and best yet seafood from Jumbo's (East Coast Parkway): Black peppered Crab, Sambal Crayfish and Yam wrapped scallops. All so very good ...

Around and about

We spent our one full day here (we're back again at the end of the week) exploring town. The subway is clean and fast - making getting around a breeze. We wandered the plethora of shopping malls along Oarchard Road, taking in the somewhat rainy atmosphere, before heading to China Town. There we explored the many tat-selling stalls and took in the atmosphere. We're told it was very quiet compared to normal, but really that made it all the more appealing.

That's all for now - we're heading to Langkawi this-evening - hopefully more from us in a couple of days.

Read more in Parts 2 and 3