This week we joined Nina Beale, founder and owner of luxury lifestyle store Bungalow 55 for her insider’s guide to Singapore. Always a favourite for anyone visiting Asia, this dynamic city has so much to offer and with Nina’s tips we get amazing insights into hidden and not-so-hidden gems that are not always on the tourist map…including where to get a good coffee!
BK: Tell us about the inspiration behind Bungalow 55
NB: I have always loved the world of interiors – it was an outlet for me from the daily rigours of the finance world which was my career for 9 years. I decided to explore my passion by opening Bungalow 55 in May 2012, sourcing products from family run companies all over the world. We have extended this passion to helping our clients make happy and comfortable homes with our new complimentary styling service.
BK: When is the best time to go to Singapore?
NB: Being so near the equator there are no seasons. The temperatures range from 26 – 36 degrees 360 days of the year! The rainy season tends to be November to February but the storms are fast and furious and so it tends to be a little cooler. It really is an all year round destination.
BK: Describe the local culture and lifestyle
NB: The local culture is very food and shopping centric. The best local cultural activities are eating crab, visiting a hawkers food market..and shopping!
BK: Any insider’s tips that most people visiting Singapore wouldn’t know about?
NB: Take a tour of the colonial black and white houses of Singapore with Geraldene Tours. It’s a fascinating insight into the British occupation and the architecture is incredibly beautiful! Visit Hort Park – beautifully curated gardens and walking trails through the jungle. Dempsey Hill is an amazing area with colonial single story buildings filled with restaurants and interiors shops. Visit Robinson Quay – have a walk along the river. Great restaurants there too – I highly recommend PS Cafe.
BK: Fashion and lifestyle shopping destinations that you would recommend?
BK: Where do you get your morning coffee?
BK: Your favourite restaurant for lunch? For dinner?
NB: Lukes Oyster Bar and Grill at Robinson’s Department Store or their restaurant at Club Street (a great area of shophouses with restaurants – very groovy vibe.) Culina – all day dining at Dempsey. Burned Ends on Teck Lim Rd – Fantastic! Spago on top of the MBS.
BK: Your favourite view in Singapore? Where would you go for cocktails?
BK: Best places to stay?
BK: Your perfect day out in Singapore?
NB: The National Gallery is a great place to spend a rainy morning/afternoon with the kids or the”Future World” exhibition is great! The Treetop walk at Macritchie, cycling along the water at Labrador Park…anything that’s on the Esplanade. I also love going to Thow Kwong Pottery Jungle for the chinoiserie ceramics.
BK: Your “must pack” list for Singapore- both fashion and beauty.
NB: Tinted moisturiser as the heat is so intense and foundation tends to run in the humidity. Anything terry-towelling! Humidity levels are 80/90%. Hair ties as your hair will never be down and a panama hat.