Posts Tagged ‘beach’

6 Unique and Memorable Things to do in Auckland

The December school holidays are about to be upon us and one of Singaporeans’ favourite countries to visit during this time of the year is New Zealand! It being in the Southern Hemisphere means that you get to enjoy a nice temperature and long daylight hours. I have been told that New Zealand’s climate is mild, so you won’t run into scorching hot summer temperatures, or at least not for long stretches anyway. And if you’re like me, it just feels more holiday-like if it’s cooler than Singapore!

Most tourists will want to spend some time in Auckland, it being the most populated city in New Zealand and where 1/3 of New Zealanders live. However, if you’re short on time and want to know what best to visit in Auckland, here are my top 7 picks, each of which can be covered in half a day or less, including travelling time there and back.

1. Have afternoon tea out on the jetty at the Hilton’s Bellini Bar

Hilton Auckland

Hotel pictures from Hilton Auckland, Iced Chocolate my own

In my opinion, this is one of the best places to be to get a good view of the Auckland harbour without actually being out at sea. The Hilton is styled in a nautical theme, and set 300 m out to sea. They even have an outdoor lap pool with an underwater view window of the harbour, the only underwater viewing point in Auckland. Check out the Bellini Bar for a quick drink (the iced-chocolate is really good!) or indulge a little with their High Tea sets.

http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-zealand/hilton-auckland-AKLHIHI/dining/index.html

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Coastes Singapore – Yes beach bars can serve tasty dishes too!

I’ve always had this long standing impression of beach/sports-themed bars/restaurants and greasy Western fare going hand in hand. It’s hard to change this perception because alcohol is where they make their money, so the focus is often not on the food. And their menus, they look like cookie cutter templates of one another. Once in a while though, a restaurant pops up which bucks the trend.

Coastes Singapore (1)

A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of checking out Coastes Singapore, which is located along Siloso Beach in Sentosa. Coastes has recently rolled out new dishes from classic beach bites to seafood and pasta dishes. I tried some of their new dishes and I am glad to report that I really enjoyed their seafood dishes! My dining companions and I both agreed that the seafood dishes boasted fresh tasting and succulent seafood.

Coastes - Seafood Platter $52 (Pan-fried crayfish, crab salad, fish stew, poached tiger prawns, chilli clams, calamari rings) (1)

Seafood Platter $52 (Pan-fried crayfish, crab salad, fish stew, poached tiger prawns, chilli clams, calamari rings)

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Bintan Lagoon Resort

Bintan Lagoon Resort and I go back a long way. I have actually visited it twice in the last 10 years. Once, because my friend had corporates there and booked their lovely villa, and once during a company retreat. But that was all quite some years ago so I was quite excited to be invited by Nuffnang to attend the Journeyful and Mozaic Hotels & Resort’s Direct Ferry Media Launch event at Bintan Lagoon Resorts.

At first, I didn’t really know what they meant by “direct ferry service” because I remembered it to be pretty direct the previous times. It was only after I’d disembarked from the ferry and realised that I was already at Bintan Lagoon Resorts itself. To cut the possibly long waiting times at Bintan’s public Ferry Terminal (Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal), Bintan Lagoon Resort built their very own Bintan Lagoon Resort Ferry Terminal! Not only does it cut down on long queues, even the journey by coach or van from the Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal to Bintan Lagoon Resort has been eliminated! Is that crazy or what??? Mozaic Hotels & Resorts is the hospitality management company that manages Bintan Lagoon Resort.

How do Journeyful and Mozaic come into the picture? Well Journeyful is a rapidly growing travel platform that combines the ease of an online booking system with the distribution power of a social network. Journeyful is social by design, meaning it enables hotels to extend customised rates to various sub segments of its consumers. To cut the long story short, if you wanna go to Bintan Lagoon Resorts, just book it at www.journeyful.com!!

As usual, pictures tell the story best, so I shall leave you to enjoy my 1 night stay in Bintan Lagoon Resort vicariously. More photos after the collage. Don’t forget to check out my separate post on Miyako Japanese Restaurant, where I had a sumptuous lunch together with my mother on the 2nd day in Bintan!

Bintan Lagoon Resort Best Picks

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Sentosa Siloso Beach BBQ

In conjunction with Sentosa’s 40th anniversary celebrations, I was invited to attend Sentosa’s BBQ by the Beach pre-launch party last Thursday. You can attend too but you have to be quick because this special BBQ will only be on until 22 July 2012.

Sentosa BBQ by the Beach

Date : 13 – 22 July

Time : 6pm – 12mn (Last order at 10.30pm)

Venue : Siloso Beach (Between COASTES and Azzura Beach Club) Take the Sentosa Monorail from the 3rd floor of VivoCity and stop at Beach Station, the last stop.

Admission :$29.90++ (includes $30 worth of vouchers redeemable for food and drinks, but excludes entry fee into Sentosa)

Tickets available at:
– Call 6279 1767
– Email exquisite_tastes@sentosa.com.sg
– Sentosa Ticketing Counters 

Apart from my company family day held at Sentosa Wave House and KM8 which has since closed down, I don’t believe I’ve had ever dined on the beach, at least not under the moonlight! In fact, as my guest and I arrived very early, we managed to snag a table on the jetty. So we were actually dining amidst the lapping waves, definitely a first for me. It was a really breezy evening and I was thankful to have brought along a hair clip or I would have been like a mad woman. Scroll down further to see pictures of the Sentosa BBQ by the Beach party, complete with crooning guitarists!

Sentosa BBQ by the Beach (2)Sentosa BBQ by the Beach (4)

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Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Cafe and Pub

I think like many Singaporeans, when we hear the word “Pub”, we tend to think of the place as a sleazy, alcoholic’s haven, a place not for the family oriented. Apparently, this is totally not the case when the “pubs” in referenced are styled after the British/Irish types. Lots of families dine there for affordable comfort food.

So, don’t be surprised when you look at Scruffy Murphy’s menu and you find a whole range of dishes on offer from things like Roast Beef, Fish & Chips, a good range of sandwiches and pasta. I love ordering the Daily Roast when I’m here. It’s one of the few places where you can get roast beef, and at a very affordable price of $16.00! Compare that to the nearly $90 roast beef I had at Lawry’s a month back! Of course, dining at Lawry’s comes with other perks such as the excellent service and a more atas feeling, but one can’t dine at Lawry’s all the time! Another dish that is supposedly very good is the Fish and Chips, although I don’t think it is that fantastic. It costs $16 and they give you 4 huge pieces of fish, of which I was unable to finish.

The Gaelic Inns chain which owns Scruffy Murphy’s, also owns other pubs like Muddy Murphys, The Penny Black Victorian London Pub, Ballymoons and Durty Nelly’s. They are all styled after Irish pubs, but are each slightly different in character. Scruffy Murphys’ is the most “open-concept” one as it faces the East Coast beach. I love it that I can have my dinner while watching the cyclists go by. The Penny Black is situated along the Singapore River, so that’s also a nice place to people watch.

Scruffy Murphy's - Lamb ChopsScruffy Murphy's - Lamb Chops (2)

Rack of lamb $25- Quite nice, but a bit tough. I love the potato triangles dipped in gravy (you can just see it sticking out behind the lamb)

Scruffy Murphy's - Roast Beef with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding Scruffy Murphy's - Roast Beef with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding (2)

Daily Roast (Roast Beef with mashed potatoes and yorkshire pudding) $16 – For $16, I think this is an absolute steal. The portion of meat is substantial. It was juicy and flavourful and I finished every single bit. For $16, i really have no complaints!

Scruffy Murphy's - Heineken Beer

Beer in the dark

Beer in the day

And no, Heineken did not sponsor this post, although they should seriously consider doing so!

Scruffy Murphy’s full house during  the Manchester United vs Arsenal Match on 1 May 2011.

Scruffy Murphy’s Irish cafe and Pub

Address: 1000 East Coast Parkway, B7 Marine Cove
(Note: Just in front of MacDonald’s facing the beach!)
Tel: +65 6449 7717 Fax: +65 6446 2334
Email:
enquiry@scruffymurphys.com.sg

Opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday from 3 p.m. till midnight
Thursday from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Friday and eve of Public Holidays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday and Public Holidays from 9 a.m. to midnight

Enjoy “Sunset” Happy hours prices daily on draught beer all night!

Happy hour prices on all house spirits and wine till 8 p.m. daily

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