My friend Beenal has been on her way to see me here in Abu Dhabi a few times, but it hasn't happened yet. The first time we had planned her visit, her husband got admitted to hospital so she couldn't go; and the second time her daughter caught chicken pox and was so miserable that she didn't want to leave her, understandably.
I suggested she come over this week, as they are having a midterm holiday in Brunei, but she couldn't because had already planned to go to Singapore for some power shopping, ah well. But then the text came "Why don't you meet me there?"... Oh yeah - what a good idea!
I had to wait for Nathan's schedule to come out, and wouldn't you know - he had exactly those four days off I would need for the trip! Beenal and I did a similar trip a few years back and had so much fun, I got really excited!
This time I wasn't coming for the shopping as much, I can find everything I need here in Abu Dhabi. Beenal on the other hand had quite an extensive list. She has lost 16 kg this year (Yay Beenal!!) and was in desperate need of a new wardrobe. I basically came along for the company, and to help carry the bags!
We managed to spend the whole first day out and about until the shops closed at 10 pm, with coffee and dinner breaks of course! Pretty good going! I only got a pair of sneakers, a pair of Havaianas and a leather backpack - Beenal got... too much to list!
The first evening we went back out after having brought all the shopping bags back to the hotel and had a quick shower. We wanted to tick off something from the Bucket List; try one of the world's most iconic cocktails - a 'Singapore Sling'. And we wanted to have one at the famous Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, where it was invented!
Back in the day when women weren't allowed to drink, the Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created this drink, that looked a bit like a lemonade. This was my first 'Singapore Sling' and whereas I may not be a cocktail expert I can’t think of a better place to enjoy this classic!
The decor of this bar was inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s, and even though it has changed location several times over the years, the look has always been the same. It's dark but inviting with palm shaped fans creating a cooling breeze, and pretty old fashioned wicker chairs where you would sit to enjoy your pink drink.
Your drinks are served with bags of monkey nuts, and strangely enough, according to tradition, you are meant to drop the shells on the floor! Something which feels extra "naughty" here in Singapore, where there are HUGE fines for littering. Selling chewing gum is even completely forbidden here in Singapore.
After the Long Bar shut, we didn't want to go home. So we continued down to Clarke Quay, and enjoyed some Strawberry Mojitos, mmm! Look how pretty they were!
On day two, we continued the shopping, and had a nice lunch and a few well-needed coffee breaks.
We only had a few drinks across the street after the shops closed on us (again!), and then went back to the hotel for a slightly earlier night, being rather beat at this point!
Thank you my friend for a really nice time! ♥︎