Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Explore Tanglin Village, an enclave of lifestyle, education & arts interests...

Tanglin Village was transformed from a plantation to an army camp (formerly known as Tanglin Barracks) to its present day evolving enclave of lifestyle, education and arts interests.

Today, Tanglin Village retains its rustic charm as an urban haven where city folks can enjoy a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. The former military buildings, set amidst lush and verdant surroundings, have been converted into a place where city dwellers take in a slower pace in life by visiting the spa, doing yoga or going for a drink. It is a place where one can buy antique furniture, select art pieces and quaint merchandise.

The Tanglin Village is organized into 3 clusters, namely the Dempsey cluster (coloured yellow), the Minden cluster (coloured purple) and the Loewen cluster (colured pink).

A. Oosh (22 Dempsey Road) - this is my starting point which is touted to be Singapore's largest alfresco bar and restaurant. The establishment occupies the former Army clubhouse and sits on more than 10,000 sq metres of land. Oosh boasts of several restaurants and bars, including a specialty Japanese restaurant, garden during area serving quality European and Asian fares and a fine wine and cigar lounge - a concept that is both unique and exhilarating.

B. Au Petit Salut (40C Harding Road) - After Oosh, walk along Holland Road to Au Petit Salut. Located on the 1st floor of former Youth Flying Club, Au Petit Salut offers authentic French cuisine in an elegant yet warm ambience, whether you choose to be seated in the air-conditioned comfort of the indoor dining area or surround yourself with lush greenery in its alfresco dining area.

C. Jim Thomson (45 Minden Road) - To the front of Au Petit Salut is Jim Thomson. Owned by the world-renowned Thai silk company, Jim Thomson will treat your taste buds to authentic Thai flavours. The dining area is furnished with pieces from Jim Thomson's home collection and is a perfect showcase of the brand's home furnishing range. Expect flavours and textures all in one place.

D. The Royal Tanglin Golf Course. Opposite Jim Thomson is the royal Tanglin Golf Course, which is a 9-hole public course. The golf course is popular with both beginners and experienced golfers wishing to sharpen their short game. If golf is not your cup of tea, try the tennis and squash courts instead.

E. St George's Church. Continue your amble along Harding Road to St Geroge's Church, which was set up in the late 1860s to serve the British soldiers stationed here. The current church building was completed in 1911 and designed by William Henry Stanbury, a member of the Royal Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Its red brick structure with artfully-stained glass windows makes it a distinctive landmark in Tanglin Village. The building was gazetted as a national monument in November 1978 and is still used by an Anglican church today.

F. The white Rabbit (39C Harding Road). As you walk slightly uphill, you will come to the White rabbit, a classy European restaurant that is the perfect place to hang out for after-work drinks. Admire the stained glass windows in the indoor dining area and bar, which was specially commissioned by the owner for the restaurant. The outdoor bar also gives you an opportunity to take in Tanglin Village's greenery in a relaxed environment.

G. St James's Church Kindergarten (29 Harding Road). After a few more steps, you will now come to the St James' Church Kindergarten housed in the former Mindef Music and Drama Unit. The Kindergarten is the largest in Singapore with about 700 students. The school takes pride in having a high quality and well-rounded curriculum for its students aged 3 to 6.
H. Loewen Gardens. When you reach the intersection with Loewen Road, make a small detour to Loewen Gardens, tucked into a cosy corner of the Loewen Cluster. Adults can drop by one of the special events hosted or enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the spa while the children spend their day learning ad playing at the learning centre.
These are some of the remaining barracks...
I. PS Cafe (28B harding Road). Backtrack your steps to Harding Road where you will find the former Tanglin barracks canteen. Now occupied by the cosy PS Cafe, the hungry continue to flock here for its popular brunch and desserts. Local celebrities and familar faces have also been said to be spotted here. A project by the Aamer Taher Design Studio, the restaurant features full length glass panels that allow you to admire the view outside from the comfort of the indoor dining area. Those interested to get closer to nature can opt to be seated outside.
Look at our brunch...
J. Dempsey Hill. Finally, end your tour at Dempsey Hill, which comprises of a series of restored barracks hosting a number of food and beverage outlets, furniture and retails shops, art galleries, a grocer and even a spa. Among the popular F&B outlets is Samy Curry, a recognisable name in Tanglin Village after more than 20 years.
There are many signboards like these, placed strategically to help you walk and learn about the Tanglin Village.

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