Raffles Hotel is Singapore’s most iconic site and featured in “the book.” It is a lovely property with an inviting courtyard. It has a tropical, yet sophisticated (British) feel. The shopping at this hotel is very high-end – Rolex and Louis Vuitton among others. They were all closed by the time we arrived, but that is OK because I didn’t come to Singapore to buy a Rolex.
Long Bar, in the Raffles Hotel, is where the Singapore Sling was invented. It is a tasty, tropical cocktail.
Typically, men in the U.S. don’t order “pink” drinks. They order beer or “manly” alcohol like scotch. But that doesn’t apply in the Long Bar. Nearly everyone was drinking the signature drink.
I don’t recall what time we arrived, but we didn’t have any trouble getting seats at the bar, on a Friday night. Most of the tables were occupied, but I wanted to sit at the bar. Service was efficient and friendly. We didn’t see them making the drinks, so I assume they make them by the gallon somewhere in the back. It was expensive – 27 Singapore dollars, about $22 U.S. dollars. I would have ordered a second drink if the cost was about half that. I don’t love gin, but I do like this pink concoction.
Long Bar is also a peanut bar. Salty peanuts are set out for patrons to snack on, with the expectation that you throw the shells on the floor. I tried to take a picture of the peanuts because they are the smallest I have ever seen, but I didn’t have anything handy to use for scale.
We had a very nice chat with the couple sitting on our left. They are from Manchester, England and were leaving in the morning to travel to Australia. Yes, I am a bit jealous, but Australia is on my 2016 plan so I am confident I will get there.
Despite the high cost of the cocktail, I do recommend a visit to the Long Bar and the Raffles Hotel. Apparently Ernest Hemingway was a patron back in his prime. I think the name of my second book should be “Drinks with Ernest.” (My first book will be called “Breakfast with Oscar” <Wilde>, which is also the title of a previous blog post.)