Sunday, 23 April 2017

TRAVEL | 65 Hours in Singapore

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Now, I know this sounds ridiculous. Living in the UK makes the journey to Singapore 14+ hours, which is a lot for a swift 65 hours of time on the ground. So long-and-not-particularly-interesting story short, air-miles funded this maybe slightly OTT trip.

Singapore has always been a place loitering around the top of my travel bucket list. It's always seemed to tick all the boxes for a top travel bucket list contender, and it definitely lived up to it's expectation. 65 hours may seem random, but in answer to that I'd refer you back to afore-mentioned funding of said trip. (To clarify - it's roughly one afternoon/evening, then two full days and a brief morning.)

THE HOTEL

First up the Marina Bay Sands is like something from a sci-fi movie in some alternate universe or another planet. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have been able to stay there. It's even more mind-bending to look at in person, believe it or not!

My highlight: the incredible roof-top infinity pool, how couldn't it be?!

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THE SIGHTS

GARDENS BY THE BAY - SUPERTREE GROVE & CLOUD FOREST DOME

The Gardens by the Bay is one of the top tourist attractions in the world, with it's top highlight being the Supertree Grove. the enormous 'trees' are the most breathtaking construction I've ever seen in person. Also in the gardens are two huge domes, one housing flowers and the other a mountainous ecosystem - otherwise known as the Cloud Forest Dome. A winding pathway takes you from the top down, through incredible plants, water features and displays.

My highlight: The rooftop bar at the top of one of the trees, with the most incredible view of the Marina Bay Sands and the rest of The Gardens by the Bay.

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Asia, ellie etc travels, guide, holiday, Singapore, South East Asia, travel, travel guide, what to do, Marina Bay Sands, Raffles Hotel, Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove, China Town

THE ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM

The hand-like shaped building (seriously, google it) on the marina front is also known as the ArtScience museum a space currently housing the works of Escher as well as the interactive exhibition Future World: Where Art meets Science. And just incase that's not enough wandering, next door is South East Asia's biggest shopping mall, which joins directly back to the Marina Bay Sands.

My highlight: The coolest light installation shown above, consisting of 170,000 LED lights moving and changing to give the illusion of stars moving through space.

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RAFFLES HOTEL

The Raffles Hotel to Singapore is similar to the Savoy or Ritz are to London. It's one of the oldest and most classic hotels in the area. Plus it's supposedly the cocktail the Singapore Sling was born. It's the most gorgeous colonial-style white building, with hundreds of various species of palm tree - aka the Instagram dream.

My highlight: it'd have to be the perfect Singapore Sling sat out on the veranda pictured above.

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Asia, ellie etc travels, guide, holiday, Singapore, South East Asia, travel, travel guide, what to do, Marina Bay Sands, Raffles Hotel, Gardens by the Bay, Supertree Grove, China Town

CHINA TOWN

The incredible mixed culture Singapore boasts is a unique blend of Western and Asian cultures. Coming up an escalator from the metro to be dropped right in the middle of China Town is the perfect example of this. The classic brightly coloured Chinese decorations lined every street, everywhere marking the year of the rooster with every kind of souvenir possible.

My highlight: The contrast of the traditional Chinese decorations with the high rise buildings surrounding it. It's almost as if you've gone to a different country.

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THE FOOD

Singapore is famous for it's fabulous cuisine, and for very good reason. And we ate a lot of it. The main thing they're famous for is their chilli crab, a giant whole crab in a creamy chilli broth. If you're not a fan of crab meat, I'd definitely recommend still giving this a try - it's by far the meatiest and tastiest crab I've ever tried.

My highlight: their carrot cake, which I think you can spot in the top right corner of the photo. Although you'd better forget everything you think you know about carrot cake. Singapore's version of our classic sweet cake is in fact - rice flour and cubed white radish fried with garlic, egg and some other veg. then topped with soy sauce - AKA YUM. I loved it so much I'm genuinely debating trying my hand making some myself.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

WISHLIST | Depop App

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I legitimately think I must check Depop more often than I do Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. And that says something as I do check social media a lot. But Depop is my little haven of cheap, interesting clothes, that are a little different from the usual stuff you get in shops.

So to mix things up a bit, with the consideration of how much time I spend on the app, I've made up a little Depop wishlist so you can see what I'm hankering after. Gotta give a little disclaimer that some of these pieces may have been sold by the time this post goes live, but that's all part of the fun of Depop!

You can check out my account HERE - @ellieetc and feel free to leave your usernames below! (Although my bank balance may not be so happy about that...)

ellie x



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Sunday, 26 February 2017

EVENT | York's Gin Festival

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It's finally time to properly introduce you to another great love of mine. I don't quite know when it crept up on me, but gin has become such a big part of my life. It could have something to do with my parents being full supporters of the G&T lifestyle for as long as I can remember. Or the fact it's such a tasty spirit, which just ticks all the boxes for me. 

Being such a big fan of gin has meant The Gin Festival has been well on my radar since it's popularity has been rapidly rising. The lovely organisers at the York event invited me along to sample some of their huge collection of fabulous gins. With the more-than-willing assistance of two friends of mine, I attend the Friday evening session at The Barbican


Within the cost of a ticket you get your own Gin festival balloon glass to keep and for all the G&Ts you buy on the night. Each gin has it's own recommended Fevertree Tonic which were self-service, so if you fancy yourself as a gin connoisseur you can change it up and try another mixer than the one recommended.

Between us we tried: 5th - Fire, Ampersand, Black Tomato Gin, Braeckman's Vanille Jenever, Brockmans, Electric Spirit Co. Lux, Elephant Gin, Masons, Masons Tea Gin, Poetic License Northern Dry, Poetic License Old Tom, Siderit Hibiscus, Slingsby Rhubarb, Strathearn Oaked Highland Gin, and Tinker.

Phew. It may seem a lot but considering they had over 100 gins, we barely scratched the surface. A particular favourite of mine would have to be the Tinker Gin, a start up based in Leeds but inspired by the Spain's Catalonian city of Barcelona. It's got something extra to it that really sets it apart from the classic gin. The best thing was that every bartender knew so much about every gin on sale, what it's tasting notes are, the best mixer pairing, others similar - the lot. 


Along with all the gin, the Tuck Shop was open for business with olives, pork scratchings and popcorn on offer. Not only the nibbles but there was a full BBQ which smelt and looked beyond amazing. The perfect extras to compliment your G&T.

If you're a gin fan, on the fence or even it's not your favourite, The Gin Festival is definitely definitely one to check out. Unfortunately for any York residents, the events are finished here now but there still are events coming up in: Glasgow, Nottingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, among many more. Plus I'm sure it'll be back for many years to come. 




ellie x




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