May 21, 2018
Location is the number one consideration when shopping for a home, according to everyone I know. I realise this to be true as I’ve been house hunting.
After all, I want a home in a great place where I can get yummy food, utilise great facilities and amenities, and enjoy fabulous shopping when I need retail therapy. And I’d like them a quick MRT/bus/Grab ride away, please.
So far, Queenstown best fits the bill. Here are some of my favourite haunts to eat and play — all just minutes away.
Drive: 2 minutes
There’s so much to do and see at Singapore’s first satellite town. There’s a library where my kids can visit weekly and several good hawker centres nearby such as Meiling Street Market, ABC Brickworks market and Commonwealth Crescent Market (the Butter Pork Ribs coated with milk powder at Two Chefs Eating Place is divine!). Craving for fast food? Well, McDonald’s is just a stone’s throw away.
If I don’t feel like shopping at Orchard Road, I can count on several malls in the vicinity to run my errands. Ikea, for instance, for my furnishing needs, and of course, their hotdogs and chicken wings. There is also Anchorpoint for cheap outlet mall shopping at labels such as Charles & Keith, Cotton On, Giordano, Pedro and Typo. I can also wrap up my day there with dinner at Ma Maison.
One of my favourite hidden gems in Singapore is Alexandra Central, which is my go-to place for a haircut, manicure or a Thai massage.
What’s most exciting about the thought of living in Queenstown is its proximity to two of my favourite parks — Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Southern Ridges. It would be convenient for my family to jog, take leisurely strolls and hike as we enjoy an active lifestyle.
I can already imagine how lovely our weekends as a family would be, with so much to do. And for all my sports gear needs, there is always the oldie but goodie, Queensway Shopping Centre for the cheapest sports gear in town.
2. Holland Village
Drive: 6 minutes
True to its name, the Dutch were the first expat community to make Holland Village their home; it was even named after an early resident, an architect named Hugh Holland.
I like its bohemian vibe and enjoy checking out the wide range of eateries and shops. Some of my lunchtime favourites include the fragrant nasi lemak at the hawker centre, a bowl of spicy sin that I slurp up with a spoon at Katong Laksa, and xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.
In between nipping into the unique shops at Holland Village Shopping Centre, I love taking a break at Sunday Folks or d’Good Café that serve good coffees and desserts.
When dinnertime comes, I’m also spoilt for choice. Should I pop in to Sanpoutei Ramen? Grab a gourmet takeaway at Da Paolo Gastronomia? Cha Cha Cha for the yummiest Mexican food in town and a frozen margarita?
What I’m sure of is rocking out to the live band at my favourite hangout, Wala Wala Café Bar after that.
Drive: 6 minutes
With Singapore’s prime shopping belt just a minute away by car or 15 minutes by bus, it would be a breeze to tackle any last-minute shopping needs, especially during busy festive seasons like Christmas.
At ION Orchard alone, I can shop at many swanky boutiques of various luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, as well as numerous trendy but affordable fashion brands such as H&M to refresh my wardrobe. I’ll never run out of excuses to shop.
There’re always new restaurants to check out at Orchard too — perfect for my family of foodies. My new favourite is Eggs ‘n Things, a Hawaiian brunch place that recently opened at Plaza Singapura.
For entertainment, pick a cinema along the Orchard stretch and catch the latest blockbuster.
4. Raffles Place
Drive: 10 minutes
Another reason why my husband and I are eyeing Queenstown for our next home is its proximity to Raffles Place. Hubby’s commute to work at Shenton Way will be five MRT stations away.
He won’t need to drive and can save on exorbitant ERP charges and parking fees. And since his workplace is a 17-minute train ride away, he’s looking forward to having more time in the morning to hit the gym or enjoy a nice breakfast with me before we head off to work. Quality couple time for the win!
Drive: 10 minutes
I love that my office is just a six-minute drive from Queenstown. If I buy a home here, I can sleep in later till 8am every morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and still make it in to work by 9am.
I also like that Rochester Park and Star Vista offer great options to unwind after work.
Drive: 7 minutes
Did you know that Dempsey Hill started as a nutmeg plantation named Mount Harriet in the 1850s? It later became the Tanglin Barracks military camp, and finally transformed into the hip restaurant and retail hub named after the decorated General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey.
I simply love the laid-back and Instagrammable “village” of restored colonial buildings and can spend an entire weekend afternoon there. Depending on our mood, my family will either tuck into an Aussie-style brunch at Jones The Grocer, or go local with a steaming hot curry fish head at Samy’s Curry. Then we’ll do some shopping at the various antique, carpet and art galleries.
For a break, we go for coffee (or wine) and nibble on their fusion-style small plates at Open Farm Community at Minden Road, just off the main Dempsey Hill area. Our last stop would be Huber’s Butchery, where I pick up quality meats and sausages.
Now that’s what I call a good Saturday!
Just the thought of being in close proximity to these wonderful places makes me really excited about the lifestyle that my family and I could possibly enjoy if we have a home in Queenstown. With good food, urban shopping, gorgeous nature and my workplace close this premium location, all I have to do now is to find the perfect home!