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If these walls could talk…. Raffles Hotel and ’N A Perfect World for Drink Du Jour: Singapore Sling

Raffles Hotel is an absolute must if you’re visiting Singapore, even if you’re not staying there. In a sometimes hyper-modern city, the 150 year old Raffles hotel offers that refined touch of gentility an old school (albeit, colonialist) charm. From Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor and Charlie Chaplin to writers like Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, musicians like Michael Jackson and Sting, the guest log of Raffles “homes” — that’s what suites are called here — is like a who’s who of history. There’s even a story about a tiger being cornered in the billiards room of the hotel in 1902!

Once upon a time beachfront (development of the island has changed this), Raffles hotel sits as an oasis and a colonial architectural beauty, even as skyscrapers have sprouted up around it. One of the wealthiest nations in the world, Singapore is in the midst of 50th anniversary celebrations. Coinciding with this anniversary, is the 100th birthday of the island nation’s namesake cocktail, the Singapore Sling, created in the landmark hotel’s Long Bar. Invented in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, a quick search of the history of the Singapore Sling will tell you that it was originally conceived as a ladies cocktail, the drink’s pink hue often being cited. However, I got the real scoop from a manager at Raffles for Du Jour magazine — check it out below!

DuJour.com - 6.26.15 - Drink Du Jour_Singapore Sling copyIn such a pristine country, Long Bar, with peanuts covering the floor is charmingly thought of as the only place in Singapore where littering is permitted. These deliciously salty Malay peanuts, with a swig of a Singapore Sling definitely makes for the perfect happy hour. Here I am trying my first Singapore Sling at Long Bar.

Past and present at Raffles Hotel.

Raffles Hotel in 1887, the year it opened.

Raffles Hotel in 1887, the year it opened. courtesy of Raffles

Facade of Raffles Hotel from 1921. courtesy of Raffles

Facade of Raffles Hotel from 1921. courtesy of Raffles

guests being carried on trishaws at the turn of the century. Courtesy of Raffles.

guests being carried on trishaws at the turn of the century. courtesy of Raffles

Elizabeth Taylor at Raffles in 1957. Courtesy of Raffles.

Elizabeth Taylor at Raffles in 1957. courtesy of Raffles

Charlie Chaplin and his brother, Syd at Raffles. Courtesy of Raffles.

Charlie Chaplin and his brother, Syd at Raffles. courtesy of Raffles

Ava Gardner at Raffles during the Asia Premiere tour of Barefoot Contessa.

Ava Gardner at Raffles during the Asia Premiere tour of Barefoot Contessa. courtesy of Raffles

Bar captain and inventor of the Singapore Sling, Ngiam Tong Boon. Courtesy of Raffles.

Bar captain and inventor of the Singapore Sling, Ngiam Tong Boon. courtesy of Raffles

The Ngiams of Raffles' Long Bar.

The Ngiams of Raffles’ Long Bar. courtesy of Raffles

Image I took of Writers' Bar.

Image I took of Writers’ Bar.

Facade of Raffles Hotel today.

Facade of Raffles Hotel today. courtesy of Raffles

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on the beautiful grounds at Raffles.

on the beautiful grounds at Raffles.

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top, Timo Weiland. short, Timo Weiland. shoes, Christian Louboutin.

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at Long Bar trying the Singapore Sling.

at Long Bar trying the Singapore Sling.

Raffles Singapore, 1 Beach Road, Singapore, 189673. +65 6337 1886

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2016 | 'N A Perfect World with Nneya Richards © 2015

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