Things You Never Knew About Valentine’s Day

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We all regard Valentine's Day as this annual day of love with flowers, chocolates, cards and romance. It’s a time to spoil your other half and show them how much you adore and appreciate them; or an opportunity to woo that special someone you have admired from afar. But what do you really know about the day – its origin, traditions and ways to celebrate? – you may be surprised!

Also read:

50 Best Valentine's Day Ideas in 2018 for Adventurous Couples and Singles in Singapore

10 Gemstones to Say 'Be My Valentine'

Give the Gift of Exciting Experiences and Memories

So, how did Valentine’s Day come about?

The most popular belief is that Emperor Claudius II didn't want Roman men to marry during wartime. Bishop Valentine went against these demands and performed secret weddings. For this, Valentine was jailed and executed. Whilst in jail, he wrote a note to the jailor's daughter signing it "from your Valentine".

Another theory is that Valentine's Day originates from a Roman Festival called Lupercalia - a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, held on 15th February. During the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box and the pair would be partnered during the festival. Often these matches resulted in marriage. Lupercalia was outlawed at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St Valentine's Day.

Whatever you believe its origins to be, like many festivals there have been a number of superstitions over the years including:

  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve”.

  • Girls of medieval times ate bizarre foods on this day to make them dream of their future spouse.

  • In Victorian times, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.

  • On the eve on Valentine’s Day, women in England used to place five bay leaves on their pillows — one at each corner and one in the centre — to bring dreams of their future husbands. Alternatively, they would wet bay leaves with rosewater and place them across their pillows.

  • An Italian tradition was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief was that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day was the man she would marry within a year, or strongly resemble who she would marry.

Despite it’s early beginnings, Valentine’s Day was only declared official in the UK in 1537, by King Henry VII. However, it wasn't until the 18th century that Valentine's Day took off in England and people began to send trinkets, flowers and, the most popular, give cards to their loved ones. In 1913, Hallmark Cards in Kansas City began mass producing specific Valentine's Day cards for the day. Nowadays, about 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, making it the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year. And most of these cards include an x when signed. This is because in medieval times people who could not write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity.

So, we have professed our desire in a card but why do we buy chocolate? It is considered an aphrodisiac. Containing both sedative and stimulative qualities, chocolate relaxes and lowers inhibitions while increasing the desire for physical contact. In the late 1800’s, Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for this holiday and now over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased in the U.S. on this romantic day.

And why are flowers so important – especially roses?

  • The red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

  • Red roses are considered the flower of love because the colour red stands for strong romantic feelings.

And did you know?

  • 73 percent of people who buy flowers on this day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

  • 15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day!

Food is also a symbol of love, so if you are cooking or dining out, why not include these romance inducing ingredients?

  • Artichokes - in the Middle Ages, women were forbidden to eat these due to the blossoming thistles' aphrodisiac qualities.

  • Asparagus - considered an aphrodisiac for hundreds of years. The Mayans and Aztecs, thought it enhanced sexual desirability. Aside from its suggestive shape, this veggie is incredibly nutritious. High in folate, French bridegrooms often ate several helpings of asparagus to fortify their manhood for their upcoming honeymoon.

  • Basil – its heady scent supposedly drives men wild. If you can believe it, women once dusted their ta-tas with dried or powdered versions of this herb! Basil has long been associated with stimulating sex drives and promoting fertility, as well as help as helping circulation and promoting heart health.

  • Carrots – due to their phallic shape, the Greek and Romans believed carrots to be a sexual stimulant.

  • Oysters – these slippery and sensual crustaceans are the ultimate aphrodisiac. Because they can change from male to female form freely, they are believed to understand both the feminine and masculine experience of love. · Strawberries – their heart shape are the symbol of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

Does everyone across the globe celebrate Valentine’s Day in the same way?

  • In Denmark, rather than roses, friends and sweethearts exchange pressed white snowdrops.

  • In the Philippines, mass weddings on this day have gained popularity; there are huge gatherings of couples at malls or other public areas to get married or renew their vows en masse.

  • It’s also customary for women in South Africa to pin the names of their love interest on their shirtsleeves.

  • In Verona, Italy, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet are received.

This annual day of love is not all hearts and flowers and can leave many feeling lonely. But if you are single – don’t despair, you can celebrate Singles Awareness Day (SAD) held on the same date! Or head to Finland where Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä. This translates into “Friend’s day” and is a day to value your mates and not your loved one.

So, all in all Valentine’s Day is a day for everyone to celebrate those they love - their partner, wife, children, family and friends! So, whatever the history, traditions and rituals - Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!


This blog is contributed by Peta Delahunty. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Singapore for the past 9 years with her family. She is a self-confessed word nerd and when not writing and being a mum, loves exploring Singapore's fabulous food scene and enjoying its vibrant attractions.

50 Best Valentine's Day Ideas in 2018 for Adventurous Couples and Singles in Singapore

ValentinesSingapore 2018

Are you feeling bored of doing the same thing every year or are you unsure of how to surprise your date? This Valentine’s day, pick one of our '50 Best Valentine's Day Ideas in 2018 for Adventurous Couples and Singles in Singapore' to  surprise your loved one with something exciting, different, unique and fun but yet can be so romantic. This list of 50 unique and exciting ideas on how to celebrate this day of love will ensure that this Valentine’s day will be a day filled with romance, love and excitement for all couples. Be it interesting dining concepts, fine dining dinner with a view parties, relaxing activities or unique couple activities, we have it covered for you. If you are single, there is a lot from these activities you can do with your pal or by yourself. 



Read on for Valentine's Day 2018 Ideas:

Unique Dining Spots

1. Private Dining at Summerhouse Singapore

Have a private dinner and spend quality time with your Valentine in this unique shaped air - conditioned dome.

2. Singapore Cable Car

Fly above with the dining experience on board the Singapore Cable Car. Enjoy a 3-course menu while taking in the scenic views riding in the cable car. This makes a very romantic Valentine’s day.

3. AJ Hackett Dining

Couples can enjoy a semi private dinner 47m over the ground overlooking the Siloso Beach at the AJ Hackett dining whilst watching enjoying the sea view as well as watching people bungy jump off. This will make a unique dining experience for you and your Valentine. Enjoy the sunset as you sip your glass of champagne. If you and your date feel adventurous enough, you can try the various AJ Hackett’s activities from the bungy jump to its swing. This will make it a night to remember.

4. ‘I Lawn for you’

This Valentine’s day, take your date to W Hotel and enjoy a romantic night under the stars with a cosy tent and beanbags on the green grounds coupled with an array of delicious food. Zip up into your private tent when you want some quiet and alone time.

5. Pool Grill

A private cabana, a pool view, dinner and champagne make a perfect Valentine’s day with your partner at Marriot Singapore Hotel’s Pool Grill

6. Valentine By the beach

Enjoy a Valentine’s day by the beach with dinner and wine while watching the sunset together at the Wavehouse Sentosa.

7.  Raffles Marina Country Club

Escape the crowd and enjoy a beautiful view of the Johor Straits while having a quiet dinner with your valentine at the Raffles Marina Country club

8. Arteastiq

For the artistic couples who want to go beyond just having dinner, enjoy Arteastiq’s promo of 3 course dinner as well as art jamming for couples this Valentine’s day.

9. Royal Albatross

Enjoy the cool breeze, live music, dinner, drinks and an amazing sunset on board as you sail away with the Royal Albatross.

10. Singapore Flyer

Soar high and take in the scenic view of Singapore’s city skyline together with your date of the Singapore skyline at the Singapore Flyer’s Valentine’s day special. You get to enjoy dinner as well as two rounds around in the Singapore Flyer.

11. Halia Botanic Gardens

Have a dinner in the Gardens at The Halia at Botanic Gardens with an 11-course dinner menu. You can choose to top up to relax with a picnic set up that comes with small bites and drinks in the garden after you are done with your dinner so you don’t have to end your romantic night immediately.

12. Song of India       

Spice up your time with your partner by enjoying a five-course dinner at one-star Michelin restaurant ‘Song of India’ and curate your own dessert together with Chef Manjunath.

13. Shangri- La Orchard

Make amazing memories at the private dining concept in the open air Orchid greenhouse dome that showcases the beauty of Singapore’s Orchids at Shangri La’s ‘Diner de Fleurs’. You get enjoy a wine paring dinner whilst seated amongst the beautiful flowers.

14. Smith Marine Floating Restaurant

For the couples who prefer outdoors, nature and do not wish to dress up, this restaurant in the middle of the sea allows you to enjoy alfresco and outdoor seafood dining. Feel the sea breeze while you enjoy the fish that you would have caught yourself. Imagine being able to leave the hustle of Singapore behind without needing a passport.

Rooftop Fine Dining Restaurants and Bars

15. Artemis

Have glitzy Valentine’s day dinner with the Marina Bay as the backdrop at the Mediterranean inspired restaurant on the 40th floor of the Capita Green.

16. Me@Oue

Enjoy a 5 or 8 course menu while enjoying the views on the 50th floor of the OUE building. Head out to the alfresco bar after dinner to carry on your beautiful night to enjoy a drink on two in the breezy night overlooking the Marina Bay. This will make for a very nice romantic night out.

17. Level 33

Romance on Valentine’s day at the World’s Highest Urban Craft -Brewery and create a memorable evening with your loved one over a delicious dinner menu and an amazing view.

18. Hilton Hotel

An alfresco dining at the poolside on the 33rd floor of the Hilton Pool hotel. Have a quiet and amazing Italian food by the pool.

19. Ce La Vi

Watch the Marina Bay’s  spectra light and water show while  having dinner and enjoying the view from Ce la Vi located on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

20. Urbana at Courtyard By Marriott

Dress to impress and celebrate your courtship this Valentine’s Day at the highest rooftop bar in Novena with a special dinner and a handmade dessert against a spectacular backdrop.

21. Pub Crawl

If you and your date enjoy the parties and the nightlife then this pub crawl is the answer. Discover the best of Singapore’s nightlife accompanied by lik- minded people and a guide.

Interesting and Unique activities for the Hands-on Couple

22. Gin and Tonic Masterclass

If you and your partner love Gin and have always wondered how it is made, then treat yourself and your love to a boozy two hours by taking a Gin &Tonic Masterclass where you learn how to recreate this cocktail. This will make a unique Valentine’s day outing.

23. Pottery Making

Get your hands dirty spinning a potter’s wheel while sipping some wine. You get to bring home your work of art and will always serve as a reminder of the unique Valentine’s day you enjoyed.

24. Perfume Making

 Fruity, Woody or Spicy? Which fragrant describes you? Make your own fragrance with your date or better still make one for each as as a gift.

25. Escape Room

Get adventurous with your partner and try to escape from this Escape Room.

26. Tarot Card Reading

Is a long term relationship on the cards? Have fun finding out.

27. Chocolate Making Workshop

If you have a sweet tooth and love to eat chocolates then why not enjoy Chocolates made by you and your partner at this Valentine Themed Chocolate workshop.

11th Feb

28. Wine Tasting workshop at the French Cellar

Enjoy some wine together for the wine lovers at the French Cellar’s wine tasting workshops.

29. Culinary on is offering a ‘Kiss the cook’ class

Heat up your love at this special cook your own Valentine party.

30. Jewellery Making

Make a unique and one-of -a kind jewellery this Valentines Day at the Jewellery making workshop. You can be very sure that your no one would have gotten the same gift as your date.

31. Private Yoga session for two

Enjoy a private yoga session for the couples that fit couples who enjoy the outdoors and exercising this Valentine’s day.

32. Indian Menu cooking class with ‘Cookery Magic’

Make your Valentine’s day more memorable by learning to cook some local classics and savouring your own delicious cooking.

33. Gin-spired Valentine’s buffet at Conrad Centennial

Celebrate the season of love with this Gin-Spired buffet for all those Gin Lovers

10th-11th Feb, 14th Feb

34. Typesetting and Letterpressing

How romantic would it be to create your own personalised greeting with your love? Tell them how much you love them in this typesetting and letterpressing workshop.

35. Private Home Dining

Have a quiet and unique valentine’s day by enjoying a meal for two and learning to make a dessert at the Chef’s own residence.

36. D-I-Y Bouquet

Surprise the love of your life by picking flowers from the breathtaking but yet affordable flowers of Far East Flora.

Movies and Concerts

37. Platinum Movie Suites

Celebrate Valentine’s day with your love watching the finale of the ‘Fifty Shades’ phenomenon whilst seated in comfortable ‘business-like’ seats. Enjoy pre-show free flow popcorn and soft drinks, a special valentine’s day menu and end the night with dessert and Champagne.

Feb 12th-14th

38. The Projector

Cuddle up and watch a special movie screening this Valentine’s day in a setting different from a cinema for the movie buff couple

Feb 10th-16th 

39. ‘Valentine Special- Two for the road’

For the music lover couple, Rani Singham and Joshua Wan will take you on a journey of love in this special concert at the Intercontinental Singapore

Spas

40. ESPA

Spoil and romance each other at Singapore’s largest Spa at Espa Singapore. Choose their couple package and you get to enjoy a private massage in one of their beach villas together with a meal and a drink. After that,you get to spend the day enjoying their facilities so you don’t have to rush off after your massage and meal. You will be sure to feel loved and pampered by the end of the day.

41. The Outcall Spa

For the busy couple who do not have time to go out or couples who cannot find any sitter for the kids or even those who do not wish to join the crowd this Valentine’s day, The Outcall Spa is the answer. Indulge in their Valentine’s day special that includes a couple massage in the comfort of your home together with a bottle of wine and balloon. Best part is they open till 1am so you can enjoy a private time with your love after the kids have gone to bed.

42. Ikeda Spa

Enjoy a Japanese special Rose-mantic Spa promo that includes rose collage, Onsen Spa, VIP suite and a rose candle massage.

43. So Spa

Pamper each other at the luxurious So Spa that starts with a Scrub, followed by a 60 minutes massage, a 30 mins facial and end it with a 30 min bath. Your day does not end here as you get to enjoy the amazing So Spa facilities for the rest of the day. Perfect to unwind and spend quality time with your Valentine away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Unique experiences

44. Yacht

Sail away just the two of you into the sunset in a private yacht. Indulge in water activities or just enjoy a BBQ.

45. Stylized and personalised romantic picnic

Have a picnic without the hassle of setting up or deciding what food to bring. Coupled with an amazing décor of fairy lights, canopy and tepee tents, this will serve as a unique, romantic and relaxing Valentine’s day date.

46. Scenic Flight experience

Take a joy ride over Singapore or fly to a Malaysian Island, the royal way, in a private aircraft.

47. Glamping

Flowers, fairy lights, food, movie and an overnight stay in the most fancy tent by the beach.

 Valentine’s Day Staycations

48. Amara Sanctuary Hotel

Spend a special time with your partner in Amara Sentosa’s  ‘Romantic Experience Package’  that includes a four course dinner , breakfast  for two and a Spa Voucher.

49. Naumi Hotel

Spice up your romance with Naumi Hotel’s Valentine’s day getaway with specials such as the ‘Kinky Package’

50. Ritz Carlton Romance Getaway Package

Ritz Carlton’s ‘Romance Getaway ‘package is perfect for couples who wish to indulge in their love for each other. Their package includes a bottle of Champagne, breakfast, a grand room with a spectacular view of the Marina Bay amongst others. You will sure feel spoiled by the end of it.


This blog is contributed by Preeti, a mum to two lovely kids and an ex-teacher who loves to find opportunities for exciting outings for her own date night with her husband. 

10 Gemstones to Say 'Be My Valentine'!

Spoil your Valentine, say “you are my gem”, but not with the regular chocolates, flowers, diamonds. Jewelry is among the most wanted Valentine’s Day gift for women for sure. How about you personalize it and leave them thinking all year long “you are cared for”. Gemstone consultant, Diya Dembla, studies gemstones not just for its sparkle and shine, but also to enhance your luck with your planets. She put together a quick guide for us to learn about colored gemstones which can not only be style statements and inheritances for your next generation, but also have positive effects on our mind and body. Well, we never need excuses for jewelry, but here are some inviting reasons to go gemstone shopping. For starters, did you know diamonds are cosmically not for everyone?

Image Courtesy: https://www.instagram.com/katehudson/

Image Courtesy: https://www.instagram.com/katehudson/

ROSE QUARTZ - For centuries the Rose Quartz has been the gemstone symbol of good luck. And guess what? It can look like this! Here is a picture of Kate Hudson’s gemstone platform in her home with the largest crystal being a heart shaped rose quartz. 

YELLOW SAPPHIRE - Even professionally, few gemstones have been known to help build better connections, open doors and improve career luck. Have you ever seen people wearing a yellow sapphire? This one is most famous for career luck. 

AMETHYST - If you think that your home has too much of an aggressive energy or if you think like you need to calm down few notches, then this royal purple gemstone is for you. It’s instills a calm almost instantly for the wearer or where ever it is placed. 

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BLACK JADE - I’ve often seen people of very high stature and fame carry a big black jade. Now that I study gemstones and their effects I know exactly why. Black jade if worn keeps negative energy at bay. It keeps negative thoughts, people or situations at bay. Ofcourse it can be worn by anyone, but those most benefited by it are public figures or very beautiful people. 

PEARLS - Pearls are great again to maintain a calm and cool disposition. It is also good for those who suffer high blood pressure or feel too hot. Exceptional for those experiencing hormonal imbalances. 

AQUAMARINE - If you travel a lot, this is your gemstone. If you are in a high stress job or environment, this is your gemstone. If you work in an environment where lots of deadlines need to be met, this is your gemstone. This little gem helps the wearer be calm and collected and yet focused and sharp. It helps achieve goals without being stressed. 

PERIDOT - I love this green gemstone. Nothing compares to an emerald, but this stone is my favorite after the peridot. It also helps the wearer if they have throat, neck or chest issues. Also helps if fighting any kind of addictions. Additionally, very lucky for forming good relationships. 

FLUORITE - I don’t recommend this gemstone for anything but stomach related issues like slow digestion, to overcome any malnutrition problems or for better nutritive strength from food. When I see fluorite I always connect its energy with a happier, calmer and stronger stomach. 

GREEN TOURMALINE - Money. Money. Money. Few know that the green tourmaline gemstone enhances the wearers luck tremendously in the good fortune department. Try it and find out for yourself. 

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CITRINE - The list of cosmic and holistic benefits of citrine are so long I will need to write a book on it. I have found it to be most effective when placed in a home where the male member needs more happiness or more support. This is one rare gemstone where if placed on raw crystal form does not ever need any cleansing.

There are many aspects of our life that we can enhance by the sheer energy that gemstones emit. If you’re struggling in any area of life and want to improve it, reach out to Diya Dembla at diyavdembla@gmail.com, of Cosmic Gemstones who will read your natal chart and suggest the best gemstones for you. 

26 of the Best Parties in Singapore to Welcome 2018!!!

So, your Christmas is all planned and sorted but you’ve not even thought about New Year’s Eve yet? For those who want to get out and enjoy the action, there are tons of great celebrations across the island. Whether you want a romantic date, group fun, family entertainment or free events, check out our exhaustive guide below to welcome 2018 in style!

For year-round fun, see: 

SKY HIGH FUN!

1. SKYPARK OBSERVATION DECK

Enjoy fantastic views across the city and party the night away 57 storeys up at one of the most glamorous parties in Singapore. Sky High Social is on the SkyPark Observation Deck and provides one of the most spectacular views of the fireworks. There is live music from Nancy Jenkinson Brown and the Fantastic, champagne aplenty, party favours and much more!

General Admission tickets from S$198 (10% off for Sands Rewards members).

2. LA VIE EN ROSE AT CÉ LA VI

Alternatively, head next door to a pink ‘La Vie en Rosé party at swanky CÉ LA VI. With live saxophone performances and cabaret themed shows, this chic event is being held in collaboration with Dom Pérignon Rosé – what better collaboration for a New Years’ eve soiree?

3. LAVO SINGAPORE

New Years’ eve sees the highly anticipated launch of Lavo restaurant, bar and nightclub on level 57 of Marina Bay Sands. This Italian-American venue is putting on some world-class entertainment, with celebs in attendance including Jamie Foxx - who is set to open this exciting event.

4. LEVEL33

Themed Stars and Sparks, Level 33 are putting on a glittering evening with a one-night only dinner ($398++), as well as free-flow craft beers and selected wines. But if you just want to party, for $128++ you will get entry to a prime fireworks viewing spot, one-hour free flow of midnight snacks and craft beers and selected wines.

5. ME@OUE

For an elegant affair, enjoy a free-standing canape buffet served by a butler ($248++ per pax), and sumptuous live stations with Japanese, charcuterie and oysters, to name a few. Wash it down with unlimited prosecco, beer, house wines, soft drinks and juices, as you feast your eyes on the uninterrupted views of Marina Bay.

6. MR STORK, ANDAZ HOTEL

Check out this new on the scene bar where guests relax and enjoy fabulous cocktails in a tepee! This 360-degree rooftop bar near Kampong Glam, is selling tickets ($148++) and includes free-flow champagne, wine, Andaz’s very own Pale Ale and DJ action from 9pm to 1am.

7. SMOKE AND MIRRORS

No respectable party list can exclude Smoke and Mirrors! With some of Singapore’s most creative cocktails and incredible panoramic views, it is a great place to toast goodbye to 2017. For a glass of champagne or house pour ($98++ with cover charge), or splurge on a table ($588++ for indoor to $1088++ for outdoor) for up to four persons, inclusive of a bottle of Lanson Black Label Magnum and one bottle of Clos Lanson Champagne. Here is it not all about the drinks, there will be a live magician to wow you, and music to get you up on your feet!

LUXURY WITH A VIEW

8. NEW YEARS EVE CRUISE AND COUNTDOWN 2018

Usher in 2018 with a romantic new year’s eve dinner sail on Royal Albatross followed by a Chic dockside countdown party into the small hours. The dinner cruise sails at 630pm from Sentosa through the scenic Southern Islands to the city skyline, returning to the dock at 9 pm. Create lasting memories during the sail with friends and family and celebrate in style while enjoying our BBQ Buffet spread with live stations.

9. MONTI

This upmarket Italian restaurant is right on the water and gives diners ringside seats to the pyrotechnic display at midnight. Choose between four and six courses for dinner at $180++ and $350++respectively.

If eating is cheating, then head to Monti’s balcony and roof top for drinks, fun and a clear view of the spectacular fireworks display.

From 6pm – 9pm - $68 nett inclusive of 1 Standard House Pour & 1 NYE Cocktail

From 9pm - 12am - $318 ++ Free Flow of Premium Pours Only (Fireworks View)

From 12am – late - $78 nett inclusive of 1 Standard House Pour & 1 Glass of Veuve Clicquot

10. ZAFFERANO ITALIAN RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

Start the celebrations early 43 floors above the Marina Bay waterfront at Zafferanos. Their exquisite three-course dinner ($128++) is from 5:30pm to 8pm. Diners can then top up S$200++ to join their fun countdown party with unlimited G.H Mumm champagne. Alternatively, show up at 9pm, when the restaurant will transform into a glamorous masquerade gala (S$450++) featuring a five-course dinner and after dinner dancing at their Rooftop Terrace Lounge with tunes being spun by DJ James Van Carlos.

HIT THE STREET!

11. NYE LANEWAY PARTY WITH HONEYCOMBERS, MAGGIE JOAN’S RESTAURANT AND VINOMOFO

What better way to welcome in 2018 but with free-flow sparkling and wine, live music, fantastic food and a great crowd of fun-loving people? Honeycombers website and Maggie Joan’s (a must-try Singapore restaurant) have teamed up with online wine retailer Vinomofo, for a wild party event on Gemmill Lane.

FEEL THE SAND BETWEEN YOUR TOES THIS NYE!

12. COASTES AND SAND BAR


If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, then hit Siloso for some beach party fun! Head to Coastes and Sand Bar and enjoy a buffet ($70++) of freshly-grilled seafood, succulent meats, hearty mains and more, with booze promos like Heineken Draft and housepour spirits at $16 for two, then party under the stars with live music of pop infused with jazz, funk and soul.

CELEBRATE FAMILY STYLE

For those of you who don’t want having kids to stop all the fun, here are some entertaining events where they can party with you!

13. PRUDENTIAL MARINA BAY CARNIVAL

Spanning two hubs at The Promontory and Bayfront Event Space, this is a fantastic family destination featuring over 40 fun-for-all rides and games ranging from roller coasters to water rides, music performances and plenty of F&B options to choose from. Opened from 4pm daily from 8 December, entry is free, while ride and game credits can be purchased on-site and online. Join the buzz and even stay late to watch the Marina Bay fireworks at the stroke of midnight – if you are not too tired from all the fun!

14. BOLLYWOOD COUNTDOWN 2018

Dress in your Bollywood finest, feast on delicious Indian fare and strut your best bhangra moves at this kid friendly event at the F1 Pit Buildings. You can also watch the fireworks from the gallery overlooking the Singapore Flyer. There are prizes for the snazziest outfits and a bunch of family-friendly games to play. 
Family packages are from $175 (includes buffet dinner for all). Individual tickets from $30. Kids aged three and below are free. Drinks not included. 

15. NEW YEAR’S EVE COUNTDOWN CONCERT 2018

For a more refined affair, enjoy an evening of classical tunes by the Philharmonic Orchestra at the SOTA Concert Hall. Music maestros Lim Yau and Edward Tan, as well as presenter William Ledbetter, will bring you an enlightening evening. Adults also get to enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly! Tickets are $42 per person. Children aged two and above will need their own ticket.

16. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Rollercoaster your way into 2018 and expect live performances, dazzling pyrotechnics and street performances galore, as this world-famous theme park opens its doors on New Years’ Eve. Individual tickets cost from $36 per person and family bundles from $134. 

PUTTING ON THE RITZ AT HOTELS ACROSS THE ISLAND

17. ATRIUM, PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE

Enjoy a roaring night at the 1920’s inspired Great Gatsby Party at the Atrium, Pan Pacific. This stylish bar and lounge will be oozing glitz and style as you wine, dine and dance the night away to the live DJ. With unlimited canapés and house pours and a magnificent balloon drop at midnight, this is a great place to be.

$88++ per person – exclusive package for dine-in guests from Edge, Hai Tien Lo and Keyaki. Before 10.30pm - $128++ per person. After 10.30pm - $98++ per person.

18. LOBBY, GRAND HYATT

After enjoying a decadent buffet dinner at one of their many restaurants, including - mezza9, StraitsKitchen, Pete’s Place, 10 Scotts – enjoy a dessert extravaganza with free-flow bubbles and trip the light fantastic at a Back to the 80s – Discotech at the hotel’s lobby. Tickets to the “Back to the 80s! Disco Tech” Countdown Party and Dessert Extravaganza are priced at $108++ for one. (Contact the relevant restaurants for dinner buffet prices).

19. NEW YEAR’S COUNTDOWN PARTY AT TOWER WING LOBBY, SHANGRI-LA SINGAPORE

Check out London-based music sensation, JOANovARC as they perform at the Shangri-La Hotel, on the final stop of their sold-out world tour. This fabulous all-female band’s electrifying performance will almost make you forget about the all-important countdown with all the fun and dancing! Starting from $788++ for a four person table package.

20. THE FULLERTON HOTEL & THE FULLERTON BAY HOTEL SINGAPORE

With plenty of drinking and dining options to choose from, both hotels are a great option for sumptuous celebration feasts:

·       Town Restaurant’s dinner buffet (from S$250++)

·       Jade Restaurant – six-course Chinese set menu (S$269++), which also includes entry to the countdown party at the lobby of The Fullerton Hotel

·       Lighthouse rooftop (from S$118 nett)

·       The Clifford Pier - seafood buffet (from S$298++)

·       La Brasserie – enjoy a six-course French meal (from S$378++) before joining the poolside party (from S$150 nett) at the Lantern rooftop bar.

Remember to check out the vivid 3D light projection on the façade of The Fullerton Hotel as part of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown – it happens every hour from 8pm to 11pm.

21. NAUMI HOTEL

Kick off the evening at Table by Rang Mahal and dine on an indulgent four-course Indian set menu (from S$75++). For an extra S$38++ your celebrations can continue at the countdown party at rooftop bar Cloud 9, with unobstructed views of the fireworks. For those just wanting to party, buy a ticket for the fun without having dined. This cocktail reception (S$98++) includes a welcome drink of sparkling wine, as well as endless butler-served canapés and house-pour drinks.

22. THE RITZ-CARLTON, MILLENIA SINGAPORE

This stylish night begins with an extravagant buffet spread at Colony. After filling up on sumptuous buffet favourites and sipping unlimited Moet & Chandon NV Brut Imperial champagne, catch the fireworks over Marina Bay from the hotel lobby. Afterwards, adjourn to Chihuly Lounge to dance to live music for after-party fun till 2am. Tickets from S$388++ per person.

23. SWISSOTEL THE STAMFORD

End the year on a literal high with a seven-course degustation dinner (S$428++) including a countdown with live entertainment at the 70-floor high Equinox Restaurant. Or be transported to ‘A Night In Shanghai’ at Bar Rouge for a timeless celebration (S$65++) this New Year’s Eve. Alternatively, sip on cocktails at a romantic table by the window (from S$200++ for two) at City Space.

LEAVE YOUR WALLET AT HOME!

24. FIREWORKS FOR FREE

Alternatively, if your wallet is a little empty after an extravagant Christmas, then why not head to some of the great vantage points along the river and watch the spectacular fireworks at Marina Bay. Here are the 5 best places to see them without spending a cent:

·       Bay East Gardens and Gardens by the Bay – across the bridge at Marina Barrage

·       Helix bridge and Benjamin Sheares bridge – positioned just beside the floating platform

·       Marina Bay Events plaza and The Promontory, Merlion Park – get there early as it gets crowded

·       The lawn @Marina Bay – between the sail and MBFC, this is a good patch of grass to relax and watch the displays

·       Esplanade Bridge and Jubilee bridge – this can get very busy but is an easy place to see the pyrotechnics

·       Marina Barrage – the green roof may obstruct some of the view but you will still be able to see the stunning display

25. FREE ACTIVITIES AT THE CIVIC DISTRICT

Also, you can head to the vibrant Civic District for a range of activities which are also at no cost. The area will be transformed into a car-free zone on the last day of 2017 to host a line-up of free programmes. A sunset yoga session, a food bazaar, music performances, movie screenings – it’s set to be a busy night with lots of exciting things to do.

26. GALLERY TIME

Art lovers, can take advantage of the extended gallery opening hours at National Gallery Singapore and Asian Civilisations Museum (10pm and midnight, respectively) and free admissions for certain galleries (from 10am and 5pm, respectively).

Singapore is going to alive with events this New Years’ eve so make sure you don’t miss out on the fun. Happy New Year! 


This blog is contributed by Peta Delahunty. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Singapore for the past 9 years with her family. She is a self-confessed word nerd and when not writing and being a mum, loves exploring Singapore's fabulous food scene and enjoying its vibrant attractions.

Give the Gift of Exciting Experiences and Memories

Do you really need more face cream or another cushion for the couch as presents? Is your children’s toy box already overflowing with more games and Lego they can possibly ever play with? Is your husband going to groan as he unwraps his fifteenth pair of socks and tenth shaving kit? Well, have you thought of ditching the ‘stuff’ presents and buying an experience gift for your loved ones instead?

According to science, if you’re trying to buy happiness, it’s better to spend money on an experience than the latest iPhone. The novelty of a shiny new gadget or toy fades quicker than taking part in an exciting event that brings wonderful lifelong memories. So, whether it’s a birthday, Christmas or ‘just because’ gift, check out our suggestions below for some awesome ‘experience gift’ ideas here in Singapore.

How about a membership for the kids or whole family to enjoy? Singapore boasts a huge number of exciting attractions that will always provide great entertainment, however many times you visit:

GIFTS FOR KIDS:

1. SINGAPORE ZOO FAMILY MEMBERSHIP– You can never tire of this amazing attraction for all ages. With the unpredictability of animal behaviour and the zoo’s regular upgrading, there is always something new to see or explore. Also, the children’s play area with water playground is a must visit every time! 

2. S.E.A. AQUARIUM MEMBERSHIP- This underwater paradise is a great excursion and the mesmerising huge Open Ocean tank never ceases to amaze, however many times you visit. Membership starts from $88 per adult and $68 per child (4-12 years) and privileges include priority entrance, complimentary access to the Typhoon Theatre, discounts on Ocean Dreams (Singapore’s coolest sleep-over venue!) and VIP Tours, plus one free ice-cream for the junior members from the S.E.A-side snacks per visit. If you buy a membership before 31st December 2017 you can enjoy 10% off and two $5 meal vouchers.

3. BOUNCE MEMBERSHIP- this place is heaven for most children and we all know that happy kids make happy parents! With you little darlings able to jump away their energies on the professional grade trampolines, play dodgeball and basketball, experience the amazing X-Park and leap of faith, it is one of Singapore’s best indoor adventure parks. 

4. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS WITH GIFT-IT-FORWARD - This is a fabulous initiative and is the perfect gift for those who enjoy helping others. Send your birthday invite and the company set up an automated personal gift fund. One portion of the fund goes to charity of your choice and then the remaining money can go towards one group gift you wish to receive. It is a great idea for any member of the family and one which encourages social awareness and charity giving – for some at a very early age.

GIFTS FOR COUPLES:

Want a joint gift to give to that special couple of fancy doing something special with your other half? Then check out these fab options:

5. SUNSET CRUISE - what is more romantic than an unforgettable voyage for just the two of you? Enjoy your own personal 4-hour luxury sailing experience on a chartered yacht. Sail to a nearby island and take a dip, go kayaking, snorkelling or fishing, or just enjoy each other’s company. You can also arrange for a BBQ or private picnic on-board. 

6. CLAY & POTTERY WORKSHOP –  For the creative couple, why not enjoy a ceramic 3.5-hour workshop where you can make your own personalised piece of ceramic pottery to take home. The session includes all materials and a tour of one of Singapore's last dragon kilns. Not only is it inspiring and fun, but you will take home your ceramic pottery as a happy keepsake and memory for years to come! Available as group or private sessions.  

7. PERSONALIZED PERFUME MAKING WORKSHOP – this is a fun 2-hr workshop where couples can create their own personalised scent. Combining both your personalities and favourite aromas, you can co-design an everyday perfume for you both to wear and remind yourselves of each other. You can bring wine with you too. 

GIFTS FOR HER:

Want to pamper that special lady in your life? Spoil her with a special surprise:

8. STYLIZED PICNIC FOR TWOWhisk your partner away for a few hours to her favourite place under the trees or stars and arrange a wonderful picnic for her. Just pick the location and then simply turn up to find the most gorgeously stylized picnic complete with gourmet food & beverages waiting for you.  You also get to relax as all the clearing away afterwards is done for you! 

9. PRIVATE HOME DINING - If your partner would prefer being in a comforting home environment enjoying freshly prepared gourmet food, why not give her the night off with a 3-course meal for two, prepared and hosted by celebrity chef, Sarab Kapoor. She will prepare sumptuous dishes in her stunning house that you and your better half will love. 

10. EXPLORE SINGAPORE TOUR – Discover more about the amazing Little Red Dot. This is perfect for those curious women out there who want to know more about Singapore's rich history and heritage. You can enjoy group tours or enjoy your own customised excursion for groups of any size including individuals. So, whatever your partner is interested in, you can arrange the perfect tour for her. 

GIFTS FOR HIM:

Let’s not forget the men, they deserve some fun too!

11. MICHELIN STAR HAWKER CENTER TOUR – This fabulous tour gives you a real taste of Singapore’s legendary street food scene. Now being recognised in the infamous Michelin Guide, discover and try some of the best hawker food on the island. This is a fun and informative tour that will tantalise your partner’s taste buds. Also, you won’t need to queue for hours like other’s do, he will learn, experience and indulge, without the hassle. 

12. FLIGHT SIMULATOR – Let your partner’s inner pilot take flight on-board the state-of-the-art, professional flight simulators based on the Boeing 737-800. These simulators include high-fidelity, real-size cockpits with accurate and fully-functional aircraft controls, instrumentation and systems so your man will really believe he is a fully trained pilot! 

13. VIRTUAL REALITY ROOM – The future of entertainment is here and this is a great opportunity for your partner to immerse himself in amazing new worlds on another level. The experience allows participants to explore virtual realms they never thought possible and collaborate in teams to solve puzzles or defeat the enemy. You can purchase gift vouchers so he can play multiple game experiences with his friends or family.

14. EXPERIENCE GIFT CARD- With so many experiences to choose from, thinking of the perfect one can be hard. A great solution is a gift card so the recipient can choose which exciting adventure they would like to try. Check out the DateFyx Gift Voucher which can be used for any bespoke experience, as well as purchasing any of the listed experiences on the website. It is delivered either via email or sent in a beautifully gift pack and must be used within 6 months of purchase.

So, think outside the wrapped-up present box next time you have a gift to buy for that special person. What better way to celebrate or say thank you than by giving fun and wonderful memories that will last forever!


This blog is contributed by Peta Delahunty. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Singapore for the past 9 years with her family. She is a self-confessed word nerd and when not writing and being a mum, loves exploring Singapore's fabulous food scene and enjoying its vibrant attractions.

DateFyx Diaries - Private Yacht Charter for a Perfect Date in Singapore

DateFyx invited Peter & Amber for our private yacht cruise, which is perfect for couples looking for fun activities and a break from the usual for their date night. Our featured couple are avid travelers and proud parents of their beautiful twin daughters - Leia and Lauren, who are Instagram celebrities themselves. Amber & Peter lay out some serious relationship goals for all the couples out there. They engage each other in their own little projects of documenting their travels and the days spent with their beautiful twins. We are extremely proud of our yacht charter experience for couples. You sail away from Sentosa for about 20 minutes, anchor near the Lazarus Island. You could swim, kayak, snorkel, fish or just watch the sun go down. You could also explore the tropical island on foot. The crew puts together the most delectable BBQ spread for your indulgence, after your water activities around the Lazarus Island. You do feel a little spoilt by the end of the 4-hour cruise and wish it wouldn't end.

For other date night ideas, also see:

You could book your own private yacht cruise here for a celebrity style date night! Enquire for overnight trips as well. 

"Our evening at the yacht was fantastic. Was really relaxing. Good food, good ambiance, good aircon, good experience, just fantastic! The experience of both, sea and land was very special and having a nice meal on board just added to it. Not to forget the absolutely amazing kayaking experience.

DateFyx is a great concept for parents who need a break and don't have time to plan something. And for husbands who tend to forget anniversaries, and need help last minute to plan something special for their date together. Also not everyone is gifted to do this kind of detailed planning. Takes the stress element away when everything is planned so nicely. The couple just have to show up and enjoy the evening.   

We'd definitely like to experience other DateFyx themes as well. A picnic in the garden is in our cards for the next time we have a special occasion. Thank you DateFyx!"  - Amber & Peter

Also read: Date Nights After Kids. 

You arrive at the Marina and are led to the yacht by the friendly crew. They give a quick tour of the yacht and safety instructions for your trip. The yacht also has three rooms with beds where you could stay overnight for an even more elaborate date night. A 20-minute ride takes you to the tropical Lazarus Island. 

The yacht can anchor there itself or at the lagoon, which is a quieter, more secluded place. Here you could swim, kayak, snorkel or even fish. All equipment is provided. Our guests, Peter and Amber, decide to kayak for a bit. They really enjoyed kayaking into the sunset along the calm waters of the lagoon. The yacht then anchored closer to the Lazarus Island where there were lots of other yachts anchored as well. There were mostly large groups of family or friends. The couple just walked along the jetty enjoying their time together while our photographer was clicking away. 

All this while, the crew was busy preparing the BBQ meal for them and laying it all out. The couple came back to the yacht a little hungry and just in time for the candlelight dinner on board. 

How perfect is this vacation squuezed into just 4 hours! Also great for celebrating special occasions like Valentine's, birthdays or anniversaries. What's even better? You can gift this as a voucher to your favorite couple using DateFyx vouchers.

Enquire now to book this experience for yourself! 

Photography by ShawnMX. All images are copyright DateFyx. 

DateFyx Diaries - Stylized Picnics in Singapore

Our couple of the month, Joyce & Donovan, enjoyed our beautiful stylized picnic as the winners of our Facebook and Instagram contest for the 'stylized picnic and photo shoot' date night giveaway. 

Book your own stylized picnic here for your next date night. And add a couple photography session to it for magical memories! 

The couple were Facebook friends for 3 years before they even met. They finally met, sparks flew and they started dating in 2014.  They decided on getting hitched and are really looking forward to their wedding in June 2018. They love exploring Singapore with their little dog and you will see their Instagram feed updated every weekend with their adventures. They hoped to win this giveaway so they could use the stylized picnic pictures as their pre-wedding photoshoot. 

They are a photographer's delight and we had so much fun setting up the picnic for them. Here are some pictures of their fun and sparkly pincic photoshoot. We also asked them a few questions to know them better.

"It was a very special experience for us. Both of us enjoyed the evening very much. The picnic setup was just so romantic and the food was delicious too. It was amazing with very detailed execution. We will definitely recommend this to our friends, who are planning proposals or celebrating anniversaries."  - Joyce & Donovan

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1. Any non-work thing that you are most excited about right now?

We are really excited about our upcoming wedding day!

2. The coolest thing that you have done together?

The coolest thing we have done together was to bring our dog for a holiday earlier this year for an Europe trip. It's just so much fun travelling together. Just the 3 of us enjoying each other's company.

3. Three things at the top of your bucket list?

To fly in a hot-air balloon in Cappadocia, have our own home and to open a café.

4. Top 3 favorite date night spots from any city that you have visited before?

Catch the sunset at Macritchie reservoir in Singapore, go for Duck & Waffle Restaurant in London, stay in the glass igloo in Finland and watch northern lights.

5. A TV show/series you both love to watch?

The Walking Dead is our new favourite!

6. What does Date Night at home look like?

Donovan will cook for me while i will bake for him and we will watch a movie together while having our meal.

7. Which celebrity couple do you look up to and would love to go on a double date with?

Jay Chou and Hannah Quinlivan.

8. The best relationship advice you've been given or you would like to give?

A strong relationship is one where both partners will find a solution to a problem together, even if one does not agree with the problem.

9. Lastly, what would you like to do for your next special occasion?

We would love a night safari experience together.

Thank you Joyce & Donovan for letting us in on your 'couple time'. All the best for your wedding! 

For other adventurous date night ideas, also see:

11 Gifting Ideas for Milestone Anniversaries

We realized the months of November & December are full of wedding anniversaries of friends and extended family. Here’s some traditionally-themed inspiration for an anniversary gift to celebrate with your spouse or to gift your favorite couple. These come in handy, whether it’s the first anniversary or 50th. And we also have a little guide to help you pair material gifts with experiences for each of these themes. If you haven’t noticed, we are big fans of enriching, engaging, relaxing experiences. Science backs it up that experiential gifts are most satisfying in the long term and we totally believe in sharing those priceless moments with our loved ones!

Enquire for our Gift Cards for each of these experiences. Also, if you want your partner to plan instead, simply drop-a-hint right here.  


The Early Years: Mad About Each Other… Passion Prevails

1st year: PAPER
Gift suggestions: A book, photo album to last all the beautiful years ahead. Couple this with our 1-hour Couple Photography session for timeless memories.  

2nd year: COTTON
Gift suggestions: Cotton or Linen shorts/sun dress with a day well spent yachting to an island. The private yacht charter includes fishing gear, kayaks and snorkels, for an adventure-filled and memorable cotton anniversary!

3rd year: LEATHER
Gift suggestions: Matching leather jackets or accessories. Couple this with a Date Night experience that’s all about staying comfortable in your own skin. Indulge in a pampering massage, private yoga session or acroyoga. Our friendly yoga and acroyoga instructors could hold this session within the comfort of your home, their own studio or out in the beautiful gardens.

4th year: FRUIT/FLOWERS
Gift suggestion: Associate each other with a special fruity or flowery fragrance on your 4th anniversary. Design a bespoke perfume in our perfume-making workshop, mixing and matching any of the 300+ scented oils. You get to carry home your signature perfume in a glass bottle with your name etched on it.

5th year: WOOD
Gift suggestions: Explore the tropical forests on a short 30-minute hike through the woods with the most spectacular view at the finishing point. Have a picnic at the finishing point with our hand-picked healthy snacks, drinks and hiking essentials, delivered to you in a backpack.  


Double Digits: Made for Each Other… Companionship

10th year: ALUMINIUM
Gift suggestion: The 10th one calls for a very special celebration. So, we are going to get a little creative here. Ditch the aluminum pots, pans, picture frames. Go for large aluminum foil balloons taking the center stage on a very romantic stylized picnic or a party with all your near and dear ones. The romantic stylized picnic is a complete stunner with the beautiful set-up in the gardens, gourmet food, drinks, great views of the Singapore skyline and ofcourse, your partner right beside you.   

15th year: CRYSTAL
Gift suggestions: Swarovski crystals never disappoint. But, if you are looking for something  experiential to etch the memories, go for a psychic reading with a crystal ball or tarot cards. Our tarot card reader helps you understand each other’s signature profile for a deeper connect and helps answer any of your questions, all in a fun way.  

20th year: CHINA
Gift suggestion: Custom-make your own china ware, with a clay workshop that walks you through Singapore’s oldest dragon kiln. Connect with each other’s creative sides while you design a pair of serving bowls or coffee mugs to make your China anniversary special.

25th year: SILVER
Gift suggestions: Silver jewelry all over the malls and specialty stores in Singapore is just beautiful. But, if you are looking for something as special as your relationship, this silver jewelry making workshop is perfect for you. Be it a ring or a pendant, you could craft it together, hone your skills and make it memorable.


We Made it… Serious Milestones!!!

50th year: GOLD
Gift suggestion: Wow! These are serious milestones. Pair a beautiful gold accessory with a sailing experience into the Golden Sunset watching the Singapore skyline light up, while you enjoy your dinner with live entertainment aboard the Royal Albatross Tall Ship.

60th year: DIAMOND
Gift suggestion: You guys made it to the diamond anniversary! Gift a sparkling diamond jewelry or accessory under the stars, in a romantic stylized picnic with hundreds of fairy lights, overlooking the dazzling Singapore skyline.

Anniversaries surely call out for celebration and make sure you keep raising the bar each time!