19 July 2013

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

This is one I should have put up a few months ago. Raffles Hotel, Singapore was established in 1887 by Martin and Tigran Sarkies. It is named after Stamford Raffles (1781–1826), the British statesman and founder of Singapore, and of course has strong colonial associations. Famous patrons included Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling and Hemingway.
There are many signs such as this around the place just to remind you of where you are.
Raffles Courtyard is impressive too.
'Where else should one partake of the Singapore Sling but at Raffles Hotel?', the advertising sign reminds you.
A plaque next to the Long Bar sign relates:
'The precise origin of the Long Bar are [sic] shrouded in mystery.
Legend has it the a rather longish bar was
 constructed by the Sarkies Brothers, the original proprietors,
in the early years of this century in the
Hotel's Main Building.
Here the inventive barman Ngiam Tong Boon
served up his original Singapore Sling and Million Dollar Cocktails.
In the intervening years the location of the Long Bar
moved several times.
During the 1989–1991 Restoration of Raffles Hotel,
the Long Bar was given a new home,
where Mr Ngiam's recipes are prepared
in the traditional manner.'
Many people do 'partake of' this readymade blue, very sugary and rather alcoholically weak concoction which will cost them, after taxes and current conversion rates, the equivalent of over £16 a glass because, well, it's just something you have to try once, isn't it, and have your photo taken, grinning beatifically in front of your glass of Singapore Sling in the Long Bar so you can upload it to FaceBook, YouTube or your blog or whatever? Well, not for us thanks.
Another tradition, which is encouraged in the Long Bar, is to chuck the shells of the nuts you've grabbed from the bar counter onto the floor. Or the tourist might like to take home a bag of nuts, along with a bought Singapore Sling glass, as a souvenir.
The nuts and the shells attract pigeons, so the Long Bar is caged.
Nice capitals outside.
And don't forget where you've been.
Addendum: I've just noticed this blog post, and really like the reasoning:

'Agnes' Pages: Raffles Hotel, Singapore'

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