{Review} Catch A Taste of The Forbidden |Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress

I’ve heard so much about this wonderful Dick Lee musical Forbidden City : Portrait of an Empress starring Kit Chan but each time it was staged before, I was out stationed. No wonder then that the hubs and I were really looking forward to finally go to the Esplanade Theatres to catch this well-loved classic and of course to see Kit Chan on stage!


Local theatre goers must have this epic musical as their 2017 Must Do, Must Watch musical and who could challenge that? Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress first commissioned by Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay for Esplanade’s Opening Festival in October 2002 has had a sell-out season at each restaging (in Sept 2003 and 2006).

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Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress is the story of Empress Dowager Ci Xi (played by Kit Chan), her love story, betrayals and struggles, rise to absolute power, even as China was increasingly being ravaged by foreign powers as the Qing Dynasty struggled to retain control of China.

As the musical opened, I could feel the excitement and anticipation rising in the hushed audience. It was almost unbelievable that I was finally watching this epic musical at the Esplanade. The little one who has a love for history was equally in awe, this being his first ‘adult’ musical! Plus, he was eagerly anticipating watching Kit Chan, the singer of his favourite National Day song – Home! What a treat!

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The Empress Dowager CiXi played by Cheryl Tan, Kit Chan and Sheila Francisco depicting different stages of her life.

The musical wasted no time in introducing the Dragon Lady and very soon we were transported into an unfamiliar time when the Emperor’s rule was absolute and his wants were insatiable (including his harem of concubines). As the older Empress CiXi (played by Sheila Francisco ) recounted her life’s hopes, joys, love, disappointments, struggles we were also given a running history of the ebbs and flows of the Qing Dynasty.

Empress CIxi

Forbidden City was a musical treat from the very start. Dick Lee’s beautiful music was equally matched with the excellent vocals of the 2017 cast.

With big shoes to fill, credit must be given to Cheryl Tan who plays the young Yehenara this time instead of Kit Chan. Her voice crystal clear as always, was powerful and captivating. We’ve watched her as Juliet in SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park Romeo & Juliet, as Ivy in Dick Lee’s Beauty World and even as Little Bo Frilly in SRT’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and I think this is by far her best musical performance ever. She was calm yet vibrant, playing a more matured heroine this time, putting away her usual more animated and girlish characterisations.

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The young Yehenara (Cheryl Tan) with her hopes so high of finding true love with the Emperor.

Cheryl Tan lifted and refreshed us with her stunning vocals throughout Act One. I think the audience could feel Yehenara’s disappointment and betrayal when the Emperor quite quickly forgot about her after three months of what seemed like a fairy tale love affair. (I was amazed that when one got pregnant by the Emperor, he shelves you!!)

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My favourite has got to be the really entertaining Record Keepers played by Sebastian Tan (Singapore’s favourite Broadway Beng) and Dwayne Lau (SRT’s Treasure Island). They were just the perfect amount of humour and wit! The Record Keepers were brilliant and everyone in the audience adored them… maybe because they added the light-hearted fun in an otherwise depressing storyline perhaps? haha…

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I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed that we had to wait till Act Two before Kit Chan came on. Although every part of Act One was enjoyable, I still wished that the talented Kit Chan was on stage earlier and sang more… for she did not disappoint. Her well trained vocals was not only emotive, she commanded the presence only a star like her could. Everyone just could not get enough of her, I know that for a fact.

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Kit made us all feel the deep sorrows a mother (even a Dragon Lady) must have felt for the passing of her child. If there were doubts that Empress Dowager ever cared for anyone, she removed it. How her heart must have broke when Emperor Tung Chih’s life was wasted. I teared as I watched and listened.

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The stage sets were a awesome. Beautiful. Simple yet effective. I especially loved the funeral scene where the stage was opened up to reveal the depth of the really amazing theatre stage of the Esplanade! I had no idea it was so deep… other times when I’ve been to the Esplanade theatres, the productions had never used this to their visual advantage.

Forbidden City is Wey’s first ‘adult’ musical and I was half wondering if he would be able to sit through the 2 hour musical. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried because my 8 year old was totally absorbed throughout. So if you are wondering if your not-so young children will enjoy the musical, I would think so. He was intrigued by the larger than life characters and the story unfolding onstage, the beautiful stage sets and costumes and quite simply the awesome music. In fact, when the musical ended, he actually let out a cry of dismay “Oh?! That’s the end?!!?”; much to the amusement of the people seated around us. Of course, be prepared to answer questions along the lines of : ” Mama, what’s a brothel? Why did the Emperor go there?” ” What disease did he get from the brothel and why?” haha… I took it as a good teaching point moment although I did not quite go into too much details. 🙂

Not all musicals are created equal. It has been more than a decade since Singapore last watched this highly acclaimed iconic made-in Singapore musical and for me, Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress is still as stunning and magical as ever. When you go to see this musical, you will come away in awe at not just the entire production, but an amazement at our local talents.

Don’t miss this amazing timeless musical by local theatre big names or you may have to wait yet another decade for its restaging. Also this may very well be the last time to catch Kit Chan in the role as Empress Ci Xi! If you haven’t already booked tickets, be sure not to be stingy on the tickets, get the best seats for a better view, it’s worth every dollar! I promise! 

Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress plays at the Esplanade Theatre from 8 -27 August 2017. Book Early for the best Category Seats to enjoy the epic musical fully. Tickets available from Esplanade Box Office at https://www.esplanade.com/events/2017/forbidden-city-portrait-of-an-empress, more details at end of post.

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Audrey

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend Forbidden City – Portrait of an Empress, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of SRT and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About Forbidden City – Portrait of an Empress

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When : 8 to 27 August 2017| Tues – Fri: 8pm | Sat : 3pm & 8pm |  Sunday : 1.30pm & 6pm

Where : Esplanade Theatre 

Duration : Approximately 2hrs (including a 20min intermission)

Ticket Pricing :
Tue–Thu, Evening / Sat, Matinee / Sun, Matinee & Evening
Standard: $58, $78, $98, $118
VIP: $128
Restricted View: $38

Fri & Sat, Evening
Standard: $68, $88, $108, $128
VIP: $138
Restricted View: $38

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{Review} The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio | 25 July – 6 Aug 2017

We had such an amazing time last year with Lyngo Theatre at Jack and The Beanstalk, (read our review here) that we were looking forward to this year’s The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio.

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The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio is an excellent retelling of the story of Pinocchio. Artistic Director, Patrick Lynch doesn’t disappoint with his unique style of story telling. This master storyteller was able to put together the entire production on his own. The children were captivated from the minute he appeared onstage and started the narration.  At every corner of the theatre, I could hear children laughing or asking when would Pinocchio’s nose grow longer haha…

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As expected, the props that accompanied his master retelling of the story were simple yet effective. Amidst dusty old books, the magic starts and the story of Pinocchio comes alive on stage. Patrick was able not only to hold the attention of the young audience, he made them laugh gleefully at his playful antics and his curious magical props.

My favourite part must have been when Pinocchio crushes all those ice cream cones (oops! I mean Pinocchio’s long nose) bit by bit by bit after he learns not to lie again.

Wey was spellbound throughout the entire hour. Although there were no actors, and many of the characters in the story that Patrick spoke of were left to imagination only, I could see he was truly absorbed in the story unfolding onstage. At one point, he even exclaimed out loud, “Oh no, this story is tragic…” I was quite surprised at his choice of words because it showed that he was emotionally invested and had empathy for the characters of the story. Therein lies the mastery of Lyngo Theatre’s story telling.

Catch a glimpse of what’s in the show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5XHqO6sOxc&feature=youtu.be and I’m sure you will be clicking on the SISTIC http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cpino0817   link to get hold of tickets. There is only one more weekend to catch this production at the Drama Centre Black Box, before the run ends on 6 August 2017. Details at end of post.

It’s a pity though that this time, there is no Backstage Workshop Tour special like in Jack and the Beanstalk but Patrick was kind enough to have a short question and answer session that left the children wanting more! haha…. I do so wish that there will be a rerun of Jack and the Beanstalk next year.

Expect a magical experience through interesting props that seem alive eg. a book that grows, a book with a bottomless hole, a log that apparently moves on its own! Wey could not help himself but to ask how this was done during the Q&A session but alas, a secret it must stay hahaha! We need that Backstage Tour again! haha…

It would do well for parents to heed the age advisory of 5 years old and above as the style and attention span and maturity required for this production would not be suitable for any child younger than the recommended. Also, get there early as it is free seating and queues to enter the theatre forms even 10-15mins before show time.

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey :) 

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of Act 3 International and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio

Act3 Pinnochio

When: 25 July to 6 August 2017| Mon – Fri: 9am | Sat & Sunday : 10.30am & 2.30pm

Where: Drama Centre Black Box

 

Who: 5 years and above and their families

Ticket Pricing : Standard $28 Weekdays, $38 Weekends (Excludes Booking Fee)

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes no interval

Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide


*For School Group Bookings, please call ACT 3 International at 6735 9986

{Review} Poultry Tales |’Pokei Pokei’ Good Ole Family Fun Day

Over the long Labour Day weekend, we had a treat to go watch I Theatre’s Poultry Tales at the Drama Centre Theatre, despite the pending exams coming up. Seeing how my almost 8 year old (and his classmate plus 5 year old sister) laughed and squealed, I was assured that it was a well worth 1 hour spent away from mugging. The books can wait for a wee bit of fun.

I Theatre’s Poultry Tales runs at the Drama Centre Theatre from 27 April to 14 May 2017. Book your tickets quickly for the remaining available dates at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cpoultry0517

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Poultry Tales was warmly familiar, with all-time favourite stories coming to live on stage. The children enjoyed every bit of the goings-on onstage and laughed wildly at almost every moment.

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Impromptu Chicken Licken anyone?

Poultry Tales achieves quite a lot in just 1 hour. We were given 3 stories, namely, Chicken-Licken,  The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs and The Little Red Hen. All well loved Aesop Fables that are so enjoyable. I liked the clever scene changes between the 3 stories which cleverly reused props as the young audience were transported from being ‘backstage’ to being on  2 farms later on.

Although the stories are familiar, I Theatre cleverly engages the audience from a different perspective. What I liked most for this rather unusual production is that it really gave the young audience a glimpse of the backstage.

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The show opens with a backstage scene, and you immediately wonder why… But this clever opening means the children get to learn so much more about what goes on in a ‘real life’ backstage. “What is a prop?” “What’s a costume? What’s a scenery?” “What does a Stage Manager do?” Go to Poultry Tales and find out what is a ‘Fly-bar’ or what are ‘Legs’ in theatre lingo! All the endless whys and whats from your curious little buddies about theatre, is QED within half an hour 🙂

Wey also particularly liked to point out that the ‘stage crew’ were actually actors and they were acting out the backstage for us… Somewhat proud of himself that he knew that. Oops! haha.

Bravo to the actors who made everything just so funny! Simply loved the ‘interns’ Zebedee and Charlotte, who gave us stitches from all the laughter!

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“This is my hand, I have a prop … erh! A hand-prop”

My soon to be 8 year old, so got this joke…”This is my hand, I have a prop … erh! A Hand-prop”. It’s been his thing at school… He comes back from school everyday with some combination of this, eg.”I have a hand, I have a phone… Handphone!!” (Roll eyes? hahha)

If I thought anything was slapstick humour, my son loved it and so did his friend. At their age, funny is just funny, so I am happy to savour every moment of Wey’s innocent glee at the humour onstage. We laughed together, along with the entire theatre. Such happy moments at the theatre with my little boy! Good family fun together. 🙂

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Oh wow! someone conquered the swing doors and found … … Those eggs!!! GOLD GOLD GOLD! 🙂

I could tell that Wey absolutely loved the production, not just because he was laughing out loud almost all the time, but because as the cast was finishing the presentation of  The Little Red Hen (the last story), he kept pestering me to ask if this was the end and refused to believe me when I said yes it was. There was genuine dismay on the boy’s face awww…. LOL!

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Little Red Hen and her very helpful friends 😛

As usual, stay on for a little while after the show and get a nice family photo at the Meet and Greet that is absolutely free for everyone at the show. Unfortunately, we missed out on this Meet and Greet photo opportunity as I was caught up in conversation with Director Brian Seward.

If you haven’t gotten tickets to I Theatre’s Poultry Tales yet, please do so now (Click http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cpoultry0517), as this may very well be the last I Theatre production for the entire 2017 unless there is somehow an angel sponsor stepping up to fill the shoes of I Theatre’s long time sponsor. 😦

Yes, I was totally shocked at the end of the 1 hour production, to hear from Director Brian Seward, that all planned productions for the second half of the year have been put on hold. Quite sadly, I Theatre will no longer benefit from the National Arts Council’s Major Grant this year!!

This is such a sad day for Children’s theatre in Singapore! My son has grown up with I Theatre productions since he was a wee boy of 3, which have undoubtedly sealed his love for the arts and theatre. It is such a major loss not only for I Theatre, but for our children who will most definitely miss the wonderful fun and educational experience of local theatre! 😦

I hope that in the months to come, some thing might be worked out for I Theatre and its wonderful team of people, so that its loyal little fans can continue to enjoy great local theatre again.

If you are able, do spread the word #SupportITheatre #SupportLocal #ChildrenTheatre #NeedSponsor and maybe there will be an angel sponsor coming in to help soon so that I Theatre may make a comeback next year!

If not, perhaps we all can chip in to support this wonderful theatre company that has kept ticket prices low with affordability for all kept in mind. Donate at http://itheatre.org/index.php/donate_sponsor/ . 

We at SAys! Happy Mums would really like to say a big “Thank You” to the people of I Theatre for the many years of wonderful drama for the children. Thank you Brian and team!

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Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Audrey :) 

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend ITheatre’s Poultry Tales for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of I Theatre and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About I Theatre’s Poultry Tales

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When: 29 Apr – 14 May 2017 | Saturdays & Sundays : 10.30am & 2pm

Where: Drama Centre Theatre (Map)

Who: 4 years and above and their families

Ticket Pricing : Standard $32 (excludes SISTIC booking fees)

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website
SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

TICKET PRICES (Not including SISTIC Fees):      

  Standard Ticket
Adult/Child $32.00
Family Package (4 Persons) $121.60
Big Family Package (5 Persons) $144.00
Corporate Groups (min 20 persons) 25.60

15% DISCOUNT         

Friends of I Theatre Ikea Smales and Family Members
OCBC Baby Bonus Card Holders NTUC Card Members
OCBC Platinum & Arts Platinum Card Members eXplorerKid Members
OCBC Credit & Debit Card Members Toys’R’Us Star Card Members
Bank of China Card Members Civil Service Club Members
PAssion Card Members LITTLE STAR Ticket Stub Holder

10% DISCOUNT

Students (Local & International)

Senior Citizens (above 55 years old)

GROUP DISCOUNTS

Purchase a minimum of 20 tickets and get 20% discount

GROUP/SCHOOL BOOKINGS

Contact team@itheatre.org or 6341 5960 for group/corporate/school bookings.

Giveaway | Faber-Castell Art Festival Launches Artistic Adventures, Inspiring Workshops and a Local Art Exhibition at Marina Square

Faber-Castell, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality products for writing, colouring and creative designs, is proud to present the inaugural ‘Faber-Castell Art Festival’ taking place from 27 May to 4 June 2017 at the Marina Square Central Atrium. Held on a grand scale in a ‘castle’ setting and encompassing 4758 square feet of space, the festival welcomes all to be inspired by the possibilities of art in its many facets, and even try their hand at creating a form of art – regardless of age or experience.

Over nine days that include two weekends, the public can look forward to a wide variety of activities that revolve around the brand’s quality products – ranging from two Singapore record-breaking events, interactive workshops with local and overseas art makers, an art exhibition by local emerging artists and a colouring competition for families. Most of the activities will be held on the weekend.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of artworks will be donated to Children’s Cancer Foundation in Singapore. There will also be a wide selection of Faber-Castell products that range from materials for artists, hobby artists, kids, the office, technical drawings and even writing implements on sale, to complement the store on level 2 of Marina Square.

We have put together the entire list of events that will be happening during the festival for your reference.  For more details on respective events & workshop information, scroll down beyond this table.

Faber-Castell Art Festival
Schedule for weekend workshops and free activities

All prices quoted are nett. Workshop details are correct at time of release, for updates, the public can visit Faber-Castell Singapore’s Facebook page.

Free activities

Schedule for weekend workshops and free activities are listed below for your convenience.  For more details on respective workshops/free activities, pls refer to information below this schedule.

Saturday
27/5/17
Sunday
28/5/17
Saturday
3/6/17
Sunday
4/6/17
  11am-1pm

Tiffany Yao
‘Cupcake Fantasy’ Illustration

11.30am
Family Bonding Art Competition with Hans Art
10.30am -12.30pm
Lucinda Law
Brand Ambassador
Botanical Illustration
11am to 12pm (free)
Peter Draw
Creative Drawing11am-1pm

The Lettering Workbook
Watercolour Floral Wreath

12-3pm
Fringe activity (free)
Puffingmuffin

Badge Making

 

11am-1pm (free demonstration)

Mr Thum Cheng Cheong

Creative Mind-mapping

 

1.30pm
Family Bonding Art Competition with Hans Art
1-3pm
Clayrene
Fashion Illustration
1-4pm
Abbey Sy

Watercolour Lettering

1-4pm
Abbey Sy
Creative Journaling
1.30-3pm
The Lettering Workbook
Brush Lettering
3.30-4.30pm
The Lettering Workbook
Sticker Making
4.30-7.30pm
Neh Oh Mee
Brush Calligraphy
4.30-5.30pm
The Lettering Workbook
Sticker Making
4.30-6pm
The Lettering Workbook
Watercolour Floral Wreath
4.30-6pm
The Lettering Workbook
Brush Lettering
5.30-7pm
The Lettering Workbook
Brush Lettering
6.30-8pm
The Lettering Workbook
Watercolour Lettering
6-7.30pm
The Lettering Workbook
Watercolour Lettering
8-9pm
Neh Oh Mee
Watercolour Foiling
7-8.30pm
The Lettering Workbook
Watercolour Lettering
7.30-9pm
The Lettering Workbook
Watercolour Floral Wreath

 Family Bonding Art Competition with Hans Art
27 May, Saturday 130pm and 3 June, Saturday 1130am

Open to families and free to enter (with any purchase of colouring materials), contestants with the use of Faber-Castell products will engage in a friendly competition to create a unique masterpiece in a bid to win attractive prizes. It is the perfect opportunity for bonding over a hands-on activity.  Participants who pre-register at workshops@faber-castell.com.sg will receive extra perks.

 Badge Making with Puffingmuffin
27 May, Saturday, 12pm-3pm, free with purchase of any Faber-Castell products

Candice Phang, better known as Puffingmuffin, is an illustrator and character designer based in Singapore. She expresses through her work, which is characterised by cheerful characters clad in pop colours and textures from various media, both digital and traditional. For this session, participants will have the opportunity take home a badge of her work, or design their own badge.

www.puffingmuffin.com | @puffingmuffin

From 28 May to 4 June, the public can design their own badge with any purchase of $30 and above in a single receipt.

 Creative Mind Mapping by Mr Thum Cheng Cheong
28 May, Sunday, 11am to 1pm

Using the brand’s versatile PITT Artist Pens, the public will be treated to a demonstration of how to represent ideas and concepts in a ‘mind map’. Mr Thum is currently teaching at the Singapore Institute of Management and has conducted Mind Mapping and Visual Thinking workshops for a diverse group of professionals in Singapore and overseas.

Creative Workshops by Local and Overseas Artists

Encompassing a wide range of genres from brush lettering, watercolour painting, fashion illustration to botanical illustration, the workshops are a wonderland of discovery. They are led by passionate art makers who encourage all to release their inhibitions through creating and let the process guide one through the moment. Faber-Castell products will be used in all workshops and beginners are welcome.

 Creative Drawing with Peter Draw, Singapore
3 Jun, Saturday, 11am to 12pm, free

Peter Draw, born Peter Zhuo Ying Wei, is a Singaporean artist who uses his first love – drawing – to remind the world to “First, Love” (begin with love). He is also a four-time Guinness World Record holder – Largest Caricature (2007), Largest Art Lesson (2010), Longest Drawing (2014) and Longest Drawing by Individual (2014). He will be using Connector Pens for this workshop.

http://www.peterdraw.com | @peterdraw

 Art Experiences with The Lettering Workbook, Singapore

Taught by Kai Yun, these fun and breezy workshops encompass a variety of styles and media. Brush Lettering and Watercolor workshops are priced at $85 each, with a special price of $150 if participants sign up for both. Sticker making is priced at $50 per person.

@theletteringworkbook

Date/ Time 27 May, Saturday 28 May, Sunday 3 June, Saturday 4 June, Sunday
11am to 1pm Watercolour floral wreath
1.30pm to 3pm Brush lettering
3.30pm to 4.30pm Sticker making
4.30pm to 5.30pm Brush lettering Sticker making
4.30pm to 6pm Watercolour floral wreath
5.30pm to 7pm Brush lettering
6pm to 7.30pm Watercolour lettering
6.30pm to 8pm Watercolour lettering
7pm to 8.30pm Watercolour lettering
7.30pm to 9pm Watercolour floral wreath

 Fashion Illustration with Clayrene, Singapore
28 May, Sunday, 1pm to 3pm, $130 per person

Chan Clayrene is a Singapore-based fashion artist and illustrator. Also the founder of Artclaytion, she is best known for illustrating her works with nail polish. With a background in fine arts, Clayrene’s works are delicately artistic and have made waves in the art circuit with features on designtaxi.com; and mymodernmet.com to name a few. She has also collaborated with renowned brands such as Christian Louboutin, Carolina Herrera, Longchamp, Harper’s Bazaar, Diane von Furstenberg and Clinique. In this exclusive session, she will be using Faber-Castell’s watercolour pencils and nail polish.

http://www.artclaytion.com | @artclaytion

 Colour Pencil Illustration with Tiffany Yao, Singapore
28 May, Sunday, 11am to 1pm, $30 per person

Artist, designer and illustrator Tiffany gained attention with her last solo art show – 行 Yao – held at Detention Barracks in February 2017, where her coloured pencil drawings of Singapore, Hong Kong and Swatow showcased a mix of contemporary and tradition; realism and surrealism. For this workshop, she will be working around the subject of ‘Cupcake Fantasy’, allowing participants to learn basic drawing and colouring skills, while letting their creativity go wild as they decorate the pastry of their dreams.

www.facebook.com/tiffyyao.art | @tiffanyyaoqi

 Art Experiences with Neh Oh Mee, Singapore

Participants will explore the art of brush calligraphy and discover how therapeutic the writing of ‘abc’ can be!

Brush Calligraphy

3 June, Saturday

4.30pm to 7.30pm, $100 per person

The class includes three hours of hands-on practice and is prefect for beginners. Participants will be armed with the basic techniques, and thereafter a brush pen and one’s imagination is all that is needed.

Let’s Foil!
3 June, Saturday
8pm to 9pm
, $70 per person

The visual appeal of foiling and understated beauty of watercolours will be the focus of this workshop. Each participant will take home at least four foiled and watercoloured pieces as well as inspiration for future gifting or personal scrapbooking.

www.nehohmee.com | @nehohmee

 Creative Classes with Abbey Sy, Philippines

Watercolour Lettering

3 June, Saturday

1pm to 4pm, $120 per person

Creative Journaling

4 June, Sunday

1pm to 4pm, $120 per person

An artist, designer and author based in the Philippines, Abbey also manages her own brand Abbey Sy as freelance artist and designer, workshop instructor and creative entrepreneur.

Passionate about both art and travel, she is best known for her hand-lettering work and travel illustrations. She has written books on lettering and journaling, and continues to explore ways to make art and share stories through her own eyes. Working as a full-time creative entrepreneur, Abbey manages freelance work, writes and illustrates books, conducts art classes and produces her own merchandise —all this while discovering herself on #theroadtoabc. In turn, she hopes to inspire others to chase their dreams, to make things happen, and to Always Be Creating.

www.artistic-dreams.com | @abbeysy

 Floral & Foliage Illustration & Mixed Media Workshop with Lucinda Law, Brand Ambassador of Faber-Castell, Singapore
4 June, Sunday, 10.30am to 12.30pm, $85 per person

Partake in the wonder of nature on the canvas, as Lucinda introduces the beauty of watercolours in this flora and foliage-inspired session. A watercolour artist and teacher who has had more than 13 years of experience, she has also accomplished commissioned works and designed bespoke nature-led creative workshops for clients such as Chanel, Bentley, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Harper’s Bazaar Singapore and India, Kate Spade, Melissa, Uniqlo and Clinique. In 2017, she became the first artist in Singapore to be appointed as the Faber-Castell Singapore Art & Graphic Ambassador.

http://lucindalaw.co | @lucinda.law

‘Singapore Book of Records’ milestones

 Biggest Mosaic by Colour Markers

The festival will open with a proud moment as Faber-Castell will aim for the ‘Biggest Mosaic by Colour Markers’ accolade with a gorgeous installation depicting the Singapore skyline that spans 5 metres in length, 1.5 metres in width and 85 cm in height. To be constructed by hand over two days by a Faber-Castell artist, this multi-coloured structure will be made entirely with an estimated number of 25,000 Faber-Castell Connector Pens. Requiring approximately two months of planning, this feat will mark the brand’s first entry into the Singapore Book of Records. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on 27 May, Saturday at 11am.

 Longest Banner of Human Figurine Sketches

Faber-Castell will aim to complete another feat by the end of the festival that will feature a 10-metre long canvas of sketches made with the brand’s iconic Castell 9000 pencils. The sketching will begin on 27 May, Saturday at 12.30pm.

Art Exhibition

24 works by local artists such as Aaron Gan, Artclaytion, Limzy, Joseph Ng, Julie Zhu, Lucinda Law, KY Huang, Tee Bee Tin, and Tiffany Yao will also be exhibited throughout the festival. 5-100% of the proceeds from the sale of artworks will be donated to Children’s Cancer Foundation in Singapore.


GIVEAWAY

Thanks to our sponsors, we have a Faber-Castell Hamper worth $50, for our readers. Do follow ALL the instructions below to take part for your chance to win!

faber castell

To take part and qualify, please make sure all the following steps are completed:

1) COMMENT on this blog post telling us which free activity or paid workshop from the above appeals to you.  Let us know your Facebook Name and your email address in your comment.

2) LIKE SAys! Happy Mums  and Faber-Castell SG on Facebook.

3) LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post with the caption below :

“Faber-Castell Art Festival is happening from 27 May to 4 Jun 2017 at Marina Square!”

DO set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 12 May 2017, Friday at 2359 hrs.
  • Prizes are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

  • Collection of prize will only be at Faber-Castell, 18 Tannery Lane, #02-01/02, Lian Tong Building, Singapore 347780, anytime from 9am to 6pm

  • Winner will need to produce their NRIC and a print out of our email to claim your tickets.  If the winner would like to appoint a representative to pick up the prize, then a photo of the winner’s NRIC will be required.
  • The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 24 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • The Sponsor reserves the right to request for a redraw if the drawn winner on our blog has also won the same prize from another giveaway host.
  • Incomplete / Half-completed entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right of this page!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley :) 


ABOUT FABER-CASTELL ART FESTIVAL

Marina Square Central Atrium, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594
27 May to 4 June 2017
11am to 9pm daily

Admission : Free; Individual workshop prices apply

WebsiteInstagramFacebook

Hashtag #fabercastell; #fabercastellsg

Stores

Marina Square
#02-190A, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594
Tel: 6252 2203

ION Orchard (Flagship Boutique)
#04-13, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Tel: 6509 3798

”””””’”””””’”””””’”””””’”””””’”””””’”””””’”””””

[Updated 18 May ’17]

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulations to our winner!  We will be getting in touch via email very soon.

{Tickets Giveaway} I Theatre’s Poultry Tales

Hello everyone!  As promised in our introduction to the launch of Poultry Tales,  We have decided to post the giveaway today so that winners will get two weeks to collect their tickets this time.  Thanks to the generosity of the kind people at I Theatre, we have two sets of family tickets to give away!

SYNOPSIS

Welcome to the Farmyard for our special play for the Year of the Rooster!

Come and meet three famous feathered friends – the stars of three classic tales –

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, and her greedy owner;

The Little Red Hen, with bread to bake, but lazy friends;

and Chicken-Licken – with that scary acorn!

This talkative trio of feathered friends will sing, dance, show and tell you their tales – and don’t be surprised if they share some valuable wisdom and backstage secrets on the way.

A brand new, interactive, fun, musical production presented in quite an unusual way – as we look at the world of the Theatre Stage from the inside out and reveal valuable secrets of how a Musical is made!

Guaranteed to engage young and old alike, specially designed with excitement, humour and learning points coming thick and fast!

GIVEAWAY : WIN TWO (2) Family Package of 4 Tickets worth $164!  

Thanks to our sponsors, we have TWO (2) SETS of FOUR (4) tickets to I Theatre’s Poultry Tales worth $243.60, for our readers.  Two (2) lucky readers will get four (4) tickets each to the show on 30 April, Sunday 10:30am.  Do follow ALL the instructions below to take part for your chance to win!

I Theatre Poultry Tales

To take part and qualify, please make sure all the following steps are completed:

1) COMMENT on this blog post stating your Facebook Name and the age of your child/children.

2) LIKE SAys! Happy Mums  and I Theatre on Facebook.

3) LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post with the caption below :

“@Friend A @Friend B @Friend C @Friend D @Friend E, Hey, @ITheatreSG ‘s Poultry Tales runs from 27 Apr to 14 May 2017!”

DO set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 12 April 2017, Wednesday at 2359 hrs.
  • All tickets are to be collected by 27 April 2017, 5.30pm at I Theatre’s office,  27 Kerbau Road Singapore 219163. Tel: (65)6341 5960.
  • Winner(s) will need to produce their NRIC and a print out of our email to claim your tickets.
  • Prize is fixed and cannot be changed to a different day or time.
  • Tickets are non-transferable, non-exchangeable and non-refundable.
  • The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 24 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • The Sponsor reserves the right to request for a redraw if the drawn winner on our blog has also won tickets to the show from another giveaway.
  • Incomplete / Half-completed entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right of this page!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley :) 

About I Theatre’s Poultry Tales

PTT017 5x15 Bannerr

When: 29 Apr – 14 May 2017 | Saturdays & Sundays : 10.30am & 2pm

Where: Drama Centre Theatre (Map)

Who: 4 years and above and their families

Ticket Pricing : Standard $32 (excludes SISTIC booking fees)

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website
SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

TICKET PRICES (Not including SISTIC Fees):      

  Standard Ticket
Adult/Child $32.00
Family Package (4 Persons) $121.60
Big Family Package (5 Persons) $144.00
Corporate Groups (min 20 persons) 25.60

15% DISCOUNT         

Friends of I Theatre Ikea Smales and Family Members
OCBC Baby Bonus Card Holders NTUC Card Members
OCBC Platinum & Arts Platinum Card Members eXplorerKid Members
OCBC Credit & Debit Card Members Toys’R’Us Star Card Members
Bank of China Card Members Civil Service Club Members
PAssion Card Members LITTLE STAR Ticket Stub Holder

10% DISCOUNT

Students (Local & International)

Senior Citizens (above 55 years old)

GROUP DISCOUNTS

Purchase a minimum of 20 tickets and get 20% discount

GROUP/SCHOOL BOOKINGS

Contact team@itheatre.org or 6341 5960 for group/corporate/school bookings.


[Updated 13 Apr ’17]

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulations to our winners!  We will be getting in touch via email very soon.
Winners

I Theatre Back With Immensely Popular Poultry Tales, With A Peep Into Backstage This Time

We kind of miss theatre-going with the kids after many months of busy days with our respective house-renovation, moving, then school.  The kids have been repeatedly asking for some edutainment.  The last one we attended was the amazingly impressive season finale – I Theatre’s The Magic Paintbrush which left us all awed and inspired by the talented uncle Brian (Seward).

Both Audrey and I love musicals since young and we love how I Theatre shows engage the kids, as well as the adults.  It is definitely not easy to edutain an audience with a large age differences at the same time even though the performances are primarily targeted at the children.  We always leave the theatre with meaningful conversations with the kids after the bonding over a staged musical.

In case you don’t know who the sparkle behind I Theatre shows is, it is Brian Seward, a veteran Artistic Director who has been with I Theatre for more than a decade.  Just last month, Brian marked his 16th Anniversary with I Theatre.  We also found out that before coming to Singapore, he taught Drama in schools.  This means that he has dedicated a large part of his life to children theatre and arts.

PTT017 Portrait 10x15

Come 27 April to 14 May 2017, join us at the Drama Centre Theatre, NLB, for an extravaganza of children theatrical favourites to the tunes of The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, and her greedy owner; The Little Red Hen, with bread to bake, but lazy friends; and Chicken-Licken – with that scary acorn!

This talkative trio of feathered friends will sing, dance, show and tell you their tales – and don’t be surprised if they share some valuable wisdom and backstage secrets on the way.

A brand new, interactive, fun, musical production presented in quite an unusual way.  This time, we’ll get to look at the world of the Theatre Stage from the inside out and discover valuable secrets of how a Musical is made!  Poultry Tales looks set to be a visual and sensory treat for the whole family.

The play will explore key themes of:

  • Cooperation,
  • Rewards for hard work,
  • Knowing who to trust,
  • Disbelieving rumours,
  • The Dangers of Avarice
  • The dangers of judging others
  • How a theatre play is staged, and the roles of backstage crew.

Guaranteed to engage young and old alike, specially designed with excitement, humour and learning points coming thick and fast!  We are really excited and has marked our calendar for the show.  Tickets can be purchased at SISTIC Website if your family love theatre-going learning journeys like ours.  Stay tuned to us, for we have a surprise coming up very soon!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley :) 

About I Theatre’s Poultry Tales

PTT017 5x15 Bannerr

When: 29 Apr – 14 May 2017 | Saturdays & Sundays : 10.30am & 2pm

Where: Drama Centre Theatre (Map)

Who: 4 years and above and their families

Ticket Pricing : Standard $32 (excludes SISTIC booking fees)

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

Tickets available through:

SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555

SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

TICKET PRICES (Not including SISTIC Fees):      

  Standard Ticket
Adult/Child $32.00
Family Package (4 Persons) $121.60
Big Family Package (5 Persons) $144.00
Corporate Groups (min 20 persons) 25.60

15% DISCOUNT         

Friends of I Theatre Ikea Smales and Family Members
OCBC Baby Bonus Card Holders NTUC Card Members
OCBC Platinum & Arts Platinum Card Members eXplorerKid Members
OCBC Credit & Debit Card Members Toys’R’Us Star Card Members
Bank of China Card Members Civil Service Club Members
PAssion Card Members LITTLE STAR Ticket Stub Holder

10% DISCOUNT

Students (Local & International)

Senior Citizens (above 55 years old)

GROUP DISCOUNTS

Purchase a minimum of 20 tickets and get 20% discount

GROUP/SCHOOL BOOKINGS

Contact team@itheatre.org or 6341 5960 for group/corporate/school bookings.

 

Going Mad about Music with Sid Bowfin |25Feb- 12Mar 2017

This was the very first time we’ve gone to the theatres not for a drama but for a musical treat and the kids loved every minute of Crazy Classics with Sid Bowfin at the Drama Centre Black Box last Sunday.

 

You may be thinking, really? Can classical music really be fun… and for kids?? Well, I had my doubts before going this weekend and the children were the best judges. Every little one was enjoying Sid’s fun easy going way with the Classical pieces. He fiddled on his violin to the delight of the small audience who were clapping ,tapping along and having pure 60minutes of fun.

I liked that the show  was held at the Blackbox Theatre, a small cosy setting that made it all the more intimate and interactive. It didn’t feel intimidating (even though it was classical music haha)! Before midway, Sid Bowfin had already gotten the children on their feet and dancing to the classics he was belting out.


Sid Bowfin seemed to make classical music accessible even for the littlest one or the most clueless one that had zero musical background. He talked to his audience, interacted and told us stories of each piece he was about to play. He made everyone laugh easily with his funny expressions, crazy antics and jokes. The audience participation was unending and there was no lack of volunteers as hands waved up and down to be picked.

I was happy to see Wey very enthusiastic throughout the performance. He was trying his best to be picked as a volunteer. LOL! It has always been a big regret for me when Wey stopped music lessons last year because we just couldn’t quite find the time; with him being in the afternoon session in Primary school. Although I’ve heard him tell me that he wants to restart music once he gets to morning session, I was not sure that he meant it. And yet last weekend, I saw the twinkle in his eyes as the music played on, and yes perhaps, next year, he will go back to music again, when time permits. 🙂 In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the children at the show are already asking for violin lessons, thanks to Sid Bowfin (aka Adrian Garratt).

Even though the theatre is small, do note that it is free seating so get there early to get better seats. In any case, Sid does make an extra effort to go to his audience, even those seated behind got to be up close and personal with him so no one gets left out. Also, if you care to stay on after the performance, you can have family pictures taken with Sid Bowfin for that precious keepsake.

If you have a budding musician at home or just want to introduce and inspire the little ones, Sid Bowfin will certainly be a fun way to do it. Crazy Classics with Sid Bowfin is presented by Act 3 International and runs at The Drama Centre Black Box Theatre from 25February – 12 March 2017. Tickets are available from SISTIC, http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/ccrazy0317  more details at the end of the post.

 

act3sid

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey :) 

About Act3 International presents Crazy Classics with Sid Bowfin

act3sid

When: 25 February to 12 March 2017| Mon – Fri: 9am | Sat & Sunday : 10.30am & 2.30pm

Where: Drama Centre Black Box

 

Who: 4 years and above and their families

Ticket Pricing : Standard $28 Weekdays, $38 Weekends (Excludes Booking Fee)

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes

Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide


*For School Group Bookings, please call ACT 3 International at 6735 9986

Prosperous Pleasures & Abundance of Treasures at Aquamarine CNY Buffet

With Christmas behind us and the Year of the Rooster arriving fast and furious in 3 weeks, everyone is always doubly busy with spring cleaning, putting up decorations, banking, and not to forget, meal-planning for reunion dinner and CNY gatherings at this time of the year.

If you have not done any planning yet, now is the time to make your reservations at AquaMarine for a gathering this CNY.  Located at Level 4 of Marina Mandarin, the Halal buffet restaurant is easily a crowd-pleaser with their splendid spread of delectable cuisine from Asian and International countries.

With planning in advance and innovative twist to the usual fare, Executive Chef Tony Khoo and Chef Chan Tuck Wai have specially prepared a line up of festive dishes to celebrate the joyous festival.

Yu Sheng (Salmon) – DIY

At the Yu Sheng DIY station, grab for yourselves as much treasures as you can with AquaMarine’s Signature Yu Sheng with fresh Salmon Sashimi.  After all, the more one grabs, the more ‘huat’ one will be right?

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Roasted Duck and Wok Fried Leek in Buckwheat Crepes

Presenting our top vote, these crepe-wrapped roasted duck and wok-fried leek was a champion both in aesthetics appeal and tastes.  Rather than sampling small portions of the same duck and leek from the boring-looking warmer, this pancake-style alternative using healthy buckwheat for a wrap gave us a very different gastro-perience (if there is such a word) right out of from the buffet table.  This is a MUST-TRY!

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Whole abalone, Sea Cucumber and Lobster Dumpling with Crustacean Sauce

Served as the stunning highlight during CNY Reunion Dinner (27 Jan 2017) is fresh Whole Abalone, Sea Cucumber and Lobster Dumpling swimming in a pool of deeply-flavoured Crustacean Sauce with a tinge of spice.  Everybody’s well-loved abalone and sea cucumber are braised to perfection – soft to the bite yet there is a little bit of firmness to them.

Together with the large chunk of lobster in the big dumpling symbolising a large money sack, I wished I could have another serving to lick the plate clean!  Gimme MORE, pretty please!

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Wagyu Beef Short Ribs Kong Bag Pau

This Wagyu Beef Short Ribs Kong Bag Pau with 8 Spices has been cooked slowly for 16 hours to obtain tender chunks of beef with deep, flavourful gravy to soak steamed and ever soft lotus bun with.

An unique twist to the pork belly that we are used to, the wagyu beef kong bah pau is flavoured exactly like how we love it – thick, savoury gravy and (fatty) beef.  The addition of soya bean sprouts and lettuce matches the sinful yet delish dish very much.

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Steamed Seafood with Cordycep Blossom In Lotus Leaves

Think fresh, sweet and succlent seafood from this eye-catching steamed basket of seafood enhanced with the nutritious cordycep blossoms and the fragrance from lotus leaves.  Symbolising abundance of laughter and happiness for the coming new year, the flower crabs, large prawns and bountiful seafood catch is a treasure trove to look out for.

A word of advice – don’t miss the soup!

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Stewed Mee Sua with Seafood

After sampling the wave of delicious dishes above and not forgetting other food from the rest of the usual buffet spread at AquaMarine, we’d recommend going for a serving of warm mee sua stewed with fresh seafood.  The significance of longevity in mee sua is what everyone needs in the new year ahead.  The mee sua soaked in all the invigorating sweetness from the seafood and it settled comfortably in our stomachs after a satisfying meal.

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Mandarin Orange Cake

For the coming Year of the Rooster, AquaMarine’s Mandarin Orange Cake certainly looks all set to welcome a year of prosperity and abundance with a wealthy burst of citrusy sweetness and auspicious fruity taste in every bite.

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CNY Aquamarine Reunion Buffet Dinner
27 Jan 2017 from 630pm to 10pm
$128++ per adult and $64++ per child 5-12yrs old

CNY Day 1 and 2 Aquamarine Buffet 
28 and 29 Jan 2017
Lunch $68++ per adult
Dinner $88++ per adult

CNY Aquamarine Festive Buffet
16 Jan to 17 Feb 2017 (except 27, 28 and 29 Jan 2017) from 630pm to 10pm
Sun – Thurs $70++ per adult and $35++ per child (5-12yrs old)
Fri and Sat $80++ per adult and $40++ per child (5-12yrs old)

Festive Takeaway Menu is available for download here.

Address
AquaMarine
6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 4, Marina Mandarin, Singapore 039594 (Map)

Reservations & Enquiries:
Call (65) 6845 1111, email aquamarine.marina@meritushotels.com or visit www.marinamandarin.com.sg/dining for more information.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be invited for a sumptious lunch at AquaMarine, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of AquaMarine and were provided for the purposes of this review.  All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

~ SAys! Shirley :)