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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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New DP LOC Changes Explained

Many people in the expat community, particularly women, have been working either full time or part time while holding a Dependent Pass, using a Letter of Consent (LOC). On 3 March, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced they are now working to align the requirements for obtaining a work pass for all foreigners in Singapore, which includes the LOC. From May 1, spouses and family members of foreigners working in Singapore who hold a DP will need to obtain a work pass to continue working here.

What are the new LOC requirements?

The new requirements will impact employers who hire dependent pass holders on an LOC and Business Owners who currently work for themselves either as sole proprietorship or private limited company.

Applying for an LOC as an Employer: Employers will need to apply for an applicable work pass (i.e. EP or S Pass), should they wish to continue employing existing DP LOC holders after their current LOC expires.

Applying for an LOC as a Business Owner: Business owners will be eligible to continue running their business on an LOC, provided their business creates local employment and meets the following criteria:

  • The DP holder is a sole proprietor, partner, or company director with at least 30% shareholding in the business; and the business hires at least one Singaporean/Permanent Resident (full or part time) who earns at least the prevailing Local Qualifying Salary (currently $1,400) and receives CPF contributions for at least 3 months.

What does the change means for expats?

The requirements to apply for an LOC will be aligned with all other work passes, such as Employment Passes, S Passes and Work Permits. Business owners operating on an LOC and employers who hire Dependent Pass holders (either full time or part time), will be held to the same criteria when applying for work passes as other expats holding an EP or S Pass.

Next steps:

  1. Check the validity of your LOC’s. The validity of most LOC’s are aligned with the validity of your spouse’s EP.
  2. Check the date of the EP expiry, all EP’s can be renewed up to six months before expiry date.
  3. If you are a business owner, review your business structure. If necessary, restructure your Sole Proprietorship (SP)or Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd) by undertaking the following:
    1. Update your job title to Director or equivalent with MOM.
    2. Undertake a transfer of shares if you have a Pte Ltd.
    3. Be appointed as a Director or Owner of the Pte Ltd or SP.
  4. Register your SP or Pte Ltd for CPF contributions.
  5. Hire local talent immediately, or at least before the expiry of your LOC, to have the CPF contributions of the employee in the CPF system for MOM to review.
  6. You can hire using the My Careers Future portal, a free portal initiated by the Singapore government or other recruitment platforms available in Singapore. It is very important that all local hires must be fairly considered for all roles in line with the Fair Consideration Framework.
  7. For businesses and Pte Ltd’s registered before 15 February 2021, employers are eligible for the Jobs Growth Incentive Phase 2 for Singaporean and PR Holder employees, which provides a reimbursement of salary paid to Singaporeans or PR holders up to 50% of salary for employees aged 40 years + or 25% for employees less than 40 years of age.
  8. Alternatively, you can commence the process of applying for an employment pass, here is the link to the self-assessment tool to determine your eligibility for an EP approval: https://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/employment-s-pass-self-assessment-tool

What are my options for working part time?

If you are working part time on an LOC, you can continue to run your business on your existing LOC until its expiry or apply for a one-off extension of your LOC until 30 April 2022 when next renewing your DP.

If you do not meet the above criteria your employer will be required to obtain an applicable work pass to continue working in Singapore.

When do they start?

The new rules will come into force from 1 May 2021, at that stage we will have more specifics on the process and procedures of applying for LOC’s post that date, including applying for extensions to your LOC while the DP is being renewed. There are more details to come!

Find more info about Katherine at CSLB

Read more about other Singapore work visas.

JCU: Exploring the World of Commerce

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“In this global economy – through uncertain times – it’s even more important to be critical and have a solid understanding of the financial world,” says Dr Emiel Eijdenberg, Senior Lecturer in Business at James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore.

With the Bachelor of Commerce – along with its range of majors – JCU aims to establish a firm understanding of the global business environment, while expanding critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as provide students with experience in industry-related projects to prepare them for the fast-paced world of commerce.

The different majors – including Accounting, Banking and Finance, Financial Management, International Trade, and Economics – help to develop specialised skills in specific areas of commerce and enable them to establish a successful career in the industry.

As companies prep for the future and look into optimising their finances, accounting graduates are in demand around the world. The Accounting major offers graduates a wide range of employment opportunities in the public and private sector, including public accounting practice, financial and management accounting, system accountant, financial officer, management consulting and policy advisor.

Students interested in a role in banking and financial institutions may consider the Banking and Finance major, which emphasises critical knowledge that can assist in making decisions that help businesses develop and thrive, even in times of financial uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the Financial Management major provides students with financial expertise – through subjects such as Data Analytics and Business Modelling, Cost Benefit Analysis, and Financial Risk Management – to pursue a broad range of successful careers – including a banker, compliance officer, financial manager, financial analyst, financial planner, and investment analyst.

On the other hand, the International Trade major dives into key issues impacting international trade – for example, trade negotiation, economics, the political economy, international trade law, and an understanding of the key contemporary issues in the field of trade such as emerging trade wars. This allows graduates to find employment opportunities in a wide range of fields, including trade and logistics, banking and finance, management, international business, and economics.

Finally, the Economics major equips students with the knowledge they need to think creatively and deeply about some of the most important economic issues facing the world today and in the near future. The major provides students with the skills needed to apply a variety of theoretical perspectives to issues of economic efficiency, economic growth, international globalisation, wealth and inequality, power, individual freedoms, and environmental concerns.

Ultimately, obtaining a greater understanding of the world of commerce presents so many opportunities, and prepares students for a variety of critical roles in the changing business landscape.

Learn more about Bachelor of Commerce programs offered at the Singapore campus of James Cook University.

New Zealand’s Pre-departure Covid-19 Testing Requirements

Covid test swab

  • All eligible passengers (presently only NZ citizens and PRs) travelling to New Zealand from most countries – including Singapore – are required to take a pre-departure test within 72 hours before their flight, and present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding.
  • Children under the age of two, and travellers from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Island are exempt from this pre-departure testing requirement. Please note that travellers are required to take a pre-departure test, even if they have been vaccinated.
  • New Zealand currently accepts results from the following tests: PCR tests, LAMP tests, or Antigen tests.
  • For more information on pre-departure testing requirements for arrivals into NZ head to: covid19.govt.nz
  • For a full list of approved testing locations in Singapore, please head to: moh.gov.sg

If you have any further consular enquiries go to our Facebook page or drop us an email at:
nzhc.sin@mfat.gov.nz

Guide to Getting Your Singapore Driving License

person holding car key

When our family arrived in Singapore, we were given some valuable advice; whether you plan on getting your own vehicle or not, it’s a good idea to convert your foreign driving license as soon as possible.
If you are staying in Singapore on an Employment Pass, Dependent Pass, Student Pass or Work Permit your foreign driving license will only allow you to drive in Singapore legally for the first 12 months of arriving into the country (not from the date your pass is issued). After this, you must have a Singapore driving license or you can’t legally drive here.

Driving on Singapore road, Singapore Highway

Steps to convert to a Singapore driving license:

To convert your license, firstly you will need to have a current and valid license from your home country.

Gather the required documents

1 Original and a photocopy of your passport and NRIC
2 Original and a photocopy of your valid foreign driving license
3 One recent passport sized colour photograph
4 A processing fee of $50 (payment by CashCard and NETS only)
5 If your foreign driving license is not in English, you must have one of these:
International driving permit;
or
An official translation of your driving license in English obtained from the relevant Embassy, High Commission, or any Singapore registered translation companies. (Translation is not required for licenses issued by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.)
As I hold an Australian driving license, I was required to contact the relevant State Department of Transport in Australia to request a statement of my license details. This was emailed to me at a cost of AUD$25.40.

NOTE: If your foreign driving license does not have the first date of issue, you are required to obtain an extract of driving license record from the Licensing Authority.

Taking Driving lesson in car

Book your Basic Theory Test online (BTT)
The BTT is a 50 question, multiple choice test you’ll need to sit in person at a testing centre at a cost of SGD$6.50. It’s a good idea to book your test at the ComfortDelGro Driving Centre in Ubi, given its close proximity to the Traffic Police Headquarters, where you’ll need to go afterwards to get your license converted. You can book your BTT at
cdc.com.sg/course-test-dates after creating an account with them.
To pass the BTT you need to be familiar with Singapore’s Highway Code and achieve a minimum of 45 correct answers out of 50 to pass. Brush up your knowledge with the Mighty Minds books, “The New Highway Code” and “The Basic Theory Driving Test, 480 Questions and Answers”. Pick up copies instore or online from Kinokuniya, or Carousell may have second hand copies. There are also online courses with the CDC and plenty of apps to help you study.

Note: there are no refunds for cancelled bookings of the Basic Theory Test once the booking has been confirmed.

person holding Singapore driving license

Head to the Traffic Police Headquarters and Convert your License

When you go to sit your BTT, be sure to take all your required documents along with you. Once you’ve passed the test, you’ll be issued a pass certificate and you can then head over to the Traffic Police Headquarters for the final step – picking up your license!

Rental cars
Thinking of getting a short-term rental car? It’s a simple process. We chose to rent through Avis, booking the car online and then popping over to River Valley to pick up and return the car, but there are many options available.
Would we do it again? One of the kids only just asked if we can hire a car again next school holidays, while the other one asked when we’re getting our own car. Tempting.

Been in Singapore longer than 12 months?
If you decide to convert your driving license but have been in Singapore longer than 12 months, your best course of action is to head out to the Traffic Police Headquarters in Ubi and chat with someone face-to-face to work out your next steps. Note that current restrictions require you to make an e-appointment before visiting some centres.

Contacts
BTT booking: cdc.com.sg/course-test-dates
Comfort Del Gro Driving Centre:
cdc.com.sg
205 Ubi Ave 4, 408805
Traffic Police Test counter, 10 Ubi Avenue 3, 408865.
For conversion requirements, please check with the Traffic Police Headquarters at 6547 0000.

Review: JOMO Holland Village

 

hip bar and restaurant, wines and spirits bar counter
JOMO

JOMO

48 Lor Mambong, Holland Village, 277699

jomogroup.asia  

New F&B hotspot, JOMO, has opened its doors in Holland Village. Tucked away in a quiet enclave at the end of Lorong Mambong, this hip new neighbourhood bar and restaurant includes a fabulously private alfresco space and offers affordable dining with great prices on wines and spirits. The first floor features a full retail wine shop with 250 wines and spirits, including 50 wines starting at $50++ per bottle.

The uncomplicated menu offers a great selection of family favourites, including aged Aussie Angus burgers, pork ribs, gourmet hot dogs, and homemade pies, all from master butchers Sidecar Handcrafted. We started with some bar bites; the signature JOMO Crispy Pork Belly Bites ($8), and delicious homemade Sausage Rolls with buttery flaky pastry (6 for $10), accompanied by a cold pint of JOMO’s own super-dry, low-carb lager (Pint $8, $6 at Happy Hour).

Bar bites
Bar bites

For mains we selected the JOMO Beer Battered Fish & Chips with tartare sauce ($16), perfectly crispy light batter and deliciously fresh fish, served with thick cut chips; the Thai Basil, Lime, and Sweet Chilli Chicken Burger ($14), declared by this diner as the best chicken burger, ever; and the Shredded Lamb Burger ($16), tender roast lamb with crispy lettuce in a super fresh bun. All burgers are served with slaw and JOMO’s signature Chicken Salt Fries (if you don’t know ask an Aussie!). A must have condiment is JOMO’s secret recipe Bourbon BBQ sauce.

Lamb burger and fries
Shredded Lamb Burger

To finish we shared the JOMO New York Cheese-Cake and the Chocolate Truffle Cake, both served with homemade ice-cream. If you’re dining in a group, check out the JOMO x Sidecar Sharing Platter, at $88 it’s an absolute bargain – a half rack of ribs, 6 Sidecar Sausages, 250gm Angus Striploin, Cajun Chicken Thigh, JOMO Coleslaw, and a hearty serving of Chicken Salt Fries. Another unique offering from JOMO is the Family Sunday BBQ with orders taken dim-sum style and served at tables for sharing. There’s an option to add on free-flow Aperol Spritz, draft beer and selected wines for $42.

Verdict: A great neighbourhood vibe; laid back family dining, with affordable food and drinks, and friendly, attentive staff. Bookings recommended.

Join the team at JOMO on the Eve of Good Friday for a JOMO x Sidecar BBQ Special. Sidecar will be firing up the BBQ to offer you a selection of fine meats grilled to perfection and served on sharing platters to your table. The menu will include a 36 hour slow cooked Australian Lamb Roast, finished on the JOMO BBQ. Available for pre-order only at $88nett for you to enjoy the start of Easter in style.

JOMO Easter BBQ

How COVID-19 is affecting your dental health

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We are all aware of the huge impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the health of millions around the world, but Covid is also having a detrimental impact on teeth with skipped appointments, teeth grinding and extra snacking. Read on for common Covid dental issues from a leading international dental clinic…

Cancelled appointments

In the initial stages of the pandemic, many dental clinics were closed, except for dental emergencies. Routine dental examination may therefore have been cancelled or postponed. The implication of this is that routine prevention was put on hold, and small dental issues may have been overlooked, creating bigger issues later.

Preventative treatments such as fluoride application and sealing the deep grooves of back molar teeth are a couple of examples of procedures which may not have occurred during Covid lockdowns. Similarly, many patients who needed small fillings a few months ago might now require much bigger fillings, as the dental decay has progressed. Unfortunately, bigger fillings may need root canal treatment or protective crown placement to hold the tooth together. Early detection of dental issues is always the better option!

ANZA read, dental health, eating desserts
Working from home equals more snacking and coffee breaks

Working and snacking at home

Many of us have adapted to working from home and while this has the great advantage of eliminating commutes, it has also meant a huge change in dental routines. Studies have shown that patients report brushing their teeth much later in the day or not brushing at all, since they no longer have to leave the house for work. Working from home also means popping in and out of the kitchen and continual snacking and coffee drinking. Frequent snacking on sugary foods is the main cause of tooth decay, while upping your coffee intake could result in a noticeable increase in staining and darkening of your teeth.

Stress! Clenching and grinding

The current pandemic is an extremely stressful period for most of us. Stress manifests with many different clinical symptoms but clenching and grinding at night (‘bruxism’) is very common. Many dentists have reported a significant increase in bruxism. The complications can be profound, ranging from headaches, toothache, cracked and broken teeth, jaw ache, earache and even difficulty opening the mouth. A custom-made night guard can be an inexpensive and non-invasive way of managing and preventing these symptoms, until life returns to something approaching ‘normal’.

ANZA read, dental health, DIY dental kits
Don’t gamble on DIY dental kits

DIY

Some patients have been tempted by ‘direct-to-consumer’ teeth straightening options heavily advertised online. The patient takes a mould of their own teeth, and clear aligner braces are posted out to them. Many orthodontists have noticed an increasing number of patients attending their clinics looking for help with correction treatments, following the patient attempting this DIY orthodontics. It is always important to see a specialist orthodontist or experienced dentist for a thorough examination and diagnosis before starting any treatment. Some remote brace options may offer this service, so it is important to research fully the options before you choose or ask your orthodontist for advice.

The silver lining of working from home is that now may be the best time to have an orthodontic consultation to discuss your options for teeth straightening. You will be on your way to your dream smile once we are ready to throw away the masks and socialise again.

If you would like more information about any of these issues or would like to talk to a dentist about your teeth, contact info@expatdental.com. For more information on orthodontics click here

SWAGA Gym: New Gymnastics Facility at Turf City

 

Child Learning Gymnastics in Singapore

SWAGA Gym – Kids and Adult Gymnastic Programmes

With world class equipment and coaches, SWAGA Gym has programmes to suit anyone interested in recreational and competitive gymnastics. Embracing the ethos of fitness, fun and friendship, the gym aims to build a supportive community in Singapore and welcomes parents and caregivers to watch their children train, enjoy a coffee in the dedicated club house, and connect with other families. Siblings are also well taken care of, with a full play area at the centre to keep them entertained. “Our aim is to bring together a family of like-minded people,” says Marketing Manager Toni Lourens. “We encourage our members to stay for a while and enjoy the club atmosphere.”

A Leading Gymnastics Club in Singapore

Already attracting the attention of international athletes from Australia, France, and Myanmar, as well as local talent, SWAGA Gym looks set to be the ultimate gymnastics training facility in Singapore for expats and locals alike. “The vision of our club is guided by the desire to offer a different approach to gymnastics in Singapore,” says Toni. “It’s built on the concept of a French-style facility, where quality and excellence go hand in hand. SWAGA Gym also prides itself on inclusivity, team spirit, participation, and a strong sense of community.”

Learn Gymnastics in Singapore, competitive gymnastics, SWAGA Gym

 

Gymnastic Programmes for Kids 

Whether you’re looking to introduce your child to the sport of gymnastics, or they’re already an established gymnast, SWAGA Gym has a programme to suit. “SWAGA Gym’s programmes cater to those that wish to simply experience the joy of gymnastics, through to early competition, and high-performance level,” says Toni. “Our club mission is not only to equip athletes with technical gymnastic skills, but life skills of respect, discipline, positivity, perseverance, and excellence.”

Baby gym Singapore 

An opportunity for infants to discover gymnastics using safe, play park equipment. Gymnastics promotes motor skill development, reinforces balance and agility and is a great place for your bub to socialise and smile.

Recreational gymnastics

Children can access world class equipment and learn body and mind control while enjoying and having fun practicing gymnastics.

Learn Gymnastics in Singapore, competitive gymnastics, SWAGA Gym

Competitive gymnastics:
Ready to step up from recreational gymnastics? SWAGA Gym offers talented gymnasts an opportunity to increase their skills and compete in school, national and even international competition.

High level gymnastics:
The pinnacle of its programmes, SWAGA Gym’s high-level gymnastics programme is designed for athletes to train in a high-performance environment, with a view to international competitions and pathways for selection into national teams in their country of origin. The focus is to enable elite gymnasts to achieve their personal sporting goals.

Parkour:
Roll, jump and tumble
into the latest fitness craze for kids and teens – Parkour. Not only does parkour provide an excellent base for fitness but it builds stamina, balance and agility.

Adult gymnastics:
Why should kids have all the fun? This adult gym program helps increase physical activity, fitness levels and self-confidence.

Camps:
Offered on a regular basis, holiday camps offer intensive sessions to boost skills and confidence.

Workshops:
Workshops will be offered to coaches to increase their knowledge of new, high tech training tools.

Learn Gymnastics in Singapore, competitive gymnastics, SWAGA Gym

Coaches
Aligned with the mission, vision, and values of SWAGA Gym, the coaching staff combines internationally qualified Olympic level coaches with local Singaporean coaching staff to enable gymnasts to reach their full potential. In addition to a robust coaching staff, a business administrative team will manage the day-to-day operations of the club, with all personnel having experience in sport marketing and development.

Location & Facility
SWAGA Gym is centrally located at The Grandstand, Turf City, 200 Turf Club Rd, 02-06, 287994.
Easily accessible via car or public transport, a free shuttle bus to the venue is also offered from the Botanic Gardens and Sixth Avenue MRT stations.
Boasting a massive 12,700 square feet of space, this state-of-the-art facility is fitted out with high quality GYMNOVA equipment – from the baby gym area, through to the apparatus for recreational, competitive, and high-performance athletes.

swagagym.com

 

Callum’s Triple Channel Crossing for Lung Cancer

Callum Eade & Sarah Eade
Callum and Sarah Eade are taking on cancer and a triple crossing of the English Channel

We’ve been following open water swimmer and ANZA member Callum Eade’s progress since he conquered the English Channel in 2019. A remarkable swim that raised $175,000 for children’s brain cancer research.

Since then, he’s set his sights on raising a further $300,000 to support the advancement of lung cancer research in a triple crossing of the channel. “That means we start in England, swim to France, back to the UK, and then finally back to France,” says Callum. “The swim will be over 100km, and if I can complete it, I’ll set a world record as the oldest ever person to complete the triple crossing.”

Callum’s wife Sarah Eade is facing a health challenge as she supports Callum’s epic swim. “I am a cancer survivor myself. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer 10 years ago,” says Callum. “Sadly, my wife Sarah was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer four months ago. We are in the midst of a treatment plan for her right now. A battle we are determined to win. She’s doing okay. One day at a time. We are incredibly thankful to be in Singapore. The level of expertise here is second to none.”

Callum Eade & family
Sarah, Charlie, Callum and Sophie Eade are well known in the ANZA community

COVID-19 also presented Callum with a series of obstacles and set-backs in his swimming preparation. “Lock down was a nightmare,” says Callum. “That said, Singapore’s focus on managing the situation domestically has seen life resume to relative normality.”
Training for the swim is now a round-the-clock affair, with Callum spending many hours churning up and down the lanes. “Training is practically a full time job! I swim 7 times a week over 6 days, with 3 dry-land gym sessions and a weekly sports massage. This equates to around 18-20 hours a week. I have recruited a key team that’s helping with my preparation. This includes swimming coaching from Marsden Swim School, as well as the brilliant team from UFIT. They provide diet, physiology and personal training.”

Callum Eade, person training in swimming pool

Plans to conquer seven iconic channel swims around the world were also sidelined during the pandemic. “COVID-19 has created obvious challenges, we were scheduled to be halfway through the Oceans 7 swims by now. Like so many things globally, that all went on hold, but the path to the triple is firmly on track and currently scheduled for October.”

Callum’s goals for this year are “first to ensure we continue to win the battle to keep Sarah healthy and second to that is to get to Dover in October. We also want to work to increase public awareness of the importance of early cancer detection. Lung cancer or cancer in general does not discriminate. My wife is a fit and healthy, non-smoking active woman, lung cancer doesn’t have any obvious symptoms until it has spread, please make sure you and your loved ones get regular health checks!”

 

Charlie Eade, Soccer trophy
Charlie loves ANZA Soccer!

Look out for Callum and Sarah with their son Charlie on the ANZA Soccer pitch. “Charlie is an ANZA Soccer fanatic,” says Callum. “He goes twice a week and if he had a say in it, he would be there every day!”

Support Sarah and Callum’s Cause:
“We would love your support. Please feel free to donate even the smallest amount to channelingacause.com. We are targeting $300k in the build up to the triple. Keep an eye out for many fundraising initiatives along the way… hopefully things will open up so we can have a large charity evening.”

All Aboard The Orient Express Singapore!

 

Train Carriage

Once Upon a Time on The Orient Express has chugged into the West Lawn of Gardens by the Bay, in a glamourous, historic exhibition. I was lucky enough to board the grand luxury train, lovingly restored and presented in an evocative pop-up museum and restaurant.
My first stop is to marvel at the historic locomotive engine that was shipped out from France during the height of COVID-19 in 2020, and now resides rather incongruously in the middle of tropical foliage and lush green lawn.

Staging the exhibition was no small feat and required a team of experts to ship the priceless artefacts here, safe and sound. “Designing and staging a display like the Orient Express in Singapore meant collecting around 300 precious items and documents, having to restore some of them and adapt many of the furniture and displays to its former glory,” says curator Claude Mollard. “It involved shipping historic monuments – a locomotive built in France 158 years ago and a 1930s sleeper car, weighing close to 200 tonnes, it is undoubtedly one of the heaviest to be shipped across the world.”

Interior of old train carriage glass carriage window

The hot and humid Singapore climate provided a challenge in how to safely store, preserve and protect the artworks and displays. In typical efficient Singaporean fashion, a climate controlled 2000m2 exhibition space was purpose built and ready for the artefacts to go on display once they arrived.

Meeting my tour guide, we climb narrow, steep stairs into the first of two beautifully restored and decorated original carriages, that evoke all the romance and magic of a bygone era. The Orient Express was a luxury train service created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. It remains a lasting symbol of luxury travel and timeless refinement and has a rich, fascinating history. Detailed displays in the carriages make it appear as if the likes of famous passengers like literary greats Graham Greene and Agatha Christie (the author of Murder on the Orient Express) have simply stepped away from their seats. Ashtrays, bottles of gin and champagne, cups of tea, coats thrown on hooks, half played games of cards and even a vintage typewriter make me wish this stationary exhibit were actually pulling away from the station and sweeping me off to London, Paris, Venice, Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Luxor and Aswan…if only!

The background soundtrack of whistles and train noises help make it feel hyper realistic. Close your eyes and you can imagine passengers boarding the train all those years ago, embarking on an exciting journey to unknown, exotic corners of the world.

Interior of Original Orient Express

The rest of the exhibition takes place in a huge hall, where an incredible collection of objects and documents are presented, summarising the history of The Orient Express and its forward-thinking founder, Georges Nagelmakers. It’s easy to wile away an hour or so looking at old tourism posters, original menus, stunning crockery and cutlery, suitcases and huge leather trunks, stained glass windows, uniforms and furniture. You can even peek into a restored sleeping cabin, with its tiny washroom and compact bed. Oh, to have slept even a night on The Orient Express.

high tea, French treats
Orient Express High Tea

High tea on a train
As part of my trip back in time, I head to the dining carriage for afternoon High Tea. Although this carriage isn’t part of the original train, it’s still a loving replica of what it would’ve been like to dine on The Orient Express, with its impeccable silver service and classic furnishings. The culinary team here is led by double three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, and today I’m being looked after by Sébastien Lefort, formerly the Chief Executive of Yannick Alléno Group.

high tea in train carriage
The carriage fills quickly, with small groups looking to capture the fun and frivolity of train dining. They’re not left disappointed; for $78++ Chef Lefort and his team put on an elaborate spread of delicate French treats. Because I work for ANZA and am representing beef-loving Australians, Chef has prepared a special entrée of grade five Gunma Wagyu, served in delicate folds like a millefeuille, with a rich caper jus. It’s a fixture on the dinner menu and is beautifully presented, so tender and flavourful.
Moving to a sweeter note, we are served a golden profiterole with a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream and drizzled in warm chocolate sauce. Then comes the main event – a generous three-tiered stand of sweet and savoury bites. My favourites are a mango and saffron tart, coffee flavoured liquorice pastry, and classic cucumber sandwiches, garnished with edible flowers. My dining partner is enamoured by the traditional English scones, Devonshire clotted cream, and strawberry jam. We linger for a while over TWG tea and chat about where we might go when travel restrictions lift…the modern world outside can wait a while.

To book high tea, lunch, brunch and dinner go to orientexpressexhibition.com/booknow

To book tickets to the exhibition go to sistic.com.sg/events/orient2021. Prices start from $25 or $88 for a family bundle.

ANZA Click Marina Bay Photo Walk

Want to learn photography in Singapore? ANZA Click is a relaxed photography club that takes regular photo walks around Singapore. Here’s some of their recent snaps!

Garden By the bay exterior Marina Bay Sands architecture Escalator view Central Business District Day view Singapore Flyer Close-up of palm leave   
Photos: Dale, Mel, Nancy, Quett.
Love taking photos? Join the ANZA Click Photography group and learn from a community of like-minded snappers. This social and friendly group is great for beginners, amateur enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in photography.