This year, Australian designer Dion Lee presented his eponymous label at Singapore Fashion Week for the first time. “Singapore has a very relaxed feel about it,” says Lee, who is a frequent visitor to the Southeast Asian nation. “The culture is very relatable, even though there’s always a lot going on.” He shares his favourite places around the Garden City...

Best Hotel

The St Regis Hotel 

“The St Regis is an upscale hotel with comfortable rooms and lush bathrooms, where you can unwind in a freestanding bath. The hotel has an amazing pool and spa, which offers a relaxing break from the busy city. Also, it’s near Orchard Road, a shopping hub that has an excellent mix of luxury and designer brands.”

Best Coffee/ Breakfast

Forty Hands

“There’s a coffee house called Forty Hands that’s owned by an Australian. They have really good Australian-style coffee, which is always nice to find when you travel. They also do an amazing mushroom and truffle sandwich. It’s near Tiong Bahru Market, a food court and farmers’ market with a local feel and village atmosphere.”

Best Bar

Cé La Vi

“Make sure you go to Cé La Vi at Marina Bay Sands for a sunset drink or – if you’re with a hotel guest – visit the infinity pool, where you can have a cocktail and swim while being treated to a view of the skyline and bay.”

Best Restaurant

Chopsuey Cafe at Dempsey Hill

“This restaurant is quite cool. The owners have other cafés throughout Singapore; their PS.Cafes are more like lunch spots, while Chopsuey has a range of modern Chinese dishes. I usually order seafood dishes, like the whole red emperor with sesame chilli dipping sauce.”

Best Shops

Inhabit and Books Actually

“There’s a boutique called Inhabit in the Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road. It carries a wide array of international designers and a selection of Australian brands, which is really great to see. There’s also a bookstore that I like, called Books Actually, in Tiong Bahru. It’s small but densely packed with the best books on design, contemporary art, fashion and Singapore culture – there’s an eclectic mix of old and new.”

Best Parks

Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Botanic Gardens

“Gardens by the Bay is definitely worth seeing. It’s a park in central Singapore with amazing landscaping on a large scale. You won’t be able to miss it – there are these huge leaf-shaped parks and each has its own unique design and personality. I also like the Singapore Botanic Gardens, near the St Regis Hotel. It’s a beautiful old garden and a great place to go for a run.”  

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