Sunday Garden Party at Rasa Sentosa

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sundays are lazy days. Perfect days for waking up late, have a relaxed, leisurely late breakfast, go to the beach, catch a movie, or just stay at home and hibernate.

And then we have kids.

They loudly declare that "It's WAKEUP time!!" the moment the sun is up, and shake you awake because they need breakfast. Then they proceed to turn the entire house upside down looking for ONE toy which they seem to have misplaced, that it seems to make more sense to bring them out to expand their energy elsewhere. When we are then packed and ready to go out, we need to think of places to go. Places which will entertain them for hours on end, where all of us can have something to eat, and where we (hopefully) can grab a breather before the start of the week.

When we were invited to experience the Sunday Garden Party at Atmosphere by the Sea, I was really intrigued because it seems to have the perfect arrangement for parents with young kids! The kids dine for free* and are entertained by a balloon sculptor and magician while we entertain our stomachs. Furthermore, if that's not enough, all diners have complimentary access to the pool, water slides and children's splash pad!



The Sunday Garden Party is at Atmosphere By The Sea, a separate villa away from the main hotel unit. Quaint and charming, it epitomises the perfect draw of resort living.


When we were there, we were told that there was to be a beach wedding that same evening, hence the installation of fairy lights and lanterns. It was all very romantic, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.


True to being the 5-star hotel that they are, the tables are set semi-formal style, and service is impeccable. There is always someone ready to help at the turn of your head, and a server is at the table even before you can look around for one.

Then, there's the FOOD.

Of course, the food. The stuff which placates angry, hungry men and has the power to soothe a wounded heart. It's what we bond over, what we share, and what is truly unique to each country and culture.

Oh my, the Food. The spread at the Sunday Garden Party was truly a gastronomic treat for the senses.

Cold Cuts

Gifts from the sea comes in oddly small proportions.


Smoked and fresh salmon, beef carpaccio, salami, pastrami, slices of cold cut ham and fresh salad, served with a plethora of dressings and sauces to suit all palates.


Fresh salmon and perfectly poached eggs, oozing velvety yolk, enhanced by the slight tart taste of apple cider vinegar in every bite.


From the Sea


Excuse me as I drool again while I upload this picture.

The husband has a slight seafood allergy. His throat gets itchy like he's having a bad throat infection whenever he eats any prawns or shellfish. Unfortunately for him, seafood remains his first love, and like the one that got away - something he has to stay away from.

But at times like these, he really didn't care. I think he ate enough seafood to make up for all the occasions he denied himself to prevent the discomfort which follows almost immediately. Honestly, I really don't blame him.

Sweet and fresh. Flavoured with a slight hint of butter.



And the oysters. Shucked upon request.


Alaskan King Crab legs and scallops. Bursting with flavour, and full of succulent goodness!



One thing I noticed (when I wasn't busy chomping through my food) was that despite the numerous people who kept on topping up their plates, the massive bowls remained picture perfect because the chef ensured that the seafood is constantly replenished. To a person familiar with F & B operations, I totally admire the staff's vigilance!

Cooked food station

At the patio, there is a grill and barbeque section, churning out grilled seafood and meats. The steaks and lamb chops are divinely juicy, and if you prefer to have your lobster flavoured with herbs, egg yolk and brandy, there is always the all-time favourite lobster thermidor. There is a modest selection of Indian food and vegetarian options.


There is also grilled chicken and peking duck, which Caden absolutely loved!


Kids' Station

After Caden ate his Peking Duck and rice, he decided he would like to have some hotdogs AND jelly beans. And ice-cream.

I do believe he thinks he's on holiday. It's easy to get confused because there is this general laid back vibe and feel surrounding the entire place. No one was rushing, everyone waited patiently for their turn, and people seemed a little more friendly.

No one minded the monitor lizard which lazily slithered through the patio tables, and the kids watched the peacocks as they sauntered by, keeping a respectful distance.


Cheese Platter

Ok. Platter is not the word here. Being a cheese lover, I didn't know what I wanted to eat first! Never mind that my stomach was close to exploding... they were too good to resist.


Dessert Station

"The hardest thing to resist, is temptation."

and so... I did not resist.


Would you?



By this time, Caden was getting restless. Whilst I was happy to just sit back and have good food and conversation, 4-year old kids aren't programmed to really sit still for long periods of time. Thankfully, there was the balloon sculptor and magician to keep him entertained after lunch!





I think he was also restless because we passed by the pool on the way to Atmosphere By The Sea, and we promised him a go after lunch. He was really looking forward to it, and after I made sure that he is rested enough after the massive lunch he had, we headed on down to the pool to cool off!

At least the boys did, while I baked in the sun.


There are kids' sized life vests available for use, and I like that the deep end of the pool is very far away (and partitioned!) from the kids' splash pad and slides.



We went home in the late afternoon with Caden thoroughly and utterly exhausted, our bellies and hearts full because we had great fun as a family! I am not able to get every weekend off to spend with my family, and on rare occassions such as this, I'm so glad that we are able to bond together over food, joy and laughter.

***

Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa
Sunday Garden Party at Atmosphere by the Sea

Every Sunday from noon - 3pm (buffet lunch)

SGD 138++ per adult (walk-in guests get pool access)
One child aged 11 years or below dines free with one paying adult. SGD28++ for each additional child.

Complimentary parking will be given to diners.

For Reservations
Tel: 6371 1966
Email: fbreservation.sen@shangri-la.com or click here

more information here.

***

Disclaimer: This wonderful experience was made possible by the good people at Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. You guys are doing a great job in making the place fun for everyone in the family!

Universal Studios Easter Eggs-travaganza 2015:
'The Egg Quest'

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Caden always looks forward to visiting Universal Studios because he still thinks that's where Jurassic Park is. Well, technically he's not wrong, and I suppose when a 4 year old still believes in movies and magic - you can't, and you won't argue with him.

When we took him to Universal Studios last weekend, he was in for a treat. Not only was he able to fly his favourite pterodactyls, he also went on an 'eggciting' Easter egg hunt!

The Easter festivities at Universal Studios has been extended from 5th of April to the 12th of April - so there's still time to catch the festivities!




The highlight of the festivities for the children must be the Great Egg Quest.

When we entered the theme park, we were given a little map showing the areas where specially commissioned Easter eggs are located. There are 10 silver coated eggs on the map, and at every given location in the park, an egg has to be scratched off to reveal a matching themed Easter egg.


From the influence of movies, Caden absolutely loved the thrill of having the little map in his hands, and trying to find the respective eggs at each section of the park. He kept on saying that he's on an exciting Treasure hunt, and was so intent on completing the quest that we had to finish finding ALL the eggs first, before going on any rides! (yes, we had to go round the park twice!)

At the Land of Far, Far, Away, we met Puss in Boots.


 Then we visited Shrek's home, and found an Easter treat there.


We went to Madagascar and Caden excitedly scratched off his silver coated egg to reveal Alex!


We stopped the Egg Quest for a bit because Caden remembered how much fun the boat ride and the merry-go-round was the last time we visited, and wanted a go again.


We continued our journey to Hollywood, where we located one of the Minions.


I loved the streets of New York - adorned in Easter finery with familiar characters dressed to fit the occasion.



Sci-Fi City is Caden's favourite zone after The Lost World, where Jurassic Park is located.

It is also where he made me go on the Transformers Ride (Ultimate 3D Battle) FIVE times with him. It took all my self control not to turn green and heave!




It was on to The Lost World next, and while the skies threatened to open up, thankfully it was but a passing shower,



Caden had to have (many) rounds on the Dino Soarin' ride, just because he loves those pterodactyls! Actually - I don't know who enjoyed it more. The Daddy... or the boy. :)


He located his Dino egg, and posed gamely for a pic as a hatchling!


After completing the entire egg quest, we headed down to the Redemption point to get his reward.


It was merely a chocolate egg, but it made Caden SO happy. I guess the thrill lies in the chase! I believe that to a little boy, completing the quest is a reward by itself.


Note: Universal Studios Singapore's Egg Quest is part of The Great Egg-Venture organised by The Sentosa Harbourfront Business Association (SHBA). Originally slated to run from 21 March 2015 to 5 April 2015, it has since been extended to 12 April 2015 following the mourning period for our 1st Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

Disclaimer: This trip was made possible by Resorts World Sentosa, for Universal Studios Singapore.

Animal Zone Dino Tub giveaway!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

We have been so fortunate to enjoy lots of opportunities and gifts from so many different sources and sponsors for the past year, and today, on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, I thought that it would be fitting for us to thank you, our readers, for making all this possible.

To all of you who have continuously given me motivation to write, to share my experiences, and to document the challenges I face as a mum - I thank you.

To all who have left comments which were on blog posts, on Facebook, and on Instagram, I thank you for taking the time to do so.

I reply each and every single one of you who have taken the time to write me a personal email because I appreciate you sharing with me your thoughts and your kind words.

Thank you for your support.

This blog will not be possible without each and every single one of you.



***

From a very young age, we have always taught Caden to be thankful for and appreciate the smallest things in life. He knows that he is very fortunate to be able to have the toys which he wants most of the time, even though sometimes he doesn't quite yet understand why he needs to 'earn' his rewards. He knows, however, the importance of sharing and giving, and so when I asked him what he would like to share this year (last year he suggested 2 Transformers action figures) - he promptly answered: "The Dino Tub, Mummy!"

So here it is - purchased using a share of his Ang pow money collection - '
Caden's Animal Zone Dino Tub Giveaway!



With 40 pieces of figurines to build a mini Jurassic scene, I love that it stimulates their imagination and encourages them to create their own stories. 

Caden had so much fun when he got the set. He spent endless hours taking his Dino friends through battle scenes, feeding times, and identifying which are carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. I took the opportunity to explain to him each of these terms - and I suppose it's so much easier to understand food chains and simple Science when we use objects which interest them to illustrate these!



The husband had the opportunity to relive his childhood (he: "we only had plastic ones without such detailed features back then!") and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as much as his son did.



The two boys even brought a scene from 'Jurassic Park' to life!


As for me, I absolutely loved that the pieces came with their own tub. LOVE, I tell you. It makes cleanup and storage so much easier, not to mention that there is less chance of pieces going missing, or worse - stepping on one in the dark!



To thank you for your continuous support - here's a chance to have your very own Dino Tub!



This Animal Zone Dino Tub is a gift from Caden to his young friends on blog, so kindly participate only if you have a child or a young relative who would be very happy to receive it

To take part, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, subject to other Terms and Conditions as appended. This giveaway is only open to readers residing in Singapore, and prize has to be self collected from VivoCity.

Good Luck!


*Contest ends on Thursday, 12 March 2015, at 2359hrs. Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter, and notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to respond to the notification email. Should there be no response, the winning entry will be rendered null and void, and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: In case you didn't read the post from beginning to the end, this is NOT a sponsored post. Caden has generously decided that he would like to use part of his Ang Pow collection to share the joy of the Lunar New Year!
 

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