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.
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.
After Caden ate his Peking Duck and rice, he decided he would like to have some hotdogs AND jelly beans. And ice-cream.
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.
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.
"The hardest thing to resist, is temptation."
and so... I did not resist.
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 on a first come, first served basis.
Tel: 6371 1966Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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!