The Singaporean Sisters - Number 1 Luxury Lifestyle Blog in SINGAPORE!: 2018

Thursday, 8 November 2018

TRAVEL - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to London on Singapore Airlines Business Class (Part 3) - Crown Jewels of London, Tower of London, Cafe Concerto, Ridley's Believe it or Not, Books of Mormon Musical. (London Part 3)

TRAVEL - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to London 
on Singapore Airlines Business Class
 Crown Jewels of London, Tower of London, 
Books of Mormon Musical, Cafe Concerto, Ridley's Believe it or Not
(London Part 3)


London is one of my favourite countries. I can go to London once a year and I'm never tired of it. There's always so much to do there. Things that I would never miss out in London - Fish & Chips, Musicals & Texas Holdem Poker. 

Crown Jewels of London at The Tower of London




The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. It is famous for being the home of The Crown Jewels.

The Crown Jewels



The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, originally the Crown Jewels of England, are 140 royal ceremonial objects kept in the Tower of London, which include the regalia and vestments worn by British kings and queens at their coronations.

Symbols of 800 years of monarchy, the coronation regalia are the only working set in Europe other present-day monarchies have abandoned coronations in favour of secular ceremonies and the collection is the most historically complete of any regalia in the world.

The White Tower



The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The White Tower is a keep (also known as a donjon), which was often the strongest structure in a medieval castle, and contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was also, by virtue of its strength, majesty and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence". As one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe".




The castle was used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard I, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.


The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. 



Walking around London Streets


Taking a picture with the London Phone Booth is a MUST!



Cafe Concerto Piccadilly
29-31 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0LF, UK


Its always awesome to have friends around the world. I met my friends Anthony for a hearty breakfast at Cafe Concerto. They have a wide range of desserts. Their hot chocolate and expresso is a must try.





Ridley's Believe it or Not


Of course, when you visit London, don't forget to visit their Ridley's Believe it or Not attraction. 2 hours at this attraction is more than enough. But beware, you would be dumbfounded and shocked by some of their findings. 

Books of Mormons The Musical



Whenever I fly to London, I would make it a point to watch at least 2-3 Musicals each trip. Books of Mormons is rumored to be one of the best selling musical, it is constantly SOLD OUT everyday. But it is a little vulgar, hence I would say that it is probably rated RA standard, due to a lot of vulgarities. If you are  going to young children, please watch Charlie and The Chocolate Factory or Matilda instead. This musical is more suited for the mature and open minded crowd. 

The website that I use to get the best deals for Musicals Tickets - > https://www.lastminute.com/theatre/


As you can see, the tickets can start from even just 18 Euros only!
Happy visiting London!

Read More about London Part 1 & Part 2 - HERE.

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Some info and pictures are taken from Wikipedia

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Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.



Wednesday, 5 September 2018

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 3) - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - Plaza de España Seville.

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 3)
Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class 
1 Month Trip
Plaza de Espana Seville


Plaza de Espana Seville is by far one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the world. Considering that I used to worked in Singapore Airlines, and I've traveled to quite a number of places, but I have never seen a place as magical and mystical as this place. It is like Disneyland but it is completely real. It is not a fantasy world. It is reality. 

Plaza de Espana "Spain Square" is a plaza built in the Parque de Maria Luisa (Maria Luisa Park). It was built in 1928 and it is a landmark example of Regionalism Architecture of the Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish Architecture (Architect - Anibal Gonzalez). 


Wedding Photo Shoot - EPIC Location

For romantic couples who want to look for a place to propose to your beautiful girlfriend, or a place to take wedding photos, or a place for a honeymoon, this surreal place beats a lot of countries and cities, hands down. It is the most romantic place I've seen. For my friends who plan to do their wedding shoots in Bali, or Santorini, or Paris, it is way too cliche. I would say, go to a location that not many Singaporeans would go, or have even heard of or seen. Your wedding photos would be EPIC!

My photos are just taken with an Apple Iphone camera, imagine taking photos and videos of this place with a professional camera. It would be out of this world.


The Plaza de Espana is so majestic that it was a filming location for quite a number of movies. Few examples was Star Wars movie series Star Wars: Espisode 2 - Attack of the Clones (2002), whereby they featured the exterior shots of the City of Theed on the Planet Naboo. It was also featured in one of my favourite funny movie - The Dictator. It was even used for music videos, Simply Red's song - Something Got Me Started.



Today, Plaza de Espana, is used mainly for government stuff. The end of the park, where the grandest mansions are situated, have been turned into museums. Some of which contains the city's archaeology collections. The main exhibits are the Roman mosaics ad artifacts from the nearby Italica.


Pictures from Wiki




Truly, these pictures doesn't do this magical place any justice. Hire a professional photographer and fly down there to take really nice wedding photos. You won't regret!

This place is a must visit.

Some photos and information is extracted from Wikipedia & Tripadvisor.

Read more about my 1 Month Spain Trip - CLICK HERE

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Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.


Thursday, 19 July 2018

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 2) - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection, National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 2)
Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class 
1 Month Trip
Places of attraction - Casco Historico De Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection,
National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia Spain.


Casco Historico De Toledo

I love Toledo! This place is like a dream land!

The Historic City of Toledo is a historic site of the Spanish municipality of Toledo , declared a World Heritage Site.


The set includes historical buildings of the Spanish city of Toledo , in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha . The protected area includes the old part of the city, enclosed by the city wall and by the meander that forms the Tagus River , and a series of areas on the opposite bank of the river course. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986.  The city also has the status of cultural interest , having been declared a historic-artistic monument on 9 March 1940.






The Whole TOP VIEW of Toledo



Spanish dish at Cigarra Monte-Rey Toledo

I had an awesome Spanish meal at this famous restaurant on top of a hill. The exterior of the building looks old, classic and brick like. But the interior of restaurant is modern and impressive. It was an extremely beautiful view of the entire Toledo at the bottom. Try to get a seat by the window to have an awesome scenic view while dining. 


This is the splendid view from this restaurant on top of a hill. Their food was really good. I even met a few friends who are also traveling and visiting Toledo. 





Making a Sword in Toledo


TOLEDO, SPAIN–Mariano Zamorano has a 12-inch dagger blade gripped in his right hand as he guides it with his left over a rough stone rotating on a spinning wheel. He shifts and sparks fly up and out, illuminating the darkened room. Then he moves with the blade to the next stone, and then another and another, each finer than the last, to whir away the layer of black left by the flames it was forged with.

Mariano Zamorano, 63, polishes the blade of the sword in his workshop on June 5, 2015. Zamorano is one of the last artisan sword makers of Toledo, Spain.

His shop, Mariano Zamorano Fábrica de Espadas, set in a quiet corner off the center of town, has passed from five generations of fathers to sons. Today, he is one of the last authentic sword makers in Toledo – a city south of Madrid, in the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain – where warriors, kings and noblemen would go for the weapons they carried into war. At 63, though, Zamorano is getting ready to retire. And while his son, also a Mariano, an aeronautical engineer, is able to replace his father, he is not willing to take over the business. And that means after 150 years, the world-renowned sword shop will likely close down.


Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection
Looks like museum


The company was established in 1968 with the opening of the Derby Hotel and is now one of Spain’s most prestigious hotel chains.

Jordi Clos is the chairman and founder of Derby Hotels Collection, a Catalan businessman closely linked to the tourist sector in Barcelona, who runs the company along with his family in a very personal manner.

As well as a hotelier, Jordi Clos is an Egyptologist, collector and sponsor of art. He chairs the Clos Archaeological Foundation, an organisation that owns the Egyptian Museum of Barcelona, with the largest private collection of Egyptian art in Europe on display to the public and that has been funding archaeological digs in Egypt for over twenty years.




URBAN HOTEL LOFT SUITE


Duplex suite with loft layout conceived as an experience for the senses: it combines modern design, luxury, spaciousness, natural light and views over the central street Carrera de San Jerónimo.

The layout of the suite on two levels conveniently separates the sleeping area on the lower level from the lounge area on the upper level. The suite’s large glass window, measuring more than four metres high, allows the entry of natural light throughout the day.


But what particularly stands out in the Suite are the materials used in its decor: wenge wood inlays, limestone in the bathrooms, glass and steel in the partitions, Zimbabwean black stone in the glass bathroom screens and tropical teak furniture.

Deco rugs and steel furniture combine in the rooms with furniture by the architect J. Hoffman, Meridian transparent chairs by Driade, headboard and glass bedside tables by Triade, Italian leather sofa and Starck bathroom furniture by Duravit. The Loft Suite is presented as a work of art in itself, where comfort also takes precedence.


I stayed at the Suite Loft. It was super grand, as their decorated it like a museum. It is around 800EURO (Suite Loft) a night on average. 


National Archaeological Museum of Spain


The National Archaeological Museum (Spanish: Museo Arqueológico Nacional) is a museum in Madrid, Spain. It is located on Serrano Street beside the Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square), sharing its building with the National Library.

The museum was founded in 1867 by a Royal Decree of Isabella II as a depository for numismatic, archaeological, ethnographical and decorative art collections of the Spanish monarchs.

The museum was originally located in the Embajadores district of Madrid. In 1895, it moved to a building designed specifically to house it, a neoclassical design by architect Francisco Jareño, built from 1866 to 1892. In 1968, renovation and extension works considerably increased its area. The museum closed for renovation in 2008 and reopened in April 2014. The remodelled museum concentrates on its core archaeological role, rather than decorative arts.

Its collection is based on pieces from the Iberian Peninsula, from Prehistory to Early-Modern Age. However, it also has different collections coming from outside of Spain, especially from Ancient Greece, both from the metropolitan and, above all, from Magna Graecia, and, to a lesser extent, from Ancient Egypt, in addition to "a small number of pieces" from Near East.

Noria de Sevilla in Spain

I spotted this beautiful ferrywheel. Apparently, its quite famous. I visited their aquarium nearby and also spotted a man show casing his owls.


Trip Advisor 
La Noria de Sevilla
Ride this ferry wheel at around SGD40.



La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia Spain 
(UNESCO)


A World Heritage site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.



Visiting a Palace in Granada Spain. They have colourful flowers and a lot of different types of fruits and crops. Their own potable water from the mountain and a perfect view of the whole Granada City. They seem very self contained. I could live in this Palace forever. 4000 people used to live here.

Can I be one of them?


The History of Alhambra

The Alhambra - "The Red One",the complete Arabic form of which was Qalat Al-Hamra), is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. 

It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by Humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.

Alhambra's last flowering of Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Castile. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered following the defeat of Napoleon, who had conducted retaliatory destruction of the site. The rediscoverers were first British intellectuals and then other north European Romantic travelers. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well-known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. 

The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.


Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered. The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges, and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought by the Duke of Wellington in 1812. The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. These are supplied through a conduit 8 km (5.0 mi) long, which is connected with the Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle above Granada.


Despite long neglect, willful vandalism, and some ill-judged restoration, the Alhambra endures as an atypical example of Muslim art in its final European stages, relatively uninfluenced by the direct Byzantine influences found in the Mezquita of Córdoba. The majority of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court, and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. 

Alhambra was extended by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.


The decoration consists for the upper part of the walls, as a rule, of Arabic inscriptions—mostly poems by Ibn Zamrak and others praising the palace—that are manipulated into geometrical patterns with vegetal background set onto an arabesque setting ("Ataurique"). Much of this ornament is carved stucco (plaster) rather than stone. Tile mosaics ("alicatado"), with complicated mathematical patterns ("tracería", most precisely "lacería"), are largely used as panelling for the lower part. Similar designs are displayed on wooden ceilings (Alfarje). 

Muqarnas are the main elements for vaulting with stucco, and some of the most accomplished dome examples of this kind are in the Court of the Lions halls. The palace complex is designed in the Nasrid style, the last blooming of Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula, that had a great influence on the Maghreb to the present day, and on contemporary Mudejar Art, which is characteristic of western elements reinterpreted into Islamic forms and widely popular during the Reconquista in Spain.




Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last centuries of the Moorish rule of Al Andalus, reduced to the Nasrid Emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as the Reconquista by Spanish Christians won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era.

The literal translation of Alhambra, "the red (female)," reflects the color of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings as seen today are reddish. Another possible origin of the name is the tribal designation of the Nasrid Dynasty, known as the Banu al-Ahmar Arabic: Sons of the Red (male), a sub-tribe of the Arab Qahtanite Banu Khazraj tribe. One of the early Nasrid ancestors was nicknamed Yusuf Al Ahmar (Yusuf the Red) and hence the (Nasrid) fraction of the Banu Khazraj took up the name of Banu al-Ahmar.



This place is a must visit.

Some photos and information is extracted from Wikipedia & Tripadvisor.

Read more about my 1 Month Spain Trip - CLICK HERE

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Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.