Great bars Singapore: The Lighthouse
Is there anything better than a bar with a view? Greedy Girl submits not; at home she and gluttonous husband luxuriate on their own balcony bar with a view overlooking the city of Melbourne and the Yarra River. And, of course, when travelling, the mission is to find exceptional spots to sit back, enjoy a chilled beverage and enjoy the sights.
We’d already loved the ambience at The Lantern Bar at the Fullerton Bay Hotel so we were delighted to be introduced to The Lighthouse in the nearby Fullerton Hotel, a majestic colonnaded building just behind the famed Merlion. At one point in its history, it was the city’s main post office – and a very glamorous one to boot with lots of art deco touches still evident throughout the interior.
The Lighthouse is on the top floor (the 8th), accessed by a small hydraulic lift, separate from the other elevators that service guest room floors. It’s an upmarket Italian eatery, helmed by Bergamo native, chef Carlo Marengoni with a small alfresco bar above.
We’d made a booking, to arrive at 7pm – just before the sun goes down here. On arrival the place was packed to the rafters; a group of tourists staying at the hotel had descended en masse and virtually every seat was taken. We were requested to wait at the only remaining table, next to the service area. It was a very windy spot; made even more so by fans blasting from on high and we were fully prepared to take our leave. The friendly wait staff told us the tour group was settling its bill and had dinner reservations downstairs. We had hoped for a small wait but it took nearly 40 minutes for them to depart and to claim one of the more peaceful seats overlooking One Fullerton below and Marina Bay Sands, just across the water. The picture at the top of this post shows the delightful view – worth waiting for.
We ordered a Singapore Sling cocktail for Greedy Girl and a Tiger beer for gluttonous husband, sat back and watched the nightly laser light show, as well as the twinkling lights from the Singapore flyer. It could get a lot worse than this. The bar was relatively quiet, the view grand and the drinks cold. Away from the fans, we also felt as though we had avoided the imminent danger of being blown off the deck.
At sunset in Singapore, the al fresco experience is so much more pleasant; radiant light here can be brutal, especially combined with the fearsome humidity. This felt like a relatively mild night. No need for jackets or anything other than the lightest of clothing, but the breeze here feels very comfortable.
Ordering a second round of drinks, we opted for an antipasto platter. This featured some good prosciutto, calamari rings with a spicy mayo, burrata cheese and wonderfully ripe tomato, dressed rocket and some griddled hard cheese. All was perfectly pleasant to eat and a good foil for the drinks. We were happy chappies.
This city has come a long way with its drinking culture in particular in recent years. There are now a lot of venues on offer, and many of the great bars with views are in this area of Singapore. Nearby you can also avail yourself of Ku de Ta at Marina Bay Sands (a way of experiencing the 57th floor sky park without paying a fee) as well as 1-Altitude. Be warned though: Ku de Ta has very limited seating and none outside – you need to prop yourself up, standing, against one of the high tables, and 1-Altitude has a cover charge that makes your drink rather expensive).
There’s no cover charge here and it’s a much more relaxed spot; having said that, the drinks aren’t cheap and there’s not a huge variety. Still, for an incredibly nice spot to sit, sip and watch the world go by, it’s very, very hard to beat.
Fullerton Hotel, Singapore