Christmas Shopping and Dining at Orchard Road

This is the time of the year where the famous Orchard Road Shopping Belt puts on romantic charms with amazingly eye-catching Christmas lightings. We usually drive through Orchard Road to enjoy the beautifully glittering lights during Christmas seasons. This time, we did it on foot. And we didn’t regret it.

Christmas lightings are best viewed during the night. For us, this adventure started with a nice lunch at the Ibis Hotel at Bencoolen Street. This is one of our favourite eating places downtown because we are Accor Plus members where we enjoy dining discounts.

After lunch, we went to do some shopping over at Bugis Junction. Bugis Junction is also dressed up for Christmas. The last time we visited Bugis Junction was during the Mid Autumn Festival. How quickly the deco is switched to the soothing romantic Christmas decorations over here.

With shopping done, we walked over to Bugis+ Mall that is connected with Bugis Junction via a shopping bridge across Victoria Street. This would reduce our exposure to the bright and unforgiving sun outdoor, not to mention, the high humidity here in Singapore. Over here at Bugis+, Uniqlo has a very big store taking up 2 floors in the mall. The main atrium here was rather busy with Coffee Bean taking centre stage where many tired shoppers stopped over for a cup of cuppa. A lot of young people hang out over here as well.

We then left Bugis+ Mall to walk over to Grand Pacific Hotel to help our younger boy and their friends with their staycation in town. Having settled this errant, it was time for us to take a break. We crossed Victoria Street and went to Jack’s Place Restaurant at the Bras Basah Complex for a cup of tea and a slice of cake to rest our legs. We had more walking to do in the evening. Besides, it was still too early to head to Orchard Road for the Christmas lights.

Slightly after 5 pm, we made our move. Our first target was to do some shopping first at John Little in Plaza Singapura next to the Istana. John Little is having a moving out sales till end of this month. We could walk over to Bras Basah MRT Station to take the Circle Line to Dhoby Ghaut Station just one station away. But then walking to Bras Basah MRT Station and walking down so deep into the MRT station and back up to Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut Station, it would probably save us less than two thirds of our walking. So it doesn’t make sense not to mention incurring cost as well.

Hence, we took a leisurely walk to Bras Basah Road and then passing the Singapore Arts Museum. Soon we reached the Rendezvous Hotel. We entered the hotel to use the washrooms. Interestingly, we discovered a German Restaurant where we might some day pay a visit for lunch. Exiting Rendezvous Hotel brought us to the junction of SOTA, the Arts School.

Passing SOTA and the Cathay Cinema, we walked a little further, crossed Handy Road, we arrived at Plaza Singapura. It was quite effortless indeed, especially during early evening where the sun was no longer punishing us walking in the open. We wasted no time and walked straight into John Little to begin our first mission at Orchard Road.

While my dear wife did her shopping, I found myself a seat at the shoes section and rested till she was done. Our elder girl came over to join us after work. John Little was quite crowded. The discounts given were pretty attractive. We had to queue for a while before we were served for payment. Once we got out of John Little, we did a bit more window shopping at Plaza Singapura. The main atrium of the mall is turned into a Christmas Market. The Christmas deco here is quite nice too.

We then went out of Plaza Singapura to begin the Christmas lights tour. The sky wasn’t completely dark yet but the atmosphere in Orchard Road was already pretty evident that Christmas festivity has arrived. Outside the mall, shoppers were milling around. Festive mood was great here with shoppers taking pictures of the Christmas decorations outside the mall. Christmas lights are strung all over trees and lamp posts and across Orchard Road as well.

Having spent enough time here with the Christmas deco, we walked on along Orchard Road passing the Istana. After crossing the side roads, we reached Concorde Hotel. Christmas lightings are all over the area. Beautiful lights are strung across Orchard Road at regular intervals. It was a joy to walk along Orchard Road during this time of the year. It was also rather cooling too during the evening.

We went into the huge OG Store at Orchard Point to check out on winter wear as we would be heading to China to spend our Christmas holidays travelling from Hangzhou to Guangzhou including visits to Huangshan and Wuyishan. We didn’t find anything we liked so we left OG Store. Anyway, our younger daughter is now in Japan and she has been keeping us posted on winter wear over there and she would be getting some clothes for us.

We continued our stroll along Orchard Road and over at Centrepoint Mall, the Christmas decorations have taken on a food theme with fairy tale characters. They are very lovely and pretty too. Many stopped to take pictures of these deco pieces. The food and fruits deco looked so real. It was so tempting to touch these exhibits. Of course there are notices informing visitors not to touch these decorations. I must say those pastries looked so good and really mouth watering.

After Centrepoint, we crossed Orchard Road to check out the Christmas deco at Orchard Central Mall. A lot of people were congregating outside the mall to take pictures. The colour changing Christmas decorations here are fascinating. When we looked back across Orchard Road, we realized the Christmas decorations outside Centrepoint Mall were so beautiful. Many visitors were taking pictures of these deco from across the road.

We continued walking down the road passing nice Christmas decorations at the entrance of 313 Mall. Passing 313 Mall, we entered the H&M Store at Orchard Building for a quick look around. Since we had already bought what we needed at the H&M Store over at City Square in Johor a few days ago, we didn’t need anything else here. Outside H&M Store was very busy with Christmas shoppers coming and going as well as snapping pictures of the beautiful surrounding.

Next we crossed the Grange Road and went into the Mandarin Gallery. Our elder daughter suggested to have dinner at one of the restaurants here. Having checked out some restaurants, we decided to dine at Sacha & Sons, a Jewish restaurant from New York. The restaurant wasn’t crowded, which was what we were looking for so we could sit down and enjoy a nice dinner by the windows looking out on to Orchard Road.

The ambiance of the restaurant was great, so was the food. Our dinner was Germanic style food. We didn’t have pork knuckles this time although we were still thinking about the German Black Forest Restaurant we passed by at Rendezvous Hotel earlier in the evening. Perhaps May next year when we visit Berlin and Cologne we could try out similar food for a comparison.

After the nice dinner, we continued our Christmas lights tour along Orchard Road. We walked past Ngee Ann City and was surprised the Christmas lights here were rather subdued. In the past, this place was one of the highlights along Orchard Road. Nevertheless, the vicinity outside Ngee Ann City was pleasant and buskers were out performing.

After Ngee Ann City is Wisma Atria and then the famous Orchard Ion Mall. Here the Christmas decorations attracted crowds taking pictures at different spots to capture that picture perfect moment as souvenir for the year.

Here young and old hanged around enjoying a nice evening out on Orchard Road to soak in the festive atmosphere. We didn’t continue walking further up towards Tanglin Road. We had been out walking ten hours already so we called it a night. It was an enjoyable day and night touring Singapore downtown. The beautiful Christmas lights at Orchard Road was the bonus for this shopping trip in town.

It was a weekday when we visited. Orchard Road would no doubt be very busy and crowded during the weekends. After 7 pm, Christmas lights on Orchard Road would become the centre of attraction here. This is the time when when Orchard Road comes alive providing magical moments for visitors spending leisure time here in town. So come down for this once a year event to immerse yourselves with a romantic and an enchanting night out shopping and dining at the famous tourist shopping belt in Singapore.

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