Off–the–Beaten Path in Singapore with cShashona
Unlock the Secret to Harmonious Living with cShashona’s 5 Essences.
My Weekly Blog is designed to teach the secret behind cShashona’s 5 Essences for Harmonious Living.
Favorite Place to Stay in Singapore:
Southeast Asia has been my home away from home since I was 21 years old living abroad in Hong Kong with my husband as a newlywed. We’ve holidayed many times in Singapore, which is where we found our favorite shangri-la at the Shangri-La Hotel (@shangrilahotels), an urban oasis tucked away in the city’s downtown on 15 acres of gardens and lush greenery. It’s the perfect respite after a day of strolling the famous Orchard Road (known by locals simply as “Orchard”), a high-end shopping area with luxury designer shops and boutiques.
What are the sights and sounds that inspire you as an Artist?
Singapore is a city bustling with vitality and energy. Many of the streets are narrow, full of color, and are simply beautiful with local merchants and street vendors. There are many iconic buildings mixed with modern luxury towers. While the shopping and restaurant scenes are phenomenal, my favorite place to hang out is actually at the Botanic Gardens (there are actually three different kinds!), which is on the western side of Orchard. The gardens date back to 1822, and played an important part fostering agricultural development throughout the region.
First, there’s the Singapore Botanic Gardens (@nparksbuzz), a 183-acre garden with sculptures, a swan lake and tropical trees, which are so captivating that it’s the only tropical garden in the world to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The second is the Singapore Orchid Gardens. There are over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids sitting on a magical and breathtaking hilltop. And lastly, there’s the Botanic Gardens Learning Forest. There are more than 100 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians and reptiles, seven species of mammals and over 500 species of plants, making the time spent a real education in the natural world.
I often sneaked off to enjoy private time in the gardens, and it inspired one of my iconic pieces -- Serpent d’ Esprit Libre Bracelet -- from my eponymous jewelry “Free Spirit” collection. This is so special to me because the snake, while evoking the Garden of Eden in religious texts, also symbolizes growth, change and renewal in the spiritual world.
My Serpent d’ Esprit Libre Bracelet is encrusted in Black Diamonds with a symbolic emerald gemstone coiled within the tail frame and offer love and passion to the wearer.
I chose an Emerald in this design because its energetic properties align beautifully with the symbolism of the snake. Emeralds encourages growth, reflection, peace and balance. It also represents healing and fertility.
What did you learn from spending time with the locals?
It’s a quote from an American writer, but perfectly expresses how I feel in Southeast Asia: “The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.”
What’s your go-to signature look while living here?
Singapore is sultry and tropical with an edge and heat like a NYC summer, but is also very sophisticated and chic like Paris. Day or night it’s all about designers. I was always ahead of fashion trends because of my travels through Asia, which is where I first discovered Louis Vuitton. You must always be dressed day or night, and the designers I gravitate toward are: Givenchy, YSL, Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta, and of course, Louboutin. An important travel tip: Cash is still King in this part of the world. It’s best to shop using U.S. Dollars.
Favorite Memory and Favorite Dish:
Long before @anthonybourdain made Asian street food infamous, my husband I enjoyed many nights eating spicy noodles from local street vendors while adventuring throughout the city at night.
cShashona’s Singapore Sling:
¾ Gin (I like Tanqueray)
¼ Grand Marnier
¼ Cherry Liqueur (I like Heering)
¼ Herbal Liqueur (I like Bénédictine)
1 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
A dash of bitters and club soda and a cherry to top
Add all the ingredients except the club soda into a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into a highball glass, and top with the club soda.
Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
If you want to serve a colorful refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail, click on the video for my Strawberry Rainbow Refresher: