25th July 2012 – Singapore (Part 2)

We’re now at the airport, with two hours before our flight boards, and Chris has left me in a corner of the lounge with our bags and the laptop while he goes off to get some free WiFi passwords, so I’m carrying on with the Raffles bit of the story! Ridiculously, having managed to not get sunburnt at all in three months, I’ve managed to get horrendously burnt this afternoon lying in the shade – I wasn’t in the sun at all, but the umbrella must not have been entirely sunproof – so I’m sitting here glowing and aching with sunburn, lots of fun for the 13 hour flight home! I feel very silly about it, because I did think about putting on some suncream, and then thought I needn’t bother as I wasn’t in the sun!

Anyway… on Monday morning we got up and packed our bags, and checked out of the Hotel 81, and got the guys on Reception to phone a taxi for us. I think the guy was just totally confused by picking us up from a cheap hotel in Geylang, and being asked to take us to Raffles Hotel – he asked me to repeat it three times, and then when we did get to Raffles, he took us to the tourist entrance near the shopping arcade, rather than to the main hotel entrance! I told him we needed the hotel – he’d seen us load our bags in the boot, so I can’t imagine exactly what he thought we were going to be doing at the shopping arcade! Anyway, we eventually drove round to the front entrance, and arrived at Raffles.

From the minute we got there, we felt like we were in a different world – everything was so easy, everyone was so friendly, and you could do absolutely nothing for yourself, as there was always someone there to step in and do it for you! We got out of the taxi and a chap jumped forward to take our luggage, and ushered us in the front doors, into the beautiful high-ceilinged lobby, with its white pillars and gold chandeliers, and air con cooling the room, although the front doors were always open. We gave our name to the manager at the front desk, and he suggested that we go and sit down in the lobby while he arranged the paperwork, so we sat and soaked up the atmosphere for a few minutes until he brought a folder over for Chris to sign, and told us our butler would come to take us to our suite.

Our butler! This is definitely one of the coolest things about Raffles – you have the 24-hour attention of the Raffles butlers, who are at the end of the phone for anything you might need, or any questions you might have, and who take care of all the little details that make the rooms so wonderful. Our butler, Joo Heng, came to meet us in the lobby – by the time he got there he knew our names, and the chap who’d brought in the luggage receipt had written our name on it as well. Another wonderful thing about Raffles – everyone we dealt with knew our names, and every time we walked into a restaurant we were greeted with ‘Good morning, Mr and Mrs Melia’, and everyone knew we were on honeymoon – we felt like royalty the whole time! So, Joo Heng walked us round to our suite, which was through a little wrought-iron gate saying ‘Residents Only’ which you had to open with your room key – there are lots of tourists wandering around the hotel all the time, and it felt very exciting to let ourselves into the Residents Only area! Joo Heng showed us around the suite, how to set the lighting and the temperature control, the call button to contact the butlers, the minibar, the TVs (two!), the Bose stereo system – it was quite a tour! While he was showing us around, the doorbell rang and it was another chap with our luggage, who immediately said ‘Congratulations on your honeymoon, Mr and Mrs Melia!’

Looking from the sitting room to the bedroom

Our dining area

Our sitting area

Joo Heng asked us what newspaper we wanted in the morning, and asked if we needed any laundry or ironing done, and if we needed any restaurant reservations – we told him about the reservations we’d already made, and he said he would confirm them with the restaurants. He told us where breakfast was, and how to get to the pool and spa, and then asked us if he could get us a Singapore Sling to drink while we settled in. We were practically speechless with excitement, but managed to be gracious enough to accept the offer enthusiastically, and he headed off to get our drinks, leaving us in the suite on our own. We acted like total children for ten minutes, opening every drawer to see what was in it, and trying out the shower, and the Bose, and the TV, and opening the minibar, and eating the fruit in the fruit bowl, and looking through the toiletries in the bathroom!

Orchids, fruit bowl and Singapore Slings

From the dressing room to the bedroom

My, what a large bed you have!

My, what a large bed you have!

Joo Heng brought our drinks for us, and we sat in one of the sets of chairs and drank them while we took stock of the beautiful suite. As you came in the door, there was a dining area to one side, with a table and two chairs, and a beautiful orchid on the table, and a huge fruit bowl. By the door there was an umbrella stand with a Raffles umbrella in it, and a shoe rack that had two pairs of slippers in it. The counter on that side of the room held the minibar and a cupboard full of different glasses, and a tray on the counter had an ice bucket and bottles of spirits. The ice bucket and fruit bowl were replenished at least a couple of times a day, and the toiletries and towels replaced if any of them had been used! On the other side of that room, there was a TV and sofa, with a coffee table full of magazines and books. Then there were shutters through to the bedroom on both sides, with full-length curtains hanging in the archway between the two rooms. The bedroom had a huge wooden bed, with crisp white sheets and huge pillows – there was also a pillow menu to select alternatives from, but we stuck with the standard ones! There were three huge wardrobes, with lights in them that came on when you opened the door, and a Bose stereo and TV in one side. There was a dressing table with a hairdryer and mirrors and a bench seat, and another comfy bench seat at the foot of the bed, with lovely big bedside tables on both sides, with huge Oriental lamps on each side. The control panel for the lighting and temperature was on one bedside table. On one side of the bedroom there was another table with two chairs and a pouffe, and on the other side there was a luggage rack. Near the bathroom door there was a funny piece of furniture that I think was something to do with hanging trousers, with a shoehorn and a clothes brush hanging off it. Next to both phones there were lovely white leather Raffles notepads and big chunky Raffles pens. All the floors were polished wood, and there were beautiful Persian carpets everywhere, and lovely paintings on the walls. There were eight separate lamps in the suite – I counted! In the dressing room, there were two sinks in a marble counter with gold taps and well-lit mirrors, a full-length mirror and set of scales, a big laundry basket and a huge pile of towels of different sizes, and a huge tray of toiletries – all the usual shower caps and toothbrushes and things, but also a loofah, shaving kit, lovely shampoos and conditioners and body lotions – all Raffles Amrita Spa branded. Through into the bathroom there was more of the green marble, with a big bath and separate big shower, and more towels on racks, and two beautiful dressing gowns on the back of the door. There were pretty little Oriental china pieces dotted around in the bathroom and the bedroom – they were just so beautifully furnished.

We had bathroom scales…

… double sinks…

… a spacious shower cubicle…

… a full sized bath…

… beautiful dressing gowns, slippers, more seating…

… and our very own umbrella.

I unpacked and sorted out clothes that needed ironing, and we called Joo Heng who came to collect them and told us he’d confirmed our dinner reservation for that evening. Then we went out exploring – we had a look round the Raffles shop for souvenirs, and then wandered round the rest of the arcade looking at the shops, and ended up upstairs at the Long Bar. As we walked in the waiter asked if we were hotel guests, and when we said we were, he took our room number and led us across the bar to an area with lots of empty tables reserved for hotel guests only – the rest of the bar was packed, with tourists coming in to have a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar, and some people were sitting at the bar, but we had most of the residents’ area to ourselves! We ordered Singapore Slings, and by the time the waiter came back with them he’d obviously checked our names on the computer, as he addressed us by name – we got chatting and told him about our trip, and he was very friendly. We ordered some lunch – a platter of three mini hamburgers and fries to share – and he came back to say he’d put the order through with a drinks special to save us some money, and they were doing a promotion on plastic Singapore Sling cocktail shakers, would we like one? He was very friendly and attentive, and came over to our table at least twice as often as any of the others – they obviously really take care of hotel guests. He told us he was ‘originally from Raffles Courtyard’, and was just helping out upstairs today, and suggested we come for a drink at the Courtyard the next day! We had a lovely hour in the Long Bar, eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor! Then we went upstairs and wandered around the Raffles Museum looking at old photos and postcards and menus and things, which was interesting.

The residents only seating around the courtyard

The courtyard restaurant

The Long Bar, Raffles

More Singapore Slings, with peanuts, in the Long Bar

We then wandered back down to our suite, and bumped into Joo Heng on the way, who introduced us to our evening butler, a lady called Claren. We asked them if there was a convenience store anywhere around (I needed some toiletries, and we also wanted to buy some Cokes to go with our Duty Free rum, to save using the minibar!) and rather than giving us directions, Claren dropped what she was doing in the suite next door, and walked us halfway round the shopping arcade to point out the nearest 7-11. We couldn’t believe how lovely they both were to us – nothing was too much trouble, and they were so friendly and chatty. We both said that it was really one of the nicest things about the whole experience – although it’s an incredibly posh hotel, it’s not even the tiniest bit intimidating, because everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

Once we’d been to the 7-11, we went back to our suite and got our swimming cossies, and went back to the main lobby and up in the lifts to the pool (lifts also operated with room key – residents only!) The lobby was stunning, with lots of comfy chairs and sofas arranged in discreet little areas, and huge chandeliers. To one side of the lobby was the main restaurant, the Tiffin Room, where they serve breakfast and High Tea every day, and also do a lunch and dinner curry buffet. To the other side was the Writers Bar (residents only) and the Raffles Grill, their fine dining restaurant. Outside in the rest of the complex there are another load of bars and restaurants – the Bar and Billiard Room, the Courtyard, a Chinese restaurant, a sushi restaurant, a steakhouse, the Long Bar, a bakery, an ice creamery, a deli – you could stay there for a week and not eat at the same place twice! We went up in the lift and into the spa reception, where we were offered locker keys, and went off to the changing rooms to get changed. The changing rooms were so lovely – showers with all the same toiletries as in the suite, and a sauna and steam room, and huge lockers, and piles of towels everywhere. I grabbed a pool towel from the changing room, but when I got out to the pool, there were already towels laid out on each sun lounger – one along the lounger, one doubled over at the foot of the lounger, and one folded on top of the others, to dry yourself with! I looked around to choose two sun loungers that were both in the shade, and a lady came over to ask if she could help, and helped me rearrange two loungers and an umbrella. Chris came out of the changing rooms and as we both sat down, a waiter came over with two bottles of iced water, and two little plates of fruit skewers. We spent a couple of hours at the pool, swimming and lounging, reading our books, having a little snooze, having a dip in the Jacuzzi – there were only three or four other people there, it felt very secluded. It’s quite an experience to be swimming in a rooftop pool with lovely tropical plants around it, overlooked by skyscrapers!

The residents pool, surrounded by sky scrapers

When we got back down from the pool, our key wasn’t working to unlock the Residents Only gate – a member of staff walked past as we were having trouble, and whipped the key off to be replaced for us. We waited on a bench in the courtyard and watched the queue of people waiting to get in to High Tea! When we did get back into our room, we found that our laundry and ironing had been returned, and there was a note on the dressing table to say ‘For your convenience your pressed items are hanging in the wardrobe.’ We had showers and got into our dressing gowns and slippers, and Chris poured us a Bundy and Coke, and we sat around for a while eating fruit from the fruit bowl and enjoying the space in our suite!

Us in our dressing gowns

We had reservations at 8pm for dinner at Raffles Grill, which has a ‘casual elegant’ dress code – I had bought a long dress and some high-heeled sandals in Australia for this very purpose, and Chris wore his newly ironed shirt and trousers. We felt very scrubbed up by the time we were ready to leave, and posed for photos in the room before we went – we decided not to take our camera with us, as it’s a posh restaurant and we didn’t want to be uncouth about taking photos! We walked down to the lobby – discovering along the way that the rubber tips of my heels squeak rather badly on marble! – and walked over to the entrance to the Grill and the Writers’ Bar at about quarter to, so that we could have a drink before dinner. The waitress led us to a table and pulled our seats out for us, and then said ‘Can I get you a drink… a glass of champagne, maybe?’ We thought ‘Ooh, why not?’ and she sent over the sommelier to enquire after our preferences for champagne – he just asked if we preferred white or rose, and we asked for rose, and he came back with a lovely Billecart-Salmon and two incredibly tall and beautiful champagne flutes. The whole thing was such a production – he showed us the bottle, and described the wine and the vineyard and why it was such a good choice, and then poured for me to taste, and then poured both glasses – it was lovely! He was a Singaporean chap, but with a very French accent, I would guess he’s done a lot of studying wine in France. While we drank our champagne and chatted, the waitress brought over a slate dish with breadsticks and an anchovy dip, and little cheese and pistachio patties – as she put them down she described each item in lovely restaurateur detail! A few minutes later, she brought another dish with little slices of smoked salmon, and pumpkin ravioli. We decided as it was such a good restaurant, we’d be brave and eat everything, even the things we wouldn’t usually eat – and I even loved the anchovy dip and the salmon!

Dressed for our posh dinner in the Raffles Grill

Eventually, we finished our champagne and told the waitress we were ready to go to our table, and she led us through the restaurant – with about two other tables occupied – to an alcove at one side of the restaurant, which just held a single table for two, with the places set on adjoining rather than opposite sides, so we were sitting next to each other looking out into the restaurant. It was stunning – like being in our own private dining room. Two waiters pulled out our chairs for us and then shook out our napkins, while another waitress poured our water. Again, everyone called us by name, and congratulated us on our honeymoon. We both went to the loo once or twice during the meal, and each time we did, they snatched up our discarded napkins, and were waiting when we came back, to pull out our chair again and give us a fresh napkin. I just wished I’d had a handbag with me, as they had these tiny chairs which they could put next to your chair to put your handbag on! The restaurant manager came over to introduce himself and we chatted for a few minutes – he was Australian, and we were telling him all about our trip, and swapping travel tales. He gave us menus and talked us through the whole menu, describing every dish. It was quite a seafood-heavy menu, so I decided to be brave and try some seafood – I ordered Alaskan king crab and avocado salad to start, and then pork belly, and Chris had foie gras and then sea bass. Once we’d ordered, the manager sent the sommelier over with the wine list – Chris asked him if he could match wines by the glass for each course, and he already knew what we’d ordered, and immediately talked us through the wines he suggested. Once we were on our own, I said to Chris ‘You know it’s an expensive restaurant when the menu doesn’t even have prices on it!’ and he said ‘Umm, the menu did have prices on it…’ and we realised that he was the man, so he got the prices, and I got a ‘princess menu’ as I’m insisting on calling it, with no prices! Brilliant.

A waitress brought out an amuse-bouche (I’ve never been to a restaurant that served amuse-bouche before!) of fresh beetroot and cream cheese with lime mousse, and then the sommelier came back and poured our wine – a sweet white wine for Chris, and Chardonnay for me, then we both had Syrah with our mains. The waitress brought round a bread basket and talked us through the selection, and each time we finished a piece of bread, she brought it over again – she also set down the butter dish and described the ‘selection of butter – unsalted and salted’! Then our appetizers arrived – one waiter brought them out on a silver tray, and two others took them off the tray and put them in front of us. The plates were beautiful, and the food was so beautifully presented – the glasses and silverware were all lovely as well, everything was so beautiful that you specifically noticed how nice it was. We enjoyed our starters, and then our mains – the waitress put the plates down first, and then poured sauce over the meat from little silver tureens. When we finished our mains, they brought out a palate cleanser, mango sorbet and cherries, and then the dessert menu – we both ordered soufflés, I had chocolate and Chris had Grand Marnier. She warned us that it took 20 minutes, so in the meantime she sent over the sommelier to discuss disgestifs – we asked for his recommendation again, and he chose a cognac for me, and a special Grand Marnier for Chris. Our soufflés arrived and were absolutely amazing, served with the most wonderful vanilla icecream I’ve ever tasted, and they also brought a slate dish of sweets – marshmallows, caramels and jellies. We sat for ages enjoying our digestifs, and Chris had a coffee. When we finally, eventually requested the bill, they brought Chris the bill, and me a bonbonniere of sugared almonds! We’d been there over three hours and loved every minute of it, all eight courses! – it was such an experience, and we felt so special. It was the most expensive meal we’ve ever had, but worth every penny!

We walked slowly back to our suite, and when we got there, we found that the butlers had scattered rose petals all over our bed, and arranged two towels as swans in a heart shape – there were more rose petals laid out in a heart shape on the table, and a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket scattered with rose petals, and a card from Joo Heng and Claren saying ‘Congratulations on your honeymoon, we hope you enjoyed your evening at Raffles Grill’ and another card from Andrew, the hotel manager (Andrew) we’d spoken to when we checked in, to say ‘Congratulations on your spectacular 3 month honeymoon, please enjoy this bottle of champagne and let me know if there’s anything else I can do to make your stay more special.’ We were absolutely blown away – it was such a lovely surprise! We’d had such a lot to drink already that we decided to save the champagne for the next evening, and we got ready for bed, with huge smiles on our faces. I was so excited I had to quickly Skype and tell Ed about it, then Mum and Dad, then Holls! Then we fell into bed, exhausted and thoroughly happy, for the comfiest night’s sleep we’ve had for months – such an amazing, huge, comfy bed! We both spread out like starfish, and neither of us touched each other or any of the edges of the bed! The bed had been turned down before we got in, with a bottle of water on each bedside table, and a linen cloth laid on the floor beside the bed with our slippers on it, and ‘Good Night’ written on the edge you’d read as you got into bed, and ‘Good Morning’ written on the edge you’d read as you got out.

The rose petal heart and champagne that we came back from dinner to

Our bed got the honeymoon treatment too

We woke up in the morning to the alarm we’d set to wake us up in time for breakfast – we weren’t going to miss the Raffles breakfast! We got dressed and went round to the lobby and into the Tiffin Room, where we were greeted warmly and led to a table. The waitress talked us through the breakfast offering – there was a menu to order tea and coffee or fruit juices, and eggs any one of twenty different ways, and pancakes, waffles, or various Asian dishes. Then there was a buffet with cereals, fruit, yoghurts, pastries, toast, dim sum, bacon and sausages. It was the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had – we ordered omelettes and toast, which came on a silver plate wrapped in a napkin, and I had delicious muesli, which was pre-soaked in milk, so it was properly soft by the time you ate it, and a big bowl of fruit and yoghurt, and a plate of croissants and pain au chocolat and a muffin – I was stuffed! I had been considering pancakes as well, but decided I couldn’t manage it! Chris ordered coffee which came in a lovely silver pot, and every time his cup was empty a waiter came over and refilled it. I asked for apple juice, which came as a thick green juice – really freshly squeezed green apple juice! As we were finishing breakfast, a distinguished-looking gentleman came over and introduced himself and asked how long we’d been staying, and we got chatting to him – he gave Chris his card and it turned out he was Leslie Danker, the Raffles official historian, who’s been with the hotel for 40 years and knows everything there is to know about it. He was fascinating – when we told him we’d been to the Raffles Grill the night before, he pulled out some photos of how it had been decorated before the renovation in 1989, and told us all sorts of interesting snippets. We were still chatting an hour later as the staff were relaying all the tables for lunch, so we eventually said goodbye and headed back to our suite! We went for a wander down to the Rolex shop in the shopping arcade, and spent a happy hour there with Chris trying on watches again and asking lots of questions – he thinks he’s narrowed it down to a choice of two! Then we came back to the suite, and we spent the rest of the day there! We sat in the lounge and read the papers, and lay on the bed and watched TV, and found a classical radio station on the Bose and sat and read our books and listened to music, and had a bit of a nap, and had showers and got into our dressing gowns and opened our champagne – the day just disappeared! It was so lovely to have such a big, luxurious space to ourselves, we just didn’t feel like going anywhere else! We did chat to the butlers in the morning, to thank them for the decorations in our room, and to ask them to refill the champagne ice bucket that afternoon – and we also asked them about the leather notepads, as the souvenir shop only sold them in black leather, and the ones in the room were white and much nicer. Joo Heng tracked down two spare ones from Housekeeping and said we could buy them at the same price as the black ones in the shop, so now I have an exclusive souvenir for us, and a present for Mum! He even managed to talk the shop into giving him a gift box for one of them, so I can wrap Mum’s up properly.

I posted a Facebook status saying what a nice time we were having at Raffles, and got a lovely unexpected reply, from an old friend from Warwick uni, JC, who it turns out is now living in Singapore! He sent me his number, so I called and we made plans for him to come and meet us for a drink after work, around 9pm. We asked Joo Heng to change our dinner reservation from 8pm to 7pm, so we’d be finished earlier to meet JC. We got dressed eventually (after polishing off our bottle of champagne!) and walked down to the Tiffin Room, where we were led to the best table by the window, and talked through the offering for the supper curry buffet. There were various appetizers and salads on the buffet, and we could order naan bread from the waiter, and then there were six or seven different vegetarian and meat curries on the buffet, and steamed or fried rice, and poppadoms and chutneys, and yoghurt and daal, then a huge dessert buffet with different Indian sweets, and platters of fruit – absolutely amazing. On top of that, the waiter brought out two different chef’s specialities directly to our table, a chicken curry and then a spicy shredded lamb dish. We ate huge amounts, and were totally stuffed by the time we’d finished! The restaurant manager, Shetty, came over and we got chatting to him – he’s from Bombay, and working in Singapore as an expat, and he was very knowledgeable about Indian cuisine, and had some great stories to tell about working at Raffles – he said the only disappointment to him is that everything in the Tiffin Room is such an institution that he can’t make any changes to anything! We eventually excused ourselves as it was nearly 9 pm, but told Shetty we were coming back for High Tea the next day, and he said he’d make sure he got us a good table, as High Tea is always fully booked, with a queue outside of people waiting ‘just in case’!

Pouring our champagne

Just after we got back to our room, JC called to say he’d be with us in 15 minutes, so we had a rum and coke, and then when he called again from the front desk I went round to meet him. It was lovely to see him and catch up on 7 or 8 years’ worth of news! We were volunteers at Nightline together, but we’ve stayed in touch with different people, so we enjoyed catching up on news of other people we’d both known. We had a couple of rum and cokes in our suite, and then went out to a bar JC knew across the road, on the roof of a tower building, and drank strawberry daiquiris and lychee martinis and enjoyed catching up. We eventually left at about half past one, said goodbye to JC as he hailed a taxi, and we walked back across the road and through the hotel complex to our suite.

We set our alarm to get up for breakfast again, and had another wonderful breakfast – Shetty came over to greet us as we arrived and served us himself, and I had watermelon juice and bacon and eggs, while Chris tried the Asian breakfast and had dim sum and Nasi Lemak, and then we both had pastries and fruit from the buffet. Then we went back to our suite via the gift shop, to pick up a couple of souvenirs, and for the next hour or so I packed while Chris sat and read the paper! He also made a few phone calls as the campervan hire company we’d used in Australia had still not refunded our insurance bond to our credit card – very annoying, as the vehicle had been returned three weeks ago! Anyway, he managed to get the money out of them in the end, so it’s all sorted out. When we’d finished packing, it was 12pm, so I called the concierge and they said we should leave our luggage in our room and they would pick it up and store it for us. We walked down to the lobby with just our hand luggage, including a change of clothes and our swimming cossies, and checked out, and the manager gave us a key to get us up to the pool for the afternoon, and a spare WiFi password – the WiFi was programmed to work with your room number and surname as login details, so we couldn’t use our login once we’d checked out. While Chris was checking out, I walked round to the end of the driveway to take a photo of the hotel entrance, and took a few photos in the lobby.

Main entrance of Raffles Hotel

Looking from reception across the main atrium to the Tiffin Room where we had breakfast, curry buffet and high tea

Then we went up to the pool, got changed and left our bags in the lockers, and spent a couple of hours lying on sunloungers in the shade of an umbrella (for all the good that did me!) and I wrote the blog while Chris read his book. While we were there, the waiter brought iced water and fruit again, and also brought us ice-cold damp towels scented with eucalyptus, to cool our faces! At about half past three we went off to have showers and get changed, and went down to the Tiffin Room for High Tea. It was very crowded, almost every table was full, but the assistant manager (Gian) met us at the door and walked us down to our table, the best table by the window, and they had sprinkled it with rose petals for us as a special little honeymoon gesture! All the waiters and Shetty came over to congratulate us, and the service was incredible, they fussed over us like anything. They brought out a three-tiered cake stand with lovely little sandwiches on the bottom tier, and cakes and tarts on the other two, and there was also a huge buffet with cakes and tarts and puddings, and scones with jam and cream, and dim sum and fruit and little chocolates and petits fours – it was an amazing spread. We ordered a Singapore Sling each – we thought about champagne, but decided a Sling was unique to Raffles, and we could have champagne anytime! Shetty asked us if we wanted a photo taken, but we hadn’t brought the camera down with us – but then when one of the waiters, Kumar, asked about photos again, I decided to jump up and run upstairs to get the camera, so we had a couple of photos taken! Chris noticed that some people were using little handbag chairs to hold their cameras, so he looked around for one, and Kumar brought one over for us, so we got to use a handbag chair after all!

Fruit skewers chilled water and the pool

High tea on our last afternoon in Singapore

A pair of handbag chairs, hilarious!

As we’d finished our first three-tier stand, Kumar brought us out another one, and we chomped our way through most of that as well, and piled our plates with goodies from the buffet – I couldn’t believe how much we ate! I was very glad we hadn’t had lunch! We stayed for almost two hours, enjoying our drinks and watching the world go by outside the window, and when Chris eventually asked for the bill, they’d included a card from ‘All at the Tiffin Room’, wishing us congratulations on our honeymoon and Bon Voyage! Such amazing personal treatment, we really couldn’t have been looked after better. We loved every minute of our Raffles experience!

I’m writing this last bit on the plane, we’ve just had breakfast so we’re only an hour or so from landing – we both slept quite well and have hardly noticed the 13-hour flight! We’re looking forward to getting home, although we’re sad that our honeymoon’s over – it’s been so wonderful, and these last few days at Raffles have really been amazing. We’re so lucky to have managed to have both a long backpacking honeymoon, and a 5-star luxury honeymoon, both in the same trip! Raffles was the holiday of a lifetime, all in itself, and the rest of the trip has been just incredible, we’ve loved spending such a long time together, and having all these adventures, and seeing all these wonderful places. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve grinned at each other and said ‘Happy honeymoon!’ – it’s been absolutely perfect.

Thank you for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed the blog, and we’re glad to have such a detailed record of our trip to remind ourselves of it in years to come!

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