European-style Christmas at Gardens

European-style Christmas at Gardens

For a European-style Christmas Wonderland, head to Gardens by the Bay's Supertree Grove from Nov 29 to Dec 21.

Highlights include baroque light sculptures from Italy; a festive market with food offerings from crepes to pulled pork rolls with apple slaw; and a stunning two-century-old Dutch Spiegeltent, or travelling mirrored tent made of wood, canvas and stained glass, which will house a restaurant.

There will also be dance performances, stilt walkers, as well as a gazebo from where choirs will sing Christmas carols. Kids can check out a craft station where they can make cards with snowflakes or take train rides through the Gardens.

The festive market will feature a total of 19 vendors housed in wooden huts. Participants include French cafe Saybons, which is known for its soups and crepes, as well as home-grown patisserie chain Bakerzin, ice cream sandwich company The Ice Cream & Cookie Co. and gourmet food supplier and retail shop Culina, which will be selling panettones and gingerbread, among other items.

Visitors can also do their Christmas shopping as they browse the trinkets, crafts and gourmet products on offer while sipping wines and nibbling on Christmas treats.

About 400,000 visitors are expected to throng the three-week carnival, which cost $1 million to put together and is jointly organised by Gardens by the Bay and Blue Sky Events. It will take up 18,000 sq m, about the size of 21/2 football fields.

A spokesman for the events company says: "We want to offer a unique opportunity for Singaporeans to learn about the various traditional ways that Christmas is celebrated throughout Europe without having to leave the country."

Look out, too, for a pop-up shop by Janice Wong, the award-winning Singapore pastry chef behind 2am:dessert bar in Holland Village.

The shop will stock her new line of sweets and confections, which range from edible marshmallow and chocolate paintings to cake-pops and lollipops. Prices range from $3 to $150.

It is the first time Wong, 31, is showcasing her new eponymous brand to the public since announcing its launch three months ago.

The concept is a whimsical take on art, such as edible sculptures, and all things related to desserts, from cakes to chocolate in various flavours. The theme of the temporary store will centre on spheres and circles.

At the end of this carnival, the pop-up shop will move to Ion Orchard's ground floor atrium and operate there until mid-February.

Over at the 150-seat Spiegeltent restaurant, diners can look forward to European yuletide dishes priced from $7 to $21 a serving.

It will be headed by executive chef Martin Woo of Kitchen Language, the restaurant and food and beverage arm of Far East Organisation.

Dishes, which must be collected and paid for at the counter, include lemon and herb lamb lollipops; roast turkey with chestnut and cranberry stuffing; and Stilton (blue cheese) and chutney rarebit bites. The menu will change weekly.

Woo, 54, says: "The different menus presented each week will showcase traditional Christmas fare and ingredients, but with a twist. They will be nostalgic yet unconventional.

"We want diners to come and enjoy food that warms the heart, soul and stomach."

This article was first published on Nov 15, 2014.
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