Great Singapore Sale!

Dear Antiques Diva –

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Greetings from Singapore! Your roving reporter arrived here just in time for the Great Singapore Sale! This annual blowout sale is usually held June and July and is a major sales and promotional event for S’pore locals and tourists alike. Luckily, this year’s sale started a bit early and coincided with my visit! My hosts live a short 5 minute walk from to_do/shopping/where_to_shop/shopping_in_orchard.html” target=”_blank”>Orchard Road – I arrived at the” target=”_blank”>Paragon Mall Friday morning around 11am and stores were promoting discounts up to 70%…deals were available on everything from major international luxe brands to local shops. After perusing the Paragon Mall, with stores such as Burberry, Tods, Zegna, Gucci, and Metro; I made my way over to Ngee Ann City to visit Takashimaya, (where I fell in love with the food court and grocery store), Bulgari, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Harrods; then to Wisma Atria for a visit to Isetan; and finally, a last stop in Hermes, as part of my world-wide hunt for an elusive bangle bracelet.

Singapore’s Orchard Road is a shopping mecca: mall after mall after mall, each teaming with international and local brands, food halls, all spaced closely together, air conditioned, and connected by underground pedestrian walkways. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s like New York’s Fifth Avenue, Paris’ Champs Elysee, and London’s Bond Street combined: shopping on steroids! It’s more than a little confusing and overwhelming…the malls are gorgeous, full of fascinating architecture, sculptures, lights and waterfalls. Many major brands have more than one outlet on this short road, but each mall is so grand and tall, that it’s impossible to visit them all in a single day. But be careful crossing the roads: the traffic is heavy and fast and the roads winding and narrow, I quickly learned to navigate the underground passageways.

And what did la Reine purchase Friday? Postcards, stamps, and a Starbucks iced chai tea latte, bien sur! In between, we managed to find a bus (the #7) over to” target=”_blank”>Arab Street, where I did lay down my visa for a gorgeous carpet, which is safely bound and ready for my trip back to New York next week. Today I’m back to Orchard Road to visit the Tanglin Shopping Centre, renowned for its antiques stores, old maps and books, and the nearby to_do/culture_arts___entertainment/arts_districts/dempsey_and_tanglin.html” target=”_blank”>Dempsey Street warehouses, filled with more antiques and crafts. Then, I’ll stroll back up Orchard Road, and into CK Tang, (because I ran out of time on Friday!) and then after a leisurely drink at one of the many restaurants on Orchard (everything from Starbucks to McDonalds to California Pizza to Les Amis to Club Chinois to Esmirada to Unkai and many many more: Orchard Road is where Singapore comes to eat and meet and shop and be seen!) Finally, I’ll squeeze in a bit of culture and walk to the nearby Botanic Gardens, with its fabulous orchid gardens, for a stroll among the exotic flowers and plants and sculptures, all very exotic and restful during S’pores hot steamy days and nights.

A bientot!

La Reine

Q&A – Are there any Flea Markets in or near Amsterdam?

While the French Flea Market suggestions were all fine and dandy, the Charming Emily from Singapore, who has married a dashing Dutchman and is making a new home in Holland, emailed to inquire:

“Do you have any suggestions for a flea market nearby or in Amsterdam? After reading your blog I’m in the mood to go shopping this weekend!”


eed I say, “Naturlijk”!? You shouldn’t expect anything less than a bundle of shopping suggestions from The Antiques Diva ™!

In Amsterdam alone there are bevy of flea markets, although in my opinion these tend to be heavy on the fleas and light on the antiques and actual treasures! You can visit the Albert Cuypmarkt or Waterlooplein markets any day of the week except for Sunday. On Sunday mornings after church, I like to visit the antique market in the Nieuwmarkt and if I haven’t made other plans on Monday mornings, you can find me at the Noordermarkt where I’ve picked up a few art deco treasures. Don’t forget that the antique center De Looier sets up an indoor table market each Saturday and Sunday, adding to their already good week-day selection of antiques.

If you promise not to tell anyone, The Hague suits my tastes a tad better than Amsterdam as it is positively posh and has a very international and cosmopolitan feeling that translates well into good shopping (antiques and otherwise). Every Thursday and Sunday from May to September you’ll find the Lange Voorhout Antiek Markt in front of the gorgeous Hotel des Indes, where you can stop later in the day for their multi-coursed “High Tea des Indes” – an afternoon tea experience that rivals The Ritz in Paris. The Hague is great for antique shopping and, while there, make sure you stop by the “VVV” (Tourist Center) to pick up the brochure for the Art & Antiques Walk which shows the best walking route to see the sights while antique shopping. By the way, you couldn’t have posed this question at a better time… Next weekend, August 25 & 26, 2007 is the “The Hague Art & Antique Days” and I am devastated to miss it as I’ll be away doing research on antique shopping in Eastern Europe for my dear readers. A diva’s work is never done.

Should the weather be nice this Sunday, August 19 (which in Holland is never a guarantee, even in August) and should you be satisfied with substituting an art market for a flea market, then head to Bergen aan Zee where you can take in some sun, sea and sand before shopping the Boulevard Kunstmarkt, a fair that is held only certain days throughout the year.

Just a few weeks later on September 1 & 2, consider going to the Almere Haven Festival. While you’re marking dates in your agenda, perhaps you should also flip to October and add 13 & 14 for the “Grote International Verzamelmarkt” (Large Collectors Market) at the Veemarkthal in Utrecht. While this isn’t the type of charming, outdoor market I usually like, it is so jam-packed with potential purchases for every taste and style that it makes it worth every cent of the 4 Euro entrance fee.

As I close, it seems I might have forgotten to mention the flea market in the Dutch town of Delft (à la porcelain fame), where each Saturday from April 21 – Sept 29 you’ll find a bric-a-brac, antiques and book market. And should that still not be enough, consider taking a whole weekend to do The Antique Route through Zeeland (whose website is unfortunately only available in Dutch but never mind, just use Babel Fish to translate it for you). In Zeeland, you’ll find quaint, Dutch, seaside life away from the hustle and bustle of the cities.

These dates are certain to keep you busy for the coming months! Happy Shopping and should you find something divine, please share your stories and photos!

Tot Ziens!

The Antiques Diva

-> Email your questions or share antique shopping tips, travel logs and photos at: