Only a few years back, the entire Dempsey Hill area was occupied by an old, deserted British army camp. The abandoned barracks buildings sat among stately, vine-draped trees, rotting quietly away.
Today, Dempsey Hill has undergone a total transformation. It’s now the site of a chic, bustling retail and lifestyle district, with a resort-like ambience, and evenings and weekends find it bustling with visitors. The old military buildings have been carefully restored, and now house everything from quiet-chic garden restaurants to trendy bars, cool bistros and hip art galleries. There are several well-stocked furniture and home ware shops offering Asian antiques, exquisite teak furnishings, handcrafted carpets and sophisticated modern accessories.
Today’s Dempsey Hill is a unique combination of lush greenery, old-world charm and modern chic. It’s the perfect destination for a Sunday brunch amidst luxuriant, whispering trees, or a relaxing drink, far from the city’s crowds.
Close by Dempsey Hill you will find the new Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum has recently hosted exhibits by some of the greatest modern Chinese painters, including Guo Jin, Xiaohong and Sui Liangguo. It’s well worth a visit for those interested in Asian art.
Another worthwhile destination adjoining Dempsey Hill is Tanglin Park, a quiet residential area featuring distinctive black-and-white houses. Originally built for officers of the British Army, these lovely and historic homes are now owned by Singapore’s government, and rented to tenants lucky enough to bid successfully for a chance to live there.
A real highlight in this area is the Singapore Botanic Garden located just opposite of Dempsey Hill with an entrance at the corner of Holland Road and Cluny Road. The main entrance with the Visitors Center is to be found further up along Nassim Road with a shop and a very popular and terrace restaurant serving both local and international cuisine in a very laid back setting. Situated within the garden is also the National Orchid Garden and the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden.
Check out our VT and video of the Singapore Botanic Garden:
And see how much fun the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden has to offer:
Images: Courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board