Wondering where to live in Singapore? There are some things you need to consider, is it near an MRT, how long will it take you to get to your office or kids’ school – and do you want a condo or a house (landed property). And then there’s always what’s going to be in your budget. Ella Sherman from London, England gives us the low down on living in lesser known Bartley.
What’s the name of the street where you live? Eden Grove.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Braddell exit, over Upper Serangoon Road, first left.”
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Bartley.
Closest MRT station? We’re lucky to have three MRT stations within a short walking distance – Serangoon, Woodleigh and Bartley, giving us access to the Circle Line and North East Line.
How long have you lived here? I moved to Singapore in 2004 and bought my condo at Eden Grove in 2007.
Why here? I really wanted to buy a place in Newton but figured I could get so much more for my money going further out. I ended up with this penthouse unit with a lovely 1,000-square-feet garden, which is only a 20- to 30-minute drive to Orchard and the CBD.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Houses with lovely gardens and all kinds of flowers. There are many dog walkers in the area and I’ve got to know a lot of people by walking my pooches. I tend to remember the dogs’ names more than their owners!
The closest store (of any type) to your front door is: A kopitiam.
The unofficial uniform of your street is: Running gear. We have a Gurkha Contingent nearby at Vernon Park and they are incredibly fit.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Catch a production at The Esplanade or watch The Crown.
If you’re missing home, you: I don’t miss it much, only the West End Theatre and arts scene. I left nearly 20 years ago and far prefer the eternal summer.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: Chinatown. I also encourage them to go to Kranji War Memorial, which is home to the graves of WWII soldiers. It’s a very humbling and touching experience reading the words of their mothers on the gravestones.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: It’s in Little India. It’s amazing how many friends know very little geography beyond the “expat districts”.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: La Pizzaiola and Wimbly Lu on Jalan Riang.
You won’t find better local food than at: I’m a vegetarian. Most of the local places are all about chicken rice and frog soup!
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: There’s a young man who runs like the wind – I’ve never seen anything like it. He should be on the Singapore Olympic team!
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: The sumptuous cakes at Wimbly Lu. I wish they’d ban me from entering!
One thing you’d never change is: All the flowers and plants that the neighbours add to the sidewalks. You can’t beat the vibrant colours or the smell of frangipani!
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: The low quality of street cleaning!
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: Build a flyover or underpass for drivers going from Upper Serangoon Road onto the CTE at Braddell. It’d cut 10 minutes off my journey time.
Condo Fact file
Name: Eden Grove Condominium
Facilities: Swimming pool, barbecue pit and children’s play area
Size: 41 apartments
Age: Completed in 1999
Shops: The nearby NEX shopping mall has FairPrice, Cold Storage, Isetan, Shaw Cinema – everything we need, just a six-minute walk away
Vibe: Colourful characters and dog lovers
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.
Chinese New Year Snacks: Guide to the best treats
All you need to know about supermarkets here
Cleaners, nannies, furniture repairs and more
This article first appeared in the December 2018 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!