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Guide to Nathan Road, River Valley

Looking to move to a new neighbourhood? Nothing would be better than to hear from the residents themselves. We speak to Ceilidh Waddington about the ins and outs of living at Nathan Road, River Valley.

Name: Ceilidh Waddington
From: London
Occupation: Tantrum & Meltdown Negotiator (aka, stay-at-home mum of two)

The Specifics:

What street do you live on?
Nathan Road.

Who is it named after?
It’s named after SR Nathan, the previous president of Singapore.

Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?
Na-Tan Road (in a Singlish accent) about five or six times, before explaining how to access the condo.

What’s the name of your neighbourhood?
River Valley.

Closest MRT station?
Tiong Bahru.

How long have you lived here?
18 months.

Why here?
It’s a spacious condominium with lovely grounds for kids’ bike-riding, scooting and general running around.

The Scene:

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
More condos and the Malaysian Embassy.

The closest stores to your front door are:
Costa Coffee and FairPrice Finest.

Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of:
The Fast and the Furious, because of the frequency of loud, fast cars zooming (or hooning, if you’re from Australia or New Zealand) down it.

Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less of the:
Screaming teenagers playing football at 8pm.

The unofficial uniform of your street is:
School uniforms, particularly Tanglin Trust and United World College.

If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
English comedian, Michael McIntyre, so he can tell jokes about condo living.

When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:
Head to Tiong Bahru, my second home, for the coffee and the wet market.

If you’re missing home, you:

Mandatory stops for out-of-town guests are:
Sentosa (I must admit I’m a fan), Marina Bay Sands (for the cheese factor) and, depending on the age of any visiting children, Port of Lost Wonder.

You’d swap houses in a second with:
Those beautiful, modern landed properties on Bishopsgate Road.

A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
That it’s quiet!

If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:
The cat meowing or sleeping a little too close for comfort between my husband and me – weirdly, the cat wakes us more than our children do.

A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:
Expat dinner parties, sadly enough!


The Superlatives:

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:
Forty Hands in Tiong Bahru for the best coffee I’ve ever had.

Boon Tong Kee on River Valley for amazing breast-only Hainanese chicken rice (no bones or jelly belly skin in sight).

Zzapi in Valley Point, not only for it’s fantastic pizzas but also for the children’s area with a TV and toys (thank you, thank you, thank you!).

You won’t find better local food than at:
Is it sacrilege to say I don’t really love local food?

We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:
Hmm… deals in Singapore? Tell me more!

The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
Qi Mantra in Great World City for a deep-tissue massage.

One thing you’d never change is:
The people I share my home with – my husband, Will, our two lovely little girls, Willow and Winnie, our puss, Maisie, and our wonderful auntie, Lyn.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
At times, the people I share my home with!

The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. What do you do with it?
Build a giant playground with swings, which seem to be a rarity in Singapore, and open a rocking DJ bar with atmosphere.

We have a whole heap of Neighbourhood Guides to help you get to know your hood, or if you are thinking of moving! Or check out more about Living in Singapore.