Brits Abroad: Singapore’s Little Britain

Moving home is rated as one of the three most stressful things you can do. Moving to another country surely adds to the stress, so what do you think moving to the world’s only island-city state 11,000km away is going to do for your stress level? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is that it will reduce it dramatically!

Best for British?

Best for British?

In a survey conducted in September 2015 by NatWest International, Singapore was rated as the world city with the best quality of life for British ex-pats. In a list that has traditionally been dominated by Australia and Canada, let’s look at the headline numbers:

  • 84% – the percentage of British ex-pats who have seen increases in their overall quality of life since moving to Singapore
  • 80% – the Brits who report health improvements, sunnier climes and better working conditions as their main drivers for moving to the Garden City
  • 70% – the number of ex-pats earning £125,000 or more
  • 38% – ex-pats of all nationalities making up the total population of Singapore
  • 29% – the number of ex-pats working in banking and finance
  • 25% – the number of 25-35s, compared to 16% in 2011

So why is Singapore such a draw for the British? Well for one thing English is widely spoken and getting things such as work visas, bank accounts, credit cards, insurances, mobile phones and internet access is no harder than doing it in London.

The whole place is run with Orwellian efficiency and taxes are low. 90% of citizens and PR (Permanent Residents) are homeowners, the government is famously incorruptible, the streets are spotless, schools and hospitals are first-class, the food and weather is spectacular, the multicultural diversity in Singapore is evident and embraced by all and they do a damn fine Singapore Sling!

What’s not to like?

What’s not to like?

There are plenty of websites that will give you the skinny on relocation and physical moves but once you’re here, what’s there to do and where’s there to go if you’re looking for a slice of home?

Ten minutes from the CBD, The British Club flies the flag for Britain offering ‘first class leisure, sports and entertainment facilities set amid lush tropical greenery and flowering shrubs.’ It’s for families new to Asia looking for a tropical retreat and some respite from the hustle and bustle of Singapore life!

In terms of day-to-day British life, there are certain things we miss when we’re not at home such as a full English breakfast, aka the fry-up. The Big Breakfast at Symmetry on Jalan Kubor is a fine example, as is the English Breakfast at Providore on Outram Road.

A Proper Little Britain

A Proper Little Britain

For a proper pint, there are some great Irish pubs including Molly Malone’s, Muddy Murphy’s and Molly Roffey’s and some great English pubs such as The Yard and Penny Black.  They’ll even show the football but don’t forget it’s usually on around midnight!

If you’re looking for classic English grub, there are lots and lots of pubs, bars and restaurants in Singapore such as Foster’s serving the likes of fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and sausage and mash and while it would be nice to eat out every night, sometimes you’re going to have to do a bit of shopping!

There are nine – yes, nine – branches of Marks & Spencer in the Garden City and if your craving for Marmite, Jaffa Cakes and PG Tips doesn’t go away, don’t worry. Supermarket chains like Cold Storage sell most of the things you’ll miss and there are also plenty of independent food shops dotted around the city that stock British food but you’ll likely have to pay a premium.

From food to recreation and the most British of British sports – cricket – is well represented. The Singapore Cricket Club has been in town since 1852 and it was set up by men from British businesses and the mercantile community and it retains a very colonial feel.

It’s not just cricket either. You can play lawn bowls, bridge, snooker and darts for a real reminder of what made Great Britain great!

If you’re coming to Singapore on holiday, on business or even to live but you want your home comforts, Singapore has got you covered!

The Best Ways To Explore

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