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A Walk in the Park

Grab a mat, make some sandwiches and ask your significant other out on a date. Yes, we’re going on a picnic!

 By Chin Wei Lien

In Singapore, you can’t call it a date without food being part of the itinerary. Even if it involves a movie or a detour to the latest exhibition at a museum, it’s almost inevitable that food will be consumed before, after or during the date.

There is an easy explanation for that: food is a religion here in Singapore, and we are primed as a culture to talk about it incessantly. Naturally, when we are out on a date, food becomes a focal point for all of us. We’re not short on dining options here either: cafés, bars and fine-dining restaurants line the streets no matter where you go. But if you’re getting tired of café- or bar-hopping with your significant other, here’s a suggestion that will bring the two of you back to your dating roots: have a picnic!

Yes, Singapore is blazing hot most of the time, and the occasional thunderstorms don’t help. However, there are many compelling reasons to consider a picnic mat and basket the next time you plan an outing.

Home-cooked food just tastes better

A picnic begins with food preparation, which often happens the day before. There is something about homemade food that makes it that much tastier and memorable. Go grocery shopping and prep a packing list together to feel like you have achieved something as a couple.

There are more things to see

When it comes to conversation topics during a restaurant date, you either talk about each other or you talk about the food – perfectly fine. But being surrounded by nature means that all your senses get some stimulation. Besides, it’s not every day that we get to lay on a grassy field for a casual lunch.

It’s a little adventure

Popular picnic spots such as Botanic Gardens may be relatively easy to reach, but having to hike to your picnic spot is that much more gratifying. Places such as Upper Peirce Reservoir or the top of Bukit Timah Hill are quiet, out-of-the-way spots where the two of you can enjoy a tête-à-tête over sandwiches and lemonade. A little adventure like this is not just fun, but an experience that can pull the two of you closer to each other.

A picnic is not just a picnic

A typical meal can last around 40 minutes; much longer in a fine-dining restaurant. However, a picnic doesn’t end when the food is gone. You can explore the surroundings, toss a Frisbee or read a good book in each other’s company. A picnic is really an excuse for the two of you to do a bunch of other things together, and that’s what makes it magical!

Packing list

A picnic mat and basket are no-brainers, but what else do you need to make your picnic date utterly unforgettable?

Wine Bag

If you are looking to pair cheese with wine, remember to bring along a wine bag to keep it chilled for longer. Also, pack ice.

A Map of the Area

In case it rains without warning, at least you know how to get to the nearest shelter. Getting drenched is not as sexy as Hollywood would like you to think.

Let's picnic!

HortPark is Western Singapore’s best-kept secret. It has plenty of shade for picnicking. It’s also part of the Southern Ridges, which means that the two of you can even go on a scenic hike!

33 Hyderabad Rd
Tel: 6471 5601
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Botanic Gardens

Don’t be fooled by the crowds that gather near the main entrances on weekends. Venture deeper and you will find plenty of empty spots to laze the afternoon away. The areas around Palm Valley and Symphony Lake are particularly good for picnickers.

1 Cluny Road
Tel: 6471 7138
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Upper Pierce Reservoir

A little hard to get to without a car, but the view sure is rewarding. With the soft, lapping waves and outstanding views of the sunset, this is the ideal picnic spot for couples.

Along Old Upper Thomson Road
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Labrador Park

Before your picnic, take a gambol on Labrador Park’s numerous peaceful paths. End the journey at Keppel Bay, where you can lay down the mat and admire the beautiful yachts in the distance.

Along Labrador Villa Road
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Fort Canning Park

A popular venue for concerts, ballet performances and festivals, this iconic hilltop landmark is the place to go if you want some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Bounded by Hill Street, Canning Rise, Clemenceau Avenue and River Valley Road