If you’re looking for an urban oasis, a refuge from the busy and bustling streets of Singapore, then all you need to do is look up to find The Sundowner. The rooftop retreat, which is perched atop a conserved shophouse in the Siglap restaurant belt, runs a variety of workshops and private experiences for you to rest, relax and find repose.
From private movie sessions high above the city streets to cocktail-making experiences in the only desert-themed bar in Singapore, there’s an experience at The Sundowner to educate, entertain and excite everyone. And they’ve just added a few new experiences to get you back in touch with nature.
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Skip movie night at home and take a trip to The Sundowner for film night under the stars.
The Sundowner rooftop lounge, resembling an Australian vineyard, or the Nomad’s Tent can both be completely booked out for a private movie night for just you and your favourite people.
All you need to do is choose the movie you want to watch (take it with you on your laptop), bring snacks and get comfortable. Your ticket includes drinks from the bar, access to the BBQ pit in case the temperatures dip just as they do out in the desert, and all dining utensils necessary.
The film will be played on the big-screen projector and the sound through a Sonos speaker system but don’t forget to experience the wonders of the sun setting below the horizon and its fabulous display of colours.
Private Movie Sessions can be booked for 2-10 people every night of the week.
Alcohol and Drink Experiences
The Sundowner takes its name from the usually alcoholic drink one consumes at the end of the day when out on safari. As the sun sets below the sand dunes or the horizon, you get together with a drink in hand and watch the colours unfold while you rest your weary legs.
It’s only right then that The Sundowner is home to Singapore’s only desert-themed bar, the Nomad’s Tent, which is where the Desert Cocktail Making Experience takes place.
Inspired by the oasis of Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia, the bar features a real sand floor, mood lighting and bar table with water running through it. With your toes in the sand and guidance from The Sundowner’s bartenders, you’ll create three classic cocktails featuring desert and/or Mediterranean-based garnishing.
And then, with a cocktail in hand, you’ll step out onto the rooftop and drink up as the sun goes down on another glorious day.
Sometimes referred to as honey wine despite not being made from grapes, Mead is the oldest-known alcoholic beverage—pre the rise of agriculture and ceramic pottery. In other words, it’s an old drink with a lot of history and phenomenal mythology behind it.
Made by fermenting honey mixed with water, mead can come in a variety of flavours when you add ingredients such as fruits, spices, grains, or hops. At The Sundowner, mead-makers will get a rapid-fire tour of the rooftop apiary to see where the honey they’ll use comes from as well as get to taste a few too. To help decide what variety of mead you’d like to concoct, you’ll also get to try a few before being inducted into the science of fermentation and creating your own.
We’re big fans of coffee, but our experience of it is fairly limited—pretty much we just drink the stuff. However, The Sundowner is all about the process and while they haven’t planted their own coffee plantation up on the rooftop, they do have one live coffee plant. And, they’re roasting their own coffee as well.
Up on The Sundowner rooftop, you’ll get to select and roast raw coffee beans over a fire before grinding them up by hand and experimenting with two different brewing techniques. Then, voila. You’ll have your own personal cup of coffee to drink with the help of the in-house barista who’ll make sure you’re doing everything right.
Pizza and Pasta Making
During the Pizza Making Experience on the rooftop, not only will you get to make your own pizza by hand—including preparing the ingredients, building a base sauce, stretching and shaping the dough—but you will also have to raise the fire to 500º yourself.
Everything will be provided for you, from the dough to the toppings and the firewood as well for a pizza-making experience unlike any other in Singapore. Then watch your pizza turn golden in the oven before scooping it out and digging in. Yummy! The DIY pizza-making experience also includes a couple of cans of beer for all of your hard work.
Pasta is better when fresh. It’s also super simple to make and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing in preparation for lunch at The Sundowner. Thankfully, if you have no clue where to start, the urban retreat’s head experience makers will lead the way with eggs and flour.
You’ll knead the dough till it’s just right and then roll it through the pasta machine. But, it’s not just Tuscany’s egg dough pappardelle you’ll be making because The Sundowner is inviting you to try your hand at squid ink tagliatelle as well.
Once your dough has been transformed into pasta, you’ll head up 0ver to the garden to pick some herbs to garnish the tasty sauce your hosts are cooking up. And voila, you’ve got your own hand-made pasta lunch with views across the city.
Garden and Craft
To have a large garden in Singapore is almost impossible. But at The Sundowner, you can create your own mini-zen garden with guidance from a professional zen-garden landscaper to take home with you.
It won’t be big, but it will follow the design principles key to this Japanese Art including Austerity (Koko), Simplicity (Kanso), Naturalness (Shinzen), Asymmetry (Fukinsei), Mystery or Subtlety (Yugen), Magical or Unconventional (Datsuzoku) and Stillness (Seijaku). The significance of other elements will also be highlighted so that you can make use of them, from bridges to rocks and more.
The living garden will be yours to take home and take care of remembering that zen is a state of being and not a place.
Who hasn’t seen a treehouse and thought to themselves how cool it would be to build one yourself?
Created by a professional arborist and landscaper with real, hands-on treehouse building experience, The Sundowner’s mini-treehouse workshop is as close as you can get to building your own castle among the treetops in Singapore.
From sketching and designing your own small mini-dwelling with expert tips to putting together all of the pieces and seeing it take shape on top of Bonsai, you’ll learn a bunch of woodworking tips as you live out a childhood fantasy. You won’t be able to step inside and hide out but you will be able to take your mini-treehouse where you like.
Give it as a gift or take it to work and decorate your desk as a reminder of what’s important in life.
Using unique globe terrariums that nobody else has, you’ll get to design and build your own mini bioactive garden on the rooftop to take home. But before you get that far, you’ll first get to learn all there is to know about terrariums and what makes them so special.
From understanding the soil and the microorganisms inside to the tips and tricks to make your own terrarium flourish, you’ll be a professional by the time the 90-minute workshop is over.
Everything you need will be provided for you including a range of plants and decor to choose from to design your own unique tiny green universe.
Terrarium Building Workshops can be booked for 2-4 people on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Thanks to Studio Marbleous, you’ll get to produce patterns similar to smooth marble on paper with a kaleidoscopic range of colours. Design your own with all the tools and equipment you’ll need to create a work of art that you can keep for yourself or gift as a framed art piece.
Paper Marbling with Studio Marbleous is a great time out on the rooftop for all creative groups of friends and kids as well.
There’s always something curious to find on a farm and it’s no different at The Sundowner. Yes, their farm might be on a rooftop and a tad smaller than the typical farms we see on TV but it’s full of interesting things like honeycombs, flowers and snail shells. These and more you can find on the rooftop before getting to preserve them in resin so that you can transform them into a pendant, necklace, brooch or earring.
Rooftop Gardening and more
The Rooftop Farm Experience at The Sundowner is actually what kickstarted it all and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings you can experience the best that a city rooftop farm has to offer, including organic farming, bee encounters and farm-to-table tastings.
From the bio-active soil to the fruits and plants as well as the role that The Sundowner’s rescued bees play, you’ll learn all the fundamentals of organic gardening from a master gardener in the two-hour experience perfect for couples.
Insects are not for everybody, but everybody does need them and The Sundowner is the perfect place to get up close to three little critters that are crucial to our ecosystem—bees, ants and earthworms.
From pulling on a bee suit and visiting the rescued honeybees who do the hard work around the garden to feeding ants in their underground lair and trying your hand at macro photography and ant art, The Sundowner will not only teach you about life on Earth but they will also set you up with the tools to look after your own insects at home.
The 90-minute experience includes hand-feeding pollen to bees, two take-home kits to begin your own ant colony and a mini vermicomposting kit to turn biodegradable waste into organic fertiliser.
You don’t want ants in your kitchen, but you do want them in the ground. They’re indispensable to our ecosystem, playing important roles like the breaking down of waste and the return of nutrients to the soil. But, that’s not all that ants can do. And, not all ants are the same.
On the roof at The Sundowner, the curious among us can get up close to the various species kept up there. With guidance from the ant-keep, you’ll be able to watch them work and eat as well in the live-feeding sessions. You’ll even get to see the trap-jaw ant, which gets its name from the fact it can shut its jaw 2300 times faster than the blink of an eye.
To get a closer look, you’ll be introduced to the world of insect photography before being able to take home your own queen with eggs in a test tube.