A Sweet Farewell to London…and Some News

I’ve procrastinated long enough on this teeny announcement. Or two teeny announcements, if you will. Some of you, whom I know personally, are already in the loop but I thought eight months is a long time to go on the blog without actually talking about it even in the most cryptic manner, so it is time to spill the beans. I had wanted to protect my privacy and keep the news all to my selfish self. The last I heard though, some naysayers have already caught wind of this anyway and I’ve been told by my loved ones that I should share the news because readers (who are still sticking around…I’m very happy to know you are, given that I barely wrote anything in the first three-quarter of 2012) would want to know, so here goes…

…I’ve moved back from London to Singapore for good, since eight months ago…and…I’m pregnant!

After five long years in London, I’m finally back home. Suffice to say that everything and yet nothing has changed since 2007. Suffice to say that I’ve done a whole lot of growing up in the UK, seen countless beautiful sceneries whilst travelling, made the most wonderful friends in the five years, tasted a decent portion of good food, started a blog that I thought no one would want to read, cooked/baked/photographed/styled my way from complete noob to amateur-amateur, interacted with the most amazing chefs, built a home from scratch (literally) and learnt a hell lot on ‘How to Live Life to the Fullest, Responsibly So 101′. I also found time to fall deeper in love with my best friend, get married, graduate with a doctorate and have a baby.

London is a big part of my life.

When it came down to the last second, to leave my home of five bittersweet years, I was devastated. The exit from London was pretty hasty. I quit my job, found out I was expecting (and hence decided that I should return to Singapore prematurely to prepare for delivery, I was supposed to leave London only in the summer of 2012), moved to Boston for six weeks as M was posted to Harvard, flew back to London for a night, switched my bags out for summer clothing and everything that I might need back home before speeding back to Singapore the next day. I didn’t really have time to say goodbye. To-date, I still keep the bucket list I had drafted for London and I hope that I will be able to return to the city one day to check the items off the list. I couldn’t even attend the Olympics events that I had bought tickets for.

The next months went by in a blur. There was so much to do with my relocation. I had to get my accounts, documents and life in order. I missed M terribly when he returned to London to finish up his studies. I went through pregnancy alone, save for support from my family and in-laws. None of the relocation bit, physical or emotional, was easy. The days started looking brighter when M came back, triumphant as a fully-qualified doctor after five gruelling years in med school. He packed up our flat in London as hastily as I had left UK, attended his graduation ceremony with his parents but without a very pregnant me, flew back to my arms in Singapore, sorted out whatever I couldn’t handle and supported me through the last trimester.

We had a heart-to-heart talk yesterday night before we fell asleep at 3.30am. It’s been a while since we chatted this much, for four hours in fact. And we both realised how different life is in Singapore. London was a dream. We lived life to the fullest, laughed and cried the hardest, seen the best and went through the worst. It was a city where we grew up the most as individuals and as a couple. It was our first real home together. Coming back to Singapore makes for an almost surreal dive back into reality, where we are suddenly challenged with obligations and responsibilities to others other than two of us, issues to do with fitting into the local culture and soon-to-be parenthood. Even though Singapore is our home, we haven’t got the slightest inkling as to what lies ahead and we will need to do to rise up to the challenges. One thing’s for sure; we are back now and we will make our lives here work. We will carve out new memories, strive towards new goals and conjure new dreams.

To celebrate the chapter that was London, and welcome the new that is Singapore, I prepared my very first dessert table before I left UK. I was challenged in every way, as I have been during my life in London. Different pastries and desserts to make on limited resources, thinking about what really mattered to me that would fit in with the theme, and putting it all together so it makes sense and gives heart. So there you have it, a blue-white-red presentation of a Victoria sponge, Marmite cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and macarons with rose buttercream, a true culmination of something that is quintessentially English, a little bit of what I have learnt to love and another that is a little cosmopolitan owing to the time I spent in Europe. I’ve also scattered the cards, letters, notes and gifts from family and friends around the entire dessert table just for…the two of us to enjoy. Shame I couldn’t offer the sweets to anyone else. Oh well, maybe next time.

Happy homecoming to us, and may we meet again, my fair London.

*Updated: This post is featured on Tastespotting. Check out my profile on  Tastespotting to see my other featured posts!

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29 Responses to “A Sweet Farewell to London…and Some News”


  1. 1 erika kirby August 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I had missed your posts and wondered what life had thrown your way to keep you away from your keyboard …. I am glad that the news was good, many congratulations to you and M, what fantastic news! Just think of all the baby food recipes you can try out! X wishing you joy and happiness!
    I look forward to further recipe posts …. your desserts are fabulous! X
    Best wishes x x x

  2. 3 grinolly August 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Welcome back to Singapore. Congrats to having a new addition to your family. Looking forward to more chapters that you’ll write. =)

  3. 5 Amadea August 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Back in +65 for my first summer after a year in UK and your post just makes the future seem so much more daunting! Hope you have a smooth delivery, and looking forward to more posts from you soon x

  4. 7 Rachelle August 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Congrats :)

  5. 9 bookjunkie August 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Welcome home dear and congratulations :) Yes everyone needs their private moments and privacy…totally agree there.

    Loved this heartfelt post and you truly conveyed the ache of leaving London…I really felt it too and hope you get to fulfill your London bucket list one day….perhaps with your little one in tow :)

    wishing you the very best.

  6. 11 sophie king August 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Congratulations!! I can imagine your bundle of joy will be very spolit with delicious treats.
    Best wishes to you and your partner for this new chapter of your lives together.
    xxx

  7. 13 Lucy L August 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Congratulations on your baby news, very happy for you! So wonderful to hear what’s been happening in the last year in your life as I’ve really missed reading your posts, your blog is one of my favourites.

    Enjoy your new life in singapore, you’ll be surrounded by loved ones, and London will always be here waiting for you to return in the future.

    Funny how we’ll always miss where we can’t be, but I’m sure
    you have plenty of photos to help you relive happy memories :) x

  8. 15 creamdeluxec August 31, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Hi,

    I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog and love it.

    It’s funny how, round about the same time your husband dragged you to the UK, mine brought me back to Singapore. I can empathise with the readjustment, especially with dealing with the heat and food…odd considering how we’re supposed to be a food haven, but it’s just not the same!

    Anyway, congratulations on your pregnancy. I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life, and hope that you’re enjoying your return back to the (not so much these days) sunny island. :)

  9. 17 Sebrina September 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Congratulations! I am new to your blog. I can’t believe you ever had any doubts about the “fabulousness” of it!

  10. 19 emilia September 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    hi rachel! i chanced upon your blog one day while searching for reviews on bridal veil and got lured further in by your beautiful food photography. was so surprised to discover that i actually know your husband and sister-in-law! my sister and i used to hang out with them when we were kids. in fact michelle and i were in the same secondary school too! anyway congrats on your pregnancy! :) hope everything goes well

  11. 21 Shirley September 17, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Hey Rachel, I had a feeling I did not know if you were still in London or back to Singapore. Congratulations on the new addition in your life!

    I always think “home is where the heart is” – a place where you are surrounded by your families who will give you the support that you will need, especially when you now have a newborn.

    Enjoy parenthood and your new home.

    Love from all of us at the Lam clan.

  12. 23 Tricia September 25, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I’ve just chanced upon your blog & loved all your recipes & photos. Congratulations on your pregnancy.. great news! I’m 100% sure your lil princess will bring lots of joy into your home.

    Rest well & I hope u’ll have a safe & smooth labour… enjoy every moment of it & get the camera ready :)

    Looking forward to more lovely posts & recipes from u!

  13. 25 tietheapron October 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Hi, I stumbled upon your blog and I’m loving it! :) As we (my husband and I) are currently based in London, I can really understand about it being a big part of your life. We love living in London and will definitely miss it when we return to Sg end of next year. Now that you’re in the next phase in your life, I hope you will continue to pursue your penchant for baking and continue to blog about it. All the best with motherhood and l look forward to more posts from you.

    • 26 The Pleasure Monger October 16, 2012 at 4:41 am

      tietheapron: Hi! Can I swap places with you? Lol. I really do miss London. It was my sanctuary. I hope that I can resume baking soon, but with a baby in the picture, it is proving to be rather difficult…fingers crossed! Thank you for your well wishes and I am glad you like my posts. Looking forward to interacting more over here!

  14. 27 Lyn lee March 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Chanced upon this post. I studied in London for three years and one year in the States so I get what you mean! I love love love London.

    Been back a couple of times since and the UK will always be very special to me. :)


  1. 1 Oh, All That Glitters! On Her First | The Pleasure Monger Trackback on October 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm

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About The Author
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Read about my food-gasmic adventures in San Sebastian here! Also please come by and check out the prettiest cake I've made over here!
Macarons: Be Inspired
Dark Chocolate & Coconut Cookies
Rose & Lychee Chiffon Cake
Pan-seared scallops, jamon iberico chip, pomme puree, jamon iberico foam and chestnut
Red Velvet Cake
An English-themed Dessert Table
Chocolate & Hazelnut Salted Caramel Cake
Gula Melaka Salted Caramel Buttercream Macarons
The Ispahan Cake
The Ispahan
Sunflower Seed Macarons with Black Truffle Salted White Chocolate Ganache
Lemon Cupcakes with Lime & Ginger Whipped Cream
Portuguese Egg Tarts
Ba Zhang - Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Braised Pork Belly
The Fat Duck
Strawberry and Cream Pancakes
Pandan Souffle Roll with Toasted Coconut Whipped Cream
Red Velvet Cake
Lychee and Emperor's Seven Treasures tea-infused macarons
M's Spanish Paella
M's birthday cake - Japanese Cheesecake with Rose Whipped Cream
Lor Bak Gou - Fried Radish Cake
Pandan Chiffon Cake
Homemade Scones
Marmite & Coffee Pork Chops
Quick and Easy fried rice recipe!
Matcha & Adzuki Bean Macarons
Pumpkin & Chocolate Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirls
Matcha, Milo and Plain Polvorons
Kampar Chicken Biscuits - A popular Malaysian snack
White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies
Hustling the Xiao Long Bao in my kitchen
Bailey's & Coffee Macarons

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