Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Solemnization at Flutes at the Fort



Updates: I just realized that Flutes has moved from the colonial bungalow in Fort Canning to the National Museum. What a pity, it was such a charming place.
The Fire Chef's Retreat room at Flutes at the Fort

Yesterday was our one year ROM anniversary. Perhaps I should write about my own solemnization at Flutes at the Fort on 24th June 2012 to commemorate it. :D

The solemnization was a pretty last minutes decision. The original plan was to have the solemnization in April followed by wedding celebration in September. However, my mum's surgery and subsequent chemotherapy threw everything off the plan and we weren't in mood of planning anything. By the end of April, we decided just to hold our ROM first. So in less than 2 months time, we pull together everything and had a small celebration of 17 people, including us.


We visited a number of places, including Vineyard at Hort Park, My Humble House (they have a small private dining room), Raffles Hotel's lawn and gazebo. And eventually we settle at Flutes at the Fort as we find the venue is just nice for a ROM celebration of less than 20 pax as it gives you enough privacy and just the correct amount of space.

Vineyard at Hort Park is beautiful if you have 50-100 guests. The solemnization took place at a deck overlooking a reflection pool, lawn and beautiful trees. And the restaurant is tastefully decorated. I don't recall they have any private room therefore we didn't choose it.

Solemnization setup of my friend at Hort Park

Interior of Vineyard at Hort Park. Pictures from their Facebook. 

The Humble House private dining room is not able to fit in all our guests while the open dining area does not offer privacy.

Raffles Hotel's lawn and gazebo is very uniquely Singapore and romantic, however it feels too empty to for 20 guests.

Raffles Hotel's Lawn Solemnization

Raffles Hotel's Lawn Solemnization Package 2012

Actually, my another favourite will be a Villa Solemnization at The Sentosa. Apparently, The Sentosa is able to set up a solemnization area, complete with sit down tables for meals for 20 to 30 guests at your own 2 bedroom garden villa. This is as exclusive as one can find for such a small number of guests.

The Sentosa Garden Villa (Picture from their website)
They offered a pretty complete garden villa solemnization and catering package that includes:
  • Buffet counter setup
  • 01 x Solemnisation table with a long floral centerpiece
  • 05 x VIP chairs with a choice of coloured organza bows
  • 01 x Bar set-up
  • 03 x round tables each with a floral centerpiece for dinner celebration
  • 03 x cocktail stands with mixed nuts and tea lights
Of course, good and convenient stuff comes at a price. The 2 bedroom garden villa costs $2477++ (2012 price) per night. One need to book a minimum of 2 nights stay to hold a lunch solemnization, although dinner solemnization only requires 1 night stay. It is also compulsory to cater meal for a minimum of 20 guests at $120++ per person for lunch/dinner and $85++ per person for high tea. Beverages are priced separately.

So after Mr knocking in some sense/cents into my head, I decided to forego this option. 


And I digress, back to Flutes at the Fort. First a brief overview. (These location pictures were not mine, we were too busy taking pictures of the guests on the day). Flutes at the Fort was located at a colonial bungalow tucked at a corner of Fort Canning Park (they just moved to the National Museum). The entrance of the restaurant is quite hidden between Civil Defence Heritage Gallery and Singapore Philatelic Museum. One has to walk through a small car pack before reaching the start of the staircase leading to the bungalow. 

The staircase leading to the bungalow on top (Picture courtesy of Flutes)

The bungalow can be divided into 2 levels. The first level is basically a deck where the solemnization take places. There is also a small bar that serves refreshments to the guests and sparkling wine for toast.
The main restaurant is at the 2nd level, the first level, which is the deck is where the solemnization takes place. (Courtesy of Flutes)

The 2nd level is where the seating area of the restaurant located. Most of it is al-fresco, with tables set on balcony of the 2nd level. Of course, this is a huge balcony.

Dining area at the balcony on the 2nd level (Photo courtesy of Flutes)

They have 2 air-conditioned private dining rooms, ie the smaller Levin Room and bigger Fire Chief's Retreat. The maximum capacity of the Levin Room is 16 person, while the Fire Chief's Retreat is able to accommodate 46 person. As usual, I don't think fitting the number of people to the maximum capacity is ideal as it would be too squeezed for comfort.

The Levin Room at Flutes at the Fort, showing seating setup for 9 pax. Pictures courtesy from Flutes 

The Fire Chief's Retreat, with seating setup for 24 guests. Pictures courtesy from the Flutes.
And now, my own experience and pictures :D

The main contact person from Flutes at the Fort is Ruth. She is very prompt in answering our queries and extremely nice and helpful while bringing us around the place.

These are the standard packages we received when we inquire about having our solemnization at Flutes at the Fort with 10-20 guests. They are either $1399++ for 10 person at The Lewin Room or $3299++ for 24 person at Fire Chief's Retreat. Sparkling wine for toast and bottles of wine are included, which is great. Additional person costs $82++ . Flower arrangement for the solemnization table and dining table (for 24 person package) were also included in the package. For 10 person package, the solemnization table flowers is reused as the dining table flowers.
Wedding package for 10 guests at the Levin Room costs $1399++, additional person costs $82++

Wedding package for 24 guests at Fire Chief's Retreat starts from $3299++, additional person costs $82++

After checking out the actual place, Mr is not that pleased with The Levin Room as it is just too small fit 15 persons comfortably (Our original headcount was 15). So he requested for Fire Chief's Retreat (Ah! Sales! Everything is negotiable).

Of course, things were quite flexible at Flutes at the Fort (which I think it is the case with most restaurant wedding), and they agreed to let us utilize the Fire Chief's Retreat with the condition of upgrading the menu. Instead of Sirloin and Red Snapper, the main course is replaced with Beef Tenderloin and Cod. I loved the Seared Scallop and the Flutes' Taste Platter which I tried on their Brunch Menu and a switch is made to feature them on our wedding menu.
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The final package for our solemnization costs $2099++ for 15 persons. Every additional person will cost $105++. Unlike the original 24 person package, the flowers for the dining room were not included and we have to top it up ourselves. But it also means that every single cent we topped up goes to the food, which is not bad. :D

Food at Flutes at the Fort in general gathered quite a good review - that's why we were there at the first place. However, the cod fish served on that day is divine and got everyone who ordered it as main course raving. We were really glad that we upgraded the dish.

The colour theme I choose that day is dark purple so that it accents nicely against the forest green that is so abundant in the tropical forest. A lighter shade of green is also chosen so that the whole setting won't be too heavy.

The colour palette of my solemnization

The flower of the day, obviously, is orchid. What other flowers can be better used to compliment the tropical colonial theme?

And out of some crazy spin of mind, I decided to hand fold paper cranes to serve as the backdrop for the solemnization.


Our solemnization table.  Wedding rabbit couple is a gift by my brother. Paper cranes are hand folded by me, hanged by my brother, Mr and his best friend.  
More pictures with the paper cranes, to maximize my return of "investment"
Moving into indoors, we passed by a bar-like holding area with unique display of wine bottles. This space is typically used as the registration area for bigger events. Of course it didn't manage to escape the abuse from our family of photo hoarders.

The wine bar

Continue using up camera memory.. hm.. which is very cheap nowadays

And finally the setup of Fire Chief's Retreat. The tables are arranged in a single long row and it felt comfortably spacious for 17 persons. And there are a lots of windows to let in the sunlight. Love it.

I asked for very simple flowers with individual orchids scattered around the table, in transparent glass, and used as an accented items on the napkins. Place cards and printed menus are prepared by Flutes at the Fort.

The setup of Fire Chief's Retreat

A single orchid accessorizes the napkins. Place card and menu were provided by Flutes at the Fort. 
And how could we left out the food?

First up, the Flutes' Taste Platter comprises of chilled tiger prawns, vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, marinated olives, roasted mushroom, smoked cheddar, homemade lamb salami, honey baked ham, duck rillettes, and hummus, avocado, and walnut cream cheese dip.

Everyone was half full or even 75% full after having the starter.

Flutes' Taste Platter
Next came the Seared Sea Scallop and Beef Tenderloin, which were good. But of course nothing beats the Baked Cod Fillet that everyone raves about it. The dessert was a selection of either creme brulee (my favourite dessert) or chocolate cakes (Mr's favourite dessert). Everything was washed down with coffee or tea.
Seared scallops
Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Baked Cod Fillet that gets everyone raving about it

Dessert comprises of creme brulee (my favourite food) and chocolate cake (Mr's favourite)

Coffee or Tea?

Overall, we are happy to have our solemnization at Flutes at the Fort. The venue is quiet and romantic. We have a spacious room to ourselves with lots of sunlight. The food is great. We can't be more satisfied.

Our tropical purple mood board

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