SINGAPORE - The Istana will be open to the public on Sunday (July 30) to celebrate National Day, with a new frozen dessert to be launched during the open house.
Called the Istana Harvest Sorbet, the treat will be launched by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife, Mrs Mary Tan, to commemorate Singapore's 52nd birthday.
Dr Tan said that the sorbet is based on the Istana Harvest, a signature drink created using ingredients found in the Istana's Spice Garden.
In a statement issued on Tuesday (July 25), Dr Tan said the Istana Harvest drink was served exclusively to foreign dignitaries and guests of the Istana, and that he and his wife wanted to share the unique flavour of the drink with more Singaporeans. "We therefore explored the idea of creating a sorbet based on the Istana Harvest drink, as a refreshing treat for visitors to our Istana Open House," he said.
The President's Office then worked with President's Challenge partner Udders Ice Cream to create the Istana Harvest Sorbet. The frozen dessert will be sold at Udders Ice Cream's booths at the Istana Open House. All proceeds will be donated to the President's Challenge.
The Istana Harvest drink was created in 2016, after the Istana Spice Garden was unveiled by Dr Tan and Mrs Tan at the 2015 National Day Istana Open House, to celebrate SG50. The garden harks back to when spices used to be found on the Istana grounds during the time the area was a nutmeg plantation.
This Sunday's Istana Open House will also feature the annual Istana Art Event, organised by the Singapore Art Museum and the National Heritage Board.
The event includes an art competition for children aged three to 12, as well as art and craft activities such as batik painting and calligraphy.
The Istana Open House will also have music and dance performances for visitors, as well as paid guided tours of the Istana's flora and fauna, as well as the Istana main building.
Entry to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. All others visitors have to pay an entrance fee of $2 each.
Several Istana souvenirs and long-stemmed red and white roses will be sold during the open house as well. Proceeds from the sale of souvenirs and all entrance fees collected will be donated to charity.
The Istana grounds will be open from 8.30am to 6pm, while the Istana Heritage Gallery at Istana Park, opposite the Istana's main gate along Orchard Road, will be open from 10am to 6pm.
For more details, visit www.istana.gov.sg