Tucked away on Rowell Road in Little India is a little secret behind pink doors. You might walk past Baroque House, a pre-war conservation shophouse that you can visit for a dose of art, culture, history and even a fancy meal.
A long-time dream of owning a shophouse led current owner Sonia Ong to stumble across 29 Rowell Road. Immediately taken up by the ornate tiles laid out in the reception hall, she snapped it up and proceeded on a year-long refurbishment. Today, much of Baroque House's original flavour remains, enhanced by modern fittings and treasures from Sonia's own collection – think an elaborate chandelier made from handblown glass, silverware from Sweden, a 200-year-old Chinese conjugal bed purchased from an antique dealer, and art pieces from local artist Jeremy Hiah.
Sonia obtained a copy of the original plans of the shophouse from archival records, verifying that the shophouse was designed by JB Westerhout (who has Temasek Shophouse and the Raffles Hotel entrance canopy, among others, to his name). There's also evidence that the shophouse was used as a sign shop for a couple of years before being abandoned, which explains the scuffed but beautiful tiles that caught her eye in the first place. Either way, there's tons of stories to plumb at Baroque House, with Sonia as your knowledgeable and spellbinding guide.
What's available is the Baroque House Secret Garden Tour ($35) which comes with a complimentary glass of house bourbon. Adventurous couples who fancy a romantic dinner in the stately dining room (the centrepiece being a gorgeous table in emerald shell) can opt for the bourbon tasting private dinner ($150) which starts with a tour of the house and a 3-course omakase.
Baroque House is also open to private events. The second floor room – with stunning facade windows, soaring ceilings, and a hidden roof gable – has played host to intimate music performances and art shows.
To find out more about Baroque House or to book a visit, go to baroquehaus.com.