Basque cuisine, live stations and dining vouchers await

For good reason, events and festivals in Singapore are few and far between these days. Even our National Day celebrations took a toned-down approach this year.

But attempting to bring back some lively levity, while still adhering strictly to social distancing and hygiene protocols, is The Alkaff Mansion, with their take on Basque Country's beloved celebration, the Semana Grande (or great week), here from Aug 22-30.

Throughout the entire duration of the festival, a showcase of Basque's famed culinary roots in the form of a special menu (think Iberico Pork Secreto, Chorizo Clam and Mini Wagyu Beef Burger with Shredded Pimento Pepper) will be offered at the picturesque venue and available to all guests.

A highlight event also takes place on Aug 23 at Alkaff's sprawling, open-air grounds. On that day, expect live stations to be whipping up comforting Spanish fare. While you're welcome to watch the chefs in action, all orders will be taken and served tableside, for both your dining convenience as well as to be in line with safe distancing measures.

The Alkaff Mansion Conservatory

Expect drinks throughout the whole celebration to be on-theme too, with Basque Ciders, Cava, Spanish wines, Txakoli (a sparkling wine) and Estrella beers to be available, and at promotional prices too.

To inject a little fun into the celebrations, they'll be holding a version of the famed Concurso de Feos (or ugly face competition) there as well. It's a social media photo contest where the winner will stand to win a $200 F&B voucher on the highlight event day on Aug 23.

Concurso de Feos participants in Bilbao. Photo credit: Reuters/Vincent West

But feel free to keep uploading your ugly face entries after that, as an additional $80 F&B voucher remains up for grabs till the end of the festivities on Aug 30. Time to put that mug of yours to good use.

Semana Grande takes place at The Alkaff Mansion from Aug 22-30.