Now this is a restaurant that can be hailed for the food and the service afforded by the wait staff. In Oliva Bistro Cafe's two branches - Visayas Avenue and [newly-opened] Marcos Highway - we were greeted and served by friendly personnel who could anticipate our needs. Proves that sometimes, the best dining experiences are found, not in those popular areas, but off the beaten over-blogged track.
I love gardens and am always thrilled to discover that green spaces still exist in the city. Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa in Antipolo combines the two things I need most in these hectic times - nature and relaxation. The massage pools, spa services, healthy meals, and fresh air will definitely give you an energy boost for rest of the week.
We prefer Ilog Maria soaps to mass-produced ones, and we usually buy these at the Echo Store. When we can, we hoard at the Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm in Tagaytay.
Spend a morning at the farm for some natural indulgence.
Weekend in Tagaytay Highlands. Really nice place, but the apartment units are poorly maintained. The shower floor had thick mold on all sides; the shower head had mold; a dirty bathroom mat was hanging from the towel rack; and there was no hot water. We tried looking for a security guard to help us out with the switch but none were around - at night!
Members pay so much in monthly fees, so it isn’t too much to ask management to have the units regularly cleaned (and thoroughly at that), and to provide members/guests with those miniature soap blocks and shampoo bottles found in hotels. Otherwise, a membership in Tagaytay Highland is not worth it.
A house full of Santas for those nursing a Christmas hangover. Or if you simply cannot get enough of St. Nick. Casa Santa is open all year round.
A balmy weekend of sand and surf at Camayan Resort, Subic.
The hype that goes with new restaurants opening up in malls and putative trendy areas often masks the fact that many of these restaurants serve glorified standards at pretentious prices. One reason why I prefer the ‘quieter’ roadside and suburban places that offer quality fare that will not make you bankrupt.
This cafe outside Tierra Pura Subdivision in Quezon City does just that. The modern interiors of Brewing Point cater to the more discerning, but the menu is down-to-earth. They serve mainly breakfast food, with a few entrees such as pan fried mahi mahi. The dessert selection will definitely keep the sweet tooth happy, and the ginger tea is one-of-a-kind.
Over the holidays, we’ve been hopping from one residence-turned-restaurant to another around Marikina City. We started the experience at Isabelo’s, reinforced it here at Tiyo’s, and rounded up the food binge at Patio Vera.
Nothing beats the feeling of private dining in a restaurant - excellent service and great food at relatively lower prices, far from the maddening mall crowds.