Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lunch at a Teahouse



TWG Tea Salon and Boutique at Greenbelt 5 in Makati is a glass and glitz citadel with some of the finest collection of teas in the world. The Wellness Group (TWG) has its origins in Singapore and today has branches in many countries in Asia, The Middle East, UK, and the United States.


I didn't come for afternoon tea. I was famished after a morning admiring the works of Carlos Botong Francisco at the Ayala Museum and TWG was in the neighborhood. I was torn between the salmon entreé and the chicken skewer with rice. I chose the latter. A meal would not be complete without tea, as my late grandfather used to say. While perusing the tea menu, I was overwhelmed by the number of tea selections. In fact, they have over 200 teas to choose from so I thought it best to ask my server for help. What I wanted to try was a combination of green tea and chamomile. It was siesta time after all and I needed a transition tea. My server didn't hesitate at all to recommend the Sweet France green tea when I posed my question. Sweet France green tea with exotic flowers comes with touches of chamomile. It's both refreshing and soothing according to its description. How wonderful when restaurant staff are well informed! When the tea was delivered to my table, it was in a gold teapot, no less.


Alongside tea tins, fine bone china teacups, stoneware and tea accessories, this exquisite teapot is for sale at this location.

TWG Tea Salon and Boutique
Level 1
Greenbelt 5, Makati
Philippines

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Images by TravelswithCharie

Antonio's Restaurant, Tagaytay



Antonio's Restaurant is located in Tagaytay City which is a popular weekend destination and a short ride from Metro Manila. Taal Volcano rises from the waters of Taal Lake. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. The second Antonio's restaurant (called Breakfast at Antonio's) has a commanding view of the lake and also serves lunch and dinner from the breakfast menu.


This foyer impresses from the outset. Red paint on the walls provide a warm setting for the personal photos and antique "santos". This room evokes old world charm.


The lower dining room is a spacious and elegant room, perfect for large parties. The black and white tiles spell classic!


I dined alfresco beside the carp pond. It was a delicious visual treat to be surrounded by overgrown ferns and tropical flora. While the ambiance was casual and relaxed, this restaurant is home to fine dining and guests behaved accordingly. Hence the conversations around me were hush hush. No flip flops nor tshirts allowed.


I ordered the crab ravioli with kaffir tomato coulis. It was unfortunate that the kaffir tomato coulis overwhelmed the crabmeat in the ravioli. All meals are prix fixe so my lunch came with soup du jour, house salad, dessert and coffee or tea. Other drinks are extra. My dessert of choice, Afffogato de Amaretto, was calorifically luscious. Gratuity is included in the total bill. I paid about P2,300 for my lunch (I had a half carafe of mango juice). Its best to make reservations in advance. Price range of a meal: $$$

Antonio's Restaurant
Purok 138, Barangay Neogan
Luksuhin, Mangas Rd
4120 Tagaytay City, Batangas
reservations@antoniosrestaurant.ph
http://antoniosrestaurant.ph

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Images by TravelswithCharie

Sonya's Garden Getaway



This floral path leads to the dining room.


One of three gardens, the scented garden is a joy to explore. So many special touches, it's a pleasure to linger and dream of my own garden.


At Sonya's Garden, I've learned to expect beautiful things and attention to detail like this crisp, white tablecloth with minute embroidery and elegant dinnerware.


Pickings from the vegetable garden. Iceberg lettuce, oregano, arugula, cherry tomato, Roma tomato, tarragon, and this butter scented flower called butterbush. There's always fresh ingredients from the gardens for all the meals served at Sonya's. And after a most fulfilling dinner, tarragon tea will gently ease your digestive tract.


Romance comes into play when evening falls upon the gardens.


You can always find a little nook to while the time away with a good book. Wish I could have stayed longer.

Sonya's Garden
Barangay Buck Estate
Alfonso, Cavite
info@sonyasgarden.com
http://sonyasgarden.com

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Images by Charie