Showing posts with label Tagaytay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tagaytay. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sunsets and sunrises in Tagaytay

I still have a memory of passing by the Tagaytay Ridge when I was very young. We passed by the area because it was along the road to Nasugbu, Batangas where my father's company used to have their annual summer outing. Popular then was Matabungkay and at least once a year we went through Tagaytay, stopping for a few moments to stretch our legs (our Volkswagen Beetle was not necessarily a comfortable ride between Cainta and Nasugbu at a time when roads weren't as good as today's). I recall there were not much development in Tagaytay then and you had a good view of Taal Volcano and Lake from along the ridge side of the highway. One time, we stayed longer on an emergency stop as my father noticed one hub cap from our Beetle roll off to a grassy area along the road. We had to stop and Tatay took some time before he found the hub cap.

I still like going to Tagaytay despite it becoming congested and crowded. There are still places where you can stay at where you can have a good view of the lake and volcano while staying away from the crowds of tourists. Here are a couple of sunset and sunrise photos I took from our trip last weekend. The more colourful one is the sunrise photo. I shared the sunset photo on social media with a caption of "more than 50 shades of grey".

Grey sunset
Colorful sunrise
Sunrises and sunsets are just magnificent anywhere I go in our country but especially when you're in Tagaytay or perhaps the beach. You marvel at the serenity and the contemplative aspect of sunrises and sunsets. And you can only be thankful of its symbolisms in terms of life and living.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A new Bag of Beans in Tagaytay

We had a most sudden and urgent trip to Tagaytay almost a month ago. As we had a 2PM appointment and arrived at the city around 12noon, we decided to have lunch somewhere. We thought about eating at the Bag of Beans near the rotonda but saw that the parking was already full so we passed on it and decided to check out other restaurants only to encounter congestion along the section across the new Ayala mall (Serin) in Tagaytay. We decided to head back to what I thought was another Bag of Beans that I spotted a few hundred meters from the one near the rotonda. We were able to find it quickly and descended unto a driveway to the hidden gem of a restaurant quite different only in terms of ambiance to the other two Bag of Beans that we have been to.

The newest among the three Bag of Beans that we know of is located along the ridge-side of the highway. It is apparently an old house that was acquired by the people behind the popular coffee shop and turned into a nice restaurant. From the looks of the interiors, this was a nice house and has a good view of Taal Lake and the Volcano Island.

Outdoor tables at Bag of Beans
Indoor tables and interiors of what looks like an old house converted into a restaurant
What used to be a bar now serves as a divider between the dining areas and the kitchen
Another photo of the interiors showing the spiral staircase leading to the 2nd level, which I think is level with the highway outside.

T-bone steak with buttered vegetables and rice
A very generous serving of chicken cordon bleu with buttered veggies and mashed potatoes
The food was good (as we expected) and the service was also good with their staff very attentive and friendly to customers. We will definitely be back to eat at one of these Bag of Beans branches whenever we are in Tagaytay. The latest one seems to be coming up with a Bed & Breakfast soon based on the reply to my question to one of their staff. Until the next time...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Picking in Tagaytay

The Clairvoyant spotted a house along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road that sold antiques and other curiosities. We felt like we were in an episode of 'The Pickers' when we pulled along the road in front of the house. A woman emerged from the house to meet us and welcome us, inviting us to take a look at what they have. And they have a lot of stuff as can be seen upon entry to the house.

What could have been the sala or receiving area for guests is full of various items. The place was literally overflowing with stuff collected by the owners of the house from all over.
There were lots of Japanese dolls that seem to have been collected from many sources. I found that strange considering not so many people from the Philippines and particularly the surrounding areas of the house have gone to Japan. I suspect many dolls were brought from the second hand or 'surplus' shops that sold items from Japan.
What was supposed to be a kitchen was also full of stuff like candle holders, drinking glasses, framed old postcards, figurines, etc.
More items such as antique furniture like the chairs and tables in the photo are found in the rooms of the house. We notices a lot of old windows, probably recovered from old homes that were being demolished, and framed prints and paintings.
There were furniture sets and various framed items including what looked like souvenirs from trips in other ASEAN countries like Indonesia and Thailand. The wooden furniture were interesting because these were likely made from old hardwood and made by artisans now gone. You can probably have these restored to their old glory.
In addition to frames, there were also some interesting pieces like the dividers in this photo. The prints on the screens show images of what appears as royalty from China, Thailand or one of its neighbor countries, judging from what they are wearing.
Another looks at the walls show prints or reproductions of familiar paintings or photos. We suspect that while these prints or reproductions might have a little value due to their age, the frames would probably be the ones that are of significance partly because most appear to be of old wood.
There is what appears to be a bodega at the back of the house that is also full of various items including antique furniture, and furnishings and accessories.
Converted into a small table is this wooden slab that seems to be part of a desk dating back to when the Philippines was under the United States (Commonwealth period). The carving is obviously the seal of the US government. 
This is not your typical chair but actually an antique toilet. The pot is visible  through the hole in the seat.
I thought the prices indicated in most of the stuff were low especially with the antique furniture. Some likely had historical value so it would be worthwhile for someone on the hunt for authentic and valuable antiques to come with someone who knows these stuff. 

We picked up a couple of stuff, which I will feature in another post. We had ideas about some of the furniture we saw, which we thought could probably be restored. We know some people who could do that for us (we have a furniture suki in Taguig).

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lunch at Chateau Hestia

We heard about Chateau Hestia from friends and stumbled upon directions to the place during a trip to Tagaytay earlier this year. We were already coming from our lunch so when we got there, we decided to just have coffee (tea for me) and some dessert. The staff were very kind to accommodate us and we were lucky to get a table at the restaurant, which was full of customers the time we got there. This was around 1:30 PM and so we got the impression that the food was really good. Judging by our coffee, tea and dessert, it was, and so we decided to come back again the next time we are in Tagaytay. That next time happened last June when we took a couple of weekdays off instead of a weekend to make up for not having a trip last summer. Following are photos we took at the garden restaurant, which also is a bed & breakfast.

The entrance to the restaurant
Menu for June
It was a weekday and we were early for lunch so we had the restaurant to ourselves for a while.
The restaurant's interior was both homey and elegant.
They also had a bar where solo diners (or couples) may want to have their meals.
Onion soup
Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette
We ordered pizza just to sample their version and were learned we could have a half and half so we could sample two types of pizza from their menu.
Prime rib steak
Mousse au chocolat
We also decided to have another dessert to share and opted for their chocolate souffle, which we tried during a previous trip to the restaurant.
Chateau Hestia is highly recommended and we'll surely be back there soon. Their special menu changes every month so variety is quite assured. During the weekends, prospective diners should call them first to reserve a table. Otherwise, it would be difficult to get a table because they're quite busy on weekends. Weekday lunchtimes are much better as there are fewer customers.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Burger dinner at Joyce's Diner

I was just writing about the breakfasts at Joyce's Diner at Joaquin's Bed & Breakfast. I mentioned that the food was really good and the servings quite generous. After checking in at the B&B in the afternoon, we decided to take a nap. We ended up sleeping til the evening and so decided against going out for dinner. Instead, we had dinner at the diner to check out the food and maybe have an idea of what we can expect for breakfast the following day. While there are info out there with reviews readily available online in travel sites, we would rather have a taste or sampling of the food at restaurants and diners recommended by friends or those we discover on our travels.

Interior of the diner at night

The decors give the diner a homey feel. The Clairvoyant liked the copper pans and pots that hung beneath the shelves.

The burger at Joyce's Diner was not like the fast food type and the fries were crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

The patty was just perfect and the burger is a good share for two persons.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Breakfasts at Joyce's Diner

Joyce's Diner is part of Joaquin's Bed & Breakfast at Tagaytay and since our accommodations included breakfast, we tried what they had to offer in their menu. I must admit that we didn't expect much about breakfast considering our past trips to Tagaytay when typical Filipino breakfast was served where it was part of what we paid for. In many of those trips, breakfasts were nothing special and in some trips, where breakfast wasn't included, we usually went out to eat or bought food and drinks in the afternoon or evening for our morning meal the next day. However, dinner at Joyce's the previous evening gave us something to expect the following morning and the next. 

We were not disappointed as we enjoyed "American" breakfast the first morning and "Filipino" breakfast on the second. Our hot chocolate and coffee were served using a variety of china that to some may be considered antique. And we definitely appreciate that they didn't just serve breakfast a la fast food. Instead we got a rather homey (lutong bahay) style breakfast, and ones that seem to have been specially made by your favorite aunt or lola.

Hot chocolate for me and coffee for the Clairvoyant

Bacon, eggs and wheat bread for me on the first day

Pancake and sausage for the wife

I just had to take a photo of the plate. After we had consumed our fruits, we were surprised to find out that the plate was a souvenir from a past trip along the legendary Orient Express.

Danggit, fried egg, rice and hot chocolate for me on the second day

Boneless daing na bangus, scrambled eggs, garlic rice and coffee for the wife

Joaquin's definitely got both the Bed and the Breakfast aspects of B&B. We will certainly be back for more!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekday stay at Joaquin's Bed & Breakfast

We learned about Joaquin's Bed & Breakfast from the internet as we browsed one travel site for accommodations in Tagaytay. We are frequent visitors to Tagaytay where we usually go on weekend "detox" trips to enjoy the food and the cool climate. This time, we were looking for a place to stay for a couple of nights during the work week when we took our leaves from our offices for an extended break. As the B&B was highly recommended and the rates were reasonable, I immediately booked us two nights to finalize arrangements for our trip.

We were not disappointed with our decision and it turned out to be one of the most relaxing breaks we had in a while that's not in a nice resort somewhere in Bohol. As they say, words are not enough to describe the nice facilities at the B&B and the good service they provided to their clients. I will be writing about the food in another post so for now I am only sharing a few photos of our bedroom and the great view of Taal from our veranda.

Comfy four-post bed

Bed side lights


Television, a very nice console table and an old-style electric fan (it was functional)

Mirror and our welcome drinks

Shower and toilet
The great view from our room's veranda - unfortunately, I couldn't do justice to it with the BlackBerry Bold's camera
We will definitely be back at Joaquin's Bed & Breakfast in the near future. Though we are always tempted to try the other hotels and B&B's in Tagaytay, I think we've found a place we could regard as a sure thing for our typical weekend relaxation trip. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Weekday late lunch at The Grill by Antonio's

We decided to take a break spending the a couple of weekdays and a weekend in Tagaytay last June. We figured the weekdays were quite perfect for a getaway considering most people were at work or in school. Our assumption turned out correct as there were generally few people at the restaurants and other places of interest in the city. It was definitely unlike the typical crowded weekends when we were in Tagaytay for a breather.

Our first stop was a place where we could have our lunch. We left Antipolo in the mid morning and decided to drive straight to Tagaytay without any stops along the way. If we had left early, we could have made a stop at the Paseo in Sta. Rosa but since we made quite good time during the drive, we proceeded to Tagaytay for a late lunch. We had no trouble choosing a place to eat and a space for parking as there were few people going around the restaurant strip along the national highway. Nakakapanibago! As we were already hungry, we decided to have lunch at The Grill, which is part of the popular Antonio's group of restaurants in Tagaytay.

The batchoy was perfect for the weather as it was foggy and drizzling when we arrived in Tagaytay.

Chicken inasal and lumpiang shanghai for the main course of our lunch.

Mango & sago (tapioca pearls)

Leche flan just the way we like it...
We had a great lunch at The Grill and were definitely stuffed afterwards. And so we decided to transfer to another place to have some coffee and hot chocolate before we proceeded to the bed & breakfast place where we stayed during our getaway. The Clairvoyant actually wanted to try out Breakfast at Antonio's when we arrived in Tagaytay. We learned later the following day that the place was relatively a long way off from Tagaytay proper (about 15 to 20 minute drive from the rotunda). We'll probably try that one out the next time we are in the area for some R&R.