Saturday, June 04, 2005

Blissful day at Tagaytay (May 30)
My mother's birthday celebration started with lunch at the Viewsite Seafood Restaurant.

La vache qui rire? Not really it's just Viewsite Restaurant

We munched on grilled squid and tuna belly, sinigang na hipon, crispy tawilis, kalabasa with gata, pancit canton/bihon for long life and 4 plain rice.

The beauty of Tagaytay is that it is just a short drive away. But it is way better when you discover a little hideaway where you can just relax and let your worries fly away. We found a sanctuary in Country Suites. An intimately cozy place with warm personalized service and of course a lovely view of Taal lake and volcano. A bed and breakfast type with a Swiss chalet architecture which exudes a warm ambiance.

The lobby of the Country Suites in Tagaytay

Garden, Country Suites, Tagaytay

Luscious green veranda of Country Suites

All 7 rooms of Country Suites have different themes and are decorated accordingly. We were booked in the Siam room. A 57 sq m room with Thai motif.

Siam Room, Country Suites, Tagaytay City

2 Queen size beds at the Siam Room

Foyer area of Siam Room

Little me in Siam Room

While my parents rested, I went out to the terrace to read a book. The slight drizzle made the atmosphere cooler. I didn't mind the buzzing of the crickets in the garden. I had a lovely view of the volcano. I was simply relaxing and de-stressing myself.


Then at 5:30pm it was time for the wine and cheese buffet at the Verbena. I had my fill of chilled white wine and different variety of cheese.

Wine & cheese buffet

I went back to the room for a soothing hot shower. I washed my hair with L'Occitane clarifying shampoo and conditioner and soaked my body with its shower gel. One reason I love staying in hotels - hot water.

L'Occitane bathroom goodies

At 8 pm sharp, we were joined for dinner by the resident manager, Miss Sunshine Rocha. A bubbly young woman who was quite fluent and entertained us with her stories.
Dinner was prepared by chef David Pardo de Ayala, a tall and fair Colombian guy. He is quite affable and knowledgeable on wide range of topics.

Our feast - Local oysters from Aklan, Argula salad with mushrooms and vinaigrette, chunky seafood bouillabaisse and Ghoulash as main course. Finishing off with mouth watering chocolate cake souffle and a choco and orange soft cake.

Now I simply need to gush about the cuisine. I've eaten in a lot of hotels all over the world. Most of them taste bland or are too focused on the presentation of their dishes. But my GOD the food at Country Suites is to die for. It has been a while since I tasted such succulent food. Kudos to chef David. Really fantastic!

Conversation was very pleasant, mostly of our travels and the places we've lived in. My mother was in her elements, being the talkative conversationalist that she is, my father ever the diplomat regaled with his stories, my sister talked about her work (travel trade writer) and I would occasionally butt in whenever the topic involved movies and books. So yes a fun time was had by one and all!

Back in our room, they served warm milk with cookies - a delicious way to end the long day!

Cookie with warm milk

Too bad I wasn't able to soak in their jacuzzi. But I won't be caught dead wearing a bikini in public. So maybe next time I need to find a hotel with a private jacuzzi in my room. So I don't get conscious of my expanding waistline and sagging breasts. :D


Another blissful day at Tagaytay - (May 31)
If there is one thing about me when I travel, I cannot sleep! No surprise there I suppose since I'm an insomniac and a nocturnal being. But when I spend the night in a new place, it takes me hours to unwind and fall into a deep slumber. So there I was the only one awake, listening to the snores of my family, my mind wandering off trying to sleep. The bed was heavenly, the quilt nice and warm, the pillow hard (just like I like it) cradling my head. Before I knew it - the sun was seeping through the curtains. So I got up to take a walk in the garden, a panoramic view before my eyes, crisp morning air, birds chirping away. Just thankful for the dawning of yet another day.

it's clouds illusion I recall I really don't know clouds at all

By 9 am - it was time for a hearty breakfast. We ordered the Belgian waffles, the fluffy pancakes, the tinapa omelet (or was it anchovies) and me I had the Italian sausage with potato wedges! Yet another tasty and sumptuous continental fare prepared by Chef David.

Then time to check out. They were all out in the drive way to send us off on our journey back home. Great bunch of people, very warm and friendly. I definitely recommend the place if you want to just relax and unwind for the weekend or just drop by for lunch.

We had an early lunch at Mushroom Burger where I chanced upon these turkeys in a cage.

Turkey farm

Then we dropped by the Church of our Lady of Lourdes to utter our prayers of thanks for such a wonderful stay.

Our Lady of Lourdes church, Tagaytay City

But before we headed for the Santa Rosa exit, I needed to have my espasol fix. I have been craving for them for months now! So we drove around looking for those kids who sell them. We bought 3 bags full of them which I have to admit were all gobbled up within 48 hours. Hmmm I wonder when we will head back to Tagaytay, I want espasol! *Drools*

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