It has been a busy first month of school. With the new schedule and MY BIRTHDAY, August just flew by. Now that I have some free time again, I would like to share with you what I did during my birthday.
Last August 23, Bear and I went to Tagaytay to celebrate my birthday. It was our second time going out of town alone (well, not technically alone since we have Manong Driver with us), but it was our first time dating in Tagaytay. For all of you who don’t really know what Tagaytay is, it’s a small city in the mountains of Cavite, a few kilometers south of Manila. It’s considered a resort town since many people go there to enjoy the relatively cooler breeze and see the breathtaking views. He picked me up that morning (I was late because I overslept!) and went on our way to Tagaytay. We just talked the whole time. I explained to him what Tagaytay meant to me, since we went there frequently while I was growing up. At around 11:00 am, we went to our first stop, Breakfast at Antonio’s.
|New “I want to eat here again” place!
Now, this restaurant has been on my to-go list ever since I read about it a few years back. You see, Bear and I are food people, but among the three meals, we like breakfast food the best. So, when we were able to go to Tagaytay (thank you Mommy, thank you Bear’s parents), I insisted we eat here. One look at the black and white facade, and I fell in love! There were a lot of people when we got there since it was practically lunch time already, but we only waited for a few minutes – maybe even less than 10 minutes – before we were given a table. While waiting, we checked out their bakery. The scent was so mouthwatering. There were little jars of jams, some pastries, breads, and pies. I wanted everything! Good thing we were given a table soon.
|I love the furniture here. Bear and Kyle waiting for their food.
We took our time looking through the menu. Everything sounded good, but I eventually chose the famous Eggs Benedict while Bear got Corned Beef Frittata. Oh my goodness, was it delicious! My dish had some fruit in it, and anyone who knows me can tell you that Kyle DOES NOT EAT PINEAPPLE. That dish though…it was so good that I ate everything. Every. Last. Morsel. I even ate the pineapple, which was, thankfully, drenched in cinnamon. The eggs were runny, just the way I like it and the Hollandaise sauce was superb. Each element was just a harmony of flavors. Bear also liked his Corned Beef Frittata, which took us by surprise since we thought it was JUST corned beef.
The people were very attentive and courteous while we were there. I really liked how they made us feel special, especially since their service was really fast. On the next table adjacent to us, there was an expat family with a little girl and a little boy. We had fun watching them play with their dad, while we guessed which country their parents are from. I’m choosing German, but I guess we’ll never know! For dessert, we ordered pudding. I love bread pudding. It was good, but it still doesn’t compare to my number 1 go to pudding at Cajun’s. We went out through the back after eating so we can enjoy the view of Taal. As always, it was gorgeous.
|The view of Taal Lake from Breakfast at Antonio’s.
After eating, we headed to Caleruega in Nasugbu, Batangas. This is my most favorite place in Tagaytay. Well, it’s not technically in Tagaytay – it’s not even in Cavite! – but it’s close enough to go to from Tagaytay. I was so excited, I literally bounced in the car while on our way there. It’s just so beautiful, and I feel God’s presence so strongly in that place. Here’s a little back story. When I was 9 years old, my parents took me, and my sisters Z and J to Caleruega for the first time. I fell in love with the place. It had a rustic feel to it. The structures were made of brick and there was a brick path going up a small hill on which the Chapel of Transfiguration is perched. The chapel’s altar is simple, but the backdrop is made of stained glass depicting Jesus’ Transfiguration. I was entranced by it’s beauty.
|Elijah (left), Jesus (center), and Moses (right) depicted in stained glass.
To the west of the chapel is a small grotto for Mary and the little Child Jesus which overlooks the picnic grounds of Caleruega, as well as the surrounding pineapple fields. It was just perfect, and my 9 year old self vowed to get married there one day. So, every time I can, I visit Caleruega.
|Mary and the Child Jesus.
While we were there, Bear and I prayed (that we may get married already haha) and then walked around the grounds. It took us an hour and a half to go everywhere. We watched the koi fish follow us in their pond. We crossed the hanging bridge, which made me dizzy! We just enjoyed our time there together. Peace and happiness, that’s what I got.
When it was nearing 3:00 pm, we left Caleruega and made our way back to Tagaytay so we can eat at Marcia Adams. Marcia Adams is a Tuscany-inspired restaurant which serves Mediterranean food. I saw the reviews and wanted to go there ever since (similar to Breakfast at Antonio’s). Maybe now is a good time to tell you that when I want something, I usually want it so much I’ll do what I can to get it, so hello Breakfast at Antonio’s and Marcia Adams in one day! We found our way there and was greeted by a lovely Mediterranean-inspired facade. We walked on a cobblestone pathway going to our seats. We were seated at an open-air cottage overlooking pineapple fields. The table setting was elegant and homey at the same time. I appreciated this because nowadays, rustic is in. I like rustic, but I just feel pretentious liking the ultra-rustic things when I know I can’t live that way. So, when I saw how elegant, classic, and rustic were combined in Marcia Adams, I was just blown away. See, simple things make me happy!
We weren’t very hungry yet, but Marcia Adams only offers 3 course meals. I got the Galician soup for my appetizer which was scrumptious. I’m actually feeling hungry just remembering it.
|Galician Soup. A meal all on its own.
Bear got Amalfi prawns which were delicately crunchy. They were not oily at all despite being fried. Also, they prawns themselves had flavoring, not just the exterior. He got the Classic Shish Kebabs while I got the Grilled Aromatic Pork. I can’t say it enough, they were perfect! Bear even described the pork chops as something that just “melts in your mouth”. Really, you have to try it to understand. We each got dessert, Panna Cotta with lemon sauce for me and Lemon Sponge Pudding for him. Both desserts were not overly sweet. They actually have a tinge of acidity in them, which was perfectly fine with me!
We finished our meal with Lemon-Lime Bitters and Bundaberg Ginger Beer (non alcoholic). Both were refreshing. The Lemon-Lime Bitters was a bit sour at first, but I grew to like the taste. The doily on top of it was a really nice touch.
Before we left, we walked around the compound a bit. The restaurant is actually a series of cottages and rooms overlooking pineapple fields. It’s certainly a beautiful place with a beautiful view. I want to go back soon!
We headed back down to Manila, but not without buying pasalubong for our families. It was a wonderful pre-birthday celebration. Hopefully, we can stay longer next time!