Sunday 10 January 2016

A Double Dose of Healthy Living

New Year! New journeys! I wonder what adventures await the Big K and I for the year. One of the things I always look forward to at the start of each year are the travels the Big K and I will be embarking on be it for work (well his work, I tag along), celebrating milestones like our anniversary and birthdays. Or just simply packing our bags and see where our itchy feet will take us.

To start the year and to celebrate our anniversary we were off to one of our favorite places in the country. A short drive south of Metro Manila, Tagaytay, is a great place to visit this time of the year when the air is still cool and the holiday crowd has just gone back to their regular daily grind. Ah! Peace and quiet!

Sonya's Garden 

First stop, a healthy buffet lunch at one of our favorite places, Sonya's Garden. What started as a retirement home amidst a lush garden of Ms. Sonya it later evolved into a bed and breakfast, a restaurant and a popular wedding venue. 

Many a romantic proposals have happened here. Little wonder this pavilion is called
the Proposal Garden.

Table for two at the Morning Glory pavilion.

Freshly harvested green salad to start our meal. 

Homemade sesame bread with different dips: pesto, white cheese,
anchovies, bruschetta tomato toppings and mushroom pate.

Lunch was pasta, salmon belly, tomatoes in olive oil, chicken cream with mango, ratatouille,
shitake mushrooms, glazed sweet potatoes and chocolate cake. Simple but plentiful. Sorry
no photos of the food as the Big K and I were already famished by that time. 

QiWellness Living Tea House + Bath House Tagaytay

While looking for a new place to stay in Tagaytay, I came across an article about a wellness spa that had a great view of the lake and offered overnight stays. Oooh! Did someone say spa?! 

Checking on their website I was further intrigued by the description of one of the packages offered and to quote:

We are neither a hotel nor a resort. We do not offer hotel amenities and facilities. What we offer is a unique and intimate overnight experience specifically designed for couples wishing to 'escape'.
Unique and intimate in one sentence? Okay! That sold me. We're staying at the QiWellness Living Tea House and Bath House.

A huge pair of bright red doors boded of an exciting hedonistic experience.

I sent a quick email inquiry about the package and was pleasantly surprised with the prompt response I got. I later found out that it was the owner himself, Ken, who I was corresponding with.  

Browsing their website I also learned that the tea house offered a 9-course degustation menu that would be perfect to end our day. Quite pricey but hey it was our anniversary dinner. When I expressed my interest in booking the menu, Ken offered their degustation package (not found in their website). It was basically the "escape" package plus the 9-course meal but check in was at a much later time. It actually worked out for us since we scheduled to have our massage while waiting for check in.

Now that is a perfect view of the lake!

QiWellness sits on a hillside overlooking the Taal lake. It has three
floors, the kitchen and reception area is on the street level. Go down 
one floor and you find yourself at their tea house and the Opium den 
where we had our massage. The lowest floor is where the two guest 
rooms and the hot and cold dipping pools are located.

A dip in their Yin Yang (hot and cold) hydrotherapy pools. The perfect way to end and start the day.

The Big K and I thoroughly enjoyed the 9-course degustation. We were even given a bottle of
Pinot Noir that went well with the degustation. Too bad my photos of the food didn't turn out well.
Hmm.... I'm seriously thinking of getting that nice camera next time.
"No, you're not!" says the Big K.
The two guest rooms. 

Waiting for the sunrise.
Congee and dimsum breakfast! Yummy!

Forget about asking for coffee, they only serve tea! 

True to what was promised, the Big K and I thoroughly enjoyed our time. It was a short but unforgettable experience. We also got to chat with the owner, Ken, and he seems to be a real nice guy. A foodie with a real hands on approach who cares about his product as what we have observed from his well-trained staff.

Definitely another favorite to be added to our list!

More photos in our Facebook page.

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