Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sip & Gogh: Newest Art Craze In Town

When my friends and I visited Stacy's from my previous post in Capitol Greenstreet, we roam around the vicinity after eating our dinner. We saw Sip & Gogh at the middle of the place and it caught our attention. At first, we actually thought it was an art gallery where they simply sell paintings. It's a great thing Sir Carlo of Sip & Gogh saw us outside looking through the glass windows and he invited us in and introduced us to their Paint & Sip Studio. I felt like we're little kids who were suddenly enlightened upon entering  the carnival, it's so colorful inside. When we were actually outside the studio, we were asking my more artistic friend to go and try to paint and we will just go with him inside and watch him. Never thought  that I will be the one painting as I have never tried it before, no drawing skills and really no experience at this kind of art. This is very different from facing our laptops the whole day at work and the programming/IT related stuffs we deal with every day. But it's a good thing Sir Carlo really convinced us to try it out. No artistic skills or experience is required and he guaranteed that we will be able to finish our piece. (And it was true, thank you Sir Carlo for convincing us!) 

First thing you have to do is to visit Sip & Gogh's website and check their calendar for the paintings of the day and the date you want. 

Second, reserve your spot online or by phone. It is better if you have your reservation so that you and your friends can sit side-by-side together and make sure that you have a slot when there are a lot of people registering for the same class that you wanted.

And that's what we exactly did because we are ready to have some fun. We actually selected a day with an open session and reserved 4 slots for us. In an open session, you can paint whichever you like or even bring your own choice of photo that you want to paint. Then the day of our schedule finally comes! So are you getting excited? 

This is their art gallery, upon entering the studio this is what you'll see at the right side. These are the sample of beautiful paintings where you can choose from. The girls decided to paint the cherry blossoms tree and the boys the more challenging one I think the apples it was not in the picture below but I'll show you their final piece at the bottom of this post. 

If there's bottomless iced tea in restaurants here it's bottomless paint! You can refill the paint in your palette from these bottles of paint and there's a color wheel guide above. You don't have to worry that you might lack some paint in the middle of your painting session.

This is their bar/counter which is located at the left side upon entering the door.

This is the complementary food served. Two of the upper plate was served for the girls and two of the lower plate was served for the boys. I wasn't able to touch this until the end of the painting session, that is how concentrated I am on my piece. The bell shaped pretzels and the cookies are so yummy!

My Margarita. You can choose from a selection of wine, cocktails, iced tea and juices.

Let's start, below is my empty canvas. First step is to flip it horizontally. Because what I chose was actually a landscape painting. The instructors will guide you step-by-step until you finish.

These are the paint brushes that I used. Thinner tip brushes are used for the outline and edges of your objects. 

My palette with different colors of paint.

Tada! My masterpiece! I get to sign at the bottom right of my piece. Unbelievable?! Still can't imagine that I was able to do it! :) The best part is you can take home your own painting and display it in your house or give it as a gift to someone. 

This has been a great bonding experience for me and my friends. After accomplishing this painting, I had a sense of fulfillment plus it is indeed a stress reliever. All the 3 hours, it got my focus. This is really a perfect way to relax, enjoy and bring out your creative juices. I suggest that you try it and don't ever doubt yourself that you can't do it. I would definitely want to go back to Sip & Gogh and paint those other pieces in the gallery. They also have sessions for the kids and paintings for families or couples where each of your paintings can be put together side-by side and it will form a bigger picture together.

Pictures of me & my friends enjoying our time at Sip & Gogh. Our session costs 1000php inclusive of all the materials used, food, & drink and it is worth it - great friends, great activity, great place & great instructors = perfect bonding + perfect way to start the new year with a new experience. 

Do you want to make your reservation now and experience painting the Sip & Gogh way just like us? Here are their contact details:

Sip & Gogh - Paint & Sip Studio
Location : 1 Capitol Hills Drive, 1119 Quezon City, Philippines
Contact #s : (+632) 9611248, (+632) 5332726, (+63922) 8869833
E-mail : info@sipandgogh.com
Website : Sip & Gogh
Facebook : Sip & Gogh

Monday, January 07, 2013

Stacy's: A Happy Place to Dine

My friends and I decided to go out on a weekend and one of my friend suggested to try out Stacy's Restaurant instead of the usual going out to the mall. We found this perfect restaurant to dine while we were catching up with each others' stories. The place is colorful with a genuine & friendly ambiance. I really love the combination of the light candy & pastel colors that gives a happy and lively vibes. It is also perfect for family dine-out and couple dates. 

They also have the kids' play area to keep the kids busy and for them to enjoy playing during their stay at Stacy's. 

Selections of their menu are divided into All Day Breakfast Hooray, Loving Spoonfulls, Everyday Soups & Greens, After Brunch Stacy's special, Loving Spaghetti(pasta) & desserts. Their beverages are colorfully listed in the board by the counter.

Upon seated, they will serve you a cup of free butter popcorn with lovely pink pretzels and light blue marshmallows to entice your appetite more. Isn't that wonderful? Kids will surely love this treat! 

We ordered three different dishes but we decided to split each dish into three equal parts for sharing so we can taste it all which I think is a very god decision because they are all delicious. They serve their rice in their special heart-shaped way. It's so cute!

These are slices of beef sirloin served with brown butter gravy and topped with sauteed mushrooms. It comes with sliced carrots and corn.
 Martha's Pot Roast - 285 php 

This Pinoy Tapsilog version is definitely one of their best-sellers. The beef slices which were served with egg and tomato are so flavorful and not dry. I hate it when the beef is served so dry that you don't even want to swallow it. 
 Stacy Jones - 195 php

This is a pan-fried soft dory marinated in herbs which comes with sliced carrots & corn and their special aioli dip.
 Herbed Cream Dory Fillet with Aioli Dip - 175 php

We tried their milkshakes and they are all awesome! I actually want them all. 
 Milkshake Factory (Vanilla Candy, Triple Choco, Pink Strawberry) - 98 php each

It is also a perfect place to hold baptismal and birthday parties. When we arrived, there is actually an on-going kiddie party so we still had to wait for a couple of hours before we were seated inside. It's a good thing the sunset view from that place was great and my friends & I had a lot of stories to tell and we enjoyed each others' company so much that we didn't take much note of the time that passed by. I suggest that it is better to call first before you visit to make sure that you will be accommodated at once. It has been such a pleasure dining here so if you're looking for a wonderful hang-out place, you may bring your family or friends here and just have a good time dining just like what my friends(Den, Kring) & I had.   

Location: Capitol Greenstreet Commercial Center
               1 Capitol Hills Drive, 1101 Quezon City  
Contact #s: 9526843, 09478916975, 09334427661
Facebook: Stacy's

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Canto - Ribs Haven in Baguio

When we went to Baguio, A's brother suggested that we eat dinner on a place called Canto. He was really so excited and prepared to eat at this restaurant. He really raves so much about how delicious the ribs served there are. He knew this restaurant from his friends and they actually said that they have the best ribs in town. So we tried it for ourselves! 

The Canto is located at the famous food hub in Baguio - Ketchup: The Food Community which is near Wright Park and other restaurants such as Happy Tummy, Rancho Norte, Green Pepper and Rumah State are also located. Upon entering the fence it is the first restaurant at your right. You can also actually order from the other 4 restaurants I mentioned and they will deliver it to the table wherever you are seated. Isn't that cool?

We ordered 5 plates of their famous ribs. When we tried it, oh yes it was really meaty, tender and delicious. Now we know why people rave for this dish and it is in people's personal must-try list. When you taste it, you surely will crave for more! It was also served with salad, which also tastes really good. It has watermelon flavor in it and I loved it. It is already good for 2 and with a very affordable price.
Lomo Ribs - 300 php

For the drinks, they serve juice, soda and coffee. I tried their Almond Lychee (gulaman). For almond lovers, this is a must order. 
 Almond Lychee (gulaman) - 20.00 php

A's dad ordered their Burger and I wasn't able to try it but it looks delicious.
 Canto Burger - 130.00 php

For dessert, we ordered the red velvet cheesecake which is a layer of red velvet cake and cream cheese    on a graham cracker base. What I love about this is it has the perfect balance of the sweetness of the red velvet flavor and the graham. 
 Red Velvet Cheescake - 95.00 php per slice / 800 php whole

There you go, you should definitely add this Canto Restaurant to you personal must-try list when you go to Baguio and you'll never go wrong. We actually had our lunch again here the next day so that we can enjoy their very delicious ribs again before we go back to Manila and it is a unanimous decision of everyone. Also, you might want to go early to the restaurant or call for reservation beforehand as there are always a lot of people especially during peak hours. So, what restaurants are part of your personal must-try list in Baguio?

Canto Restaurant 
Facebook: Ketchup Food Community
Location: Romulo Drive, Barangay Lualhati (Near Wright Park), 
              2600 Baguio City, Philippines.

                    Photo from Ketchup Food Community's Facebook

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Baguio Holiday Getaway at Mines View Park Hotel

After the long drive from Manila to La Union(you may see my previous post for my La Union stay & experience), and short travel from La Union to Baguio, our bodies felt the stiff and fatigue of sitting in the van for long hours. What we are really wanting that time is a very comfortable and relaxing place to rest. Finally we arrived at Baguio, we went straight to our hotel - Mines View Park Hotel and to our surprise it was even better than what we are expecting. In fact, we are full of excitement to occupy our reserved rooms and it left us all in awe of the beautiful view that surrounded us in that hotel. The weather was cold so don't forget to bring your jackets.

Once you arrived at the hotel, they will offer hot towels which can warm up your hands and face.

This is the breathtaking view of the mountains from the hotel's lobby.

They also have this beautiful restaurant as part of the lobby where you can dine.

Finally, we head up to our rooms. The room was so clean, big and beautiful.  The bed was big and comfortable with these cute-shaped towels on top. It has an orange theme. There is also a terrace attached to the room where you can feel the cold air outside. 

The boys' room has a blue theme.(Photo by A's sister)

The bathroom with hot & cold shower.

What I like most of this hotel, is their staff's integrity and honesty. After we checked out, we headed to the small market at Mines View Park to buy some pasalubongs and fruits. Surprisingly, A's dad received a call from the hotel staff that a cell phone and a charger was left at the rooms we occupied. So my companions went  back to hotel to get it at once since we are still near the vicinity. We wouldn't have noticed it at once if the staff did not call us. Thank you so much to their staff! Chances are we were already long gone and heading back to Manila, noticed that the phone was missing and still have to turn a long way back to the hotel. But thanks to their staff this does not have to happen! Two thumbs up to you guys! :)

Besides that, the hotel is also located a few steps away from the Mines View Park and it is near The Mansion, Wright Park and Good Shepherd. It was indeed a perfect choice to enjoy the tranquility and comfort of your stay in Baguio. When you head up to Baguio for a trip, you can definitely have this hotel as one of your top choices to stay. 

Mines View Park Hotel
Location: 1 Apostol St. Corner Outlook Drive, Mines View Park, Baguio City
E-mail: info@minesviewparkhotel.com
Tel: (6374) 424-1088
Telefax: (6374) 442-1599
Cell No.: (+63)922-888-6392, (+63)917-593-1316
Website: Mines View Park Hotel

Manila Office
Tel: (632) 352-5248, (632) 215-8226

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

La Union Holiday Getaway at Hotel Ariana

Happy Holidays everyone! Finally, it's time for a holiday vacation and the season to spend with our loved ones. This year, A & I were given a chance to spent the Holiday weekend with A's family at La Union and Baguio.

We left Manila at around 2:00pm and arrived at Hotel Ariana in Bauang, La Union at around 7:30pm for our first stop. We stayed in La Union for the first night before we head to Baguio so that we can enjoy surfing early next morning at the beach at San Juan, La Union which is very near the hotel. 

Hotel Ariana is easy to locate since it is just along the main highway, you will easily see the hotel signage with orange background.

Upon arrival and entering the lobby, you will see that there is beautiful interior with ambiance that is conducive for business functions and other events. They also have a restaurant at the lobby. We registered at the front desk and asked for our reservation. Their staff easily accommodated us and helped us bring our luggage to our room. We got 4 Regular Twin rooms in all which costs around 2760php. Our room has 2 single beds and 1 extra bed. It is fully air-conditioned and with cable tv.  

The toilet room and the bath room are separated. When you enter the door, the bath room with hot and cold shower is on your left and the comfort room is on the right side. 

The room also has cabinets where you can put your belongings and hang your clothes.

We got out of bed early to eat our complimentary breakfast and head to San Juan, La Union to have some surfing adventure. After surfing, we decided to eat our lunch and head back to the hotel to take our shower so we can use a more private and cleaner shower room. The hotel staffs are so kind, they even allowed us to extend for almost an hour without extra charge because we were not yet finished taking a bath upon check-out time. Thank you Hotel Ariana for this act of generosity & kindness. They also have a multi-purpose hall where you can hold your parties, conventions and other events. You can check out their hotel when you go to La Union to enjoy a genuine haven of absolute comfort and tranquility at affordable prices. 

For more info on room rates and other inquiries, here are their contact information:

Hotel Ariana 
Location: Paringao, Bauang, La Union
E-mail: hotelariana.marketing@gmail.com
Tel. #: (072) 7050050/7050080 or 6076788
Manila line: (02) 4253250
Website: Hotel Ariana
Facebook: Hotel Ariana