Editor's Pick

The way to a man and woman’s heart…

It’s been pretty lonely for the past year or so, thanks to community quarantines and the general air of things. Why don’t you sweeten that deal this Valentine’s Day with a good meal and a few sweet treats? The hotels are raring to go with luxurious romantic feasts — and in keeping with the times, many of them are outdoors with views of gardens and sunsets.

But since very few of us are braving the Great Outdoors, a lot of options for Valentine’s Day are available at home through delivery — yes, including the luxurious hotel meals — so you won’t feel like you’re missing out. On the other hand, you can send someone special a nice little gift to cheer them up, and celebrate together with a nice bottle of bubbly while on one of the many online meeting apps. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you have to be really alone.

FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES FROM CMV TXOXOLAT
Cut to the chase and say it with both chocolates and flowers, thanks to boxes available from CMV Txokolat. The boxes are made with their collaboration with The Flower Farm. The boxes feature their truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries in a package that comes with a hand-tied bouquet. The Chocolate Blooms Box costs P1,900, with 12 truffles and a bouquet of chrysanthemums, while the Chocolate Mix Garden, with a bouquet of yellow flowers, costs P2,325 with a choice of either pralines or truffles. The Strawberry Chocolate Burst comes with a Spring Bloom bouquet and six chocolate-covered strawberries, while it becomes hard to say no with The Sinta, a mammoth of a box with chocolate-covered strawberries with a bouquet of red roses (P4,800 for one dozen; P8,300 for two dozen). Finally, for a shot at love, there are the Johnny Walker Rustic Truffles, infused with some Scotch (ranging in price from P420 for six to P1,550 for 24). “Perfect if you want to dig into heaven,” said CMV founder Christian Valdes. Order through cmvtxokolat.com.

COLD LOVE FROM SEBASTIAN’S ICE CREAM
With the current pandemic, the search for love has become even more complicated, so Sebastian’s Valentine Ice Creams are available for delivery via their in-house cold storage delivery service, with a FOD (Frozen On Delivery) guarantee. This year’s Valentine’s 2021 Ice Cream Collection features the Matinong Boyfriend (Black & White), a white cocoa ice cream made by steeping a cream base in roasted cocoa nibs for two days. The ice cream takes on a rich cocoa flavor while looking like a scoop of vanilla which is a surprise to the eater when they taste it. It has a blueberry sorbet ribbon which takes on a rich dark color. It’s rounded out by an almond praline crumble for a pop of texture and sweetness (P145 per scoop, P435 per pint). Meanwhile, Matinong Girlfriend is a Mixed Nut Medley made with cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pili nuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts and hazelnuts all roasted and blended into a smooth butter and blended into an ice cream base. Ribbons of butter caramel are mixed in with a garnish of Swedish-style candied nuts, made with egg whites and sugar to make a light and crunchy candy coating. Another special Valentine’s ice cream, Closure, is made with Kashmiri pink chai, meant to embody wellness and inner peace. The tea-infused ice cream is obtained by adding a pinch of baking soda to green tea leaves and boiling for a long period of time. It is finished by adding milk and salt for a savory tea, this is then incorporated into a cream base and infused overnight with cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and star anise. Another flavor, Unresolved Issues, is a bitter ampalaya sorbet which appears every year on Sebastian’s Valentine’s menu (P100 per scoop, P300 per pint). Something new is the Strawberry Cream Ice Cream Cake, made with freshly baked spiced cake topped with a double layer of Sweet Cream ice cream and strawberry sorbet. The cake is finished with oat streusel and lashings of white chocolate on top (P1,650 for a whole nine-inch cake). These are available for the whole month of February, and can be bought at Sebastian’s at The Podium or through sebastiansicecream.com.

PASTRIES FROM RIVERSIDE KITCHEN
Riverside Kitchen becomes wholesomely sweet with a free shipping deal for the month of February for a box of eight. It’s hard to go wrong with sticky pecan rolls or classic cinnamon rolls at prices from P250 (for two) to P945 (for eight). The revel bars, with toasted white chocolate and dulce de leche, go for P220 for eight and P400 for 16. Finally, just bury your face in a Tres Leches cake (P350 for a 9” x 5” x 3” cake), made by soaking a sponge cake in three kinds of milk and topped with whipped cream and cookie crumbs. Order through Instagram at riverside.kitchen.

LOVE FRENCH-STYLE AT SOFITEL
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila demonstrates how to love like the French in true gastronomic fashion this Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 12-14, featuring a bayside dinner, elevated signature specialties, and a relaxing al fresco food truck fair. Sofitel pulls out all the stops with Love by Design, a bespoke dinner set amidst lush greenery, under the blanket of stars, and with a view of Manila Bay. The ambience is made even more romantic with an exclusive canopy for two, a four-course dinner featuring scallop crudo, dry-aged beef tenderloin on the grill with foie gras sauce, goat cheese cake with gianduja crémeux, and a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. A violinist serenades the couple while the evening is capped off with a bouquet of red roses and artisanal pralines. Love by Design is available on Feb. 13-14 with a rate set at P25,000 nett for two persons. Three days advance reservation is required. Over at Spiral, nothing says je t’aime like the French Stove with specialties including beef filet mignon with red berries sauce, escargot cassolette with Chablis, and a crudo bar of French oysters, scallops, salmon tartare, and beef carpaccio. The Cheese Room presents artisan cheeses and a selection of matured and flavored Coeur de Neufchatel, popular for its signature heart shape fitting for the season of love. Meanwhile, a wide variety of  chocolate-based desserts (chocolate is known for its aphrodisiac qualities) are showcased at La Patisserie. The Valentine’s Day special at Spiral is available for lunch and dinner on Feb. 13 and brunch and dinner on Feb. 14 with rates starting at P3,000 nett. For a laid-back, al fresco dinner date, Sunset Bar’s The Food Truck presents an elevated menu exclusive for Valentine’s Day weekend including foie gras sliders, soft shell crab taco, chicken gyro, designer cronuts, and more — all paired with free-flowing wine, local beers, and sparkling wine. Valentine’s Day at The Food Truck is available on Feb. 12 to 14, set at P4,000 nett per person. Reservation and pre-payment is required. For those spending the day of love at home, there’s Spiral at Home with a takeaway set perfect for a cozy night-in for two. For the whole month of February, Spiral at Home showcases a menu featuring truffle roasted poulet jaune, burrata salad, cheese and charcuterie, a sushi selection, and framboise chocolate crunch gateau with macarons. This romantic dinner with Spiral at Home is available at P10,000 nett, good for two persons. Pre-order and advance payment is required. For reservations and inquiries, call F&B Reservations at 8-832-6988 or e-mail H6308-FB12@sofitel.com. Follow the Facebook and Instagram pages of Spiral and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila for updates and fresh promotions.

LOVE AND THE PENINSULA
The perfect Valentine’s Day awaits at The Peninsula Manila where couples will be spoiled with an array of romantic dining and gift ideas to choose from. At The Lobby, spoil your date with a four-course Valentine’s dinner (P6,000 with a flute of Moët & Chandon Imperial Rose Brut or P4,500 for adults for a four-course dinner menu) as The Peninsula Strings perform live from 7 to 9 p.m. Meanwhile, all five senses will be delighted in Old Manila with Chef de Cuisine Allan Briones’ Five-course Valentine’s Dinner on Feb. 14. Paired with a variety of wines at P8,500, or by itself for only P6,000, this is one Valentine’s dinner that is not to be missed. One need look no further than Chef Virgilio Aniceto’s buffet specials in Escolta to find the quickest and most delicious way to your lover’s heart. He suggests celebrating the night before Valentine’s with the most sensual Seafood Dinner Buffet on Feb. 13 (P3,100 for adults). On Valentine’s Day, there’s a Sunday Brunch Buffet for your loved ones and family at P3,100 for adults. Spices will also be spreading love on Feb. 14 with an al fresco dinner in Spices Garden where lovers can enjoy a Grill-all-You-Can and Seafood Menu for P4,000 with a flute of Moët & Chandon or P3,000 for adults. A percussionist will perform live in Spices Garden. Meanwhile, just because one prefers to celebrate the special occasion at home one cannot have a Peninsula Manila dinner. The Peninsula Manila Executive Sous Xavier Castello and his team have prepared a Four-course Valentine’s Takeaway Dinner for Two which can be picked up at The Peninsula Boutique. Orders for pick-up are available on Feb. 13 and 14. Meanwhile, say “I Love You” with bouquets created by premier florist Robert Blancaflor for The Peninsula Manila Flower Shop. All prices are inclusive of taxes.  For inquiries, call  887-2888, e-mail diningpmn@peninsula.com or reservationpmn@peninsula.com, visit the website peninsula.com, or through PenChat, The Peninsula Manila’s 24-hour e-concierge by clicking https://bit.ly/PenChatFacebook.

‘HIGH ON LOVE’ AT THE CRIMSON HOTEL
The Crimson Hotel gets “High on Love” on the 28th — the Club Lounge on the 28th floor that is – on Feb. 12, 13, and 14, from 7-11 p.m. The evening includes a four-course dinner (the highlight being a main course of Grain-Fed Angus Striploin MS 3) with unlimited wine for P2,500 net per person. Meanwhile, on Feb. 14, 6-9 p.m., its “Thai Me Up at The Deck” — an al fresco dinner at The Deck. Enjoy a four course Thai dinner (the highlight being Green Curry Chicken and Deep-Fried Snapper Fillet with Tamarind Ginger Sauce, with wok-fried mixed vegetables and Jasmine rice) with two glasses of wine for P1,500 net per person. As limited seats are available, reservations are required. For inquiries and reservations, call 8863-2222 local 1612, 0998-9613-409 or e-mail dining@crimsonhotel.com.

NEW WORLD MAKATI GETS ROMANTIC
New World Makati Hotel beckons couples for a romantically indulgent all-you-can-eat lunch or dinner at Café 1228 on Feb. 14, as well as an array of sweet treats at The Shop, ideal as gifts for that special someone. Café 1228 offers an extensive all-you-can-eat a la carte selection on Valentine’s Day which includes the restaurant’s signature slow roast prime ribeye, Rosemary lamb chops, Pork cassoulet, Braised leg of lamb in red wine, and Seared salmon with parmesan crisp and dill cream sauce. Guests can enjoy a complimentary glass of red, white, or sparkling wine. The Valentine’s Day lunch is priced at P1,188 net, while dinner is P2,500 net. Meanwhile, at The Shop, choose from such sweet treats as a box of six dark chocolate and lemon-flavored Madeleines (P350), a box of 10 Lavender-infused cocoa truffles (P1,000), a box of four large Mandola cookies (P450) and a one-pound or petite-sized Strawberry Rose Cake (P1,600 and P450). For more information and reservations, call  8811-6888 ext. 3679, send a Viber message to 0917-888-4194, or e-mail FBReservations.manila@newworldhotels.com.

SHARE THE LOVE AT HOME WITH RICHMONDE HOTEL ORTIGAS
Whether you’re planning an intimate celebration for two or a fun family shindig, you can pull off a Valentine’s Day bash at home with ease with Richmonde Hotel Ortigas’ tasty takeaway options. Stage a fancy dinner date  with the Perfect Match Hotbox Platters consisting of two entrées, vegetables, rice, and dessert. Choose between the Cupid’s Specials set (P2,800 nett) which includes seafood mix (shrimp, squid, and fish) with mango salsa, braised beef in Jack Daniel’s sauce, paella Valenciana, roasted vegetables, and chocolate cake with strawberries; and the Beau’s Favorites combo (P2,600 nett) composed of mango-stuffed turkey breast with cherry sauce, grilled salmon with miso sauce, garlic parmesan risotto, steamed asparagus, mashed potato, and red velvet bars. Each set is good for two persons and is packaged in the innovative Hotbox which lets you heat up your meal in an instant with just the pull of a string. Add wine to the order for P650. Preparing a Valentine’s meal a large group can be just as hassle-free with Richmonde’s Together Forever Party Platters that serve from six to eight persons. The menu selections include grilled salmon steak with dill cream and haricot beans (P2,400 nett), osso bucco with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables (P2,800 nett), and grilled beef with mixed vegetables and peppercorn or wild mushroom sauce (P2,500 nett). All Valentine’s takeaway specials are available the whole month of February and may be ordered for delivery or curbside pickup at the hotel’s driveway from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with one day lead time. Deliveries may be made to Makati, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, and Quezon City with applicable fees starting at P150. Free delivery is available to areas neighboring the hotel — Pearl Drive, San Miguel Ave., Escriva Drive, Lourdes Street, and Exchange Road. For inquiries and orders, call 8638-7777 or 917-859-7932 or send an e-mail to events@richmondeortigas.com.

LOVE BY THE BAY AT DIAMOND HOTEL MANILA
Diamond Hotel Philippines’ Corniche Restaurant will serve a Valentine Dinner Buffet from Feb. 13 to 16 for P3,380 nett per person. Or partake of a palate-pleasing Japanese feast from Feb. 13 to 16 at Yurakuen Restaurant with an eight-course Valentine Set Menu priced at P2,980 nett per person available for lunch or dinner. The Poolside is the food venue for a romantic date on Feb. 13 and 14. Dine al fresco by the bay for P2,900 nett per person inclusive of a five-course set dinner and a glass of wine. Over at the Lobby Lounge, a four-course set dinner with a glass of wine awaits diners on Feb. 14 for P3,800 net, good for two persons. For Valentine tokens, choose from cakes, assorted pastries, and chocolates on display at the Lobby Lounge. All ladies dining at the hotel on Feb. 14 will receive a special memento. Prefer to celebrate at home? Order curated Luxury Platters and Set Menus from www.onlineshopping.diamondhotel.com. Also available are Grazing Boxes, premium pastries and desserts. Valentine restaurant offers may also be purchased in advance through the online shopping site. For restaurant reservations, call 8528-3000 ext. 1121. Reservation is required.

EAT-ALL-YOU-CAN AT CENTURY PARK HOTEL
Get in the mood for love with Century Park Hotel’s Eat-All-You-Can Valentine’s Day Lunch & Dinner at P1,995 net per person. Among the dishes are roast rib eye steak, seafood favorites, and a wide selection of main dishes, appetizers and desserts. There is also an Unlimited Wine option for P999 net per head. All these and more for a limited time at the Café in the Park from Feb. 13 (for dinner from 6-10 p.m.) to Feb. 14 (for lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner, 6-10 p.m.). To know more, visit www.centurypark.com or contact information@centurypark.com.ph and telephone number 528-8888.

ROMANCE AT THE EDSA SHANGRI-LA
Edsa Shangri-La, Manila has created a series of romantic experiences this February. Wine and dine in an al fresco setting at Edsa Shangri-La, Manila’s outdoor private gazebo overlooking the hotel’s tropical gardens. Start with a welcome cocktail at the Lobby Lounge and walk through a pathway filled with candles and petals to the gazebo. Enjoy a five-course dinner for two with a bottle of champagne and the seamless of a dedicated butler. Couples may elevate the experience with live music from a violinist or string trio. The rate starts at P27,597 net for two persons, available the whole month of February. Meanwhile, until Valentine’s Day, enjoy “The Table for Two” at the Lobby Lounge: a four-course dinner at P3,080 net per person. Romance takes centre stage in Senju, with a five-course Valentine’s Day dinner at P7,000 net for two persons, available on Feb. 14. Celebrate the love weekend with a dinner buffet at HEAT featuring a wide selection of Asian and international culinary favorites that comes with bottomless iced tea and chilled juices. Rate is P2,950 net per person, available on Feb. 13 and 14, or couples may indulge in afternoon tea, “A Bite of Love,” at the Lobby Lounge with relaxing views of the garden at P1,250 net. Meanwhile, The Bakeshop has a luxurious Valentine hamper brimming with chocolates and treats. Price starts at P1,600 net, available all month of February. For inquiries or reservations, cal 8633-8888 or e-mail reservations.esl@shangri-la.com. Visit www.shangri-la.com/manila/edsashangrila.

PRIMED FOR LOVE AT EASTWOOD RICHMONDE HOTEL
Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s Eastwood Café+Bar is ready  to help prep for the perfect date with its top offers for a stress-free and happy celebration. Whether you decide to dine out or stay in, Richmonde has two options for premium meat-loving couples. On Feb. 13 and 14, Eastwood Café+Bar opens its al fresco area for a “Steak Out” dinner with a la minute grilling — US beef belly kebabs (P125/100g), Australian Wagyu striploin (P750/200g), skewered smoked pork belly (P335/200g), and salmon fillet (P335) with a complimentary glass of wine. Due to limited seating with appropriate social distancing, dinner will be served in two seatings — the first is from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and the second from 8 to 10:30 p.m. In the mood to show off your culinary skills with a special home-cooked meal for two? Pre-order Richmonde’s “SteaK-it!” (DIY Steak Kit) and get an easy-to-prepare steak set which includes a 250g vacuum-sealed butter-aged Wagyu striploin, truffle mashed potato, French beans, shiitake mushrooms, sea salt, nori salt, chili salt, and rosemary salt. Cook everything like a master chef with the detailed instructions enclosed in the box. In addition to the steak dinner, the kit also includes squares of Nama dark chocolate truffle for dessert and a teddy bear souvenir. The DIY steak kit priced at P2,200 nett and is available from Feb. 13 to 28 for curbside pickup or delivery with applicable fee. For inquiries, orders, and table reservations, call  8570-7777 or 0917-821-0333 (mobile and Viber). Safety protocols are enforced in accordance with prevailing guidelines.

VALENTINE’S DAY WITH POPEYES’ HEART BISCUITS
Popeyes is ready to add an extra touch of sweetness to your Valentine’s Day celebration by bringing back one of its well-loved Valentine’s Day treats. For a limited time only, Popeyes will once again transform its biscuits into cute heart-shaped treats. These light and fluffy buttermilk biscuits are served with honey syrup. The biscuits come in a single serving, a box of three, and a box of six. Popeyes Heart Biscuits are available at the following Popeyes stores: Arcovia City, Alabang Town Center, NU Mall of Asia, SM San Lazaro, Kroma Tower, SM Southmall, SM Manila, Robinsons Place Galleria Ortigas, Ali Mall, Eastwood, Robinsons Place Manila, Eton Centris, and SM Mall of Asia. They are also available for pick-up or delivery via www.centraldelivery.com, the GrabFood and Pick-a-roo app.

HEART-SHAPED SHAKEY’S PIZZA
Really, how does one say no to a heart-shaped pizza? For the month of February, Shakey’s is baking all of its large and party-sized Thin Crust pizzas into the shape of a heart. For a special treat, those who order the Thin Crust K-Pizza (topped with beef cubes, aged cheese, Korean barbecue sauce and sesame seeds) in large (P577) or party size (P795) will get a free 750 mL bottle of Novellino Rosso Classic Red Wine. Order through shakeyspizza.ph, your preferred delivery app, or hotline  7777-7777.

TWG TEA’S VALENTINE TEA POT
For the tea lover in your life, a good Valentine’s Day gift could come from TWG Tea’s Red Design Orchid Collection which adds a dash of modernity to the classic beauty of an exclusive TWG Tea design. This artisanal teapot boasts a glossy luster, deep, rich colors and the kind of finish which can only be achieved by hand crafting each teapot one by one. Another good gift would be a candle with the scent of fresh tea. The Miraculous Mandarin candle is scented with a panorama of black tea, rich spices, frankincense and notes of candied sweetness. Then there are TWG Tea-infused jellies to enhance any afternoon tea table. Flavoured exclusively with TWG Tea’s most popular blends, these jellies are a true representation of the flavour and characteristics of each tea, reinterpreted in a novel manner. Among these is delicate red tea from South Africa blended with sweet TWG Tea spices and marigold. Then there are the Secret Tea Tins, each carefully crafted by hand and painted in vibrant colors. These luxury containers can hold up to 100g of tea. All these are available at TWG Tea Boutiques in the country. A limited selection of fine teas and accessories is also available at TWG’s LazMall Flagship Store.

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