Sunday, May 8, 2011

Adding Color To Black Saturday at Sonya’s Garden

When I think of Sonya’s Garden, I think of romance. I think of romantic wedding proposal or an enchanting honeymoon, perhaps. I don’t know why but this place just spells L-O-V-E and R-O-M-A-N-C-E for me.
I first heard of this piece of heaven in Tagaytay City from a friend who went there with her barkada. I saw the pictures and I could say I was fascinated right there and then. I pictured a real blissful place away from the hustle of the city. A pastor from our church also proposed to her girlfriend (and now his wife) there as what Rica Peralejo’s Pastor boyfriend (now husband) did. Thus, I already had that notion that Sonya’s Garden’s really perfect for couples.
I’ve always wanted to visit this place but all those previous plans didn’t push through due to various circumstances. Good thing, one of my Victory Group friends Cone suggested Sonya’s Garden as to where we could spend Black Saturday at and bond. Everyone else was in vacation away from the city during that Holy Week and we wouldn’t want to be left out and just settle on a staycation so we decided to push through with the plan even if it was only 4 of us in the group. So, on that morning of Black Saturday, Cone, Laye and her family, Chai and I headed on to Sonya’s Garden.
It was a smooth more than an hour ride from Manila to Tagaytay. There was no traffic jam since it was a holiday. However, when we got to the city proper, there we experienced the traffic jam. Could it be that 1/3 of Manila’s populace went to Tagaytay that day?
Anyway, so after experiencing that Tagaytay traffic and passing some streets and bumpy road, we finally arrived at Sonya’s Garden. To be honest, it was not what I pictured it to be. I mean, the facade is nice but it’s not as classy as I imagined it to be. I can’t help but compare it toKusina Salud in San Pablo, Laguna. And I think the latter would fare well when it comes to the interiors and the nostalgic feel. However, I would say that the romantic ambiance was there.I think it would be best to visit Sonya’s at night so you could really experience its romantic charm to the full.  There’s something about that Sonya’s Garden that would make you fall in love and feel in love. Could it be the wooden door with colorful glass designs? Or the big draperies on the ceilings? Or its colorful lamps and eclectic furnitures? Whichever. This place really suggests romance.
The entrance
We decided to have the Buffet Lunch deal which was priced at P610 nett/person. It’s consisted of an eat-all-you-can serving of the following:
Green Salad (freshly harvested lettuce and arugula topped with mango, broad beans , eggs, cucumber, jackfruit, pineapple, edible flowers in season, and drizzled with Sonya’s secret dressing or balsamic vinegar.
Bread (Fresh baked whole wheat sesame bread with an array of homemade dips and toppings:  basil pesto, white cheese, anchovies, bruschetta tomato toppings, mushroom pate, black olive tapinade, and fresh green pepperoni in olive oil.
Pasta (Choice of two kinds of sauces: sun dried tomato and chicken cream with mango topped with rataouille, salmon belly, shitake mushrooms, black olives, capers, and grated parmesan cheese, pepperoncini.
Dessert (Glazed sweet potato, banana rolls with sesame and jackfruit, and really yummy chocolate cake with mint leaves.
Drinks (Bottomless freshly squeezed dalandan juice and tarragon tea.
(Menu description courtesy of Sonya’s Garden)
It was a hearty meal, indeed. I went there on an almost empty stomach since I was really preparing for the eat-all-you-can galore, and I left it with a busog-lusog feeling.  I personally love the pasta with white sauce and chicken chunks, the yummy chocolate cake and the tarragon tea. The P610 was really worth it.
After we finished out lunch, we decided to tour the place. We went to the Panaderia where Cone and Laye bought some pasalubongs. We also went to the flower sanctuary which really looked like a butterfly sanctuary for me. Since Laye’s mom was also doing ocular for her youngest daughter’s upcoming debut party, we had the privilege to go around and had a peek at the bed and breakfast cottages which reminded me of a vintage houses in the Quezon province or those in Vigan. The rooms don’t have air-conditioning units and just make use of electric fans to give a more rural feel. According to the room attendant, it’s really cold in Tagaytay at night even in Summer seasons so there won’t be problems especially with guests who love cold weather.
Sonya’s Bed and Breakfast Cottages were named after herbs, which, according to their website, reflect the owner’s love for aromatic things. This place is really perfect for people who would want to get away from the restless city life and enjoy a night of pure bliss with a sprinkle of nostalgia. Imagine waking up to the smell of flowers and fresh air. Such simple felicity.
After few rounds of picture-taking, we decided to bid Sonya’s Garden adieu.
It was really a wonderful and colorful way of spending that Black Saturday–with people who were a blessing to be with and with a place that’s such a piece of sanctuary.
Laye-Anne, Me, Chai, and Cone
How to go Sonya’s Garden: 
From South Superhighway exit Santa Rosa and turn right towards Tagaytay. Upon reaching main Aguinaldo highway, turn right toward Nasugbu, Batangas. Go past Tagaytay Rotonda and proceed for 10km. After Splendido Golf course and Sunrise Hill make a right turn on the Buck Estate. Drive for 2km and watch out for Sonya’s on the left side. Use the first gate and drive towards the end of the driveway and make a right towards parking lot.
(courtesy of Sonya’s Garden)
(Photos courtesy of Cone Tabat, Laye-Anne Morales, Lagalog, and Tastebudthrills)

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