That’s Beautiful.

by Rhiannon

It’s been a tumultuous, adventurous, exciting past year and over the weekend Aidan and I decided to celebrate by doing something different from the usual… something luxurious (okay Aidan decided… I had just been nudging and suggesting the past couple of weeks).

Saturday afternoon we drove up to the Sofitel (the Philippine Plaza) and checked ourselves in for sunset watching in bathrobes and drinking Bloody Mary’s by the bay.

I hesitate to put a lot of personal stuff online, because I used to find the blurring of personal lives and public living kind of alarming in our society. But in the past few months I’ve gotten to know some really spectacular human beings online, and had they not shared their personal lives on blogs, online businesses, and social media, (kind of the necessary trinity to get people to connect with you on a global scale) I would never have been blessed enough to know them.

So, not to say that I am as influential and life-enhancing as they have been, but I want to set up an online community for myself, and to do that, I need to share some things with others no? So that these people that I love to follow and communicate with might have the chance to communicate back with me too.

So, that’s my litte rationale.

Ok, back to the Sofitel.

Sofitel Manila Hotel Lobby


Was greeted with those amazing orchid arrangements in the lobby, followed by this little gift in our room. Surprisingly, it actually tasted as good as it looked, like whipped chocolate mousse (basically my favorite kind of cake).




Ignored these little guys for the time being:


And hit up this list instead:


Bloody Mary for me and what seemed to be the drink of the month at the hotel for Aidan – something served in a martini glass that required a spray of some sort of juice. I was distracted by my Bloody Mary at the time so didn’t realize how interesting all that was until too late.




Wandered over to this bar on the way back to the room. I love the old world feel in this hotel, it somehow made it more acceptable to be so languid and luxurious, drinking martinis in poolside hotel bars. They definitely got the vibe I wanted for the weekend. To be, old-world makes luxury feel classier :).


Afterwards Aidan ended up passing out for a few hours and I watched what was left of the sunset from the balcony.



The beautiful Manila skyline – still one of my favorites no matter what people say about pollution and over-construction.


And then withdrew inside.


Spent the rest of the early evening reading a book inside and basically just basking in the quiet of it all, I finally woke Aidan up and we got ourselves downstairs for the Spiral buffet. I don’t think either of us was prepared for what we were about to feast upon!.



First came this beautiful drinks cart with all the old-world charm I love.


And then I pretty much ran around the huge buffet spread with Aidan, plotting between us how on earth we were going to do justice to the immensity of the spread!

First off: the cheese room!



And then the salad bar. Note, this photos were taken as we were circling, devouring had not yet begun. I like to approach any buffet with a keen eye and a solid strategy. Especially one as epic as this. IMG_1567


And the chefs at every stand ready to serve up your pickings:IMG_1571





Raspberry vinaigrette to go with….IMG_1576

The bottomless foie gras. To be honest, after the second piece I was a little over it but Aidan loves the stuff so he ate most of mine and then his own plate. Delicious when really hot in my opinion.


And then the seafood section:IMG_1579

Ended up really falling for these california rolls. Not normally my thing (I like raw fish in sushi. Nothing full of vegetables or mayonaisse, and helllll no to chicken). BUT – there is always the exception and these were it. Intrigued by the candy-colored crisp wrapping I went for it. It was by far one of the better sushi’s in the house. Crispy on the outside with a clean and tasty filling. Really great appetite teaser :)

Bacon-wrapped deliciousness!


The noodle section. Yup, bowls of hot steaming, vegetables and noodles!



And of course, dim sum on the side.


We skipped out a few of the other sections like the indian section, the duck section, the remainder of the huge asian food spread, and I’m sure much more, but there is always next time I say, and I was STUFFED.

But not so stuffed I couldn’t delve into these:


And of course, the chocolate fountains.IMG_1590

After that insane spread we were slightly comatose. Deciding against wasting the evening and heading up to the room to collapse, we ended up doing a little nightcrawl around the hotel. Ended up back in the beautiful bar and chatting up the bar man.






Ended up heading up to the room at about 1am and basically just spread out on the bed and thought about ordering room service but I think we fell asleep before the thought came to fruition.

Woke up the next day with a not-so-happy-to-get-out-of-bed camper:


But managed to cheer both of us up with this incredible breakfast room service:




Left the hotel verrrrry late (probably after 4pm) and met up with Ade who organized the booking for us. I don’t think I’ve had such an “us” focused weekend in a while and I walked out of there feeling so excited to continue with everything we’ve been up to. In the past year it’s been a lot of beach trips and out of town trips, and then frankly, just a lot of weekends spent in the city and working, so this weekend really meant a big change for me (even if it seems kind of like the ubiquitous anniversary weekend). I’ve never had an anniversary weekend in the first place, and the fact that we spent it like this, in a place that to us was so isolated from our usual friends and social scene made it so much more meaningful.

All in all, a pretty glamorous, delicious weekend.