So January just happened. Yes, just like that we are done and over with the first month of the new year! Seriously, sometimes I think, where did time go? How did all that happen so fast, so quickly?!
As we welcome the new month, allow me first to share with you my favorite things from the month of January :
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa
My family and I make it a point to take the kids to the beach at least once a year. And one of our favorites and constant go-to beach resorts within the country, is Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa. We spent the last few days of December and the first few days of January here. Yes, this was where we welcomed the New Year with a bang!
It was a great place to welcome 2015. We were a big group, including cousins and grandparents and we stayed in the gorgeous Likha Villa of the resort which had this beautiful nipa hut standing within the villa’s pool, overlooking the vast ocean.
It was surreal! We would wake up every morning surrounded by blue skies and crystal clear waters. The resort’s service was impeccable, food was great and activities for both kids and grownups were aplenty. But more than anything, it was the peace and solitude in this piece of paradise that made the last few days of 2014 and the first few days of 2015 truly magical.
Being in Shangri-La Boracay meant we can take advantage of the beautiful beach around us – day in and day out. We had a very special January 1st dinner with the family because we were able to dine “under the moon and the stars”, with the clashing of the waves as our background music! The resort’s helpful staff set up a lovely white tent for our big group, right by the beach. Thank you to Mr. Amit Oberoi, Shangri-La Boracay’s warm and very hospitable General Manager!
So what did we have for our first dinner of 2015? Chef Hamed Ghayedi prepared for us delicious lamb chops, grilled Turkish kebabs, chicken tandoori and a mix of our favorite Indian curries and other grilled meats and vegetables.
As always, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa exceeded our expectations. I say this was the best place for us to be in to start the year 2015 right!
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa
Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island
Malay, Aklan 5608 Philippines
Face ā Face Sunglasses from Sarabia Rockwell
Being at the beach meant a lot of sun, sun and more sun! And so I made sure that I did not leave home without my favorite sunnies!
So what pair of sunglasses did I bring with me to Boracay? This stylish black Face ā Face shades from Sarabia Rockwell was my choice for the beach!
Most of my sunglasses are from this particular Sarabia branch. The service is great and they carry a wide range of brands. Most of all, they always have the newest and most updated styles!
Basement, Powerplant Mall
Rockwell Center, Makati
Laura Mercier Body and Bath Products
I am a big fan of Laura Mercier. In fact, I use a lot of Laura Mercier make up products. They have a great Tinted Moisturizer and an amazing Concealer and Brightener that really work on me! But what I am obsessed with right now are their Body and Bath products. I’ve been using this Almond Coconut Milk Scrub followed by the Almond Coconut Milk Souffle Body Crème and I swear. these two really smell as good as their names sound! They both feel so nice and luxurious, and made my skin soft and supple to touch!
Imagine these wonderfully smelling ingredients on your skin : milk, coconut, almond and yes, vanilla. Now imagine combining all of them in rich and creamy bath and body products. Seriously, I felt so sweet and decadent right after — like I was a walking patisserie after my shower! 🙂
Rustan’s Department Stores
Ayala Center Makati, ShangriLa Plaza, Gateway Araneta Center
Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu
Mandarin Oriental Taipei
On the third week of January, I went to the food-centric city Taipei, which is a mere 2-hour flight away from Manila. I was able to try a lot of interesting food around town, but for me, the best part of the trip was staying in this newly opened (barely a year old) hotel: the Mandarin Oriental Taipei. Amongst all the beautiful hotels I’ve stayed in, this particular Mandarin Oriental ranks high on my list!
Everything inside, from the lobby to the elevator halls, to the restrooms and of course, to their individual rooms — every nook and cranny, is just as gorgeous as the rest of the hotel!
Look at all that black and white marble, from top to bottom! The hotel’s interiors are indeed so grand, very classic and truly elegant.
Located in the heart of Taipei’s business district, the Mandarin Oriental Taipei is all about comfort and luxury at its finest. It also boasts a number of great restaurants and the city’s largest hotel spa! This is one place I wouldn’t mind not leaving!
My favorite breakfast spot in the hotel is in their French brassiere: Cafe Un Deux Trois. The view is the hotel’s terrace and the bustling streets of the city.
My favorite meal of the day ? Breakfast — especially when I am on holiday.
I indulged myself in my breakfast staples : black coffee, pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), granola with fresh berries, muesli, passion fruit and plain yogurt.
Mandarin Oriental Taipei
158 Dunhua North Road
Taipei 10548, Taiwan
Blackmore Wagyu from Artisan Cellars
Last but certainly not the least amongst my favorites for January is this very “meat-y dinner” I had with a group of foodies at Allium. Artisan Cellars is the newest supplier of artisanal food products and fine wine in the market today. We were served a delicious 10-course meal with wine pairing, consisting of the most succulent cuts of Blackmore Wagyu Beef and Mosswood wine, both coming from Australia.
Here are just some of them:
Out of the 10-courses, we had six dishes made of this juicy and delicious Blackmore Wagyu. From beef tartare to braised beef neck, from Josper Roasted Shortrib to Olive Oil Poached Rib Eye Steak, Chef Mark Tan of Allium, certainly did a great job preparing these exquisite dishes!
It was a fun evening filled with glorious beef and hearty laughter! I was surrounded by this lovely group of foodies which made the dinner even more delicious and of course, special! Thank you Roxanne Lee of Artisan Cellars for getting us all together!
(Left to right, top to bottom: Roxanne Lee, Angelo Comsti, Alicia Sy, Jin Perez and Nicole Ortega.)
G/F Grand Midori, Bolanos St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
What are your favorite things for January? Share them here with me!
And if you want to know what were my favorite things from last month, click here.