AFTER that delicious lunch at Marcia Adams’ Restaurant, the group – all feeling full and totally satisfied – boarded the coaster again and we got on our way to our second destination which, according to the trail clue, is “a place far removed from the urban, where the only sounds you will hear are birds singing and wind blowing through the trees.” This place, which shall also serve as our sleeping accommodations for the San Miguel Pure Foods Guerilla Food Tour, is also supposed to be where we will all experience “a blissful combination of healing and pampering at its best.”
I had imagined a massage treatment in store for us, and I already had Foot Spa in mind. But where? Could it be Nurture Spa Village deep in the suburbs of Tagaytay City? I had been there once with Raff on an overnight trip, and our host treated us not just to sumptuous meals at the then Tanglad Café but also to a massage treatment. I had opted for Foot Spa then, and it was delightfully relaxing and stress-busting. I definitely wouldn’t mind going back to Nurture Spa Village.
When we made that familiar right turn towards one of the side streets from the main highway of Tagaytay City and the coaster went further and further in, I texted Francene, “Nurture Spa?” And she texted back, “Maybe. Haha.” Bingo!
Nurture Spa Village was as it was before when Raff and I first visited the place – relaxing, refreshingly peaceful, and nature was everywhere around us. We walked up the familiar steps to the hut-like reception area with cogon roofing, and we were served a welcome drink of Pandan Iced Tea and K-Pop ice cream. Then we were ushered in to the al fresco function area, where snacks of Roast Chicken Ham Wheat Tortilla Wraps and Spiced Ham and Vegetable Wraps. Here, we were given keys to our rooms to freshen up and asked to choose what pampering treatment we wanted to have: Hilot Kagalingan full body massage, Hele Foot Spa or Nourishing Facial. Raff chose the full body massage. I was torn between the foot spa and the facial, but since I had already set my mind on the foot spa, I decided to stick to it.
Yes, the promise was true. It turned out to be a blissful combination of healing and pampering at its best. Our therapists came to the room to pick us up for our respective treatments. Raff was ushered in to a massage room, while I was brought to an outdoor massage hut, where I had a most wonderful foot spa experience. Good friend Lai Reyes of Philippine Star was already there when I got there, and she had her facial while I had my foot spa side by side. We engaged in a light conversation, occasionally falling silent to savor the pampering. Highlight of her facial was slices of cucumber placed all over her face to refresh and rejuvenate, while my foot spa actually began with a comforting warm foot soak and a head-and-shoulder massage which graduated to an herbal scrub and the soothing application of moisturizing cream.
Then it was freshening-up time and we were off to our third secret destination for dinner. Where was that secret destination? Remember I said in my story yesterday (March 26, 2013) on the first stop of our San Miguel Pure Foods Guerilla Food Tour that I had ‘discovered’ we were going to Emily’s Garden, only that I didn’t know whether it would be the first, second or third stop? Well, it’s the third stop, but I shall tell you about it in the third installment of this guerilla food tour blog series.
Anyway, here, in Nurture Spa, we came back home after our totally engaging dinner with a celebrity chef in a most enchanting venue, and we all had a good night’s sleep. In most places when I travel, I fail to get a good night’s sleep on my first night there. In colloquial terms, we call it namamahay (*looking for your home, your own bed). But in extremely comfortable and soothing places, such as Nurture Spa, I fall asleep like a baby. And, here, I did.
I woke up refreshed and recharged the next morning, and greeting us at the function hall was a sumptuous breakfast prepared by the chefs of San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Center using San Miguel Pure Foods products. There was Chef Maricel Manalo, head of the culinary center, and Chef Kai Verdadero-O and Chef Rene Ruz were also there. They didn’t join the group in the coaster, but drove up to Tagaytay on the same day we did. We were together in all stops of the guerilla food tour, beginning with that memorable lunch at Marcia Adams’ Restaurant.
The breakfast spread featured an egg station using San Miguel’s new product, Magnolia Brown Eggs, which are a good source of vitamins and minerals. The brown eggs come from cage-free, barn-raised brown hens. Another live cooking station featured Purefoods sausages – Bockwurst, Hungarian Cheese and Schublig – being grilled. There was also a Congee Station complete with toppings like Purefoods Chicken Breast Nuggets, as well as a Salad Station featuring Nurture Spa’s fresh salad greens served with condiments like Magnolia Mayonnaise and crunchy Purefoods Bacon bits. For the main meal, there was Purefoods Luncheon Meat Yang Chow Fried Rice with Purefoods Corned Beef Hash, Crispy Tawilis, Chili Garlic Corned Beef Wraps, Egg and Vegetable Frittata, capped with Suman at Mangga with Hot Tsokolate.
After breakfast, Nurture Spa’s Chef Laurence Porras did an informal demo on making healthy smoothies, such as Banana-Malunggay, Kale-Lemon, and Pechay-Saluyot-Mango smoothies, and conducted a tour of Nurture Spa’s self-sustaining vegetable garden, which produces lettuce, cauliflower, pandan, lemongrass, tomatoes, basil leaves and other vegetables and herbs.
Then it was time to head back for home. Back to Manila. Back to the dizzying city life. But after a nurturing experience at Nurture Spa Village in Tagaytay, we went back recharged and ready to face the challenges of city life once again.