Friday, January 30, 2015

An Enchanted Evening at Sardine, Bali

Yesterday a friend asked me the name of the restaurant we went to in Bali last year.

I'm usually able to remember these details specially with the aid of this blog. Then I realized that  I haven't updated the blog is a very long time. I don't think I even wrote about this trip except for one post about Villa Kalimaya.

Anyway, one advantage of looking back at an experience is that distance cuts out the non-essentials. I'll only write about the things that stand out.

So here's what I remember...

Sardine is one  big open-air pavilion made of bamboo. The mood-setting low lights made everyone look radiant.

The restaurant was created by a chef and an interior designer wife, which is probably why the details are well thought of.


The pond at the entrance is filled with only white koi--very nice effect.

Back at the table, my view faced the gorgeous lounge area in front of the rice field.

Truthfully, I don't remember the food even if I have pictures. I think it was overshadowed by the stunning design elements, the ambience, my radiant companions,

and more importantly by the conversation around the table.

I think this is what I had--fresh, healthful, sensible.

The open area was too enticing to resist. Right after dinner we moved outside for dessert and coffee.

But I think we had drinks instead and just continued talking.

If only this bougainvillea tree could talk...what stories would it tell?

Wait, a bougainvillea "tree"?!  I can hear mom's voice. "how did it become a tree"?
Here's an undershot just for you, mom!  There's a frame under guiding the branches.

And look at the photo on this link of what the frame looked like before it was a tree.

Sorry I can't seem to tell you more about the food nor the service. I think it was all good. I just know we enjoyed being with each other here and we have good memories of this enchanted evening under the bougainvillea tree.

Jalan Petiteget No. 21
Kerobokan, Bali 80361
Tel +62 361 8436333

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Grand Hotel, Bordeaux

In the center of Bordeaux is the Grand Hotel, with old-world traditional interiors.

The walls are covered with drapery-patterned wallpaper, but masterfully broken up with striped upholstered walls in the alcove near the window.

The upholstered walls are edged with braided fabric trim like in the days of Marie Antoinette.

The air-conditioning unit is hidden behind this brass panel, so there is no evidence of clunky modern technology.

I was also particularly intrigued by the old-fashioned brass light switches.

This bedroom is comfortable and cozy, but a little overdone and I wouldn't want to sleep in it every night. For a two-night stay it was perfect.

I have similar tassel tie-backs in my home office, so of course I felt right at home in this room. 

The compact bathroom still had the dated shower-over-the-bathtub set up, but I thought was nicely designed with the modern glass panel until I took a shower.

The panel didn't do a good job of containing the water and the bathroom floor got all wet. They should just fix and seal the glass panel instead of making it swing.

I love old-fashioned cross-handled fixtures. It's what I have all over my house too.

And everything is always better when you have a Nespresso machine in your room with free pods (although I've noticed some hotels now have packaged their pods and are selling them as part of the mini-bar selection. Boo!)

The service of the hotel is just as grand and efficient. We left a jacket in the closet and with one phone call, they mailed it off promptly to an address in Paris.  

The lobby and the restaurant also has old-world interiors. And I remember the breakfast to be quite extensive.

The hotel is also right in the center of the action in Bordeaux.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oz Gallery, Makati--Finally!

Oz Gallery is a unique home decor store in Makati that is long overdue.

Located in LRI Design Plaza on Nicanor Garcia Street (formerly Reposo St) in Bel Air, Makati--(where a lot of other furniture shops are located), Oz Gallery features one-of-a-kind pieces that are refinished or recreated by one of my favorite artistic couples, Sandro and Monica Olondriz.

This very low-key couple first started out doing wall finishes for some of the most beautiful homes in Manila. I say "low-key" because they never advertised themselves, and never even documented the work that they did!

It was only when flipping through my coffee table books, and Monica pointing out some jobs they did, that I realized that they've been at it for a very long time.

unique bar, designed by Sandro

I met Monica a few years ago after I told my cousin Jessica that I couldn't find a chandelier my heart desired.  "Why don't you just ask Monica to make you one?" she said.

"A chandelier? Someone can make a chandelier for me?" I was disbelieving.

"Hellooo, where do you think I got that--she made that for me!" she replied, pointing up at hers.

 old-fashioned chandelier with crystal beading

I lost no time calling her and a couple of months later, I had my own lovely chandelier being installed in my living room. 

Then I saw that they also did furniture refinishing, and walls, and all that other creative stuff.

I asked Monica to refinish an antique doctor's glass cabinet that we got from B's lolo's old house in Cabuyao.

They are so creative they can think of design solutions too, like this wall unit in Joanna's apartment.

When Monica told me they were finally setting up shop in LRI, I was so excited for them. Finally, more people can see how talented they are. (And it's right across Alliance Francaise--I could visit her right after French class!)

The nice thing about this couple is that they as easy to work with as they are talented. Sometimes I just look at my old furniture and imagine what magic Monica and Sandro can do with them.  I don't really need anything... I just like the idea of  doing something creative with them. 

Their design sensibilities are similar to mine and we appreciate the appeal of reworked vintage pieces. I tell them my thoughts on how something can be reworked,  they will get excited and generate even more ideas. The passion they have for the creative process is apparent in the detailing of each piece.

There is nothing commercial in this store--everything is of artisanal quality--with of course, Sandro and Monica as the artists!

The only downside of the shop is that the pieces are one-of-a-kind. You might drop by and see something you love--only to find out it has already been sold and just waiting to be picked up. So it's a downside if you're the latecomer but obviously an upside if you're the one who got first dibs!

One just has to keep dropping by to see what's new.

They have featured a few one-of-a kind pieces of other talented friends too, like the chandeliers of Sharmila Hiranand.  Monica says they will continue to do this.

Maybe when I finally get through my own bodega, I'll be able to rework my pieces and show them off also in Oz Gallery.

The problem with that is when I rework a piece (many times with their help) I want to keep it for myself even if I don't know where to put it.

If only Sandro and Monica documented, from the start,  all the projects they did and all the pieces they reworked, they could've published a beautiful coffee table book of their own.

Or why not a blog to document the process with some before and after photos?

Maybe in a couple of years I'll have a post that says, "Here is a coffee table book that is long overdue"--or  maybe in a few months, 'Here is a blog that is long overdue."

Much as I enjoy the exclusivity of their pieces and services, talent and passion like this must be shared with a greater audience. 

I can say this generously and confidently because I don't have space for anything more in my home. 

Monica et moi 

Oz Gallery
3rd Level, LRI Design Plaza
Nicanor Garcia Street
Facebook: Oz Gallery


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