Foodie Finds at the MaARTe at the Pen (Year 2)

Last Friday, Paul and I went on a Mommy and Daddy date. Thankfully, we were able to drop the twins off at my in laws who willingly watched over them while we went around town to do our errands. On our way home, Paul and I decided to drop by The Peninsula Manila as we remembered that it was the opening day of our friend G's MaArte at the Pen. We've been wanting to go since last year but as I was already asked to be on house arrest about this time last year as I was already on my last trimester with my twins then thus I had to wait one whole year to be able to check it out.

Admittedly, Paul doesn't always like accompanying me to fairs like these as he knows that the items being sold are mostly for women and since I'd need some time to go through each booth, he normally ends up being super bored or sleepy...or bored AND sleepy. Luckily, I was pretty confident that he'll enjoy checking this year's fair out with me as they got a section dedicated just for men.

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I was surprised to enter the beautiful hotel lobby and noticed that the lobby cafe was packed. Yes, it was a weekday and each table was taken by groups having their afternoon tea. Wow! I should go back and have tea there sometime. Apparently, the hotel is also having an ongoing promotion in line with the MaARTe Fair called the MaArTEA Afternoon Tea which will run up until the end of the month. For Php. 1250 per head, each guest gets a serving of their choice of Tsaa Laya tea such as Tropical Summer (my favorite), Pandan, Lemon Ginger and more. To go with it, they'll be served with a mix of sweet and savory treats such as Poached Prawn Salad, Lemongrass Panna Cotta, Davao Chocolate Ginger Mousse, Peninsula's signature English Raisin Scones with pots of Dalandan Curd, Baguio Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream. The best part is that parts of the profit will go to the Museum Foundation of the Philippines. Since we just had a really having lunch, we opted to skip tea but I hope I'll be able to go back there before the month ends and enjoy this with my family.

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That said, we climbed the stairs up to the 2nd floor where G was waiting for us. After a quick hi and hello with lots of hugs as I haven't seen her for soooo long! We made our way in. The first stop was what they call the Pinoy Man Cave. The place just for the male shoppers. It occupies a small space as compared to the rest of the tenants found in the fair but hey, it wasn't too bad for starters. One booth that Paul loved was Siklo Pilipinas. He was so amazed by the rubber bags which were made using upcycled rubber tires. For someone who adores cars like him, he really wanted to get a nice big backpack only he couldn't choose which design to get. Luckily, they sell weekly at the Legazpi Sunday Market so looks like we will be heading there soon.

Apart from Siklo Pilipinas, there's Randy Ortiz, Cosimo Leathersmiths (another one that caught Paul's fancy) and Rameilius Trading. Really awesome idea to have something for the men so as to keep them occupied and excited about the fair as well. Now, he can't just give me that look that says "what?! shopping again?"

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Moving on, there were a lot of interesting finds at this year's MaARTe Fair from home decors to accessories to bags and clothing. However, being the foodie that I truly am, I was more drawn towards the ones that can fill my tummy.

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First was Tsaa Laya. I first noticed this after catching a whiff of the delicious scent of tea that they were brewing. I was able to try two flavors -- Tropical Summer and Coco Melange. I like the former better as I really enjoyed the nice, soothing blend of pineapple, mango, lime and lemongrass. It's the kind that I would love to enjoy after a nice meal or when I just want to relax in the afternoon. The Coco Melange, on the other hand, smells really good. If you love Genmaicha Tea for the burnt rice aroma, then you'll love this too. Only, I find the coconut taste still a bit too weak  for my liking. They also got other flavors such as Pandan, Lemongrass and more. It's available in either tea bags or loose leaf form. Very interesting!

The other great find was Oliver and Maude. It was tucked in between stalls selling home decors and had it not been for the friendly sales rep who called my attention, I wouldn't have noticed that they were also selling dips and spreads. First off, Oliver and Maude specializes in personalized home decor from acrylic boxes to beautiful bone china plates and bowls to wooden boards.

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At one corner, they have a stand showcasing 6 bottled goodies. Apparently, it's their newest products and I was able to sample all (or at least 5 out of 6). I loved them all! From the Smoked Fish Tapenade to the Spiced Green Mango Jam, everything was just so good and had it not been for Paul who keeps on reminding me that I just have a lot of spreads and dips still unopened at home, I would have bought more! *sigh* I guess I have to start using more to have a reason to try Oliver and Maude's dips.

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What I loved the most though was the Pili Laing Pesto Jam. I love pesto but I never thought it can be done using local pili not with dried gabi leaves. The outcome was a delicious, nutty and creamy spread that I would love to have with a warm bowl of pasta noodles or on freshly toasted crostinis. This was definitely a delightful find.

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Apart from food, I also love home decors and accessories. Home fragrances such as the ones being sold by Domesticity/Tilla is definitely one you should check out. They only got one scent but it's very nice and light. The same goes for their linen spray and hand wash as well.

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We also headed up to the 3rd floor where more fashion and home pieces can be found. Former actress Tweetie de Leon (TDLG) is there selling her jewelry creation, then there's Amina Aranaz' beautiful bags and one stall that caught our eye was Haute Home with nice coral decors plus they got coral plate chargers too! So so so beautiful.

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Anyway, the MaARTe Fair will only run until tomorrow, 12 August 2018. I do hope the rain lessens and you can make your way to The Peninsula Manila as it's really worth checking out.

The Peninsula Manila is located at Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City. 

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