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Planning an intimate holiday gathering? These al fresco spots are worth checking out

By Brooke Villanueva Published Dec 05, 2021 7:16 pm Updated Dec 16, 2021 1:59 pm

Ahh, December—the merriest time of the year.

Be it Christmas, year-end celebrations, or weddings, ‘tis the season for a blast with family and friends. While we can’t enjoy it like we used to in the pre-COVID world, there are still some ways to hold a lovely gathering as we reduce the risk of infection. Apart from following standard health protocols, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that we are also less likely to be exposed to coronavirus when we’re in a well-ventilated area.

Planning an intimate gathering this year? You might want to check out these al fresco spots that deserve a spot on the ‘gram.

NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge

Located in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, NINYO Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge features the delectable food creations of Chef Niño Laus, who has mastered the Euro-Asian cuisine in the menu.

What makes this unassuming restaurant a standout is its plant-based degustation menu, which includes tofu wrapped in spring onion, beetroot tart, mushroom scallops, faux fish, banana cake, chocolate ice cream, calamansi sorbet, and cacao granola, among others.

Aside from reservations for two for date nights, there are also intimate packages (priced between P24,000 to P116,000) that include a 7-course degustation menu, one round of House wine, one round of homemade iced tea with mango ice, table greenery runners with fairy lights, and exclusive use of the private room/s for four hours. For weddings, NINYO will allow 1.5 hours of free use of the ceremony area with complimentary petals and candlelight.

Hola Bombón

At Hola Bombón, executive chef Ruther Sandico adds a Filipino touch to classic Spanish culinary techniques that provide excitement to the palate. Its food offerings go perfectly with its cocktail menu curated by mixologist Leroy Thorssen.

The Makati spot—with bestsellers like Paella Negra, Burrata salad, and more—is open to bookings for private events for up to 21 guests at its outdoor Terraza.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Ever been to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan? There’s an unassuming branch of that along Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City that could also take your breath away. For every guest, it puts a gourmet dining experience to the forefront with Filipino, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. There are also chef-curated monthly specials for more excitement.

The spacious venue evokes a vintage feel, featuring archival houses and well-lit gardens perfect for romantic dates and small gatherings. A note: the hot spot looks even more spectacular at night.

Burrow Café

This underground café in Antipolo Beehouse “aims to bring people closer to nature through its natural ambiance and delicious, seasonal menu.” It offers great packages for private events of up to 50% capacity for five hours. They can even help connect you with their chef and partners for dinnerware and flower arrangements.

The food spot serves all-day breakfast, brunch, and lunch meals, with well-loved dishes like Black Rice Suman a la Mode and Lechon Gising-Gising. For intimate gatherings, they close the entire place for other customers so you can fully enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Marcia Adams

Longing for an escape from the city? Marcia Adams is a stunning garden restaurant located on the boundary of Tagaytay and Alfonso. Its entire theme was inspired by Italian farmhouses in Tuscany, but other dining areas like the Sunset Lounge, Greek Terrace, and the Provencale Pavilion carry a Mediterranean touch.

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On its menu are home-cooked Mediterranean dishes like shish kebabs, fish souvlaki, and Greek lamb stew. If the total count of your guests reaches 50, you can enjoy the whole restaurant exclusively, with packages starting at P1,495 per pax.

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Lola Café

With branches in New Manila, The Podium, and S’Maison, Lola Café serves traditional Filipino cuisine highlighting classic and modernized creations perfect for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, reunions, and meetings.

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Its lunch and dinner event packages range from P650 to P850 per head for a minimum of 15 people, with microphones, basic sound system, white screen, and projectors available upon request. You can pick your own budget as well as your food and drink lineup for your event.

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Rustic Mornings

Rustic Mornings (San Roque, Marikina City) captivates many not only with its delectable breakfast and brunch dishes like beef tapa, Ilocos bagnet, and crispy boneless dilis, but also its one-of-a-kind rustic vibe.

As you bond over good food with the family, you can bask in the lovely view of “lush greens, cool hues of blue with charming fragments of art, love, and rich family history.”

Le Village

Having a quick catch-up session with your barkada? The Le Village Lifestyle Park is a chill hang-out place in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City with unique designs and spectacular lighting.

Among its food spots are MexiKalye, Chicken Cartel, Sabroso Lechon, Gochilla, The Hob, and Kuxina, among many others that could make for a satisfying gastronomic adventure with your close friends.

The Frazzled Cook

It’s easy to fall in love with the concept of The Frazzled Cook, which is interestingly designed with unmatched furniture, dim lighting, and quirky décor from different parts of the globe.

This food spot in Tomas Morato, Quezon City offers a home away from home, with homecook-style Western-Italian dishes complementing its pleasant atmosphere. It’s open for private events at minimum capacity due to the COVID situation.

Lemuria Restaurant

Lemuria Restaurant in Quezon City has two outdoor spaces for wedding rites and intimate celebrations. Aside from its newly-renovated terrace area, there’s also a lovely garden that can accommodate 50-100 people that you can impress with its flavorful French-Mediterranean dishes made from scratch.

The price per head includes a full banquet service: tables (round or rectangular), Tiffany chairs, flatware, glassware, tableware, cutlery, buffet set-up, sound system, white screen, and full-service staff.