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Friday, April 21, 2017

Rediscovering Baguio City

We haven't been to Baguio for more than a year so our recent trip this year was very memorable. To begin with, Manila's summer temperature this year is really, really hot that the idea of staying in Baguio for a week feels very refreshing. So anyway, we all went to Baguio the week before Holy Week so as to avoid the crowd.

Teacher's Camp

I admit I haven't been to Teacher's camp for decades. The last time I went here was in my grade school days and that's really a long time ago. We weren't really planning to stay here but since the house where we used to stay is not available, I need to find a place to stay near our preferred area in Baguio City.

This is also our first time to stay in a dorm room so it is quite an adventure already. The room given to us has four bed but since there's only three of us, I just paid for the extra bed.

And staying at Teacher's Camp was a blessing of sorts. It was so serene and we love the smell of trees around us. We stayed at the farthest dorm (Magsaysay Hall) and its a bit far from the main road so it was really quiet there. We also enjoyed the "hike" up and down the main road. It was also a joy to wake up to the sound of birds and insects and have your fill of colorful flowers.

Since Teacher's Camp is an old place, it is also a haven for photography and Instagram enthusiasts like us. We had tons of fun having photoshoots such as action shots.

Here's the Teacher's Camp marker found near the entrance.

Botanical Garden

We've been to Baguio a lot of times but I admit that this was really our first time to visit Botanical Garden. It was unplanned also since we just decided to walk the stretch of Leonard Wood Road. And I'm glad that we did because we saw a lot of "tourist" at the entrance of Botanical Garden so we went in.

The place was really blooming with colorful flowers and huge trees. Comfortable footwear is advised though because you will be walking up and down a lot.

Our nice discovery in Botanical Garden was the cave where the Japanese hid during WWII. You can go inside and go around the maze and experience for yourself what its like being "holed" up literally. Of course, I don't advise for people with claustrophobia to go inside the cave.

Chef Didier's Table

We wouldn't have known about this gem of a restaurant had it not been for a blogger friend who travelled to Baguio a month ago. Actually, this is not your typical restaurant since Chef Didier's Table is literally inside the chef's house. I've heard about this "home dining restaurant" set-up from my Dutch uncle. He mentioned to me once that some people in Europe open their homes for "tourists" or guests and then prepare a meal for them just like in a restaurant, except that you get to experience a local dining ambiance.

Chef Didier Derouet used to be the Pastry Chef of Raffle's Hotel and has also worked with Novotel Hotel in Manila. He discovered his passion of baking at a young age and decided to pursue it by working in Paris and then in other parts of the globe. He settled down in Manila with his Filipina wife, Ms. Merna Brazil.

It was on a very short notice when we (with Baguio-based blogger friend Vincent of visited Chef Didier's Table but Chef Didier served us the most delicious and filling "merienda" that you wouldn't find anywhere else in Baguio.

We had these plateful of English biscuits with homemade strawberry jam to begin with.

Then we had some carrot muffins ...

... and Banana Walnut Bread. This is paired with Chef Didier's Choco-Banana sauce.

Garlic Bread. I love bread, and garlic bread. A bit crusty on the outside but super soft inside. Be sure to eat this while it is still warm. Adding some butter levels up the taste experience.

Chef Didier's Pasta. This pasta dish is really, really good. Made with fresh pasta and with Chef Didier's special sauce. Alas, he said he might not be able to replicate this dish since he just threw in the ingredients that he found inside the fridge. But I know he can make this dish again or a yummier version. Freshly made pasta taste different from the ones we buy in the grocery, no kidding. You won't enjoy your usual pasta if you have tasted Chef Didier's Pasta dish.

You need to book a table at least a day or two at Chef Didier's Table since they have very limited space, and also because they buy fresh ingredients. If you have some food preferences or food allergy, you have to tell Chef Didier. Otherwise, you can just tell the chef to surprise you with his creations. You can opt for a three-course meal or five-course or even seven-course depending on your budget. Chef Didier is a very creative chef so I advise you to just allow him to surprise you with his dishes because you won't be disappointed. Also, allow Chef Didier to regal you with his culinary and travel tales. Bon Appetit!

Chef Didier's Table
Rosalinda Mansion
Roman Ayson Road
Baguio City


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