A French cafe experience at PAUL le cafe

France has a delicious history with coffee dating back to 17th century when cafes started opening up, offering not just coffee but also a feeling of community. Cafes encouraged the practice of slowing down, lingering and connecting with one’s neighbors and peers; they became focal points for conversation, artistic expression, and, at some point, even revolutionary sentiments.

With the opening of its first Philippine store in Greenbelt 5 in Makati, PAUL le cafe brings the French cafe experience center stage, much to the delight of coffee lovers in the metro.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

PAUL le cafe also incorporates classic coffee colors as well as black, the emblematic hue of the original family-owned PAUL bakeries in France, and terra-cotta red, the color of coffee cherries.

Its clean and modern look was developed with the help of interior and set designer Emilie Bonaventure. Its spectacular lighting, gleaming coffee machine and welcoming colors are accented by artfully placed photographs, all set against the PAUL trademark black and white flooring.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

In this stylish setting, coffee lovers can enjoy their favorite beverage expertly crafted by PAUL’s baristas, using 100% Arabica coffee sourced from sustainable Rain Forest Alliance producers.

The store also offers and expanded menu of hot coffee drinks that include classics such as espresso, latte and Americano, to gourmet recipes such as flat white, cappuccino, cafe Viennois and mochas, even vegan options made with almond or oat milk.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

To cool down on a hot day (which we have a lot of in this country), customers can also opt for iced versions of their coffee favorites.

The store also offers non-coffee beverages such as hot and iced teas, freshly squeezed juices and smoothies.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

Customers can also get a taste of the PAUL macaron frappe – a concoction made of milk, cream and a French macaron – blended together with ice, resulting to a sweet and brightly colored drink.

These drinks are best enjoyed with something delicious to nibble on. Luckily, savory lunch items such as freshly prepared sandwiches and salads, quiches and pizzas are on offer.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

However, the highlight for a sweet tooth like me has got to be the pattiserie – a collection of French pastries and cakes that appeal to the eyes and tastebuds of every dessert lover.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

Among the macarons, fruit tartlets, Napoleons, and more on display, all manner of sweet cravings can be sated.

At PAUL le cafe, coffee lovers can bask in the elegantly relaxed atmosphere of a French cafe while enjoying premium drinks and high quality pastries.

It is a place to relax, unwind and take a precious moment, whether to catch up with friends or enjoy one’s solitude in comfort.

PAUL le cafe
PAUL le cafe

Drop by PAUL le cafe at Ground Floor, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City and say “Bonjour” to a posh yet relaxing coffee shop a la francaise experience.

For more details on its offers, follow PAUL Philippines on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended the Grand Opening of this restaurant where food and drink were served for honest feedback.

Christmas shopping and food spree at the Holiday Bazaar, Hampton Arcade

The holiday season comes with festivities, get-togethers among family and friends, and, of course, gift-giving. Filipinos, in particular, revel in exchanging tokens of love or appreciation.

However, shopping for gifts comes with the usual stresses of traveling to stores while navigating through holiday tradfic jams as well as straining the budget.

Fortunately for Pasiguenos like me, The Food Tent PH organized a weekend Holiday Bazaar located at our own turf.

Fridays to Sundays, from 2pm to 10pm, until January 6, 2019, merchants offering food, clothes, toys, housewares and more, will converge at the front parking space of the Hampton Gardens Arcade located along C. Raymundo Avenue, quite easily accessible from almost any point in Pasig City (given our dire traffic situation :-)).

I was invited by The Food Tent PH to check out the bazaar so together with my kids, #ExhibitA and #Exhibit B, I ventured to Hampton Gardens Arcade after work for some retail adventure and bonding time.

In this Holiday Bazaar, we discovered great deals shoppers can score such as:

All original overruns from brands such as H&M, Nike, Zara Man, Forever 21, Pull & Bear, Adidas and more, discounted up to 70% off their retail prices.

Holiday Bazaar

Tester vials of popular fragrance brands such as Lacoste, Polo, Daisy by Marc Jacobs and Fantasy by Britney Spears, retailing for only Php80/vial as well as makeup, cosmetic kits and skincare items selling for Php500 and less.

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

Stuffed toys imported from Japan of popular cartoon characters like Disney’s Stitch and Angel priced at Php300.

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

Cute socks designed after popular characters.

Holiday Bazaar

Housewares and decors, gift items and gadgets and so much more!

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

If you find yourself hungry after all that shopping, check out the stalls offering various food items you can munch on right there or bring home as pasalubong.

Being Korean food lovers, the kids and I feasted on affordably priced offerings from Soondubu Jigae, all of which are cooked to order.

Soondubu Jiggae (Php100). The Korean soft tofu and noodle stew with shrimp, sliced pork, chicken and beef where the food stall got its name from. Served boiling hot in a clay pot, it’s mildly spicy but very hearty.

Holiday Bazaar

Samyeopsal with Rice (Php90). I was delighted to see that this very affordable meal already comes with ssamjang paste and lettuce, giving diners a close taste of the popular Korean grilled pork.

Holiday Bazaar

Rib-Eye with Rice and Mixed Veggies (Php179). The freshly grilled meat dry rubbed with Asian spices is juicy and tender (I ate it using a plastic fork!).

Holiday Bazaar

Other food items we sampled include:

Yummy Strawberry Cupcakes (Php30) from Purple Angel.

Holiday Bazaar

Dessert-and-Drink-in-One Mango Graham Shake from Mango District (Php65).

Holiday Bazaar

Hubby requested I bring home something for him so I got Chicharong Bulaklak (Php120/order) from a nearby stall and a Korean BBQ (Php90) from Soondubu Jigae.

Holiday Bazaar

Holiday Bazaar

And since I’ve been a good girl all week, I treated myself to a Chocolate Dreamcake from Gracie’s Kitchen (Php350).

Holiday Bazaar

There are lots to do, discover and enjoy at the Holiday Bazaar. If you’re in the area, do drop by for a quick meal or some Christmas shopping. Stay for a bit to enjoy open mic performances at the central stage area as well.

Holiday Bazaar

Interested in becoming a vendor? Stall spaces are at Php550/day. Just contact Hazel Hina of The Food Tent PH at +63 967 263 2866. This Holiday Bazaar is located at the Hampton Gardens Arcade, 100 C. Raymundo Avenue, Barangay Maybunga, Pasig City.

Holiday Bazaar

Photo credits: Hazel Hina of The Food Tent PH for the header photo and #ExhibitA for the Soondubu Jigae pics. All other photos are mine.