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FOREST HOUSE: Nothing better than sharing diverse stories, exchanging warm smiles, and swapping heartfelt glances over a delightful serving of sumptuous delicacies.

 Dining at Its Very Best

A modest, unassuming portico belies the elegant, cabin-inspired interior of Forest House, opened six years ago by the Verzosas- Ari, Alvin and Racquel. As I marveled at the burning fireplace just a foot or two from the entrance, I was greeted by warm and accommodating smile of Mrs. Racquel Verzosa as she led me to our table, which was perfectly set, complete with a perfumed candle. There, I met her equally gracious husband, Ari, who asked me to order anything I wanted from Forest House’s comprehensive menu.

Dinner with Ari and Raquel was accompanied by usual chitchat about anything and everything under the sun, which for that night, was focused more on the history of Forest House-from its Metro Manila. After dinner, I took my first good look at the outdoor space of Forest House overlooking a horizon of multihued clouds and low-lying mountains.

As I stepped out to feel the cool breeze of the open air and the distinct smell of pine, I began to yearn for Jen to be with me, seated on one end of a table for two on that very outdoor space, eating, chatting, and passing time away amidst nature at its best and with the heavens looking down upon us. My mushy yearning aside, there is, I guess, something about open air, candle-lit dinners ad majestic skylines that ignite a spark in the heart of every romantic, hopeless or otherwise.

The delectable Forest house experience capped-off a grueling but otherwise eventful day that started as early as 7 a.m. Back at my inn about 15 minutes before the stroke of midnight, I returned to the comforts of my bed where I dozed off just nanoseconds after I laid my throbbing head on the pillow.

Travel and Leisure

Last Issue 2007