ART HOUSE

Wedding Essentials - - DREAM THEMES - Words SHAHARAINE P. AB­DUL­LAH Pho­to­graphs YOSEF RAMOS As­sisted by PIO PAS­CUAL

Ro­man­ti­ciz­ing the past is an ex­er­cise in fu­til­ity but the team be­hind Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar has taken it to a whole new level by re­claim­ing Philip­pine his­tory through restora­tion of her­itage houses. While the past is far from be­ing in­no­cent and unadul­ter­ated, the breath­tak­ing re­sult of Las Casas’ ren­o­vated projects, in­clud­ing Casa de Juico in Que­zon City, makes one be­lieve oth­er­wise. Tucked away in a non­de­script area of San Fran­cisco del Monte, Casa de Juico is the lat­est hid­den gem among the city’s teem­ing event hubs. The sprawl­ing Art Deco-style man­sion was de­signed by Na­tional Artist for Ar­chi­tec­ture Pablo An­to­nio for the af­flu­ent Juico fam­ily and is slated to open a bou­tique ho­tel next year, in ad­di­tion to hous­ing Las Casas Manila, the in-house restau­rant man­aged by Chef Mar­garita Forés.

As an events space, noth­ing in the cur­rent crop is more stately and pic­turesque than Casa de Juico, which boasts breath­tak­ing in­te­ri­ors of com­bined Ro­coco and Baroque styles, with a touch Neo­clas­si­cal. The cob­bled path­ways, ex­pan­sive court­yard, man­i­cured lawns, wind­ing stair­case, wood carv­ings, an­tique fur­nish­ings, wall mo­saics, Narra

floor­boards, de­tailed met­al­work, painted door pan­els, etc., are all de­signed to im­press and awe at first sight by ar­ti­sans from Las Casas in Bataan and col­lec­tively serve as a grand show­case that com­mands at­ten­tion dur­ing ev­ery oc­ca­sion.

Such is the case for the luxe city wed­ding setup that’s styled and hosted by Cibo di M, Casa De Juico’s in-house cater­ing. Lo­cated in the sec­ond floor of the man­sion, the func­tion room’s de­tach­able di­viders were re­moved to give the space an airy and unen­cum­bered feel, while high­light­ing its op­u­lent fea­tures. The taupe green walls are ac­cen­tu­ated with white pan­el­ing and gilded dec­o­ra­tive molds that ex­tend to the crown mold­ings and ceil­ing, which is filled with or­nate carv­ings of fleurettes, pal­mettes, vines, fo­liage around neo­clas­si­cal fig­ures that promi­nently stand out. Since the lav­ish or­na­men­ta­tion al­ready pro­vides a dra­matic flair that dom­i­nates the space, Cibo di M kept the de­sign min­i­mal to give the setup bal­ance and sym­me­try.

The lengthy, prin­ci­pal ta­ble is clad in cream linen topped with a flo­ral printed fab­ric in duck egg blue and cham­pagne. Gold charger plates with gilded white crock­ery, sil­ver cut­lery and wine­glasses make up the rest of the table­ware, along with small bowls filled with dainty, fresh cut bou­quets of lilac, spring green and white flow­ers. Cream cloth nap­kins lie folded on each place­ment, along with cus­tom­ized menus and ta­ble cards, cour­tesy of Printson­al­i­ties.

The sta­tionery is made of sim­ple, cream card­board pa­per printed with a tra­di­tional font that is framed by an in­tri­cate bor­der of vines and del­i­cate brush­strokes of soft mint green. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing rsvp card also sports the same mint green shade, while the en­velopes come in a deep bur­gundy color, along with sheer brown and bur­gundy satiny rib­bons that are gilded with gold.

Mean­time, the guest ta­bles echo the de­sign fea­tured on the prin­ci­pal ta­ble, ex­cept the table­cloth comes in gray and soft mint green, in­clud­ing the nap­kins, while the charger plates are gray with sil­ver gilded china plates.

The same fab­ric on the guest ta­ble also dons the cake ta­ble, which is laden with wreaths of lilac, spring green and white flow­ers, while a cham­pagne bucket stand re­mains on one side. The wed­ding cake, cour­tesy of Camile Gabriel, is a ma­jes­tic, 5-tiered con­fec­tion in mint green and gold. In­spired by the Vic­to­rian era, the cake fea­tures an ar­range­ment of pink sugar flow­ers on top, metic­u­lously dusted to look like the real thing. The em­bel­lish­ments used are mold­ings painted in gold, which re­sem­ble a vin­tage choker with a carved ivory pen­dant.

Fit­tingly, the sump­tu­ous menu pre­pared by Cibo di M’s Chef Mar­garita Forés is akin to a royal fare, fea­tur­ing the finest selec­tions from Ital­ian cui­sine. The meal be­gins with two an­tipasti dishes, cherry tomato cups with Spuma di Mor­tadella and Parme­san Frico, as well as salmon and straw­berry tartare with Gnocco square and chive mousse. For the mains, there’s hand­made, fresh Pap­pardelle “Al Tele­fono” with Ne­gros bur­rata, La­guna cheese, basil and tomato cream sauce, then a hal­ibut “In Car­toc­cio” with onion and fen­nel con­fit, olive soil and ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, as well as grilled Prosci­utto di Parma-wrapped lamb chops with red wine jus and mint jelly. The meal con­cludes with a so­phis­ti­cated Tiramisu Croc­cante, served with Salsa Caramello.

Event Styling FIORI DI MARGHI FLORALSCAPES Cake CAMILLE GABRIEL OF SUGARCREST Sta­tionery PRINTSON­AL­I­TIES Food CIBO DI M Venue LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR, QUE­ZON CITY (CASA DE JUICO)Spe­cial thanks to AN­THONY PRUDENCIO OF CIBO DI M AND ER­WIN DONA OF LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR

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