Sunday, February 28, 2016

TRAVEL: Choco-late de Batirol

I know you're all probably sick of another Baguio travel post, so I thought I would do a feature of the places I frequent in the summer capital instead. Since I've been going to Baguio so frequently, there is really little for me left to explore, resulting to me looking forward to a routine instead. One of those routines is, as soon as we check-in and have lunch, is to walk all the way to my family's favourite merienda place.

Choco-late de Batirol has been in Igorot Park of Camp John Hay for as long as I can remember. From the outside alone, you can tell it's going to be more on the laid-back, cozy type which perfectly suits the atmosphere in Baguio. It's also a great change from the usual (insert coffee shop of choice here).

The picture before the cut is one that I took leaving the place. In a way one might classify it as 'hipster', though this has always been their layout, I think!

I will warn you now that this place gets packed very easily, especially during the holidays. It's best to allow yourself maybe 15-20 minutes waiting time before being seated, or to come early in the morning to avoid the big crowds.

No aircon here, not that you need it! The interiors are a collection of wooden furniture which I guess to be locally-made and locally-sourced. The different little capiz lanterns scattered about add an airy feel to the place. I also love that the place is surrounded by greenery, which I find to be very energizing but calming at the same time. A very interesting feeling, in my opinion!

I normally spend a good hour to hour and a half here, sipping my hot chocolate and catching up with my cousins. As everything is homemade and cooked from scratch, waiting time is considerably longer than your usual coffee shop. Something to keep in mind in case you're with hyper and very hungry children.

Hot chocolate is definitely one of the things to try here! None of than overly sweet, Swiss Miss-type (though there is a time and place for it). Instead, you get a slightly bitter but very warming cup that goes wonderfully with any of their sweet desserts, such as my favourite suman sa lihia. Anything sticky with tons of shaved coconut and muscovado sugar is a winner in my book. 

They also serve meals and other snacks such as bibingka, in case you're looking for something other than their usual hot chocolate. The best part is that it's not overly expensive. I would say a person would generously spend about P200-250! I'll definitely update this post with the menu as well as current prices when I return. 

At night, they do have live music, which I really enjoyed. The singer at the time was very interactive with the audience, asking for song requests and even volunteers from the audience to have a duet with him! It's worth mentioning that the sound system was also very good - no choppy sounds or static play. 

I hope you enjoyed this short post as much as I liked reliving my experience. Have you guys tried Choco-late de Batirol? Leave me a comment below!

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