By Shaharaine P. Abdullah
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 the 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 of 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 wine glasses 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 Camille 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 withGnocco 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, 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.
Photography Yosef Ramos of The Movement | Event Styling Fiori Di M by Margarita Fores | Cake Camil Gabriel of Sugarcrest | Stationery Printsonalities | Food Cibo Di M | Venue Las Casas Quezon City (formerly known as Casa De Juico)