The Peninsula Manila, BenCab “Art” Afternoon Tea

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The Peninsula Manila has been a longtime supporter of the arts. Over the last 43 years, it has assembled a sizable collection by some of the most notable names in Philippine art, the likes of Ang Kiukok, Malang, Romulo Olazo, Cesar Legaspi, Sanso, and BenCab among others. But the jewel in its collection is probably National Artist Napoleon “Billy” Abueva’s monumental “Sunburst” sculpture that crowns its soaring lobby under which guests gather every afternoon to enjoy the classic Peninsula Afternoon Tea.

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For 21 days, starting September 25 until October 15, there’s a new reason to enjoy Afternoon Tea at The Lobby, especially if one has an eye for art and objects of beauty. The Peninsula Manila has just launched a BenCab “Art” Afternoon Tea created by Executive Pastry Chef Xavier Castello that is inspired by another National Artist for the Visual Arts, Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, whose iconic “Sabel and “Larawan” images have been printed into tapestries that are currently lining the hotel’s iconic lobby.

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Eight works on display – Images of the Past, Milk Carrier, Shoe Vendor, I No Longer Worry, Variation of Sabel III, Sabel, Mother & Child, and Dance in Five Movements – form one of the largest group of tapestries the artist has ever exhibited. Presented by Abitare Internazionale, Philippine purveyor of contemporary design, eight paintings by BenCab have been transformed into “tapestry art” by Dutch design trailblazers MOOOI Carpets using cutting-edge digital carpet printing technology that allows the printing of designs on tapestries that are the sum total of artistry, craftsmanship, and technology woven together into a harmonious masterpiece.

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“Art links people,” says The Peninsula General Manager Mark J. Choon. “Our intention when we were approached to partner with Abitare Internazionale, MOOOI Carpets, and BenCab was to enrich the cultural experience of The Lobby. We’ve always prided ourselves in providing a sense of ‘destination’ when staying at a Peninsula hotel, and this partnership provided us with the perfect opportunity to do just that. Relying on the wealth of references that BenCab draws for his art, we hope that these ‘tapestry paintings’ will elevate the aesthetic spirit of our lobby and that of our guests.”

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The lovely BenCab “Art” Afternoon Tea is a culinary creation like no other. Accompanied by a guidebook that guests can use when exploring the tapestries on display at The Lobby, they can then take some time afterwards to discuss their favorites over Curried prawn and apple salad with citrus aioli on shortbread; Smoked turkey ham, mature Cheddar, and tomato on wheat bread; Cured salmon, dill cream cheese, and golden trout roe on spinach bread; Grilled herbed squash and caramelized onions on a brioche roll; Mushroom quiche;  Davao chocolate truffle cake; Mango panna cotta; Coconut pandan éclair; Calamansi meringue tartlet; Sans Rival macaron; and Peninsula raisin scones served with lemon curd, Baguio strawberry jam, and clotted cream.

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The BenCab “Art” Afternoon Tea is available at P1,590 per guest or P2,190 with a flute of Champagne.

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The BenCab “Art” Afternoon Tea will be served daily from September 25 to October 15, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

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Stay hungry,


Nathaniel Uy

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