Spanish Date Night

Over the past couple of months, Jonny and I have started doing themed date nights every Friday night; cooking a three course meal with a different cuisine each time, followed by drinks that compliment the dishes and fun games. Not only does eating in save us pennies, but it's also fun to take it in turns to create a themed foodie night, cooking things we would not normally eat during the week. So far, we have enjoyed an Indian, Italian, British and American night, all of which have been amazing. There's so many themes you can choose from and this is not just limited to type of cuisine. We are particularly excited to have a nineties night filled with food and games we loved as children! Last week, we decided to go with a Spanish theme involving tapas, paella and a glass or four of the perfect summer cocktail, piña colada. Here's a little insight into how our night looked with a few tips to help you create your own...

When creating your themed date night, think about what cuisines you both like or want to try. Once you have a cuisine in mind, start searching on Pinterest (this is the best place to find delicious pictures of food and great recipes) for ideas of what you would like for each course and decide how many courses you would like to include. Once you have your ideas and have bought the food you need, it's a great idea to write out a plan or list for each meal which has details of the ingredients, how to make it, as well as timings. Having the timings written is down is important if you want a three course meal to be stress free!

We decided to go with a Spanish theme this time and I am actually really impressed with how everything turned out. To start off with, we made a couple of tapas dishes which included olives, paprika cheese, chorizo, croquetas de jamón, and patatas bravas. We had
never tried or made any of these dishes before, so I am really happy with how they all turned 
out. It's hard to pick a favourite, but the patatas bravas were particularly tasty. The mini 
roast potatoes were covered in a rich tomato sauce and the heat from the chilli gave such 
a nice flavour making them very moreish. The croquetas were also delicious, encased in 
breadcrumbs and filled with Spanish ham and mature cheddar cheese. For our main course,
we decided to make a simple, but tasty paella with chicken, peas, red pepper, chorizo, onion 
and a variety of Spanish spices. As a result of how each dish turned out, this has to be one 
of our favourite meals we have cooked together so far!

It's always nice to serve your food (particularly for a date night) with extra special serve-ware. Serving the tapas on pretty platters and plates made the food look even better! I love the aqua marine collection from dotcomgiftshop as it's elegant and simple with a pop of striking aqua blue and the pieces are very affordable too. The Santana Platter is my favourite piece from the collection and I think the croquetas look great displayed on there! With a crackle effect glaze, this original piece of serve-ware will look gorgeous on any dining table. The Santana Dipping Bowls are the perfect size to hold a decent amount of dip; we had garlic mayonnaise to go with our croquetas but other Spanish dips you could try making include tomato salsa or romesco dip. Patatas Bravas is part of many tapas spreads, and this Santana Small Bowl fits just the right amount of spicy, tomato covered potato for two people.

Other essentials for a tasty tapas include cubes of cheese, slices of ham, chorizo and spicy stuffed olives. These gorgeous Port Cros plates from Amara are great for serving these little nibbles on and look lovely with their delicate mottled pattern. They certainly make the dinner table look a lot more sophisticated and I love that it compliments my existing tableware perfectly. As well as having beautiful pieces on the table, having a new cutlery set for special occasions makes eating in feel very fancy. The Broadway Stainless Steel Cutlery Set not only looks original and contemporary, but the quality is exceptional too.

No date night is complete without drinks! Whether alcoholic or not, something with a fruity punch is great for this time of year. Continuing with the Spanish theme, we decided to do a different take on the traditional piña colada using the Ciroc Summer Colada, a brand new and limited edition flavoured vodka from 31 Dover. To appreciate all the different flavours in the vodka, we poured ourselves a shot into cute mini mason jars; the flavours are layered together perfectly with tastes of juicy tropical pineapple and smooth coconut cream notes making for the perfect summer tipple. Combining the Ciroc Summer Colada with pineapple juice created the ultimate totally tropical pineapple cocktail with a soft coconut undertone. Once shaken and poured into a pretty glass with a wedge of pineapple, this cocktail is simply beautiful.

What's your favourite type of cuisine?

*This post contains gifted items.

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