Read our new Hunts Post food column: The Best Seat in the House
Shavonne and Andy Harris
- Credit: SHAVONNE HARRIS
The lockdown requirement to stay indoors while we mourned the temporary losses of our favourite restaurants and holiday destinations, was a very tough pill to swallow.
It certainly called for some inventive date night ideas and revelling in the discovery of re-creating extraordinary dining experiences from the comfort of our own homes.
Over the last year, we have had some wonderful date nights, transporting ourselves to some of our favourite restaurants and locations while embracing new cultures through mouth-watering cuisine.
We started by preparing selected dishes from our favourite restaurant in London. To 'visiting' Thailand, Italy and one of our favourite adventures, Spain.
Our Spanish evening began with a trio of home cooked tapas – rich red wine chorizo, spicy patatas bravas and creamy gruyere, ham and jalapeno croqueta.
For the main event, we put together a classic seafood paella, with strict instructions from a Majorcan friend of ours, to remain authentic and not to add chorizo as many of the online recipes suggested.
We finished the Spanish feast with churros made from scratch and, of course, no churro is complete without an indulgent velvety chocolate sauce to dip. All of which was washed down with several glasses of fresh Sangria.
- 1 ‘The most glamorous christening the vicar had ever seen!’
- 2 Travellers move onto sports field forcing football to be cancelled
- 3 Concerns over planned travel hub at railway station
- 4 Have you seen Stevie the horse?
- 5 Petition launched to save school transport for special needs schools
- 6 Man in his 80s dies in fatal Buckden Road crash at Brampton
- 7 Drug dealer who 'exploited vulnerable people' linked to 101 wraps of cocaine
- 8 Plea to hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning as sign-ups drop
- 9 Lack of public transport blamed for collapse of £10.5m training centre
- 10 Wanted woman accused of killing children in M1 crash could be in Huntingdon
But the experience is more than just food. To truly travel to Spain or any of our date night destinations, we had to create the right ambiance. For our Italian sunset experience, we sat in the garden drinking fine Italian wine and let the calls of the swifts overhead be our soundtrack, transporting us to an opulent Venetian Piazza.
For our Thai evening, we set a holiday dress code and placed faux Thai Orchids strategically around our candlelight.
These atmospheres can be created inexpensively and with items you have around your home. For our Spanish date, we brought the garden furniture indoors and covered the table with a large unused cardigan while Alexa serenaded and delighted us with the flamenco stylings of Paco Di Lucia.
We wore smart-casual clothes, sipped our Sangria and danced long into the night.
Our date nights and discoveries have been an undeniable highlight of the last 12 months and we encourage all to go the extra mile post-pandemic, to continue fashioning unique dining experiences so that in the future, we can all say that we truly had the best seat in the house.