A Spanish theme dinner party is easy to accomplish on any budget and will create a fun and memorable night for friends and family. I’m a Flamenco dancer and have performed at numerous celebrations. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:
1. Create your Spanish dinner party menu
Spanish cuisine is delicious and it’s easy to cater for a variety of tastes and diets. Paella is a one-pot rice dish that can be served with vegetables, seafood or meat. BBC Good Food has an extensive list of paella recipes from easy to complex to get you started.
Serving a selection of tapas is a bit more work, but well worth exploring as you get to experience lots of different flavours. Olive Magazine has compiled a comprehensive list of easy tapas recipes that would make a great menu I think.
2. Choose a selection of typical Spanish drinks
Sangria, wine, Cava, a sparkling wine, and sherry are typical Spanish drinks that you should serve at your Spanish dinner party.
Sangria is kind of a must at Spanish theme summer parties. And for the colder months there’s vino caliente: Spanish mulled wine. Travel blogger Lauren on location has a nice DIY recipe.
You may miss beer on the list above. Spain isn’t famous for it, but aside from Estrella and San Miguel there’s a growing tradition of Spanish craft beers that pair well with tapas.
3. Prepare the Spanish party decorations
Start with red and yellow, the two beautiful colours of the Spanish flag, and you won’t go wrong. They work wonderfully in summer, but also suit festive themes really well. I wrote an entire blog with decoration ideas for Spanish theme parties, which I hope you’ll enjoy if you like more outside-the-box ideas.
4. Compile your Spanish dinner music playlist
If you use Spotify, you could just search for an existing list like this one including Spanish and Latin popular music. I prefer to include more Flamenco music and therefore compile bespoke lists when I perform at dinner parties. You could do the same and also ask your guests to nominate their favourite songs for the list. For large parties across several spaces or with a big schedule, have a look at my blog with music ideas for a Spanish fiesta.
5. Plan Spanish themed party activities
Your choice here will hugely depend on what kind of dinner party your hosting. If it’s a small, elegant affair you could play your favourite games with Spanish twist, e.g. “Who am I” with Spanish personalities and fictional characters such as Don Quixote.
For exuberant parties or parties with friends and family of all ages the list of possibilities is endless and almost always includes dancing, my speciality 🙂 Check out my blog with lots of Spanish party activity ideas if you’re going down that route.
6. Book Spanish entertainment
Put the cherry on top by booking an actual Flamenco show. Flamenco is from Andalusia in the South of Spain, but has become symbolic of Spain the world over. It’s an exciting, passionate dance full of emotions, which makes it perfect for celebrating important occasions. Danced in big, colourful dresses and to emotive, high-energy music, it’s spectacular for all the senses.
7. Transform it all into a Zoom party
I’m convinced it will be possible to celebrate together safely in the not too distant future. But if you’re reading this while the pandemic still affects how we can get together, you can still share beautiful moments with your loved ones in virtual spaces.
While I don’t think a Flamenco dance show can unfold its full audio-visual potential online, lots of the ideas mentioned here will work well on Zoom. And because I get asked about this a lot, I wrote a blog that I hope helps with your online Spanish theme party planning.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and are looking forward to being creative with your party planning. Have a great time and let me know how you got on in the comments.
Warm sunshiny wishes,
Lucia, the Flamenco dancer
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