You don’t need to move to Spain to live like a Spaniard! Since travel has been restricted this year, many people are putting their travel plans on hold. Instead of a trip to Spain this year, it seems your options are limited to a staycation.
Which isn’t a bad thing, especially if you have a yard that you can transform into a make believe Spanish retreat.
If you set up your garden in the Spanish style and cmix up some sangria, you may not feel so bad about having to stay home this year.
In this article, I will go over several ways that you can recreate a little bit of Spain in your backyard so you can enjoy the atmosphere of the Iberian country without even needing a passport!
1 – Decorate it like a Spanish villa
When people think of Spain, they think of rustic villas with a beautiful garden to enjoy the sea breeze under the Mediterranean sun. And you can have something almost as good by simply decorating your yard as if it were a villa.
You start with decorating and arranging things in your backyard. Hopefully you already have plenty of trees planted as shade is really important. Even better if they are fruit trees. If you live somewhere that citrus grows, then this is essential. Lemons and oranges are prevalent in many Spanish gardens.
Another important element is an outdoor water fountain. A water fixture is almost always a central feature of a Spanish garden. Water fountains are practical as well as ornamental. They cool down the air surrounding them as the falling water and spray will absorb the heat in the air creating a sort of microclimate. A water fixture also creates a wonderful atmosphere with the sound of the splashing water to relax and create a mood.
Another important feature is a grill or outdoor kitchen. Spaniards love to cook outdoors to avoid heating up a kitchen in summer, and to have the space to entertain friends. You should have a grill set up at a minimum, but a fire pit that can also handle a big pot to cook a big meal for family and friends is essential.
2 – Create a summer Spanish menu
The best way to feel like you are in Spain is to eat the food. In the summer, you should be creating as much Spanish food and eating it outside in your newly decorated backyard.
If you have the space for a fire pit or gas burner, then getting a paella pan will go a long way towards making your staycation feel like being in the Spanish countryside. These pans are wide and shallow and perfect for the ubiquitous rice dish loaded with seafood, tomatoes and saffron. If you want to make friends with your neighbors then cook up a batch and see how they respond to the exotic scents as it bubbles away!
Another must is to mix up some sangria. With some red wine, pieces of fruit, soda water and plenty of ice, you can refresh yourself in style on your patio with friends.
Grilled chorizo and fish can also make a very traditional Spanish inspired meal.
3 – Use small details
Besides the water fountain, grill and sangria, you can add some little touches that seal the deal as far as Spanish style and atmosphere.
Use majolica ceramics around the yard that are traditional all over Spain. They make beautiful and bright planters scattered around the yard. You can decorate a fence or wall with some of the tiles in the same style.
Then, light fixtures that look Moorish or Moroccan with lacy iron decorations can lend an exotic feel at night when lit up.
Lastly, some small statues of Roman gods or nymphs around the yard will surely delight your guests.
4 – Flamenco lessons
You may not realize, but there is a good likelihood that somewhere near you there are dance instructors that will come to your house to do group lessons for a fee. Have a Spanish themed party with all the food and sangria and have an instructor give Flamenco lessons to your group.
Make sure to dress the part is some flowing and bright clothes and learn the moves from a master. There is no better way to get into the culture than through their traditional dance. Your friends won’t soon forget your cookouts and then your house will become the central spot to hang out.Much like a Spanish plaza!