A Traditional Spanish Christmas With Villa Plus

When Villa Plus  asked me which of their destinations I wanted to chose to help me create a festive celebration I knew it had to be the Costa Del Sol.  As a family this is one of our favourite holiday destinations and we would spend Christmas in the lovely fishing town of Nerja in a heartbeat.

We have visited Nerja nearly every year for 15 years so we know it very well. We regularly hire villas there which allows us to take in the local food and culture, whilst having a relaxed environment to chill out in at the same time.  We love trying the local food, and then visiting the markets to gather ingredients to recreate the dishes we’ve eaten.

As we haven’t been able to visit our favourite holiday destination this year with expecting a baby, teen taking exams and other things that life throws at you being able to create a Spanish Christmas at home was the next best thing.

Little Pudding and I visited the local Christmas market at Costa Del Nottingham to gather gifts for the family.  It was a bright day with blue sky, but there was a chill in the air that you wouldn’t experience on a Spanish holiday.  The Spanish culture is largely based on family traditions, especially at Christmas so spending time together, enjoying family meals and exchanging gifts plays a huge part in their celebrations.

Nottingham Christmas Market

The Spanish also have their fingers crossed for a big lottery win over Christmas.  On 22nd December the country has its eye on the El Gordo lottery draw.  The draw lasts all day and excitement builds as the search begins for the winning tickets.  In a vain hope that some of this Spanish luck would rub off on us we treated ourselves to a National Lottery ticket.  And you’ll never guess what, we actually had a little win! £25 will come in very handy for Christmas indeed.

So with presents wrapped and food bought, I set about creating a Spanish feast for the family.  Planning the meal was such fun.  My favourite starter is prawns (gambas) pil pil served with fresh bread.  I’ve eaten this so many times in tapas bars and restaurants in Spain, it really does conjure up memories of so many holidays.  It’s basically prawns served in sizzling olive oil, with garlic, chillies and paprika in traditional terracotta dishes. It’s a beautiful dish packed with flavour and has to come to the table sizzling hot.

Spanish Food Ideas

Roast lamb (cordero asado) is a traditional spanish christmas dish and is a meal I have eaten many times at the beach restaurants on Playa de Burriana, but never cooked myself.  I love lamb, but I worry with meat that it won’t be nice and tender.

I had nothing to worry about, my roast lamb came out perfectly and went down a storm with the family.  The lamb was cooked on a bed of potatoes, onion and garlic, with white wine for over 3 hours.  It was beautiful, served with vegetables it made the perfect celebratory meal.  There is something special about sharing good food with people you love as it appeals to all the generations and makes everyone smile.

Christmas Presents

If we were having our Christmas in Nerja, this would be our perfect Christmas family celebration, followed by a walk through the town to the Balcon De Europa to look at the Christmas lights before heading home for a nightcap.

If you could spend your Christmas somewhere warm, where would your ideal location be?

We were provided with a budget by Villa Plus to create a festive celebration.

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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16 Discussion to this post

  1. Rebecca says:

    My ideal location is a warm log cabin in snowdonia xx

  2. This must have been such fun to create. If I could spend Christmas somewhere warm it would be on a south Pacific island as that’s one big area I’ve never been. But seeing as I live in a pretty warm place where we never get a white Christmas what I’d really like is a guaranteed white Christmas, in Canada, Norway or Finland.
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…Little Robin RedbreastMy Profile

  3. I bet this was fun to recreate. If I had to choose a hot place for Christmas it would be on a South Pacific Island,just to be about as different as you can get. But as Ilive in a warm climate and never get a white Christmas what I’d really like would be to spend Christmas in the snow in a chalet in Canada or somewhere in Scandinavia.
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…Little Robin RedbreastMy Profile

  4. Rachel says:

    I would personally love to be back in Vegas x
    Rachel recently posted…Show off True Beauty with an Eternity RingMy Profile

  5. I think I’d much rather go somewhere rely cold but have somewhere really warm inside to snuggle up.
    Emma (my little 3 and me) recently posted…Christmas Cooking With Kids – Chocolate Reindeer LolliesMy Profile

  6. What a fabulous idea! I love the Spanish Festival of Navidad, on twelfth night. That’s when most of the gift giving occurs and everyone parties in the streets in the Canaries. I’ve been in Lanzarote twice for it, so much fun!
    Kate Thompson recently posted…Rockin’ RobinMy Profile

  7. We have only ever spent 1 christmas away and that was a few years ago when we went to Goa. It was amazing.Christmas on the beach in swim wear and beach party.
    Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk) recently posted…Spicy Aubergine Tortilla WrapsMy Profile

  8. Jen Walshaw says:

    It would be ANYWHERE my family is, but I quite fancy South Africa!
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…Great gifts for Dad’sMy Profile

  9. Sarah Bailey says:

    I’ve always fancied New Zealand – I have an uncle, aunt and cousins there so would be nice to see them at the festive period as well as experience a completely different way.
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Quick Competition: Christmas Dog Treat Bundle!My Profile

  10. Sara says:

    I actually just back from Barcelona, and I’m heading back to the Canaries in January so I know how you feel about a pre-Christmas in Spain! The country is just beautiful at any time of the year.

  11. Sara-Jayne says:

    It looks so beautiful! If I could be anywhere it would be in Disneyworld – I’m an addict and was there last year!
    Sara-Jayne recently posted…A New Year’s Resolution I Can Keep! [Cardnest Review]My Profile

  12. Kara says:

    I once spent christmas in the cayman islands and it was amazing
    Kara recently posted…Car winter maintenance tips from the professionalsMy Profile

  13. I can’t bring myself to pick somewhere warm for Christmas. .. feels wrong somehow! I love Italy though.
    Laura @ KneadWhine recently posted…Roasted pumpkin and Sage burgersMy Profile

  14. agatapokutycka says:

    What a wonderful celebration. Lucky you… you are going to have a double Christmas 🙂

  15. Looks like fun! I would love to spend Christmas in Australia, or failing that then the Caribbean! x
    Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours recently posted…Night At The Museum 3 – A ReviewMy Profile

  16. Globalmouse says:

    I love that you had a win, makes me want to bring a little Spanish into my Christmas this year 😉
    Globalmouse recently posted…Wahaca, Great Portland Street – restaurant reviewMy Profile

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