Recently, we were invited by Mango Tree restaurant in Belgravia to come down and sample their menu.
I adore Thai food – one of my lasting memories of the four months I spent in Thailand during my travelling days was how good the food was, and I’m always keen to revisit those culinary memories back home in London.
But there was another reason slowly dawning on me for I was excited about our evening at Mango Tree. It was a bonafide excuse for Sam and I to spend some time together, just for the hell of it.
Although we are lucky enough to have quite a few relatives living close by and available for babysitting, and although we do tend to go out together quite regularly, those opportunities are mainly reserved for things like big occasions and friends birthdays. Rarely would we take the time to organise a babysitter just so Sam and I could go out together on a ‘date’.
So, as I waved goodbye to my children and boarded my train into Victoria, wearing an actual evening dress (A rare sight, indeed) I felt genuine excitement to do something that we rarely normally do – spend time with my partner in a grown up restaurant, with grown up cocktails, and unlimited uninterrupted time to just talk.
The phrase ‘date night’ makes me do a little inward cringe, but the other options (couple time? Blurgh) are equally as bad, and nevertheless, it sums up the purpose of our night quite effectively. And so, date night it is.
Mango Tree is really conveniently located for us, just a short walk from London VIctoria. We were door to door in 40 minutes.
I met Sam in a pub round the corner for a pre dinner drink and a productive bit of ‘wedmin’. Organising a wedding around family life with three young children is something that is proving quite the juggling act at times – Sam and I rarely get the opportunity to sit down and chat about the important decisions to be made. It’s amazing how much you can get done in an uninterrupted hour, we covered A LOT of ground.
Soon it was time to head to Mango Tree for our reservation. We opted for a drink in the bar before sitting down to our meal. The cocktail menu was extensive. It is a testament to Mango Tree that both Sam and I, neither of us tending to opt for a cocktail normally, REALLY enjoyed our drinks. My hibiscus flower champagne was just the right amount of sweetness for my tastes, and Sam’s drink (we can’t remember the name, but it tasted like cherry bakewell) was seriously moreish. We could have easily sampled a few more cocktails each if it weren’t for the fact that we were consciously trying to save room for our meal.
The food at Mango Tree was excellent. I tend to judge Thai restaurants by their Pad Thai DIsh, and I am pleased to note that Mango Tree passed this test with flying colours. Being a huge seafood and shellfish fan, I enjoyed the abundance of prawns, mussels, and squid on the menu. Every dish came beautifully presented and felt like a treat to tuck in to.
We finished our meal with a pot of jasmine tea, which arrived in a pretty and delicate clear teapot and glassware. The sort of thing that would definitely excite a keen still life instagrammer.
Unfortunately, food photography is not a particular skill of mine, so I’ll save that for the pros and instead give you some photos me rocking my best awkward pose and Sam taking tips from his favourite instagrammer, Dress Like A Mum.
As for date night, our evening at Mango Tree made us realise something. The fact that we were so excited to have an evening all to ourselves, for no particular reason or occasion other than just spending time together, has made us realise that it’s important to make time to do just that.
Not because of an obligation, or an important occasion. We know all too well that it’s easier not to bother, not to impose on family with babysitting requests unless there’s a justifiable reason.
But, every once in a while, we should go out just for the sake of it, just because it feels like a very nice thing to do.
Thanks to Mango Tree for inviting us down for the purpose of this blog feature.