ESCAPING from an ambush from autumn’s torrential rain I plunged into 1725, in Lancaster, only to find a Spanish guarida awaiting me.

The tropical relaxed atmosphere of the venue – all Mediter-ranean plants and stone flooring – hit me almost as quickly as the radiated heat which was a welcome contrast to the very English weather outside.

The smiling waitress informed us we could choose any table we liked – so we strolled through a room filled with low beams and white walls before settling for an open cove placed between two pillars, leaving the impression of an oblong.conservatory We quickly snuggled into our big chairs while musing over the Spanish menu which was lit up by a single candle and background lamps. We immediately got into the spirit by ordering jugs of Sangria while we browsed the extensive list of fish, vegetable and meat tapas.

After a lot of indecisive swapping and changing of minds, I selected the kings prawns in chilli sauce, (£5.35) the restaurant’s personally made garlic mayonnaise, tomato and potatoes (£3.25) with croquettes of vegetables (£4.25) and bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (£1.95).

The king prawns were really big, cooked to a perfect condition where they were still juicy, though the sauce was not as spicy as I would have liked.

The croquettes were crispy with a variety of vegetables mashed up into a creamy tasting treat and the potatoes were chopped into cubes and had an interesting kick of spice blended with tomatoes and a separate bowl of mayonnaise to dip into the meal.

My partner opted for the mussels, which he shared with me as there were more than enough for two. He also had a home-made lamb red wine casserole, which he assured me was excellent.

The sangria was served with lots of fruit and had a good mix of wine and lemonade so I could still stand after a third jug of the Spanish speciality.

Overall the meal and the atmosphere made for a great night out.