Ever since Jason and I moved to San Antonio a year ago, we have made the Historic Pearl District our go to spot. Whether it’s to go grab a cup of coffee at Bakery Lorraine (if your are ever at the Pearl, you should absolutely grab a to-go coffee and one of their amazing macaroons), to just simply walk the river walk on cool mornings, or go enjoy the Farmers Market every weekend. We love visiting the Pearl. Among all of the amazing spots to visit at the Pearl, one location caught my eye immediately as we explored the area during our very first trip. We actually hadn’t moved to San Antonio at that time but were down for a friends wedding in Austin and stopped by San Antonio to check on our home that was currently being built.

Hotel Emma was the object of my affection, so to speak. With its historical ambiance and unique interiors, I was in heaven. Once a 19th century Brewhouse, it’s now an extraordinary riverfront hotel and the flagship for Pearl’s culinary and cultural community on the northern edge of downtown San Antonio. When staying at Hotel Emma, you’ll experience San Antonio as if you are staying at the well-appointed home of extremely interesting friends, your visit peppered with warm social experiences, genuine cultural flavor, insider knowledge, and delightful surprises unique to the hotel, the neighborhood and the city.

It just so happened that one weekday afternoon, I was scrolling through social media and saw a post from Hotel Emma and the Pearl announcing a Paella Demonstration at Hotel Emma’s Exhibition Kitchen that coming Saturday evening. I turned to Jason and said “I have the perfect date night for this week!” On a side note, if you don’t know already, Jason and I are HUGE paella fans! I have been testing out several different recipes trying to master the dish since Jason requests it at least once a week. So when I saw that the Exhibition Kitchen was bringing in a professional chef to make paella, I knew we had to go!

Once we began the demonstration, the chef announced he was going to make a non-traditional paella (no seafood). He was making an all pork paella. I do not eat pork. period. So I turned to Jason and said “you’ll just have to enjoy this for the both of us”. Even though I wasn’t able to eat the paella the chef had made, I was still excited to learn any secrets he had in making the perfect paella. Once the cooking had commenced and questions were being asked I started to realize that I had been making the paella correctly all this time and that there really isn’t a wrong way to make it! However, we did need to start making it in a paella pan (which we immediately went out and purchased).


Overall it was a great evening and so much fun for a unique date night! Jason and I will 100% be back again learning all we can from Hotel Emma’s Exhibition Kitchen!