SuburbanGent and I recently had the opportunity to live out an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often now that we’re grown ups and all that. A couple of posts earlier, you may remember that we were invited to check out the City Stay Apartments and so while we were there, we thought it would be a pretty good idea to try to make it the best night of it we possibly could. We gathered together everything we could and tested as many as possible to bring you what we would consider to be everything you need for the Ultimate Night In.
Needless to say just like most things in life that we put our minds to, we prepared thoroughly and proceeded to give it full beans.
What can be more ultimate than having a night in, that’s actually a night out? We were really impressed with City Stay’s apartment because it’s got all the benefits of being at home but without the problems of hoovering up the morning after. Sharing a two bed flat between you depending on how many of you there are is the best value and without doubt, you will appreciate the benefits of being in the middle of town if you need to pop out for a midnight snack. Our full view on City Stay is on the blog but needless to say, it provided the perfect base for our Ultimate Night In that was actually a Night Out. We’re so rock and roll, it actually hurts.
On to the drinks then, ‘Gent and I tend to swing in different directions when it comes to drinking. While I would rather face off against a pint of bitter and enjoy a glass of fine red wine or six, Gent’s preferred tipple is a fruity cider or a lighter (but just as fine) white wine. As such we catered for both ends of the spectrum with Old Mout cider (£2 per 500ml bottle from Sainsburys) for Mr SG and a bottle of Hacienda Don Hernan Rioja Crianza 2012 from Naked Wines for me (£13.99 from Naked Wines if they’ve got any left). The premium end of the market was then supplied by Drinks By The Dram who were kind enough to send through some whisky crackers. Admittedly, it wasn’t quite Christmas yet, but never ones to let small details get in the way, ‘Gent and I finished off the night by pulling crackers, wearing silly hats and telling each other crap jokes. The whisky itself was a perfect way to round out the night. And a selection of aged Christmas spirits slowed down the evening and kicked off the festive period both in perfect harmony.
There was only one choice for dinner when we were planning this night and that was curry. There is something reassuring about getting yourself settled down in front of the telly with a lovely warming plate of spices and happiness. No wonder it’s the nations favourite because we didn’t even have to draw up a shortlist. Deciding who was going to supply this foil wrapped tray of pleasure was another matter entirely but when we drew up a list of the best curry houses in Milton Keynes, the top stood out clearly. The Mastee in Bletchley has the best and most modern Indian menu in the city (although Suburban Gents recent experience at The Don, gives it a run on the more traditional dishes) and very happily they agreed to take part in the night. Again, SuburbanGent and I differ in our choices, with my brother-from-another-mother preferring the milder, creamy sauces such as pasanda whereas I always try to order something that packs a bit more wallop. In this case, the Roadside Punjabi Murgh really hit the spot with bags and bags of flavour. The dishes delivered exactly what we were hoping and while taking pictures of curry is never going to win any prizes, it tasted fantastic, especially when we also added a half Tandoori chicken to round out the edges.
Perhaps the majority of discussion centered around what we were actually going to do all night once we had exceeded the limited joys of talking to each other. Luckily we were helped along by City Stay who supply high speed (12mb/sec in our case) unlimited broadband included in the price. Setting up the PlayStation 4 was easy enough and once we had hooked it up we were ready to go with as much digital showbiz as we could handle. Gent and I messed about on a few games and particularly liked Rocket League as it was easy to pick up and a lot of fun to play against each other. I was particularly lucky to have a go with the Playstation VR headset as well. Having never done anything like that before, I was honestly amazed at just how immersive the system was. I had a strange sadistic zombie cinematic experience which didn’t do much for me I have to admit, but the Batman game that followed was truly amazing. Granted, the picture isn’t as sharp as some of the other systems available today but just having the chance to believe you are Batman for an hour or so, (even if you look like a prat to everyone else) was a life experience everyone should have at some point. I’m in, I don’t know how long it will take and I’m certainly not sure of exactly how socially healthy it will be but, this is got to be part of the future of gaming.
Don’t think that we were just about the computers and tablets though, we also went old school with some board and card games. The most notable, and enjoyable of which was ‘Cards Against Humanity’. This is an absolutely brilliant but somewhat unique game and one that I can’t really describe with any justice here. However if you haven’t played already and don’t know what it’s all about, just do yourself a favour and don’t play it with your 6 year old niece because it doesn’t always stay on the Disney side of the 9pm watershed.
Netflix vs. Amazon Prime
Once the games were played, our stomachs full and we were more than a little bit relaxed with more than a few social beverages, we turned our attention to getting our stream on. Gent has Netflix, I have Amazon Prime, but which is best? Well, it really depends on what you want, both have about the same amount of original TV with exclusives going off in different directions, Prime has got added extras like free delivery from Amazon and arguably more movies you actually want to watch but you have to pay an additional premium for them whereas NetFlix doesn’t have any additional paid-for content. We had variable picture quality from Amazon on the line and it flicked from lower bitrate to better quality a few times whereas Netflix remained rock solid, however neither of us are box-set bingers so on balance Prime’s better selection of movies still won the day for us even though you still have to shell out to get the newer ones, which is a proper swizz.
The Morning After
But we didn’t stop there because what do you do the morning after you Ultimate Night In? Get yourself a proper hangover cure from Wrap It and Run, that’s what. SuburbanGent loves these guys and I can see why, they rocked up with Mega Boss and a hash brown; some seriously needed carb and protein parcels of loveliness and an orange juice to top up our vitamin C before we packed up and headed out. If you are ever in need of breakfast but you just can’t face the cooking – these guys will sort you out and they won’t even mention the fact that you put your t-shirt on back to front and inside out. You know, just in case that happens. They probably didn’t even notice, yeah I’ll just keep telling myself that.
TwoMenAboutTown hits up the Ultimate Night In
So there you have it, if you want to make the most of a big night without traveling too far, take some advice from us and try some or all of the above, you won’t be disappointed. A big thank you to all our partners; Mastee, Wrap It and Run, Wideawakewes, Sony, Amazon, Drinksbythedram, Sainsburys and City Stay Apartments for supporting this Ultimate Night In, if you’ve got any other suggestions for things we missed, let us know and we’ll be sure to take a closer look.