Dining alone is one of my secret pleasures. Knowing that I don’t have to share, or that I can order dessert first is something that will never grow old for me. After a couple of conversations with friends I realised that there are people who would never dream of going to a restaurant by themselves. If you would like to venture into the world of eating alone and are not sure how to go about it – keep reading my top tips for a successful solo restaurant (or pub) visits.
A chain restaurant or somewhere that you have been before is the best place to start your solo dining journey. You know the lay of the land and will immediately feel more comfortable about venturing there on your own.
Choose food that you know you like. Solo dining is not the time to try oysters or deep fried locusts for the first time. Solo eating is the perfect opportunity to explore your favourite food. You know what they taste like and how they will be presented so it is all familiar. If you are eating food you love, you wont be focussed on what you think people are looking at or saying. You will be too busy slurping you mulligatawny soup or twirling your tagliatele on your fork!
Timing can make a huge difference to your experience. Whether you are lunching or dining solo – go early. When the restaurant opens, the staff are new on shift and will be glad to see you – you can have your pick of seating in the restaurant and the full undivided attention of the serving staff before the rush starts. The kitchen won’t be busy so you can have your food in a timely fashion
Avoid tables near the entrance and the toilet. Just because you are on your own does not mean you should get the worst seat. Choose a table for two on the perimeter of the restaurant.
Take your time.
You have every right to be there. No one know the reason you are eating alone Don’t wolf down your food. Take your time. Have two or three courses. Indulge in coffee. Enjoy the experience.
It is tempting to take your phone or tablet or even laptop out with you when dining alone but my recommendation for solo dinning is a book, magazine or a paper. Do you really want greasy fingers on your tech? With a paper or magazine it does not matter if you spill ketchup on them or use a balsamic glaze covered finger to turn the page.
There are some great deals out there for amazing food. Why wait for a friend of loved one to be available when you can experience culinary delights on your own. If you are a seasoned solo diner I would love to hear your recommendations and If you are new to solo dining give it a try and let me know how you get on.