The summer can be a lonely time for some with family and friends disappearing off on summer jaunts and leaving behind those that may be committed to business or away travelling for work. Equally some people have jobs like teachers or airline staff and shift workers that allow them time off in the week/holidays when everyone else is working.
While people are happy to sit in a cinema, go to the gym or even travel the world on their own, solo dining can still be a daunting thought and strike fear into the heart when we contemplate eating alone in anything more sophisticated than a Pret a Manger without a companion.
Instead of shying away from the challenge, look on this time as an ideal opportunity to maybe treat yourself to menus and restaurants that you have been keen to try but perhaps have not been able to tempt others to try with you. Follow our top tips courtesy of Maiden-Voyage.com below, and book your table for one with confidence!
10 Top Tips for Dining Alone
1. Dine at lunch-time or early in the evening – when it’s less busy you may not feel so awkward and it looks like you are on business.
2. Ask for a seat facing out into the room rather than sitting right in the middle of the restaurant. Another good option is the patio or terrace if the weather is fine – somehow sitting outside on your own seems more natural. A window seat also allows you to avoid making awkward eye contact with other diners.
3. Dress confidently but without drawing too much attention to yourself – business like is a good option.
4. Take something to read with you. A book, kindle or even ipad is not frowned upon when you are by yourself – infact check first to see if the restaurant has wifi as this is a sure sign it is single diner friendly.
5. Don’t be afraid to engage the waiting staff in conversation – they can be amusing company and they will look after you well if you are smiley and chatty.
6. Take the plunge and invite another sole diner to join you – the worst that could happen is they say no but they may end up an interesting contact.
7. Take a notepad as a prop – you will look like you are writing a review, even if you are just doodling your to-do list. They may think you are a food inspector and you could get exceptional service!
8. Don’t feel obliged to join another table or sit on a lousy table you may feel awkward at (i.e. by the toilets or entrance).
9. Enjoy your own company – lose your inhibition and indulge yourself in details about the room (and other diners) you may have missed if focusing on a companion.
10. Savor the food – you are more likely to enjoy and appreciate your meal when you are concentrating fully on it rather than talking through it, and indulge your whims – after all you are only paying for one!
Dining alone is really just a change in mind-set. Showing you are happy in your own company and enjoying the food and ambiance, it may well be other diners who will be looking across and envying you – and it could become a new personal indulgence!
Design Restaurants is your online fine dining guide and membership club, dedicated to finding and recommending the best restaurants around the UK with access to exclusive privileges, upgrades and rates. Find out more at www.designrestaurants.com.
Our thanks to Maiden-Voyage.com the female friendly free membership travel site for their advice in writing this blog post.
Picture courtesy of http://houckportraits.com/dining-alon/