Loner, No friends, Weird, Feeling Sorry for them, the awkward left on your own when your friends go to the loo moment… NO!!! Eating alone has nothing to do with any of the above. In fact it can be one of the most empowering things you could ever do.
That feeling when everyone is looking at you when your at a well known Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden on your own, used to make me feel anxious and a bit of a loser, but hey when a girl has a Katsu Curry craving needs must. Yes the two couples either side of me were annoying looking over at me like why should I be there, the family behind was loud and I am sure I felt something hit me on my head?, the waiter asked several times if I was waiting for someone. But who cares! I enjoyed my hour of alone time eating the best food!
Reports say 8 in 10 people now find it more acceptable to eat alone, and restaurants have seen a 34 percent rise in singular bookings which is so empowering and awesome! Even better than that is that its the 23 – 32 year olds who are leading the way! People are enjoying there own company more and more from solo travelling to solo eating.
However if your still feeling a little uncertain here’s some of the best ways to get around feeling uncomfortable if you do need to eat alone on your travels;
1. Hostels – normally they have a communal kitchen make sure you use this to your advantage, cook and stay to eat in here to bump into more people who are probably in the same position as you. Hey even go further and see if they want to cook together or share what you have made
2. Bars – Always try and sit at the bar, instead of table or booth to try hide from the fact your flying solo. This means you can make conversation with the bar staff, they are always up for a distraction and you never know how it may go.
3. Restaurants – Always ask if you can sit on a larger table, if there are bench tables this is perfect more people will join and the setting is much more relaxed to chat to others around you.
4. Strike up a conversation –with the waiters, the bar tender, the other solo eating person in the restaurant… If you don’t try or ask you don’t get! I went to a large restaurant in China when solo travelling and ended up with people even coming over to me, to see if I wanted to join them. I ended up keeping to myself, but the fact people would do that was so good to know. I also ended up asking more about the menu and options because I didn’t feel in a rush to choose, the waiters actually appreciated it!
5. Bring some material – Book, Magazine, Diary, Newspaper, Kindle or even some music… it is your time and between courses to keep you entertained you may want to keep your mind busy with something rather than letting your mind wander sometimes!
6. Public Park – Enjoy the time you have in the sun or just to lay on the soft grass, get a picnic of your favourite sandwich and crisps, drink and snack… I always find a book helps as well to totally get lost in the world around you
7. Picky about your position – Hey your the V I P , if you want a window seat ask, if you want a quiet spot go for that, if you would prefer a table looking out over the restaurant so you can people watch… Also being am messy eater myself I would prefer to not let everyone see me eat 😛
8. Order what you want!!! – Don’t even start to feel guilty if you want a full 3 course meal do it! Several times I thought I should just hurry up and finish, but then I saw a hot cookie dough dessert with ice cream and was like nope I am not moving I want that dessert too 🙂
So I hope this short, sweet and pretty important post helps those travelling solo, or even just wanting to eat solo find that courage to so ! Let me know if you do try it out! I will be the one shouting “Table for 1!!”
Eat, Drink, Enjoy!