December 2, 2014

Table for One Please—the Benefits of Eating Alone.

Table for One

The hardest part about going to a restaurant by yourself is building up the courage to walk in the door and asking for a table for one.

But once you settle into a cozy corner you’ll find the waiters are friendly—and the patrons admire your boldness. They know you could have just ordered room service or picked up take out. Perhaps they’re even inspired by you.

There’s something really special about going to a restaurant by yourself. You’ve decided that you deserve that experience and it shouldn’t only be preserved for parties of two. You’ve confirmed the importance of nourishing your body with quality food. You’ve also confirmed that you like your own company.

Try to remember the taste of your food if you’ve just enjoyed dinner with ten of your closest friends.

Yes, you’ve shared a few laughs, got up to date on everyone’s latest projects and probably had a little too much wine. But the taste of the food often gets overlooked.

Now think back to the last meal that you ate by yourself—not in front of the TV with your twitter feed running but when you removed all of the distractions and just focused on your meal. Remember how good that sushi was or how satisfying that simple bowl of oatmeal was?

When I’m enjoying meals solo the flavors are more vivid and the meal more memorable. Don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite things to do is to cook dinner for myself and boyfriend—and then sit down to enjoy the meal together after a long day of work. To be honest, I also like the affirmation of him telling me how much he enjoyed my cooking.

I’ve travelled a lot over the last few years for work and I’m often by myself.

Europeans are not big into room service or delivery and I’m not big on fast food or opening a whole bottle of wine for myself. That’s when I decided “dinner for one’”was happening and I was going to enjoy it.

I generally choose busy, comfortable neighborhood restaurants for solo dining. I’ll take a seat at the bar if I feel like making a little small talk, but otherwise I love having a whole table to myself.

Guilty pleasure alert—I love to partake in a bit of eavesdropping on my neighboring diners or watching awkward blind dates. On the other hand, if I’m in a country where the diners are speaking a foreign language I feel as though I’m blanketed in a constant hum of chitter chatter which acts as a lubricant for the next big idea.

I actually started writing this article the last time I ate by myself.

While dining solo I’m reminded of how strong my relationships are. It reminds me to be grateful for them and to continue to grow and nurture them. By the way, this often happens because of that awkward couple in the corner who have nothing to say to each other.

Of course, I’m not saying you should eat solo all the time because we all know good company and great conversation is food for the soul.

But I am recommending you give solo dining a try once or twice. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience. It’s been said that you should do something that scares you every day and I do think this practice is scary for a lot of folks out there.

So the next time that you find yourself on a business trip or home by yourself at mealtime, try enjoying some “me time” by eating solo. It doesn’t even have to be dinner, try breakfast on the deck (no phone, no books).

Remember when you dine solo you don’t have to share. You can order whatever strikes your fancy without opinions or influence from fellow diners.

You can eat fast or slow.

You can order the most expensive meal on the menu and not feel guilty. You can eat with your hands. It’s your time, so bon appetite.




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Author:  Andrea Beazley

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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Andrea Beazley