Hey all, hope your weekend has been a fabulous one! I just had the most incredible spinach and ricotta ravioli at this little Italian place, mmmmmm delizioso. During my meal, I was talking to my friend and we got onto the topic of dining alone. As a solo traveller and someone who is quite comfortable doing things alone, I was telling her how easy it is, and after giving her some tips, I thought I would share with you all, my top five steps for feeling more at ease when dining solo.
I’ll never forget the first time I dined alone. My heart was racing as I entered the restaurant, I felt like every pair of eyes were on me and I had a million thoughts racing through my mind. Internally, I was freaking out! But now that I’m a well seasoned solo diner and don’t think twice about it, looking back, I shouldn’t have been so worried.
Keep it local. Head to your favourite hometown coffee shop and enjoy a nice latte, in a fairly casual setting. The time after that, head out for brunch and get those poached eggs on toast you love. Keep working your way up until you’re comfortable in a more formal and intimate dining setting.
A BOOK IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Having a book or a magazine with you can make a world of difference. You’ll be so distracted by the story that you’ll completely forget where you are.
But what if you forget a book? Then try and order food that will keep your hands busy. Entrees like spring rolls are great and for mains anything that you need to make up like a wrap or curry and rice works well too.
DON’T BE SELF-CONSCIOUS
The first time you dine solo it’ll probably feel like everyone in the room is starring at you. Suddenly, you’re beginning to regret that feeling of boldness that brought you into the restaurant in the first place and all you can think about is hightailing it outta there. But reality is, whilst you may get the odd glance here and there, most people will be too busy concentrating on their own meal and conversation to notice that you’re having a party for one. Use the time to get comfortable enjoying your own company and if you need a little distraction, why not do some life admin and catch up on emails or listen to a podcast.
LEARN MENU ITEMS IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
If you choose your dining option on a whim and don’t have time to study the menu prior, the best way to avoid receiving something different to what you were expecting, is to either have your google translator app on hand or use those keys words you learnt on the flight over. Knowing words like, beef, chicken, lamb and pork in the local language go along way. Especially if you have allergies to anything, you want to make sure you know what menu items to avoid.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
You get to choose the cuisine. You get to choose the budget. You get to choose the time you eat and where you go. You can even decide to have a plate of waffles for dinner if you feel like it. The only person you need to accommodate is yourself. So embrace and enjoy!