I started dining alone when I was doing a photography course in the city. I’d drive from work straight into town and have just under an hour to feed myself. I could have simply brought a sandwich and scoffed it while hiding in the car, but pre- planning food is not a skill I’m known for.
The first time I ate alone was a bit daunting, I was worried that people were looking and me, I was worried I’d be bored, and I thought I’d feel like a total loser. But I was pleasantly surprised! Eating alone is awesome, and here’s why:
- You can order what you want! You can eat the whole share plate if you want to and there’s no one there to judge. Get the mac and cheese, order an extra side, have a glass of wine. Your skinny friend/ spouse/ mother isn’t sitting across from you silently judging.
- You can concentrate on the food. I always find that I concentrate less on the food when I’m talking. You have to split your concentration between whatever is being said, and chewing. When eating alone, you can consider each bite and taste the flavours so much easier.
- You can take the time to unwind. There’s no need to listen to other people whining about how their day was. Or how sick their kid is. Or any number of things that sometimes you just don’t want to listen to. Simply be in your own mind, work through any issues of the day and prepare yourself for the next.
I rediscovered the pleasure of eating alone when I signed up for another course recently, so I was prompted to write this post. If you’re thinking of taking me up on my advice, here are three places I’ve successfully solo-dined at recently in the Northbridge area:
- Bivouac: There’s a cool area at the back of the restaurant that looks over the bar and makes you feel like you’re in the action, but also gives privacy to read or write.
- Lot 20: Tuck yourself away under the stairs or along the windows and listen to the lively chatter of your fellow diners while you contemplate life.
- Shadow: Underneath The Alex Hotel, the lighting in Shadow is perfect for the lone diner. Understated and moody, you can retreat into the depths of your booth and practically disappear.
So why not try the solo dine? Remember, the only person who’s paying attention is yourself.
* I have 6 friends.