A couple of years ago, the thought of going into a busy restaurant to ask for a table for one would have filled me with dread. I mean, what would others think?! Would they be wondering why this 40-something year old woman had no-one to go out with? Would they be wondering why she wouldn’t just choose to eat alone at home? Would they be wondering if she was feeling sad seeing the tables around packed with families and friends smiling and laughing? And perhaps eating a sandwich in my car would have felt a much ‘safer’ alternative. Hide away, Sarah. Hide away!
When I went on my UK road trip last year, my itinerary was very much focused on places to visit during the day time, like the Lake District, Gretna Green in Scotland, the Alnwick Poison Gardens in Northumberland and Trentham Monkey Forest in Staffordshire. And it was only when I heard about the Alnwick Treehouse Restaurant that made me realise I hadn’t given any consideration about where I was going to eat beyond room service in the hotels. How could I go all the way from West Sussex to Northumberland to visit the fantastic Alnwick poison gardens and not take advantage of this magical, stunning treehouse restaurant on site. I was travelling alone and it could be years before hubby and I could venture up north together. And so I decided I’d get all brave and just book a table. Now, I say ‘just book’ but the restaurant gets booked up for weeks in advance for evening meals and I’d only discovered it a week before I was due to set off on my adventures. So, I sent an email with a link to my blog asking if there was any way, any way at all if there could squeeze in just one more person! And this is an advantage to asking for a table for one. Fitting in one more person is far more doable than asking for a table for 6. And lo and behold, yes, they could accommodate me. It made me realise that I should hunt out other places to eat too and so I stumbled across the Rollercoaster Restaurant at Alton Towers. Now, that was a little bit harder in some ways as it’s a very lively restaurant with a huge focus on large tables, sharing the experience and there I was all on my own. But you know, why shouldn’t I go? Why should it not be alright for a lone traveller to get to enjoy the same experiences as others. I almost walked away as I reached the restaurant but I gave myself a good talking to, got through the door and loved how my meal got delivered by rollercoaster. Yes, you read that right! My food came whizzing down tracks to my table which I’d ordered using a tablet.
Since then, I’ve eaten at the Duck and Waffle in London to see sunrise over London, the Cereal Killer Cafe in Camden and many other places too. Just yesterday, I went to Cafe Rouge in Haywards Heath for breakfast where I had one of my absolute favourite breakfasts: eggs benedict with smoked salmon and a hot chocolate. Yum! And in a morning where I was being kind to myself, I grabbed some daffodils from M&S which is a sure sign that spring is on its way!
And would others judge me for being alone? Well, I’m pretty sure that everyone is so wrapped up in having their own fun that they wouldn’t even bat an eye-lid and probably won’t even register me being there!
Have a good weekend, everyone xx