Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than having a meal all. by. yourself. There’s no bickering siblings, no complaining about the food, no milk-spilling or food-smushing. We tend to think of dining alone as something you do on the road or in a rush, but enjoying a calm, quiet solo meal can be a great way to unwind and relax.
To help uncover the art of eating alone, we asked some of our favourite bloggers to share what they like about dining solo:
Laura O’Rourke: I often eat solo at lunch, especially now that I am working. It is a great opportunity to just decompress without needing to worry about keeping up appearances with other adults or having your personal space invaded by children. I take the opportunity to eat alone whenever I can get it.
Rebecca Cuneo Keenan: I love eating by myself. I’ve always needed a decent amount of time on my own to unwind, read, and let ideas percolate. This is why I’m a writer maybe? Every so often, I’ll grab a late-night bite by myself, but my favourite solo meal is definitely lunch. I so rarely get to eat lunch by myself (and I am trying to remember to savour the next 2+ years until my toddler starts full-day school), but I enjoy it all the more when I do.
Buzz Bishop: My wife HATES fish. She used the excuse she was allergic, but really she doesn’t like the texture and smell. If she’s working late, or out with the girls, I will make salmon or lobster or something my wife wouldn’t otherwise enjoy.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your solo dining experience:
1. Eat something you love. Yes, we all TRY to be healthy most the time. But when you’re having a meal by yourself, make it something you don’t go for very often – those favourite foods where you savour every bite. And make room for dessert, naturally!
2. Dig into a good book. You might be tempted to turn on the tube (and sure, when else can you catch up on Game of Thrones?), but eating alone is a great time to feed your brain with an invigorating read. (Our latest obsession: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer)
3. Put on your favourite tunes. Perhaps your significant other really can’t stand the retro 80s playlist you love rocking out to. Now’s the time to blare that Duran Duran or Thompson Twins. Or make it a more serene experience with a classical playlist. Would you believe there’s an album The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe? Well, there is, and trust me, it’s awesome! (Available on iTunes)
4. Pump up the ambiance. Who says candles are just for company? Turn down the lights and dine by candlelight. Even better, go out and buy a scented candle with your favourite aroma (we can’t get enough of vanilla!) and surround yourself with sweet-smelling vibes.
5. Take it slow. This is your time, so don’t rush it. Turn off your ringer, close that laptop and stow that phone. The rest of the world can wait for a while. And so can the chores!