Have you ever come across a restaurant that you think is a place where you would like to eat? I'm sure that we have all been there, including me. The two options available here are to wait a while to go to the restaurant with the right people... Or go to the restaurant alone.
The second option may sound daft to many people, but dining alone is a trend gradually getting bigger each year. More and more people are going to restaurants alone, which sounds extremely daunting, but some have gained lots of experience and confidence.
I will admit that I have never dined alone in a restaurant... That is until very recently when I plucked up the courage to give it a go. I decided to begin conquering this fear by visiting a restaurant I knew very well and its cuisine. This restaurant in question is Zizzi's Italian.
The first ever restaurant where I dined solo
I arrived at the Zizzi's in Maidstone after booking a table for one. I thought this to be a practical idea instead of turning up and asking for a table just for me. I informed the head waiter of the booking, and she directed me to my table, where I would participate in the dinner service.
I gave myself time to look at the menu, thinking that others around me would be glancing my way and asking themselves why someone would be dining alone on a Friday evening. Once I decided what to have, I placed my order with the waiter serving me, and I then proceeded to attend to matters on my phone.
The Cornish Orchards cider I ordered arrived at my table shortly after, and I began drinking it. After all, I knew having alcohol would help massively when it came to steadying my nerves. As well as this, I was also given some complimentary pasta crisps with a light mild seasoning to them.
After a good few minutes, I received my Bruschetta starter, which I tucked into. I still thought of others looking at me as I ate, but I kept my head down to focus on my food. Once I finished, I returned to my phone, keeping me company until the waiter took my plate away.
The Bruschetta starter which I had at Zizzi's
Not long afterward, I received my main course, which consisted of a Rustica Primavera pizza. I then went ahead and ate what I could of it. At this point, I had drank enough of my Cornish Orchards cider to fade my nerves and enjoy my solo dining experience a lot more.
The delicious pizza I had all to myself
It was then that I began to understand that the company of one's own is something essential to have in life. This includes finding the time to treat yourself to a delicious meal at a nice restaurant (and even get three courses if you're feeling generous).
I finished my pizza and thanked the waiter for his work in ensuring my needs were met. I questioned whether it was appropriate to have a dessert. However, I was already fit to bursting. So, I asked for my bill so I could settle up, and once this was sorted, the waiter thanked me for dining with them, and I returned my thanks for a delicious dinner. I then finished my cider and left the restaurant.
Looking back at my experience, I went through mixed emotions, such as nervousness, excitement, happiness, and even curiosity. The curiosity was due to me thinking about how many other solo diners there are in this world, not just in the UK. I also concluded that thinking about the positives of solo dining will prompt me, and all other solo diners, to continue doing this.
So to answer the question about whether solo dining is worth it, I think it is very much worth it. However, if you are starting to dine solo like I did recently, picking a familiar restaurant and going there at a good time is important. Once you have sorted this, then you will have the basic foundations of solo dining correctly grasped.