My next solo holiday is a while off, so I figured I may as well make the most of this forum to document a solo activity that I AM familiar and comfortable with – dining alone.
Now, I’ve never had a problem with this or understood the issue that people have about going to a sit down restaurant and just chilling the fuck out on their own. I mean, there are so many times when this very activity is called for. Maybe you’ve woken up alone, hungover, after a night on the Jager’s with no food in the house and you need some sustenance. Just head to your local café (or my personal favourite, Graffe) and smash back some sausages.
Or p’raps there’s a new Argentinian place down the road that you’re desperate to try (yeah, Argentinian…I am so enlightened) but no-one is around to go with you.
For me, the primary reason to bust out some solo dining is when I’ve booked to see a show (yet ANOTHER solo activity that I enjoy and highly recommend). I need feeding before the 7.30pm showing, but there’s not enough time to go home first, so heading to Nandos is infinitely preferable to chomping down a semi-stale sarnie from Boots.
This is what I did last night. There was I, desperate for a wine, super starving, and with 2 hours to kill before my show. I knew there was a Nandos a mere 2 minute walk from the theatre, so to Nandos I went. I had my usual (chicken wrap and peri peri chips, if you’re wondering) and a large wine. I counted precisely three other people (incidentally, women) who were also eating alone. One had a book with her, one had her laptop open doing work (or feigning doing work!) and the other had no prop. Like me. Just enjoying the food and to be honest…just enjoying having a sit down,. (I am old)
I then headed to the Union Theatre (a little gem in the heart of Southwark, and one of the best theatres in London) to see The Spitfire Grill. I was on reviewing duty, but I also half-know the director so I was marginally concerned that I would hate it and have to admit that to him. Luckily, it was ah-maze-ing and I laughed my way through Act 1 and wept my way through Act 2.
This is a classic example of a standard night out for me. I have an abundance of friends, but sometimes, I simply cannot be arsed to go through the rigmarole of texting people all “hey, are you free tomorrow night? Fancy dinner out? Then seeing a show?” and then dealing with “I can do dinner but can’t be arsed to see a show…” “yeah dinner sounds good but not Nandos, I’m on a diet….” Or “can we do it next week instead?” or “that show doesn’t sound like my kinda thing…” (which I’ll never understand – who says that when the show is FREE?! Just see free theatre people and expand your minds!)
All of the above, are a preventative. NO, I WANT TO GO TO NANDOS AND THEN SEE THIS RANDOM OBSCURE LITTLE SHOW AND I WANT TO DO IT NOW.
So I did.