A table for one

Central Park Square, Sydney, Australia.

I’ve been in Sydney this week for work and while I’ve loved the hustle and bustle of the city for a few days I’m looking forward to getting home and waking to the sound of birdsong, rather than traffic.

Whenever I travel for work I often cocoon myself in the comfort of my hotel, preferring to get meals to go, or room service.  This trip I’ve had particularly unsociable working hours, so instead of vegging out in my room I’ve been trying to get out during my downtime to really appreciate the pleasure of a ‘table for one’…

I’ve always felt a little self conscious sitting a table in a restaurant or café by myself.  It’s one of those little irrational fears I’m working on conquering.

For me bringing a book is a big help.  It’s almost like a distraction of sorts, so I’m not thinking about sitting alone.  I’m realising it feels decadent to sit in the quiet, reading and eating a meal prepared for you.  It’s like you’re tucked away in your own bubble, absorbed by the words on the page, and the rest of the world sort of disappears in a haze.

Book, plate of sauteed spinach and chopsticks.

I’m also finding when I’m sitting by myself eating, I become much more aware of the flavours and textures of my meal -perhaps because I’m not engaged in conversation with another. I’m savouring my meal, eating it a little slower than I normally would and just enjoying the experience of dining out.

It’s also been really nice to just take in my surroundings during these quiet meal times. I’ve been people watching in between paragraphs in my book, looking up at tall city blocks, and noticing pretty little details, like fairy lights in a tree.

Looking up at buildings in Sydney's Central Park Square.

I still prefer to share mealtimes with friends and family, but I’m definitely starting to see how lovely a meal out, by yourself, can be. It’s pure self-indulgence. A treat for you, and you alone. A time to eat what you want and do what you want.

Have a wonderful weekend. x


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