Dining Alone


For possibly the first time in my adult life, I went to a restaurant last week and ate alone. What came over me?

As a kid I loved restaurants. When we moved to Holland for my Dad’s work, I went to the Eurotel restaurant, all by myself – aged 9 – to have dinner and my very own portion of sauté potatoes – smilingly served in an oval stainless steel dish. Mmmm.

Pace adult life: travelling the world on business and subsequently living in France. A world of opportunity. But if I found myself alone, I’d never deviate from room service and TV dinners. Eating solo, whatever the city, whatever the food – it just felt wrong.

My regular – but unusually absent – lunching partner sent me a quote from Epicurus in response to the photo above:

“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf”.

He asked me which I was: lone wolf or feasting lion? I’m not sure I was either. But facing an uncomfortable afternoon in a management meeting, I thought ‘what the hell’, I need some blood sugar, I’ve got one hour, I don’t want anyone in my face – lets have a tasty plate in preparation and quiet contemplation.

Epicurus might have raised an eyebrow but it was fine. Nobody stared at me. I didn’t howl or roar. I just quietly and quite contentedly devoured.