Solitary Banquet is a project idea that was born out of my own love of taking myself out to dinner. I have always enjoyed the solo dining experience for many reasons. The air of mystery that I am convinced surrounds any woman seen dining alone, the satisfaction that comes from being able to fully enjoy a meal without the distraction of conversation, and the joy that comes from treating myself well.
I've found that among my friends their feelings about a table for one range from feelings similar to mine to being rather close to fear. Most seem to fall in the middle. Eating out alone makes most people at least a little uncomfortable.
I admit that at first I felt the same way. It was something I rarely did unless I had to due to travel or had someplace to be and taking the time to fix a meal at home wasn't feasible. I would sit at a table and think that surely everyone was staring at me. I couldn't do it without a book or a pad of paper to write on (because writers can get away with dining solo...they are after all creating ART!). I would eat as fast as I possibly could and then get out.
Somewhere along the way though I got over it. I can't say exactly when but one day I just had the realization that I deserved to enjoy my meal out as much as anyone who had dining companions. I just made the decision to enjoy myself and have done so ever since. Now I love it to the point that I actually have to hold myself back or I will surely end up in the poor house.
The intent of this blog is to cover all aspects of the solitary dining experience. I am sure there will be many personal anecdotes, tips on how to make the experience more enjoyable, how to scout out restaurants when traveling, but I also hope to include a fair amount of reviews written from the perspective of the solo diner. Some establishments are more welcoming of those eating alone than others and I'd like to support those places. I plan to enlist the assistance of friends who also nosh alone on occasion to write these reviews.
I hope this blog will be an exploration of the experience and also prove helpful to those who find, by necessity or by choice, that they are sitting at a table with one set of silverware and a solitary water glass, The dining alone experience does not need to be an anxiety producing one, but can be enjoyable and even fun.