Table for one

How to proudly ask for a table for one.

The phrase “table for one” seems to conjure visions of a strange looking person sitting shiftily in a trench coat, with a duffel bag propped on the chair opposite at the restaurant, or a sad singleton with no one to accompany them.  This absolutely is not the case. There are normal people everywhere eating alone because they have a lunch break from work or simply want to enjoy some quality “me time”.  If done in the right way, eating alone is actually a really enjoyable experience.   So here’s my case for eating alone, even in St Andrews.

In my opinion, the key to eating alone is having something to do (even though if you’re anything like me, you are infinitely entertaining, even alone).  A book, your laptop, some tutorial reading, or even a nice round of Candy Crush will do just fine.  This will make your time eating alone infinitely more enjoyable, and in some cases is way better than living, breathing companionship.

When it comes to picking the restaurant, you have total control. No more trying to accommodate your friends’ food allergies or find something that your vegan girlfriend can eat.  It’s completely up to you.  If you’re an eating alone newbie, you may want to start off small, with a sit in coffee at Starbucks.  For those more advanced solo diners, why not challenge yourself and go big?  Have a daring dinner for one at the Adamson, or if you’re looking to go pro, request a window seat at Mitchell’s, so that everyone can see how little you care. My personal favourite place to eat alone is Bibi’s (coincidentally where I’m writing this now).

But, nothing beats eating alone when you’re working on an essay. Sure, some of the more extreme St Andreans make their essay writing easier by drinking bottles of wine, while others prefer to study at a Cadbury wrapper covered table, but doesn’t a nice plate of Nando’s chicken sound way more encouraging? And why stop there? Set up shop in Dervish, and you can stay until the wee hours of the night, with endless amounts of chips at your disposal.  And of course, eating and working with another person would provide too much of a distraction, so a table for one is a must here.  Or, if you absolutely insist on following Hemmingway’s “write drunk, edit sober” advice, find a quiet pub, where you can eat, drink, and work all at the same time!

However, no matter what you’re doing or where you’re dining, there’s always a chance that people will look at you like you’re a lost puppy (ladies beware that this look contains more concern for your possible Bridget Jones-esque spinster future). Ignore them.  You should have eyes for nothing but your present company, i.e. your glorious plate of food, and refuse to let anything come between you and your solitary dining experience.