The Solo Project #2 - Eat in a restaurant

The Solo project

This is one of those things that so many people have been iffy about when I’ve mentioned The Solo Project. Almost every person I mentioned it to that I was going away by myself for a few days said that they’d have to order room service and eat on the go as they couldn’t sit in a cafe by themselves.

Admittedly, on my first night in Dublin, I did stay in. I was tired, a bit overwhelmed with that ‘shit, I’m in another country by myself and no I don’t care that it’s only a 45 minute flight home’ feeling, and I’d just been down to the pool and this girl was not in the mood to reapply makeup.

I ordered room service with zero regrets. Hence the opening photo as I forgot to take my camera when i went out for tea. Shit blogger.

Anyway, for the rest of my trip, I was by myself whilst dining, including at breakfast in the hotel, in a cafe at lunchtime, in a restaurant at dinner and in the airport before I went home.

Needless to say, I didn’t linger nearly as long without anyone to talk to! A few things I did notice is that, especially at breakfast when it was a buffet, that I didn’t want to pig out. It made me very self-aware of my choices, not so much because I thought I was being judged, but because there wasn’t anything to distract me from sitting and eating something unhealthy. Let’s face it, how often would you sit down with a massive bag of crisps or chocolate and focus solely on eating your way through it? Not often.

In hotels, it’s not unusual to see people dining alone, especially as I was staying in the business district so for me, I didn’t feel at all self conscious over breakfast. Likewise, I went to a small cafe which wasn’t particularly busy at lunchtime but didn’t feel as though anyone was paying me that much attention.

In the evening, I did feel a tad nervous as I headed to a restaurant close to my hotel called Milano (AKA Irish Pizza Express) for dinner. I didn’t want to cave to room service again and before I went in, I felt a tad nervous. However, the restaurant was pretty quiet and seemed to have a few other solo diners in – whether they were also on holiday or on business, I don’t know. Again, the ‘making conscious choices’ thing came into play and lasted as far as my main meal (a salad). By the time I was offered the dessert menu, I’d definitely relaxed enough.

A few things to note is that waiters don’t give you a pitying look for being by yourself. It’s not a weird thing for them. Also, nobody looks at you like you have no friends of you’ve been stood up. People just assume that you’re by yourself and hungry rather than you’re Billy no mates.

It was actually quite calming and relaxing to sit there and savour food rather than be distracted from what you’re consuming so it’s something I’d do again. I’m not sure I’d feel all that comfortable dining in a busy central Leeds restaurant, but somewhere a bit off the beaten track? I definitely would.

Have you dined alone before? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about your experiences!


  1. Good on you, the only place I don't like being alone is in a bar/pub. I find that a little odd.

    When I worked at Cineworld, I used to see people on their own all the time, it's a norm for people in the service industry!!


    1. Yeah, I can fully understand that, I guess it's that feeling of looking a bit stood up! Cafes seem to have a different vibe, it seems entirely normal in that environment. I think the cinema is next on my list and reading your comment has reassured me a lot about it! xx