Solo dining, redux


Apr 17th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Solo dining, redux

I'm traveling solo, again, this time for a month in France. Since I'm traveling solo, naturally I'm dining solo, and I was reminded of the previous solo dining discussions, and of JBHapgood's concerns in particular. I have to say, once again, to JBH that you should really try to come to Europe - and France in particular! Solo dining here is just an accepted fact of life - you don't get the worst table, you don't get worse service, and no-one cares that you're on your own - except that the bored-with-each-other married couple at the next table may decide that you'll make a welcome conversational change!

Now is a great time to come to Europe - the dollar is up and air fares are down. Fly BA or AA to London and get a good deal on a restricted fare on Eurostar to Paris, or look to see if Air France has any deals. Or try for a package on expedia or travelocity.

Probably the waiter doesn't care that you're solo because s/he gets paid a proper wage, and isn't relying on your tips. Probably the proprietor doesn't care because they're as interested in good food as good profits. Your fellow diners don't care because they're intent on having a good time.

I started this trip in Nice, tourist central, you would think, even in earliest April, and I was certainly not the only person eating alone. In one rather touristy restaurant (the less touristy were closed for Sunday), there were several solo males eating, and the first night I was in Nice I saw another - they're not an endangered species in France. I've seen them in Paris too, looking perfectly happy and getting the same service as everyone else. And I just ate a rather good meal, alone, with another solo female (French, I believe) at the next table. It's just not a big deal here.
thursdaysd is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2009, 08:52 PM
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I totally agree. On a solo trip to Paris, I found dining alone was nothing unusual and there were plenty of others. I think the single population in Paris is almost 50%.
djkbooks is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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I also travel solo a lot to Europe, and I have never felt uncomfortable dining alone at restaurants (I am female). I have always received standard service, never got stuck in the worst table, and have many times had great conversations with my fellow diners in the next table.
yk is offline  
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Apr 26th, 2009, 02:41 PM
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Having visited Europe several times (but never solo), I am definitely inclined to believe that most aspects of solo travel are more enjoyable there than they are in the United States. I indeed did notice more people of both sexes dining solo in restaurants than I normally see back home.

Unfortunately, for reasons too personal (and boring) to go into, my solo adventures will have to be confined to the United States for the foreseeable future. I have found that "Lunch Rather Than Dinner, Early Rather Than Late" is the most practical rule for mitigating one of the unpleasant realities of solo travel in the United States.

But if you do have that option, I would not doubt that solo travel is easier and more enjoyable in Europe than in the United States. But even with the inherent difficulties, exploring the United States alone beats sitting home alone watching the Travel Channel!
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Apr 28th, 2009, 08:29 PM
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I've traveled to Europe solo a number of times, dining alone just fine; what's interesting to me is how many people I know (in the US) say they would never dine alone because they don't want other people to feel sorry for them; seems to me it's a bit of projecting their own discomfort.
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