It’s worth doing your research before committing to a restaurant. Apart from looking for a menu that appeals to you, search for an atmosphere that you will be relaxed and comfortable in, an environment that is not noisy and frenetic and for staff that might look after a lone diner well. Decide on going out to eat early if you want to be quick and unobtrusive.

If you would rather not sit in isolation, choose a casual eatery with a communal table. In Amsterdam, for example, many restaurants have a shared table policy, so if you come in on your own you can dine in the company of others.

Ask for a table facing out into the room so you can see what is going on. Resist being led to a poorly positioned table just because you’re alone.

Don’t allow yourself to be put off by other diners; they are usually too engrossed in their own conversations and dining experience to notice others.

Dietary experts expound that you should focus on your food while you eat, without distractions. However, you may enjoy observing your fellow diners, or you might prefer to bring a form of entertainment along with you – a book, magazine or newspaper, or a sketchbook if you prefer, to fill the time before your food appears. Puzzles and crosswords can be less intrusive than fiddling with your mobile phone, or have a notebook and pen handy for thoughts that occur as you eat.


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