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I’m just glad I brought a suitcase full of heels and skirts because spas in Italy – at least the ones I’ve been visiting – go by a drowned-rat-in-a-bathrobe look for day and Italian glam by night. (And if this post sounds like I’m bragging about my wonderful spa life, wait for my next installment – trust me, it ain’t all roses.)
Eating alone on a spa vacation
But back to travel hassles. Eating alone can be a big pain when you’re travelling solo. So far I’ve managed to avoid the dreaded alone-at-swanky-restaurant issue opting for sandwiches at a bar – but it finally happened, on my second night at a Tuscan spa called Fonteverde, Italian spa retreat to the stars (not that I’d know an Italian star if I saw one unless her name was Sophia Loren) – I was on my own for a four-course meal. At a former Medici palace no less. Apparently the Medicis liked their spa waters just as much as we do, though I bet not a single Medici ever had to eat here alone.
How to embrace dining alone
Drink: But whatever. Instead of worrying about my solo status, I decided to embrace it. This was made much easier because of a friendly waiter and a glass of red wine from Montepulciano (the waiter told me that Nobile Grandi Annate is one of the best, but it only came by the bottle so I had a smooth glass of Insoglio instead.)
Spy: I also enjoyed myself by spying on the other diners: a seriously gorgeous Italian couple, a few merely sensationally attractive Italian couples, one unattractive scowling couple, two women – language unrecognized – and a trio of who I believe were Russians, though I could be wrong.
Eat local: I sampled the estate’s latest production of olive oil –quite peppery – ate a salad (everything local, of course – this is Tuscany), had a bowl of zucchini soup and feasted on braised veal cooked with spring onions and red wine, served with a chestnut polenta.
Document: I even, though this took bravery, asked the waiter to take my photo.
I’m sorry the waiter didn’t capture the veal and the wine in the picture. I wanted to make him redo it, but felt stupid enough asking for a shot in the first place. Hopefully the photo captures the festive I-don’t-care-if-I’m-eating-alone spirit.
The evening would have been complete if only I could have stayed for desert: a Puff Pastry with Cinnamon, Egg-nog and Orange Sauce perhaps, or Raspberries and Strawberries Tart with Star Anice Sorbet, but I was getting sleepy and truthfully, the conversation I was having with myself just wasn’t riveting enough to keep me awake. Next time I promise I’ll be more entertaining, because I think I’ve successfully learned how to overcome one of the solo traveller’s major travel hassles: eating alone.
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travel alone , eating along, going to movies alone should become the norm in 10-20 years.. i hope so..
going with friends is fine but so is doign things alone…….
good on you to travel alone.
man these social customs drive me insane. Not many times you will get people to go with you or they wont be interested in the same things as you….
Like my case i dont have anything in common with the ppl i meet. So i waited waited for someone to go along. Now i am sick and tired…. of waiting. Gee i should have travelled alone and made merry…
MacGregrrrr the Terrier-ist
Hmmm … on the other hand, at least you didn’t have guys hitting on you … (another drawback to dining alone – oddly enough, only seems to happen to you attractive young ladies – for some bizarre reason, they leave us old geezers alone … ha!)
Great outfit though.
The only thing more awkward than eating alone is having someone watch you while you eat.