I used to hate eating alone. That was me in Sixth Form, and perhaps even in first year of Uni. If I couldn’t find anyone to eat with me I just wouldn’t eat. Before I started appreciating the activity of literally tasting food.
Bank in Sixth Form after half a term of boarding school, my father took one look at me in the arrivals hall of the airport and said:
“You look like you’ve blown up like a tomato.”
Since then I’ve been battling with my yo-yo-ing weight, having initially put on 15 pounds in 6 weeks. (Don’t ask what my weight is now…let’s just say one will become resigned to never being able to wear a bikini without the thoughts of “muffin top” or “belly” crossing though one’s mind…) Anyway the result was if I weren’t with someone, I made it a rule to myself not. to. eat. (Snacking, however, is another matter.)
Laduree Ispahan – raspberry, lychee and rose butter cream in a macaron shell; Marie Antoinette tea – Chinese black tea, jasmine, dried fruit and honey
Eating – or dining, for want of a better word – alone has its perks. (For me, it is a considerate gesture to others not to have to wait whilst I finish my food at snail’s pace.) You grow out of silly phases like “it’s really sad to be sitting alone with a plate of food.” Yes if you are checking your phone every five seconds as if you’ve been stood up. No if you have a diary, or a book, and are letting yourself have this space to yourself. Yeah schizophrenia has – or hasn’t – kicked in today…you decide.
Shopping, on the other hand, is another matter. I have always loved shopping on my own. Taking my own time, experimenting, mix-and-matching, and I do truly feel sorry for the
doting boyfriends patiently sitting on random boxes sofas waiting for their “apple of my eye” to take five years in changing rooms.
Icecreamists: Apple and vodka sorbet; popcorn
But there is precisely one reason why I should not be let out alone. With a debit card that has sufficient funds in the current account.
Because “shopping” can mean shopping for anything.
Eton mess…slight wail escapes
Oh complete self restraint of course. I only got a stilton burger.
The lovely man at the stall said to me, as he handed over my burger:
“Your day is just about to get better.”
And old habits die hard. Without my daily caffeine fix there was a couple of minutes where I could have dozed off walking. Flat white needed.
Wandered into a pleasant surprise at Pauls. I love chouquettes fullstop.
And you’d really think a food expedition would stop here.
I have had a Vietnamese craving for an exact number of 12 days. So here is where the calories burned off in Zumba class this evening went:
Viet Pho: Goi Cuon – rice paper rolls with thai basil, shredded pork and prawns
Viet Pho: Bun bo la lot – Bun cold noodles with chargrilled minced beef wrapped in Betel leaf
Okay. Off to finish watching Marie Antoinette now. Why else, like I do care whether Louis, Dauphin of France should grow a pair and have sex with her already. What about the vast array of French pastries, cake and all?
Reaching for my stash of birthday madeleines.
P.S. In case you were wondering. I did buy tangibles, stripy plimsoles from Aldo, crop top and beaded collar from Topshop, and cheap retro sunglasses from Urban Outfitters.
– Laduree, Covent Garden
– The Icecreamists, Covent Garden
– Covent Garden Food Market, every Thursday 11am – 7pm
– Pauls, I frequent the one in Euston station, also on Regent’s Street and again, Covent Garden
– Viet Pho, 34 Greek Street, Soho