Tips on Dining Solo in Europe

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Tips on Solo Dining in Europe

BBC Radio 2 "discussion" focused on: Eating Alone in Restaurants. To check out the posts, visit: How many of you eat out alone regularly in restaurants?
Have you heard of the UK's Ask Mario? For an introduction, click, UK and scroll down.

Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating at the bar
Interested in restaurants featuring communal table dining? Click: eating with others

THE How-to Booklet of Solo Dining Tips & Strategies is now available.

Visit: Lifestyle Skills

The Women's Travel Club Managing Director offers tips for eating alone abroad:

1. Bring a list of items you wish to try in the language of the country you are visiting.
2. Ask the concierge to pre-book your table and tell the maitre 'd you are coming alone. Then repeat same when you arrive at the restaurant.
3. Carry a pink Financial Times, it means you are on a business trip and expense account
4. Eat lunch instead of dinner at top restaurants if you want to economize but still get the experience.
5. Act confident and talk to staff with friendliness; even say I am eating alone here as I heard what a great restaurant it is. You will likely get extra attention.
6. Tip appropriately, women tend to under tip and if in doubt, ask for the maitre d and solicit his suggestion. Overseas service is often included, again get this language in the original so you can determine tipping locally.
7. Look for prix fixe meals so you know price ahead of time.
8. Afraid to eat dinner alone? Try student guide books like Let's Go for ideas of easy to eat at cafeterias and such.
9. Go for museum restaurants which serve excellent food and are more casual.
10. Look around and do as in Rome: for instance do not order tea after dinner in London or a salad to start in Paris. You will appear a tourist and receive different service.

Compliments of Phyllis Stoller, Managing Director The Women's Travel Club

Budget accommodations guidebook author Margo Classé offers tips on dining solo in Europe.

(Originally published in the Winter 2003 issue of

Budget accommodations in London, Paris and Rome? Follow the lead of guidebook author Margo Classé; she examined more than 1,300 budget hotels and bed-and-breakfasts for her guides, "Hello Spain!" "Hello France!" "Hello Italy!" and "Hello Britain & Ireland!"

To buy Classe's books, click: Amazon

Tips on dining solo in Europe? Again, follow Classe's lead; while visiting 10-12 places a day, seven days a week, she logged a lot of time alone in restaurants. (Though busy, she occasionally treated herself to a three-hour dinner and a "bottle of wine just for me"!)

Here are some of her tips:

* Always make a reservation.

* If you like to read, bring a book; it's a great companion.

* Walk into a restaurant with a self-assured attitude. (Walk in with a pitiful air and they'll treat you accordingly.)

* Get the name of your waiter and ask lots of questions; this will help establish a rapport.

* Waiters often get impatient when you don't speak their language; they want you to order. Prepare yourself to respond in a confident manner. "Please wait. This is my money I'm spending." Carry a dictionary and use it.

* Take care when you order; eating truly is/should be an experience. If there are two fabulous items on the menu (Spain) and you can't decide between them, inquire whether you can have 1/2 portions and offer to pay extra.

* You can't send it back, if you're surprised by what you get in a family-owned restaurant, even if the restaurant is at fault.

* I f you want to meet other people (People love to practice their English.), look at someone's plate and remark, "What is that? I'd love to order it."
OR "Please tell me about two or three other restaurants like this one."

* To experience a culture, seek out Mom & Pop-type restaurants that few Americans frequent; why travel and spend money to be with Americans?

(Planning a trip to Paris? Check out Cook-Dating)

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Sooner or later, EVERYONE business and pleasure travelers, singles, those divorced or widowed, very-marrieds whose spouses are on the road, harried moms and dads, etc. faces the challenge of eating out alone!

cover - the art and satisfaction of dining alone revealed

THE How-to Booklet of Solo Dining Tips & Strategies:

The Art and Satisfaction of Dining Alone REVEALED!

is now available for purchase in PDF format!

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