If it's good enough for Emma Watson! Our Lifestyle Editor, Véronique, talks about the new love for being single and dating yourself.
Last year, actress Emma Watson famously declared herself to be "self-partnered" as opposed to merely single, a wonderful concept I thought and judging by the positive response she received I was not alone.
How often do we truly revel in our own company? It's my guess that if you are a mother, carer, at the helm of a start-up, or keeping an established business afloat, you have very little free time to spoil yourself. As we head inescapably towards Valentine's Day, why not spend some hard-won quality time with the one person that is absolutely always in your life, for better or worse?! May I introduce you to the concept of "date night...for one"
Way back in the day when I shared a house with a somewhat domestically challenged friend, I would frequently take the opportunity to spoil myself whenever I was lucky enough to have the place to myself for an evening. This entailed a gourmet dinner followed by dessert, a luxurious bath with all manner of bath-bombs, oils and candles, a glossy magazine and the deeply comforting knowledge that at no point would my pampering be interrupted by a knock at the door and an ill-timed request to use the facilities! It was a challenging but exciting time when I learnt much about myself and not least the art of compromise. However, one practice from that period I refuse consign to the past is "date night for one" and the art of truly pleasing oneself even if it is only for one night.
It's all about me, me, me!
For those of you who may be new to this concept, let me guide you as to how to make the most of your me-time. Don't feel like leaving the house? That's fine, remember, it's all about you! Indulge in the meal and beverage of your choice. It will taste all the sweeter as you won't feel obliged to share. Choose from healthy and restorative or sinfully decadent - the only rule is this is a meal for you and you alone. Feel free to add a starter and dessert and of course it would be impolite to neglect the cheese course! Check with local supermarkets for the latest dine-in offers.
Pamper, pamper, pamper yourself! Paint your nails, apply a facemask, try a facial massage, deep condition your hair, watch that Nexflix series you've had your eye on safe in the knowledge your selection will not be judged.
Table for ONE
The UK is awash with restaurants of all persuasions including some geared towards welcoming solo dinners. Why not search the web for local reviews or explore Timeout magazine for ideas. If by some strange occurrence the weather is fair, indulge in some street food and retire to a suitable corner to people watch as the world goes by. If you live in London, head down to the South Bank, a fantastically vibrant district home to the Royal Festival Hall which frequently hosts talks, exhibitions and concerts and often free of charge!
I spoke to Emma, WWD Founder and big fan of solo-dining, she said, "I take myself out at least once a month for dinner. I've always dated myself, even though I'm not single. At first I was a bit self conscious sitting in a restaurant on my own, but the more I did it the more I cared less and enjoyed the moment. The same with the cinema. My local cinema is tiny and right next door to my office, so if I'm having a particularly rough day, I take myself off for a matinee and a big box of popcorn which I don't have to share with anyone!"
Which leads my nicely onto the cinema! Why not take yourself off to the cinema having chosen a film without compromise and suited solely to your tastes. Head to one of London's most luxurious cinemas such as Curzon Mayfair, The Everyman Islington or Soho Screening Room for a truly sumptuous experience or simply just pop into your local showing.
Visit a museum, you know the one you've always wanted to visit but never had the time or an appropriate companion? The National Gallery, The Photographers Gallery, Tate Modern or Tate Britain are veritable treasure troves and with no admission fee. You have no excuse! If you are more of a bookish type, head to the British Library it would take a lifetime to scratch the surface of knowledge and wondrous prose housed within its walls.
The most important thing to remember, "date night for one" is all about you and what you want to do and if that means sitting at home with a good book and a hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) then so be it. Enjoy!
Lifestyle Editor, Véronique Ashwood
Véronique is a writer, reader and consummate wanderer. A virtual collector of the beautifully crafted – be it jewellery, shoes, hats or buildings! Her goal is to help you achieve the tangible and intangible lifestyle of you deserve.
She has been working as a freelance writer, blogger and ghostwriter for over ten years and has created her own blog.
If you'd like to submit a guest lifestyle blog, you can contact Véronique; firstname.lastname@example.org