While we all celebrate, talk or write about the beauty of socializing over a great meal, I think it’s equally important to book a table for one from time to time. During my travels in recent years, I was surprised to find I enjoy every single second of a solo dinner — more than I ever thought possible.
During a recent trip to Torino, I decided to have lunch at the mystical Del Cambio restaurant, which reopened recently. The restaurant has been famous for its food and décor since 1840 but also for having hosted Camillo Benso, the former prime minister of the Piedmont Kingdom in the mid 1800s, on numerous occasions. He always sat by himself at Table #18 (it’s still marked today) from where he could observe the deputies entering and exiting the first Chamber of Deputies.
Sitting in this specific spot allowed me to immerse myself in the history of the place while enjoying an elegant Barbaresco with my Piedmontese-style agnolotti. I wanted to fully concentrate and relive those times, observing the ritual of each waiter, figuring out how the carriages dropped off their passengers, envisioning what the deputies looked like, admiring each piece of the baroque decor from another century, enjoying every bite of my anchovies in green sauce or each sip of my la Spinetta Valeirano, observing the guests coming and going, listening (without authorization, of course!) to the conversation at the next table and imagining it could have been a political plot being organized. There was so much emotion and history in this place I could almost fancy myself to be a contemporary of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour.
If you, like me, enjoy sharing fantastic meals with family, friends or colleagues, I still would recommend booking a table for one occasionally. Without any objectives or distractions you can really absorb and be nourished by your surroundings. Bon appétit!