Table for one, please. Solo dining is apparently a thing now

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Image: Solo dining on the rise in Britain,

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Hands up: who's pretended to be engrossed in their phone while eating alone?

For many of us, eating out in public can feel absurdly scary. Which is ridiculous, really.

 

A restaurant meal on your own is a luxury – no awkward date banter, no spending your brunch as a shoulder to cry on, no wiping up the scrambled egg your child lobbed at your new blouse …

 

Happily, people are starting to realise the perks of solo dining.

 

New data from restaurant booking service OpenTable has found that single cover reservations have more than doubled in the past two years, increasing by a whopping 110% in the UK, reports The Independent.

 

The survey of 2,000 British diners also found that any stigma or embarrassment people may have once felt at the prospect of dining alone has vanished, with 87% of those surveyed saying they had no issues with eating out alone and 42% explaining that dining out alone was a great way to enjoy time to oneself.

 

"Restaurants across the globe are increasingly accommodating the rise in dining alone by installing clever solo seating arrangements such as extra bar spaces, counters where customers can watch chefs work and single window seating to enjoy a view while eating their meal,” said Mike Xenakis, managing director of OpenTable, in a statement.

 

The data also broke down the UK's geography when it came to solo diners, finding that those from Wolverhampton are the most forward-thinking when it comes to booking a table-for-one (76% revealed that they had done this). 

 

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum, 75% of respondents from Southampton said they would feel worried about eating out alone.

 

Unsure what to do with yourself during a solo dinner date? About 46% of those surveyed said they would bring a book. 

 

Try Sex and the City – Carrie Bradshaw's been an advocate of solo-dining since the 1990s.