Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Solo Outings: Mishkin's and Woolf Works

I never used to be a fan of hanging out by myself. I remember when I first got to university I hated the idea of spending even a single evening on my own in my room in our halls made me feel so insecure. I don't think that's an uncommon feeling, but I definitely think I maybe took it to an extreme - I remember once stopping at a service station driving back from somewhere, and made the point of sitting at a table by myself to have a cup of tea and read a magazine. And I remember really feeling like it was an important moment (which, clearly it must have been as I still remember it now) as the idea of it didn't make me feel like a massive loser. 

Anyway, since then I've been forced into becoming more used to my own company; relationships ending have meant I have spent time living by myself in houses designed for two and anyway you gain a maturity and knowledge about yourself as you get older. Basically, you're not as clueless. For me, I think as I've got older I've realised how important it is to be able to be alone without getting agitated, and this is something that I think I will continually be trying to improve upon.

So, with this in mind I thought I'd start noting these things down more, with the hope that it will force me to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more. 

Over a year ago I saw a story on the BBC news site about the Woolf Works ballet that would be coming to the Royal Opera House. I promptly put the date the tickets would go on sale in my diary and waited until the date rolled around. Being a huge fan of everything Virginia Woolf related, the very second the tickets went on sale I went online and bought two. And then I thought about it. And thought about who I should make come with me, and I realised that nobody I know loves Virginia Woolf as much as I do. So I manned up, and emailed them and asked to get a refund on one of my tickets (which, luckily, they agreed to as I was so quick off the mark).
The Royal Opera House is in Covent Garden, so I decided to get some dinner beforehand at Mishkin's, which is conveniently about 30 seconds away and also conveniently one of my all-time favourites. I was a bit nervous about going to the ballet by myself, so I decided to have dinner by myself beforehand as well - this is a much less scary prospect to me because I really don't care about eating by myself. Mishkin's is a good one for this anyway - they have a bar area that sits around 15 people, which they hold back for walk-ins. Perfect for solitary diners. I had the meatloaf to start and then the pumpkin cheesecake, along with two glasses of red wine. I read my book, ate my food, and then trotted over to the opera house. I got there with only a few minutes to go before the performance started as I didn't want to sit by myself for too long so that worked quite well - however in this particular performance there were two relatively long intervals which I really felt the length of. The ballet itself was fantastic though - I was so glad I went and I think I made the right call in going by myself, it would have been harder to "fully immerse" myself in it if I'd been explaining to the person next to me what story they were interpreting or whatnot. And most importantly of all - I did it. I actually felt like a proper grown-up (I'm 30 so I suppose I already am one) going to something that I knew I would love, and next time I find something I would love to see that nobody else I know would, it won't seem like such a big deal to go by myself.


  1. I remember feeling that way in University too, but enjoying your own company is a wonderful thing. Have a nice weekend :)

  2. Good for you to go on your own, sounds like you had a great time and I'll put Mishkins on my "to try out" list

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Thanks - I would have been gutted to miss it so glad I forced myself to go!