It’s funny how the threat of losing something can make you really, really want it. One of those things for me, over the course of lockdown, has been eating in restaurants. It’s not something I usually do a lot of, maybe once or twice a month – a coffee here, a meal there, but heavens above, did I miss it during lockdown! In the 16 days since they’ve reopened I’ve been out about 7 times and I do hope I’ll never forget how blessed I feel now! My partner keeps crooning on about beer out of a glass pint glass, but for me, it’s the simple joy of a meal I haven’t had to prepare myself!
Many of us did use our time during lockdown to work on our baking skills, and my littlest one spent a fair what of time working on her kids in the kitchen recipes. Websites such as Squaremeal have branched out and are now offering restaurant-standard recipes for free, and there are more online classes including a variety of zoom workshops than you can shake a stick at – it’s definitely been an amazing, once in a life-time opportunity for a lot of people.
It’s been a rather interesting experience, eating out since lockdown has mostly ended around these parts. Aside from the one-way systems in pubs and restaurants, and hosts and hostesses now adorned with spray bottles of anti-bacterial spray, the biggest change for me has been having to book almost everywhere we’ve gone. Looking at Squaremeal again, it’s lovely to see all the options for booking online, whether it’s for an event, a rescheduled wedding, meeting up with friends and family after months apart, or even just casual lunches and dinners, and in addition, you can even see the hygiene ratings alongside information on each of the venues in the major cities.
A really useful feature on Squaremeal is that they group their venues by type, so you could search for say, a screening room, or a summer party venue, or a really funky and unusual venue – looking at you, Ivory Vaults in London!
Another fab feature on this site is the option to give restaurant gift vouchers, so if there’s an anniversary, celebration or other occasion and you can’t personally go along, you can still treat someone special to a wonderful night out. Perhaps there’s someone who’s been particularly good to you during the long months of isolation? Whatever the reason, a gift card for a dinner you don’t have to cook yourself is such a thoughtful gift.
If you’re feeling lucky, enter the competitions on the site too – someone has to win, it could just as well be you or me! A quick look at the competition page shows 14 current competitions!
While we still have to be safe and careful and mindful of the dreaded C-word, life is slowly heading back to some semblance of normal, and I hope that if you get to be out and about with friends and loved ones again soon, it can be a relaxed and wonderful experience.