I have enough self-awareness to realise that I’m unlikely to make many friends by complaining about how much I eat out – I know a lot of people (especially my friends with kids) whose hearts will NOT be bleeding right now. But I thought some of you might be in the same boat (for work or if you have several different groups of friends to catch up with, for example) so I thought it was worth offering a few thoughts. As you know, this January I was meant to eat out less. And do exercise and stuff. Well, it started fairly well. Went to the gym, did ADVANCED circuits (ow), met up with Giovanna for a yoga class (first time we’d met sober in years), booked a dance class.
But then the eating out creeped up on me. Post-theatre meal with Emmissima. The Chef’s birthday supper. Today The Ledbury (hurrah), meals out in Vienna, Burns night, tea and cake at the School of Life, lunch with school and Uni friends, the list is fairly endless. I think I eat out at least 3 times a week for dinner and at least once for lunch which has got to be bad. I decided that I was only to eat out once a week from now on (which is already loads). But then I looked at my diary for February and I’m eating out at least 4 times in the second week already. At least it’s not as bad as living in Brussels, where I ate Italian for lunch and steak frites almost every night and put on 3 stone. But still it’s not great.
However, when I meet up with friends I want to talk and talk and talk. Talking is good for you, at least an hour a week, uninterrupted. And that’s hard in a yoga class or a dance class or the cinema. The ideal is to go for a nice long walk and ideally I’d arrange that more often, or to talk to your partner if you live with them, but it’s rubbish weather at the moment and I live alone. And I like catching up with friends as often as possible, and trying new places regularly. This blog is my downfall perhaps (but a fun downfall). Any suggestions of good ways to catch up with friends and being able to talk that don’t involve being outside, food or wine, then please let me know. But bet we can still find a way of fitting wine in…
Anyway the other night with Emmissima, we were peckish, it was 10pm and we’d had some wine. We wanted a quick and fairly healthy bite to eat and I thought of Rosa’s – that lovely Thai place in Shoreditch and on Dean Street, and a friend of the HPL. And for the first time I ordered a thai salad – we shared the beef sirloin steak salad topped with spiced mint and chilli sauce and the mixed seafood salad topped with spiced mint, lemon grass and chilli sauce with Tom Yum soup. Oh and a carafe of wine. And all for about £15 each.
I don’t know why the hell I have never ordered Thai salads before but they were absolutely delicious – the sirloin tender and spicy and delicate and the seafood was yum too. A little kick and freshness and (I think) they were vaguely healthy. Bonus. And the service, especially at that late time, was wonderful. On reflection, I think the key is that if you have to eat out a lot – for work or pleasure – then you need to vary salads and soups and healthy things with 7 course tasting menus and burgers and steaks and similar, you need to get in a ton of exercise, eat healthy breakfasts and when you’re in, eat something small or not much at all. If you’re haven’t deleted this email in disgust already then I am genuinely grateful for your thoughts!