I’ve talked before about how single people can have problems when it comes to cafes (see Table for One, Barcelona)
Here’s another one.
You walk into a busy cafe, coffee shop, whatever. It’s self service and free tables are at a premium.
If you are in a couple or group, there’s no problem. One of you grabs a table, the other goes for the drinks.
But what do you do if you are on your own?
You see a perfect table – but by the time you have been served, someone has nabbed it.
You can’t leave your bag on it; it might be stolen.
My usual solution is to leave my scarf on the table, preferably along with a book if I have one in my bag. A scarf on its own can look like someone has simply forgotten it. A scarf, notebook and pen is even better. I’ll add a glasses case too sometimes. Basically anything I can find it my bag that I wouldn’t mind losing. I’m like a tomcat, peeing on its patch!
But genuinely, it is a problem, because you can find yourself holding a tray full of food with no free table in site.
So THREE CHEERS for the National Trust at Hidcote (near Chipping Camden, Cotswolds, UK) for thinking of its solo visitors. When you enter their tearoom, you can take a wooden sign that says:
PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY SEAT
and safeguard your space with ease. Seriously, it made my heart sing to see this. More than that, I was able to take twice as long at the counter, choosing which cake I wanted. Perfect!
So simple, so wonderful. More please!