Returning to restaurants after lockdown.

Returning to restaurants after lockdown.

Now that lockdown is easing there is a lot of fear about going out and enjoying things as we once did before. As the corona virus caused everything to shutdown it’s going to take some time to adjust to the new normal the world must adapt too. There will obviously be those who are afraid and those who are not afraid. While I personally am not afraid so long as precautions are taken I know others may be scared and that’s okay. But however let’s not judge others for going out and supporting businesses at this difficult time. It is not selfish. It is protecting jobs but keeping a income where we as a country don’t have the funds to provide furlough forever. The fact I went out is also wanting a bit of normality back in our lives. A bit of choice in how we live. If I want to see friends somewhere other then the four walls either of us have been confined too or a park we’ve walked hundreds of times.

So at the weekend last i decided to try eating out as I met up with my friend socially distanced. I mean socially distanced and not using it as to excuse bad behaviour. We met up with face masks, disposed of them before eating and washed our hands and kept a minimum of one metres distance at all times. We sanitised constantly throughout the day too. At the table we sat across from each other still keeping to guidelines.

So how was the dining experience you may ask? Well it went really well. We found a somewhat empty restaurant and asked if they had any tables. They did obviously as there was only one other table containing people in the whole place. Normally you need to book in advance but I guess we where lucky. The doors where kept open for airflow and all staff had masks on. The tables where bare and freshly cleaned over bar a decorative plant. Disposable menus where brought over at a distance and we decided what we wanted.

Once we ordered Cutlery and tissues were then brought over. Food and drink was placed on the table safely from extended arms at a distance. The staff where constantly cleaning hands and the tables. They wore gloves to collect the plates and cutlery we where given. We paid contactless from a distance again and then we left and put on fresh masks and santized again as we left. As we left we could see them cleaning everything already as we had got half way through the restaurant.

It didn’t feel weird or anything all the additional cleaning and measures. I think having health anxiety for years and being a germaphobe I actually felt the safest I’ve ever been in a restaurant. Once you get over stickers on the floor and the new lay out of places it feels pretty normal. I was able to relax. I was quite excited to be out again. To have my freedom back. I love my local supermarket but I cannot be bothered to cook the same crap over and over again.

The vibe was the same, music playing, the staff still as lovely as ever. The food still tasted great and we really enjoyed our selfs. I would defo go again and don’t know why I was so worried. Of course the virus still exists and there’s a risk wherever you go but I felt so much safer here sat away from others enjoying myself then I felt in tescos feeling like Cattle to the slaughter with their terrible distancing and hygiene standards.

So if your worried that’s okay. You don’t need to do anything your scared of but also remember these restaurants not only need our support but also have a legal obligation to keep you safe. So if you can take a trip to primark it is no different then eating at a restaurant! The restaurants really do try their best and feel safe. In fact safer then before.Do not do anything your not ready to do. It’s normal to feel anxious about change especially when we have been presented with nothing but fear. Many restaurants are still doing takeaway and delivery too! But from my personal experience I had a lovely time!

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Eating out with a toddler.

Eating out with a toddler.

Ever since Elijah was little we’ve eaten out together. I used to feel really nervous about how others would feel when I took Elijah out to eat. Would he make a mess? Would he be loud? Would others stare? Then I remembered I too was a baby once apon a time and everyone else was once a baby too, surely not everyone was kept out of restaurants out of fears of a possible tantrum?

Taking a baby into a restaurant is all calm and relaxing. Baby sleeps, feed change and back to sleep. People think they’re adorable sleeping or when they first sit in a little highchair and eat tiny meals when they start weaning. The older they get the more tantrums they have when they are hungry or bored. The cause of a tantrum is normally either of those two things and sitting in a restaurant isn’t the easiest of places to entertain a toddler and they must wait for their food.

I personally love taking Elijah out for dinner he always has fun and it’s something where we sit around giving each other our undivided attention and chatting. Sure we still have the odd meltdown here and there but most of the time it can be calmed down with distraction. Colouring pencils and paper or singing songs normally helps. But when he is particularly bored I do let him watch nursery rhymes on my phone till the food comes. I don’t normally let him have my phone in public but if I feel it’s going to upset people eating their meals if I don’t let him quietly watch nursery rhymes until his meals comes out then I don’t mind.

When the meal comes he always eats very well and tells us when he is done. We have even taught him to tidy away his mess and give us the plate. He’ll then wipe up his hands and face with help and we’ll wait for the bill. He will normally go back to colouring or will wait nicely if we tell him where we are going next. We do have our moments we feel judged when we are out like any other parents. When people stare because your child’s on your phone like you let them on it every single second of the day. Also sometimes Elijah will get upset because he can’t express himself and is hungry or bored and people always turn around to have a nose and I then feel how I approach his tantrums will be judged whatever happens.

I always say don’t stop enjoying meals out because your toddler may cry because every single last human being was once a toddler them self’s and should have a element of understanding. When you eat out you are teaching them how to behave in public too so if there being naughty teach them that it is not right. Remember tantrums are short and will be over soon and that it is ok to distract them with your phone if that helps. And if they cry? Remember your in a family restaurant and the people judging you who don’t have kids have no right too. Enjoy meals out, enjoy your food, enjoy your family time and enjoy your life!