The Unstated Guide to | Dining In
This past year has made dining out a rarity for most of us. With lockdowns and social distancing measures we've had no option but to dine in, and for some this is no different from our lives pre-pandemic, but for others it's been a bore or a chore.
We've put together a guide – from recipes to ambience tips – that will make dining in a more enjoyable affair.
An important part of enjoying dining in is creating the right ambience. Your favourite restaurants probably pay great attention to ambience, with considered music playing lightly in the background, lots of good natural light in the day and cosy lighting in the evening,
We recommend finding or creating a playlist that you will enjoy listening to as background noise (find our playlists that will work perfectly here), and if you're dining alone, this could be a podcast (find our selection on 'What We're Listening to | Podcast').
Obviously, an integral part of enjoying dining in is down to enjoying the food, and that's a pretty easy thing to do with the right recipes. Ideally these recipes should be pretty easy to follow, involve simple, accessible ingredients and not require the skills of a chef to cook – as one of the joys of eating out that many of us might miss is not having to prepare a meal. Another aspect is aesthetically pleasing meals, this may sound shallow, but we tend to want to eat food that look and smell good.
Here's a list of some of our favourite recipe books and food blogs that will help you achieve meals with all of these qualities:
Simple by Yotam Ottolengi
Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Satin Nosrat
Bitter Honey by Letita Clark
Whether you want a formal table setting or something more nonchalant is your choice completely, but we recommend at least sitting at a table to eat. This makes the ritual of dining seem like more of an event and emulates the experience of dining out.
We recommend adding small touches like lighting a candle or tealights and using matching tableware. If you're able to throw a small dinner party, you could also dress your table with cotton or linen table clothing and flowers.