Chronic loneliness is a modern-day epidemic and even those surrounded by people at work are sometimes going home to empty houses to eat alone in the evening. Social media and the ease of access to everything online is serving to isolate people in their homes as they need to go out and interact with the community diminishes all the time.
Twice a week a table for one will be available at The Patricia, in Jesmond, Newcastle, with a chef providing company throughout the meal. Money taken from the booking will go to mental health charity Mind.
It’s the brainchild of Nick Graves, chef at The Patricia, who says “I was feeling quite alone and I was chatting to my friend. We just thought about all the people who go through that at this time of year and how awful it must be.
“Let’s see if we can invite people to literally just have dinner”
When diners book the table for one, they get a chef to keep them company. No formalities, just company. Talking to other people helped Graves when he was suffering with his mental health and this is just his way of giving back.