I got tired of waiting to have someone to go away with and someone to try new restaurants with. There was a moment, at the beginning of 2017, when I decided that being single was not a curse, but an adventure into the world to see who I could meet.
I love getting away from my familiar surroundings because it inspires a burst of creative writing and not having the confidence to book into a hotel or take myself to dinner is now a thing of the past. I decided not to venture too far from home and checked into the Sun Square on Montecasino on a typical business afternoon. How idea, because this hotel is designed for the busy-ness person, where I quickly found myself sitting at the spacious and comfortable desk in my hotel room.
The words and time flew and before I knew I it was time for dinner at Aarya, in the hotel. This is one of those "must try" places, where I imagined myself my special plus one sampling each other's food from, which is raved about through town.
Instead, it was me! Dinner for one!
Or was it?
It's impossible to feel alone at Aarya, when it's managed by the debut winner of MasterChef South Africa, Deena Naidoo and the warmest team of staff working alongside him. Lots of people have dinner for one there, after all, it's the ideal hotel for business.
Everyone wandered over to the table, from a handful of waiters, the hostess and finally, Deena himself. I had plans to slip quietly into the pages of my novel which needs editing, but didn't have a moment to even open it. Between savouring the calamari starter and sips of perfectly chilled red wine, I chatted to everyone about who I was and what the book was on the table. Discovering I was an entrepreneur was cause for more conversation, between offers of more wine, water and coffee.
And then my night turned into one I know I will savour, as an entrepreneur and food lover. I ordered the famous chicken curry and knew I would before I even got to the restaurant. That's the power of social media. I Tweeted my dinner plans and within minutes I was Tweeted back to have Deena's famous curry. I'm so thrilled I did. It's worth every mouthful and even if no one chatted to me, I would not have felt alone in the company of the meal.
To top off an evening of perfect company and food, Deena strolled over to the table and within minute the conversation flowed. He's not simply a host or a passionate cook. He is a man who puts his heart and consciousness into everything he does, thinks and says. It spread through the atmosphere of the restaurant, through the food and into everyone who is privileged to spend time with.
Tsogo Sun is never far from heart and I do hope that as my travels continue, I have many more opportunities to feel totally at home wherever I stay.