A digusting dinner

A delightful Spanish meal

Though I’m often plagued with the nagging fear that my smart phone is cleverer than me, I wouldn’t be without it.  For starters, the iPhone culture has almost completely abolished disappointing restaurant meals for tech savvy diners. With a stream of reviews available at the touch of a button, I need never again dampen my Friday night with cold food and inadequate service.

Alas, the same cannot be said whilst travelling abroad. Due to the high costs of accessing the internet in foreign climes (phone companies please take note) emergency restaurant checks are financially ill advised. Unless you’re the kind of person who downloads, prints and laminates every digital review in the region prior to departure (please don’t be that girl), you may feel a tad overwhelmed on arrival.

Luckily I’ve put together a handy guide for distinguishing a decent restaurant in any corner of the globe.

1.)    Only eat in busy restaurants. Sounds obvious but I’ve seen countless girls exclaim: “Wow this place looks really peaceful, let’s eat here”, and wander happily into a deserted bistro like lambs to the slaughter. If peace and quiet is really what you’re after try a self catering caravan in Wales.

2.)    Follow the locals. They know; they’ve been there.

3.)    Avoid English food. You’re on holiday, save pie and mash for East London. It’ll taste better there, I promise.

4.)    While you’re at it avoid tourist hotspots in general. These restaurants are easily spotted by the wide variety of menus (in at least six languages) and large crowd of sunburnt Brits gathered at the entrance.

5.)    As a general rule I’m an advocator of the ‘try everything once’ mantra. Please note, jellyfish salad doesn’t apply here. I’ve tried it for you and yes, it’s as disgusting as it sounds.

6.)    Go to places that look at least vaguely sanitary.

7.)    Find out what the local delicacy is and try it. (Note, this can backfire in certain corners of the globe.)

8.)    If there’s no English menu, this is a good thing. Just take a pocket translator guide.

9.)    Consider the above to be the cardinal rules of dining abroad.

I have broken all these rules at least 100 times. Much like drinking on a school night, my digestive system and I always regret it.

The above picture is evidence of what happens when these rules are not adhered to.