TABLE TALK #68Table Talk #59 centred on the joy of travel and Anthony Bourdain’s reflections on how much broader our horizons become when we choose to depart from our daily lives. Writing this week’s edition from Venice, experiences over these last few days have unexpectedly brought me back to some of his thoughts and how accurately they capture the joy of immersing yourself in other cultures.
🍡 AMUSE-BOUCHES 🍡
🍝 MAIN COURSE 🍝
What follows below is a quote that I’ve long loved but often found hard to put into practice, usually blaming its incompatibility with our daily working lives.
“Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Get the cream sauce. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Listen to someone you think may have nothing in common with you. Order the steak rare. Eat an oyster. Have a negroni. Have two. Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyways. Eat slowly. Tip your server. Check in on your friends. Check in on yourself. Enjoy the ride.”
Its romanticism wanes slightly when realising that it’s 4PM and you’ve still not sent that email you promised would be in someone’s inbox first thing yesterday, as does the idea of having a drink with the person next to you when you’re waiting for a friend you’ve not seen in six months in a busy Central London pub and you’re still thinking about that email you should have sent at 4PM…
But all that goes out the window slightly when you’re on holiday. Holidays are designed for rest and relaxation; they present us with the opportunity to replenish ourselves and recharge our batteries. Whether that involves sinking into a sun lounger and reading a book or yomping around a foreign city trying to cover as much ground as humanly possible, Bourdain’s words of wisdom suddenly become infinitely more applicable when you move outside of your daily routine.
Bourdain travelling in Japan
Re-read the quote above. Take in each sentence. Reflect on it and you quickly realise that almost all, if not all, of the advice dispensed overlaps perfectly with what it means to travel and to spend a few days in surroundings unfamiliar to you.
Now there’s one big elephant in the room here and that’s the way that technology has changed our experience of travel. If a city’s opacity or impenetrability was once a boon for terrible restaurants and touts, that’s long since been replaced by reviews and ratings, meaning that very few of us ever come away without a hatful of recommendations and semi-fixed itinerary of how we plan to spend our time. And whilst that means meals are rarely wasted and comparing notes with friends on our return becomes that much easier, it does make it less likely that we’ll step into that random bar, strike up that conversation or choose something on the menu that really scares us.
It’s that realisation over these past few days that has brought me back to the quote above time and time again - its words pushing me to detach from my phone, to deviate from the plan and to take in my surroundings a little more. Anyway, must dash - I’ve still got one day left in Venice and I don’t want to be late for this cracking lunch recommendation I found online...
🍮 SWEET ENDINGS 🍮
A reference to Italy would not be complete without a mention of the nation’s aperitivo culture, chief amongst which stand the Campari and Aperol Spritzes. For those wanting to go a little deeper and learn more about how the drinks first came to prominence, dive right in here.
Aperol or Campari? That's the question
🍷 WHAT'S NEW
WEDNESDAY'S DOMAINE? 🍷
A quieter week on the news front having enjoyed a few days away from the computer in a bid to rest and recharge ahead of what promises to be an incredibly busy and exciting few months.
See you for more next week,
The Wednesday’s Domaine Team x