Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or maybe you just feel like treating yourself and the family, it’s nice to book somewhere a little bit nicer than your usual cheap and cheerful local restaurant.
But how do you choose where to go? The decision is ultimately a personal one, and everybody has their own things that they look for in a restaurant, but here are some of the main things to be on the lookout for.
Where else can we start but with the food? Everyone has different tastes, but once you’ve settled on the type of cuisine that you’re after, the best thing you can do is to read reviews that people have left for the restaurant on places such as TripAdvisor.
Remember that price isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality, although if somewhere is charging higher prices, you’d like to think that they’re sourcing high-quality ingredients and putting a little extra care into the preparation of your food.
Of course, food is important, but don’t underestimate how much the décor and general ambience can affect your dining experience.
A loud and hectic restaurant could serve the best food in town, but if you feel uncomfortable and you’re having to shout to make yourselves heard, it can ruin the whole thing.
While a bit of atmosphere is nice, it’s generally best to choose somewhere nice and quiet and relaxed.
According to the team at Bella Cosa, an Italian restaurant in Canary Wharf: “Ambience is almost as important to us as the food that we send out, and we try to cater to all crowds, whether it’s a classy family meal for a special occasion or just a relaxed bite and a drink after work.
“It’s vitally important to us that we make people feel at home, as this is all part of the experience of dining out!”
Obviously, with it being a special occasion, it’s ok to go out and spend a little more than you usually would.
In fact, it’s nice to be able to treat yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard and it’s still important to try and get some value for your money, especially if you’re eating as a large group.
Of course, we’re not saying that you need to be tight with your money, but just make sure that you’re actually satisfied with the meal that you receive for your money.
If you can get a meal of an equal or even better quality but by paying less, why wouldn’t you?
You’d think that top restaurants wouldn’t have a problem with hygiene, but unfortunately, you’d be wrong!
Thankfully, most restaurants are pretty strict about keeping the place clean, but you never know.
That’s why it can be handy to head to the Food Standards Agency website, where you can see the food hygiene ratings of pretty much every restaurant in the country, just to set your mind at ease.