‘Self-Love Restaurant’ Will Sit Solo Diners in Front of Giant Mirrors on Valentine's Day
"Do you want to spend Valentine's Day looking at a reflection of your own face?" That sounds like the first question—or the only question—on an online quiz to determine whether you're a narcissist. It's also the setup for Two4One, a two-night pop-up restaurant that will materialize in London later this month.
Two4One has called itself the United Kingdom's first "self-love restaurant," and its concept is pretty simple: single diners are seated across from large mirrors so they can spend Valentine's Day appreciating themselves.
The restaurant is being launched by Tastecard, which provides discounts or two-for-one offers at more than 6,500 restaurants in Britain. According to HuffPost, it came up with the idea for the pop-up after seeing the results of a survey of 2,000 U.K. residents, and learning that one out of every three people "regularly" eats every meal alone. (That number increased to one-in-two among the respondents who lived in London, which might be why Two4One will be held in the capital city.)
With this restaurant, Tastecard seems to be saying We know you're going to be eating by yourself anyway, so why not have a little bit of fun while you do it? "Diners will experience mood-boosting playlists, feel-good soul food from Absurd Bird and mirrors reflecting motivational quotes, putting guests in the mood to have the best solo time," the company said in a statement.
But—and oh man, is this ever a big but—Two4One's solo diners aren't actually by themselves after all. Just before the last of the three courses is served, the mirrors will be lifted to reveal that another person has been sitting across from you all along. Those two total strangers will then be given the option to either pay full price separately, or split the bill to claim a two-for-one discount. According to Metro, the person on the other side of the mirror won't be able to see their surprise dinner companion until the mirrors are removed—so no one should panic if they spent a solid two minutes aggressively picking their teeth.
"This is a really fun, exciting pop-up that carries a significant message. People need to remember the importance of loving yourself and despite numerous restaurants that are great for solo dining, no restaurant experience has been designed with a function that offers the two of you, for the price of one," Tastecard founder Matt Turner said.
Two4One will be open from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on February 13 and 14. Those who are interested in loving themselves and (sort of) eating with a stranger can pay £20 to book now through Eventbrite. All proceeds from both nights will be donated to Mary's Meals, a charity that provides school day meals to children in some of the world's most economically depressed areas.
Regardless, it will be Valentine's Day, and this entire thing sounds like the kind of guilty-pleasure rom-com that we all secretly love. And even if the person on the other side of the mirror isn't destined to be your next sweetheart, there's still a chance that you'll fall hard for… you.