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Five reasons why dining out is much better for you…

1. Get more exercise

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It’s far too easy during the cold, dark winter evenings to stay indoors. Who can muster enough enthusiasm to go outside at all, let alone do any actual exercise? The solution is simple. Book yourself a table at a one of Harvey Nichols restaurants – many of which are located towards the top of the store – and take the stairs. Of special interest to serious keep fit fanatics will be the Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, and Leeds branches, which are to be found on the fifth and fourth floors. The OXO tower restaurant is on the eighth floor, but before you start to plan your training regime for this one, it can only be accessed via the lift.

2. Forget five-a-day, how about five-a-dinner

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A little known fact about vegetarian restaurants is that almost 100% of the food they serve is made from vegetables. If you go for three courses you can easily smash the government’s paltry five a day target in one sitting. Pop along to Acorn in Bath, order the truffled broccoli (with cauliflower panna cotta and pickled kohlrabi) to start, followed by the Castle Farm pumpkin with almonds (pressed organic pumpkin with garlic and sage, celeriac cooked in almond milk, smoked almond butter, spelt grain, savoy cabbage and pickled mustard) and finish off with a saffron poached pear (with pine nut parfait and a sultana granola) all for about thirty quid. That’s easily enough fruit and veg for two days, which means you can spend tomorrow eating nothing but chocolate and crisps, completely guilt free.

3. Avoid life threatening injuries

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Let’s face it, kitchens are a death trap! They are the second most dangerous room in the house after the living room, but that’s only because we spend most of our waking time there, risking our lives in front of the telly. On the accidents-per-hour-spent-in-any-given-room scale, the kitchen is the place to avoid; filled with such perils as deadly dishwashers, fatal freezers and cupboards that can kill you where you stand – and leave you standing there, dead. Far best to leave it to the professionals who know what they are doing, except perhaps this chap

4. Alcohol is actually good for you

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While, at 9 o’clock in the morning of the first day of Dry January, this fact might not have seemed self evident to all of us, science has proven it to be true. Kind of. If you only listen to the science that says it is. Like the study that was all over the papers earlier this month, that clearly proves that drinking up to seven alcoholic drinks a week lowers your risk of heart failure by twenty per cent. Why would you want to argue with that science? Get drinking people – your very lives depend upon it.

5. Don’t be SAD, beat the winter blues

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According to the NHS, seasonal affective disorder (known as SAD) affects around two million people in the UK alone. One of the key symptoms is feeling down and unsociable – but there are things you can do combat this. Getting out of the house, for example, especially during sunlight hours, is one. Eating healthily and seeing your friends and family are other ways of beating the blues. You can combine all these therapies by having lunch with your nearest and dearest in a venue that’s as bright and sunny as the outdoors, without any of that nasty winter chill factor. Like the nearest pub or hotel with a conservatory. I’d recommend the Orangery at Tortworth, if you are in the area.

Sam Collins

Sam Collins

Sam is the benign dictator at Food & Drink Guides and Fed Up & Drunk.

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