Eating In The Dark is the Best Thing Ever

Last weekend, I did something amazing – I ate in the pitch dark.

It was meant to be a treat for my sisters, but as they were unable to make it, I grabbed my buddy Alice and we head off for London.

Dans le Noir is a pitch black dining experience near Farringdon station in London. When we stepped through the door, we were in a very dark entrance room, staffed with the most gorgeously hip people I have seen in a long time.

We were asked to put all our things – including phones and watches – into lockers, then were given a couple of very visually pleasing cocktails to try while we waited (I sneaked out my phone to take a cheeky photo first…)

(Note to self – buy some edible flowers).

The gorgeous waiter ushered us down a dark corridor and introduced to our host for the night, Ricardo, who is amazing. I put my hand on his shoulder, and Alice’s on mine, and we were lead down a PITCH black corridor.

The darkness was so heavy it felt like it was pressing on my eyes. I gripped Ricardo’s shoulder for dear life – especially when he yelled “be careful of the steps” ARRGH WHAT STEPS??? I was sliding each foot along the floor in anticipation… but none were found. It was a joke. Ha.

When we got to our table we were invited to feel around the table to find our glasses and cutlery. Ricardo then put a bottle of water on the table and told us it was up to us to pour it – to put a finger in the glass and when your finger is wet, you know you’ve got enough.

A lovely couple of ladies came to sit down next to us, which was great because we could share the experience with more people. There were others in the room, but we couldn’t tell just how big the room was, or how many people were there. It was the strangest feeling.

When the food came, the challenge intensified. We started off dignified, using our knife and fork, but after one too many forkfulls of nothing, we used our hands to feel where the food was on the plate, pushing it onto the fork.

Not being able to see the food was great as we concentrated much more on what it tasted like. We weren’t just ramming it down our throats. With the wine, though, because I wasn’t visually checking how much I was drinking, I got tipsy verrry quickly!

I am a pescatarian, and especially recently I’ve been wavering under the smells of amazing BBQ meats from neighbouring gardens. When I first saw Dans le Noir I was worried that with us eating in the dark, I’d accidentally eat some meat and then I’d fall off the bandwagon. That wasn’t the case at all. I had the fish menu, Alice had the meaty menu and the two ladies beside us both had the straight up vegetarian menu. Everyone is catered for here, and I certainly didn’t feel to be a second class citizen for not having meat (no bland risotto here!)

I’m not going to tell you what I ate, because that would give it all away, but we had a three course meal, with the main dish being split into three on a special plate with three sections. Each section had very different themes going on, so it was really exciting to flit between all three.

Now, please don’t judge me. But out of all the challenges we had – forkfulls of nothing, trying to find our water glasses on the table, not knowing what we’re eating, the BIGGEST challenge for me was…

Not being able to take a photo of the food.

I know. I suck. Excuse me sir, what would go well with this millennial whine??

The food tasted AMAZING so I knew it must have looked amazing too. It was a huge eye opener to me of how much I rely on my phone and how much I’m living digitally when I should be, you know, enjoying how the food tastes.

After the dessert, we asked Ricardo if we could finish up. Saying goodbye to the lovely ladies, we were ushered out of the pitch black room.

Remember that dark room we entered into at the start? Now this room was insanely bright, and stepping back in there, I must have looked like a vampire stepping out into daylight.

The experience wasn’t over yet.

We were lead upstairs, where there bar. Sat down, we put on special headsets (like in a silent disco, with different music settings). A lady came over with a sign – “can I teach you some sign language please?”

YES!

We learned how to order through sign, as well as basic greetings, then while the lady was getting our teas we flipped through the book to learn some flirting signs to use on each other. Yeah, we’re not mature in the slightest…

It was so strange being in a room, looking over the other diners, wondering if the voices you’d made friends with matched with the faces you now see. Every now and then, people would start dancing, and we’d switch the headsets to another channel to find what they were listening to.

It really was an amazing shared experience.

The funniest part was when were were shown photos of what we ate… “THAT’S what that was??!!”

So, what did I learn? I learned that I am a terrible millennial who can’t survive without taking photos. I have an increased respect for people with sight and hearing loss, having passed through their world like a tourist, stumbling around and flailing. I learned that the tastes should be enjoyed slower, taken in more.

I was treated to this meal but I can honestly say that this was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s not just a meal, it’s an experience, and one that I won’t be forgetting in a long while.

Find Dans le Noir at 30-31 Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0DU

Check out their events as well!

 

Comments

  1. There’s one of these restaurants in Basel too. I want to go but it’s always fully booked! I have been to Dialog im Dunkeln twice though and can HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend that if you really want to get an idea of what it’s like for blind people (not just in a restaurant, but crossing roads, finding things in shops…)
    Confuzzled Bev recently posted…A photo an hour: 17 June 2017My Profile

    • Charlotte says:

      I did the Dialog museum in Frankfurt, and that was amazing too! It was Brazil when I went there.

  2. Great write up Charlotte. This is on my list of places I’d like to go and now you have totally convinced me.
    Gina Ferrari recently posted…Sixty… Really?My Profile

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: