Restaurant recommendation: Dinner in the dark

Yesterday I ticked another of the ’30 things to do in the year I’m 30′ off my list. You may remember I set myself 30 challenges at the beginning of the year and have spent the last 10 months trying to tick things off the list. In case you didn’t see my original post, they’re all things I’ve never done but have talked about doing over the years and now I am finally doing them.

Yesterday I ticked off number 18: having dinner in the dark.

dinner in the dark
Image via Erlebnis Blog

This is something I’ve wanted to do for years. The thought of sitting in a pitch black room, unable to see my food and drink, really intrigued me. Thankfully, it also intrigued two of my friends so yesterday the three of us went to Dans le Noir? in London, full of excitement and giggles.

Now I may be stating the obvious here, but Dans le Noir? was pitch black inside. No, seriously, pitch black. Our bags, including phones and cameras, were put in a locker and we were led down a dimly lit corridor by our fantastic waitress, Winnie, and into the pit of darkness. All of the waiting staff at Dans le Noir? are blind, and Winnie led us into the restaurant in a long line, our right hand on the right shoulder of the person in front. The atmosphere was incredible; it was dark and quiet yet we were giddy and giggly as we entered the restaurant.

After about ten minutes I asked the girls, “do you like this?” As they said the loved it, I revealed my dislike. The hysteria had passed and in its place was discomfort. I was desperately straining my eyes to try and see, to find something to focus on. I was starting to get a headache. I kept turning my head, thinking that there must be some light somewhere that my eyes could find. My friends told me to close my eyes and stop searching for something that wasn’t there, to just relax and enjoy the darkness. Pretty tough for a control freak.

dans le noirThe starter arrived and I felt the food on my plate with my hands. Once I had an idea of the texture, my hands searched the table for my cutlery and I began to eat. The food was delicious, but it was also completely fun. We ate and tried to identify the flavours, still giggling as we tried to top up our glasses from the bottle of water on the table.

After about half an hour, I realised the vibe had changed. We were relaxed, we were chatting like normal, and we were feeling the food on our plates like it was something we did every day. The fun was still there, but we’d stopped the nervous giggling. My eyes had stopped hurting and I was completely calm as I let my body do the searching instead of my mind. Every new group that was guided into the restaurant reacted in the way we did, with excitement and giggles, but it didn’t take long for the atmosphere in the restaurant to calm down… until the next set of newbies arrived.

We had three courses at Dans le Noir? Three incredible courses. We spent far longer talking about the food then we normally would and there was something really fantastic about that. At the end of the meal we were taken out to reception and shown a copy of the menu to see what we’d been eating. We felt such satisfaction at the flavours we got right and utter embarrassment at the ones we missed. The meal wasn’t just delicious, it was extremely fun and I loved every minute. Well, apart from those first ten minutes I mentioned. Should have known control freaks would struggle with the concept.

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