Dining in the Dark

My latest venture in London saw me trying out a restaurant known as ‘Dans Le Noir’ (in the black).
The restaurant is situated in Clerkenwell, and is ran by blind waiters. When you arrive, you are introduced to your waiter for the evening and asked to stand in single file with your hands on the shoulders of the person infront of you so that the waiter can lead you to your table.
You pass through a black curtain and are met with darkness like you have ever experienced before. The majority of the time, even during the night we are surrounded by some form of light, whether that be moonlight or streetlights, we are never completely immersed in darkness and my first feeling was one of claustrophobia.
It took some will to keep going and follow my friends to our table, instead of turning around and running away. The best way to describe the darkness you experience is enveloping – you can’t escape it.
Our waiter helped each of us into our seats, guided our hands to where our cutlery and glasses were and explained how to pour our drinks – we were to dip a finger into our glasses and stop pouring once our fingers touched the liquid.
When you make your booking you can pick either a meat, fish, veggie or surprise menu (I played it safe and picked meat) but you aren’t told what dishes you will be brought until after you have eaten them.
I’m a little embarrassed to say that after several failed attempts of picking up my starter with my cutlery, I resorted to using my hands.. After all, no one could see what I was doing right?
Eating without being able to see the food you are putting in your mouth made me realise that we eat with our eyes. Our starter turned out to be a burger – my favourite kind of food – but I found it tasted horrible and left most of it.
After a while of being in the dark, you become accustomed to it, not in the sense that you can make out shapes as you literally can’t see a thing, but in the sense that you become aware of your surroundings and proximity. I could pick up my glass without having to search for it, I understood how far away my friends were that were sat opposite me. It was kind of enlightening and shows how quickly we can adjust when we are thrust into unusual situations.
My favourite part of the entire evening was that not one person in the restaurant used their phones, when you arrive you lock your belongings in a locker and are even asked to remove watches that glow to ensure the restaurant is kept in complete darkness. So the entire evening was spent with my favourite friends, just having good old fashioned conversations with no interruptions or distractions from the outside world.
Tickets start at £46 and can be bought here: http://booking-london.danslenoir.fr/

Posted by

I'm a 27 year old single girl in London, blogging about my dating adventures, London culture and my adventures around the world.

53 thoughts on “Dining in the Dark

  1. This sounds insane! I feel like I would have definitely ran out if I was in total darkness. Just reading your post, I could feel my heart starting to race in panic! Props to you for doing it! Great post, so exciting to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would definitely recommend doing it if you want to try something different. The atmosphere is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, all you focus on and listen to is other people speaking – there’s no waiters/customers/music/decorations to distract you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter went last year and had a similar experience, esp the hands! My cousin is totally blind from birth and joked how he’d miss his phone as he listens to all his messages and would have missed the distraction! As you are up for unusual dining experiences have you tried Archipelago in Fitzrovia? Exotic meats like wildebeest alongside, if you are brave enough locust and maggots! It’s great and delicious http://www.archipelago-restaurant.co.uk/

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting. An old school friend of mine works there, and it has been very high on my list of places I want to visit now that I’ve moved to London. So I’ll definitely be going there at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While I can certainly understand the curiousity engendered by such a place, I’m not sure I would go. It would be terribly distracting for me because I wouldn’t really know what to do (at first) and that makes me incredibly nervous. It would be much like what you would feel when sitting at a table surrounded by people with pedigrees and the most posh thing you’ve done is add tuna to the cheese casserole. Given my predilection for saying the absolute worst thing at the worst possible time when I’m hyperactively self-conscious, I’m certain I will say something horrible and embarrass myself beyond all measure.

    I shall therefore leaving the adventuring to you and I’ll read about it with great interest. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. The great thing about the restaurant being in the dark is that even if you embarrass yourself, noone can see that you are embarrassed!
      But thank you! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed hte post!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A fascinating read. I recommend to every sighted person to have at least one experience in life, of total blindness, to appreciate the amazing gift of sight they have and understand – not pity – those who are denied it. They have a wonderful world of their own, where sounds, touch and smells almost fully make up for what they have missed. NOT adding to the score or more of blogs I ‘follow’ only because I am not interested in dating, and food andam not a Londoner, but would keep visiting the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well you have done the hardest part and started a blog, so well done!! Just keep at it and keep learning and I’m sure you’ll be successful in no time!

        Ps dont worry about sharing it with your friends.. I haven’t shared mine with my friends either.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s