Never have I been more aware of my four senses than during a recent evening when dining in the dark.
If you haven’t yet been to the restaurant Dans Le Noir in London, then it is definitely worth a trip, promising an evening full of entertainment to say the least.
My friend and I decided to go after reading about it, but were not quite sure what was in store. Upon arrival, we were told to put our belongings in lockers before proceeding upstairs to a chic bar area. We decided to have a couple of cocktails each to relax and unwind, and a friendly waitress asked us to choose from a possible four menus, Surprise, Vegetarian, Fish or Meat. We decided our safest option was definitely fish. We were then led back downstairs where our very friendly waiter Asher was ready to lead us to our table.
Asher told me to put my hand on his shoulder as he led us through some black curtains and into the restaurant. I suddenly felt transported into another world as if i was on a disney ride, on one of those small boats that leads you into the unknown as you wait for things to suddenly jump out at you. All of a sudden I could not see a thing, but at once became so aware of the voices of the other diners chatting happily around me. As Asher led me to my chair I nervously sat down whilst ducking incase I was going to hit something.
I couldnt help but laugh, this was the strangest moment, I was sat at a table that I had no idea what it looked like, nor did I know who was sat next to me or even near me. I felt like I was being punkd, as if there were cameras and people were watching my ridiculous actions and laughing. My imagination began to run wild as i tried to imagine what the restaurant looked like. I started to relax slightly and once we began talking, I actually forgot that I was in the dark and became engrossed in our conversation.
Then out of nowwhere, Asher’s voice appeared telling us he had brought our starter. Now this was where the evening became truly interesting. I hadnt the foggiest what was on my plate, or in fact where on the table my plate was, as i fumbled around feeling the table for my food I suddenly felt something cold and mushy, oh no I had slapped my hand in my Hors D’ouvre. After failing miserably to find the food with my fork, and poking my mouth several times painfully, I realised this is the one perfect time that my manners can go out the window and I turned into a toddler. I began messily using my hands to feed myself. What was really fascinating, was having to use my taste buds and senses to decipher what it was that I was eating and it made me aware of how much we take for granted. We are so used to seeing our food in front of us before we eat it, that often we forget to appreciate what it looks like or even simply that we have an idea of what it is going to taste like. I felt as if i was trying food for the first time all over again and it was a really fun experience. My friend sophie wasnt having much luck, and it seemed the table and floor got more food than her mouth did. When she dropped her fork on the floor, Asher appeared again magically with a new one as if he had been stood next to us the whole time, what was quite scary is that he actually could have been and we wouldnt have even known.
Our Main course was a bit messier, and I dug my hand in a big pile of mashed potato, which was delicious, and stuffed what tasted like tuna steak into my mouth. If i wanted to I could have stood on my chair and waved my bra in the air and no one would have known, which is why I throughly took advantage of eating like a heathen. By the time dessert arrived I had turned into a cave man, diving in with my hands to find a cold creamy substance all over my fingers, I was happily satisfied to taste sweet lavender creme brulee as I licked my hands. During dessert, three different people grabbed my shoulder as they were leaving, mistaking me for a staircase I presume, I screamed so loud, glad no one could see me. When we were ready to leave Sophie kindly ushered ‘Asher ASher where are you we are ready to leave now’ and like before he faithfully returned to take us back through the magic curtain.
Entering back into the light had quite an effect on my eyes and it took a while to re adjust. The waitress greeted us and asked us to tell her what we thought we had eaten for each course. We were very close to being correct, and after, she showed us a picture of what our meal looked like, and each item that was on our plate. When I saw the picture of dessert, I saw a chocolate covered strawberry next to the creme brulee. Sophie and I definitely didnt get one, we realised we must have whacked it off the plate in the dark by accident (or sophie secretly stole mine) so the waiter kindly brought us two which was a lovely touch, and made a pleasant end to the evening.
We asked the host if there had been any accidents ever, as I was very impressed by how smoothly everything ran, and he told us that only once did they have to break up a fight on valentines day, when a lady had accidentally felt up a stranger mistaking him for her boyfriend!!!
The night really opened my eyes (literally) to being more aware, and made me so thankful for my sight. For me the darkness was temporary, as i happily and thankfully entered back into the light, and back to normality, but for those who are blind, that darkness is their life. It is really quite incredible how much we rely on our senses, and how we forget to stop and appreciate how important they are.
I would definitely recommend going, it is a very cool experience, one that I will certainly never forget, and neither will my poor scarf, with food stains all over it.