It’s always said that going out to eat should be an immersive experience. Dans Le Noir (Dine in the Dark) takes this to the extreme by providing a platform for diners to eat in complete darkness. The premise is based on heightening your other senses once you no longer have the option to see what you are eating- this is definitely one to do with people you are at the utmost comfort level with!
As a first timer at Dans Le Noir, I went with an intimate group of 4 for my birthday and opted for the £75 surprise menu. There are three options, red for meat, blue for seafood and green for veggie. You can of course outline any allergies, intolerances and extreme aversions that you may have before you enter the dining hall.
As part of the £75, we got a three course meal, a gin and tonic, prosecco and a surprise cocktail. As phones and belongings are put in lockers before hand, you are left entirely with you imgination as to what the food and restauraunt looks like.
All the waiting staff are full or partially blind which makes you even more aware and exposed when going into complete darkeness (and I mean pitch black)! You gain an understanding that for some people they live their life this way and this awaress is deepened as you continue the experience.
We were guided in by our waiter, we were led by holding onto his shoulder and each of us seated in the darkness. I was intitally worried about my cutlery placement as I thought that we would have to keep our table setting the same in order to aid our server, but it wasn’t neccessary at all – they completely navigated around us. Sounds naive I know, but it was expectation when we went in.
Following being seated, the noise in the area seemed instantly heightened and I was trying to figure out where abouts we were sitting and at first I thought we were by the wall, but then I felt a table being seated behind us, so I quickly realised that wasn’t the case.
Our first course came out very quickly as it was a pre ordered menu, I opted for red (the meat option). I guessed my first dish was pork and another party member had pigeon (which I have never tasted before so the taste was unfamiliar). Which was then followed by the main and a malta cake for dessert – this was a buttery oasis. No joke. The cake was fire…
Following the meal (and much alcohol :/) we were escorted out by our waiter (who was an absolute gem) and shown pictures of what we had just eaten. The time is very short as you pre choose what menu you would like before entering the restaurant.
Interestingly, there are not big groups of people waiting to go in at one time, it is all a very gradual and relaxed process. I would 100% only reccomed doing this with people you are entirely comfortable with as the dark room can be unerving and I feel that company can make all the difference to your experience.