Providing diners a unique experience often revolves around new ingredients, unusual food combinations or wacky presentations, however restaurant Dans Le Noir? in London goes beyond. Not only is the food delicious with fish, meat, vegetarian and surprise menus available but restaurant goers must eat in total darkness.
Eating at Dans Le Noir? is more than just a meal as it becomes a sensory experience. The restaurant is in pitch black – and don’t be fooled, you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face its that dark – but the waiters are blind also. Despite the unfamiliar darkness you acclimatize relatively quickly into your new environment, but you have to learn to trust your remaining senses.
Though blind, the waiters know the layout of the room without hesitation and help guide you to your seat, show you where your cutlery is and kindly request you keep your thumb within your glass whilst they are pouring so you can know when the glass is almost full. Every detail is thought of including putting all your bags, mobile phones and cameras into a locker before entering the dining room to ensure no distractions and certainly no light. If needing the toilet, the waiter will slowly guide you out of the room into a (still dimly lit) bathroom as not to shock your senses back to reality.
The communal dining room with long banquet tables means before long you are chatting with strangers next to you with no idea who they are or what they look like. In this respect, the experience becomes a social experiment also. Being able to talk to people without ANY judgement (conscious or unconscious) or preconceived ideas is totally liberating and enlightening.
Since opening in Clerkenwell, London in 2006 the restaurant has seen thousands of guests enter its doors and enjoy its original concept – even celebrities and royals have visited in secret so they can remain unrecognized during dinner! If you are in London and fancy something unforgettable, make sure to book well in advance and visit Dans Le Noir?.