Successful restaurants often have something that makes them stand out – whether that’s a bizarre location or a quirky original theme.
One popular London eatery has taken this to the next level, giving diners an experience they truly won’t get elsewhere – however, you might not want to wear your best clothes as it could get messy.
Dans Le Noir ? restaurant in Clerkenwell is exactly what it translates to – ‘in the dark’.
Visitors who dine at the establishment eat their meals in pitch black, with the whole menu being a surprise.
If you’re meeting somewhere there for the first time, it really takes blind dating to a whole new extreme.
Dans le noir ? restaurant in Clerkenwell is exactly what it translates to – ‘in the dark’
The unusal concept may be familiar to rom com fans, as the restaurant played a key part in About Time, starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson.
Near the beginning of the movie, the pairs characters meet at Dans Le Noir? to dine in the dark, leading romance to blossom.
Described as ‘a unique, sensory and human experience,’ it encourages guests to ‘re-evaluate their perception of taste while reclaiming their senses, to reinvigorate their relationship with the world and others and to experience a surprising encounter with something different’.
The idea is that in the dark, the perception of flavors, textures and smells can completely different and we suddenly become aware that sight influences all our sensations.
Diners are lead through darkness to their table, with everything on the menu being a surprise – you won’t know who is sat around you, what the interior looks like, and more importantly what food you’re being served.
You’re also asked to place all potential light sources such as lighters, mobile phones or cameras in the cloakroom provided.
Guests are shown photographs of the dishes and drinks they tucked into once the experience is over.
You could be sitting next to famous faces and you wouldn’t even know it – the windows are covered in black out blinds so there’s no way of seeing a thing.
Visitors who dine at the establishment eat their meals in pitch black darkness, with the whole menu being a surprise
Diners are lead through darkness to their table, with everything on the menu being a surprise – you won’t know who is sat around you, what the interior looks like, and more importantly what food you’re being served
If you’re meeting somewhere there for the first time, it really takes blind dating to a whole new extreme
The unusal concept may be familiar to rom com fans, as the restaurant played a key part in About Time, starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson
Visitors are encouraged to be social, with the restaurants website explaining that ‘the absence of visual judgment erases the preconceptions that build our relationships with others.
‘Communication spontaneously becomes more intense and authentic. The experience promotes sharing between guests and creates beautiful encounters.’
Another unique aspect of the experience is that all of the servers are blind or partially sighted – to get their attention, guests have to shout out their first name, which they will have been told upon arrival.
Visitors need to be guided everywhere, including the toilet, for safety reasons – you can’t attempt to walk around on your own.
For a two course set menu it will cost £52 each or £60 each with a glass of wine – if you want three courses it will set you back £59 or £67 each with wine.
The most expensive option is the five course set menu which includes a starter, two mains, a cheese plate, a desert and two glasses of wine, costing £110.
The international project was born in France in 2004 and is now in 10 countries and 15 cities, tried by 2 million people worldwide.
Since the London restaurants opening in 2006, the quirky restaurant has amassed lots of attention on social media, with users often reviewing their experience.
One X, formerly known as Twitter, user who visited Dans Le Noir ?, wrote ‘Trust me, the tension in that room was high for me and my colleagues.
‘We broke glasses. We couldn’t see anything. Eating what you can’t see is something else. We tried to figure out the shape of the room in vain’.
She added that it gave her ‘a different understanding of blindness’.
Another wrote ‘The food is excellent, the experience is totally unique, and it is one you won’t forget’.
One TikToker called Alex, dubbed it the ‘coolest restaurant’ gushing that it left her amazed as she couldn’t recommend it enough.
One viewer questioned ‘how do you not get worried about not being able to see what you eat?’ to which she replied ‘you get used to it after a while and it’s a cool chance to use more of your other senses’.