Saturday, 12 April 2014


'Blind Restraunt' Dans Le Noir

When I found out about the blind restraint Dans Le Noir, I thought it was absolutely crucial for my research that I went and experience it...
‘Unlike other restaurants this place is completely devoid of vanity. Everyone must go.
Evening Standard
‘Here you must pay attention of what people are saying, you don’t judge on appearance’
‘Under cover of darkness, texture and shape take on new importance. Pretensions, etiquette and vanity dissolve in the darkness’
‘As well as forcing dinners to rely on other are also neatly inverts the usual relationship between the blind and the sighted’
First initial feelings
Surreal, interested, frightened, distorted, confused, isolate, claustrophobic
Came out feeling
Emotional, relaxed, mindful, comfortable
Me and Nana are lead through the corridor by our selected blind waiter. Single file, with the hand on person in front shoulder inside a room what was completely pitch black. The waiter lead me to my chair first and left nana for a half minute. She said when she was left on her own she felt very frightened. Once she sat down opposite me I know we both felt relieved and more confident.
I felt rather freighted because the surrounding were so alien and the room really was in complete darkness. I felt panic especially about how nana was feeling I knew I was scared I didn’t want her to be scared either. I suddenly had an insight into how isolating and claustrophobic it must feel to be blind at times.
After the first initial shock of the complete darkness it was strange how comfortable I began to feel. I seemed to become aware of our surroundings once and the chatter of voices from across the room. A range of different tone and accents, it was strange to think I had no idea who these people were or what they looked like but I could zone into their conversation so well. My hearing defiantly seemed more stimulated, I could sort of tell how far away voices were from me indicating the size and shape of the room. The smell of the food was very empowering and my mouth got wet at moist at the thought of food. I think being sat on the chair made me feel grounded resulting in me feel more at ease.
Whist we were waiting for food me and nana became curious and started asking discussion possible answers.
‘I wonder what Colours of the room is? Do you think it’s all black because there really is any type of colour or form I can make out?’
‘Why hasn’t our eyes adjusted?’
 ‘How big was size of the room?’
 ‘How many people are here?’
 ‘How much time has actually passed?’
But mostly what was on our surprise three course menu…
We both ordered the ‘Surprise menu’ therefore had no idea what it was that we would be eating for our starter, main course and desert. The starter tasted beautiful, I guessed it was most defiantly the fish but was not sure what type. I guessed salmon, however it was actually octopus. Im sure I would have been put of eating it if I had seen it or knew what it was. The taste was beautiful. I struggled getting used to not being able to see my food and found it took me longer than usual to eat as I was chasing the food around the plate with my fork. I think this in its self-made me really appreciate the food a lot more. I was left feeling extremely content and wanting more, curious about what we were going to have for our main and desert.
The main tasted amazing. Potato mash, with some sorts of meat. After a mouthful my taste buds truly felt alive and extra sensitive. I can only assume this was due to my deprivation of my sight my taste compensated and was magnified just as my sense of smell was. The result of what we ate took my breath away! We guessed some sort of beef steak. But when it came down to it was actually kangaroo and venison.
The desert was not disappointing! Lemon sorbet and ginger biscuit. This sweet taste was a wonderful way to finish of our dinner course.
Both nana and me questioned what we were eating, but we were not put discouraged, we felt strangely confident. We didn’t think it was any type of food out the norm because it tasted so good. Also I think the fact that we felt so comfortable helped us eat with ease as we both said we felt soothed by one another present and voices.
I really felt like I became completely enthralled in my conversation with my nana. My mind seemed clearer. I could hear very clear to what she was saying despite the fact there was so much conversation going on around me. Now I understand now how to much sensory arousal can really distract people. Stimulate through sight can really take up much of what you observe so you really don’t appreciate all our other incredible senses, and the importance of hearing, tasting, touch and smelling.
I found this experience beautifully strange. A real eye opener to what it is to be blind or visually impaired. Made me more thoughtful, aware and more mindful of people in that situation and how much people truly depend on sight and sometimes undermine the other senses. So very glad I experienced this and have really encouraged me to keep working hard at my design creations and future business enterprise. Bravo Dans le Noir