Yes it is! Not even a single flash or light is in the dark room. To keep the room completely dark, you will be asked to place all your belongings as well as all potential sources of light such as cigarettes, lighters, watches, mobile phones or cameras in the free lockers at your disposal in the welcoming area.
Helping ourselves with cutlery will be most likely the biggest challenge when eating in pitch darkness. Our waiters will therefore give you some hints on how to pour drinks and using cutlery in this way. Depriving ourselves of the sense that we rely most on, all other senses will get enhanced. Our movements will never be at the same speed or rhythm as in our comfort zone, meaning that all our movements will be on the slow and apprehensive side of them. Spillages and breakages are more frequent when coming from our guides. Can be messy depending on how adventurous you are.
Even if we don’t make any discrimination, blind people are naturally more efficient in darkness than we are and are the best to do the job in such context. You will become blind for at least an hour and a half, and you will have to trust your server. It is a true “transfer of trust”, and an amazing and positive approach to raise awareness about blindness and disability in general.
Visitors are not allowed to move alone in the dark room, go to the restrooms or leave by themselves as it could put other customers and the waiters at risk (remember the guides need clear walkways to work around the tables). If you wish to do so on any occasion, make sure your waiter is informed and thus they will able to assist you.
The welcoming staff is responsible for taking orders in the lit area. But you can of course order drinks or food directly from your waiter whenever you wish. Please let us know about allergies, and be sure to remind your guide when he/she brings your plate to the table.
Simply by calling his/her first name. The guide will be introduced to you with his/her first name before you enter the dark room.
Not particularly, however, those that have come enjoyed the experience because it’s a unique way to share with their friends and relatives what it feels like being visually impaired people.
So far, the chefs have not been blind. The kitchen is lit, as the Head Chef and his team must deliver a great cuisine. We take the best, as we are not a foundation but a client oriented private company. They prepare creative and exciting dishes that play with flavours, as well as use fresh and tasty ingredients for guests to have a unique culinary experience.
It would be fun, but no! The restrooms aren’t in the dark but fully lit! The toilets are located on the ground floor and we do also have disabled toilets available.
It is very rare to see someone not feeling comfortable with dining in the dark! It is such an extraordinary experience that the majority of people feel amazed by this very unusual and exciting moment, which is all about rediscovering your other senses. Out of more than one million visitors in Paris, London, Barcelona, St Petersburg, Auckland… only a few of our customers felt the need to leave the dark room before they finished dining.
Everything has been taken into account carefully! There is adequate security equipment in the premises. The lights switch on automatically in the event of an emergency. Special emergency exits have been designed and checked by the local council (Islington) to be fully compliant (Building Regulation).
Yes, we do film the room with infra-red cameras and keep records to ensure the visitors’ welfare and safety. Please be assured that we only watch the records in case of a doubt about a security rules violation, an incident or by a customer’s request.
Our restaurant serves innovative, eclectic dishes, inspired by French cuisine. Each meal is an explosion of diverse flavors and is created to make our guests discover a new way to experience food.
The welcoming staff will ask you if you have any special dietary requirements or suffer from any food allergies. In such cases, the chef would amend your menu accordingly. You are kindly reminded to request your allergies or dietary requirements to your guide when he/she brings your plate to the table in the Dark Dining Room.
On average, visitors will spend between one and a half hour and two hours maximum in the dark room.
We have made efforts to keep our prices affordable to make this experience accessible to all. The actual price takes into account the safety requirements, the fact that we employ more personnel when compared to other restaurants, and menu items made with fresh ingredients. The extra cost for this experience is approximately £15 per person when compared to a traditional restaurant with a similar menu. We offer you 10% discount if you are a student or under 18 on presentation of your card at the end of the experience. Follow this link for further explanations : Transparency
We employ, in London, 14 permanent visually impaired waitrers. Nearly 50 permanent people in our staff in the world are visually impaired or hard of hearing as our Silent bar is handled by a team of hard of hearing guides. Additional specialists are also available on call for special events such as private hires, corporate events (product launches for instance), official receptions, media launches, press events, sensory workshops, etc. Visually impaired people are not only involved in the company as guides/waiters, the vice President of Ethik Investment Group is blind. We also have several blind and hard of hearing consultants in Europe and a new spa concept using blind massage specialists.
There are 60 seats in the main dark dining room and 16 seats in the private dark room.
We had customers admitting to lick their chocolate sauce from their plates, as they felt freer! Some people met via an Internet chat room and decided to have their first “blind date” in the darkroom before eventually discovering their faces around a drink in the lit lounge. We also organize events in the dark such as reading and debates; and these events usually make amazing moments and memories!
In complete darkness everyone is equal whether they are politicians, students, actors, businesspeople, celebrities (Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, Prime Minister in France…), etc. They all look alike in the dark as labels are dropped and as appearance and etiquettes disappear into the darkness. Dining with us is truly an unforgettable experience
We accommodate children 6 years old. (They are braver than the adults!!) They must always be accompanied by an adult.
All information about news and special events are available on our website www.danslenoir.com.
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