Dans Le Noir Farringdon: The Only Restaurant Where It's Acceptable To Lick Your Plate In Public

Some experiences simply define London; there’s a spin on the Millenium Eye, a trip up The Shard, and then there’s this restaurant – the epitome of our capital’s unique and varied dining scene. Bringing us ‘dining in the dark’ from its Central London location, it offers a bizarre but unforgettable sensory experience that I honestly think everyone should try at least once. Oh, and you might recognize it as the location of McAdams' and Gleeson’s meet-cute in the hit film About Time. That’s right, we’re talking about Dans le Noir in Farringdon.

Dans Le Noir Booking London | DesignMyNight

The Dans le Noir restaurant in London is a must-visit.

Though it appeared to be a normal restaurant from the outside, the second you walk in you realise you’re in for something a little different from your usual meal out. Our lovely host took our bags and coats, including our phones and watches – basically anything that omits light so as not to ruin the experience. Bags locked away, we were then introduced to our waiter, Roberto. All of Dans le Noir’s waiting staff are either blind or partially sighted, which means they can lead you around the pitch-black dining room, as well as serve your food (and, in my case, help you find your cutlery), with ease.

I put my hands on his shoulders, my friend put hers on mine, and off we were, through a winding corridor that only added to the off-kilter experience. We then sat, with the help of Roberto, at our table shared with another couple. At first, my friend and I felt a little overwhelmed and claustrophobic - not being able to see anything, not even a peep, made everything suddenly feel very close. For some reason I found myself blinking a lot, I think my brain couldn't quite comprehend being in total darkness. 

Dans Le Noir London Dining In The Dark | DesignMyNight

Everything on the Dans le Noir menu was designed to deceive, with unique textures and flavours.

We initially fumbled around trying to locate our water and wine, but within just a few minutes, we became a little more adept at finding things in the dark - great news, because our starters quickly arrived. As we timidly took our first few bites, we mulled over what it could possibly be - we landed on a cheese and fish souffle, and oh how wrong we were. Next up, we received a dish that we believed featured succulent chicken in a rich sauce of some sort, coupled with potatoes, asparagus and carrots (I won't tell you what it was though, so as not to ruin the surprise). For our third and final course, we delved into a sweet treat, which had strong flavours of banana, toffee and cream (delish).

One of the funniest things I found about eating in the dark is not knowing when you’ve finished - I kept scraping the plate aimlessly trying to find any last morsels, often putting an empty fork to my mouth. My friend gave up and eventually just licked her plate clean (thankfully no one could see her, but I knew). Once our meals had been devoured and the wine depleted, we called over Roberto to lead us out of the dining room. As we got our vision back, it felt like we could breathe again - it was a funny, disorientating feeling, like our brains had been trying so hard to make up for not being able to see, it was now briefly overcompensating - we had to sit down for a few moments to recuperate and discuss the experience.

The DesignMyNight Digest

There's no denying that Dans le Noir was a strange experience, but that's of course part of the charm. The food was nice, but it's not really about that here, it's more about experiencing something new, and understanding how your other senses aren't as reliable without your sight - something I won't be taking for granted again. So if you're looking to try one of London's iconic dining experiences or just fancy something a little different for date night? Make sure to check out this Farringdon spot.

  💰 The damage: £130 for two, plus service charge.

  📍  The location: 69-73 St John Street, EC1M 4NY.

  👌 Perfect for: Quirky date nights.

 ⭐ Need to know: Make sure to put a napkin on your lap - you'll thank me later.


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