This week I took the Rugby Boy to one of my favourite London date venues – somewhere I haven’t visited since Date Number 12 of 30 with The Enigma. So would my ‘winning’ boy love the ‘winning date’ as much as I did?
A date at Dans Le Noir is not for the faint hearted. You need to be up for an adventure. For a start, you don’t pick dishes, you pick a colour. Red for meat, Green for vegetarian, Blue for fish, and White for a surprise. And then there’s the darkness, and it’s total darkness. After a drink in the bar area, you’re greeted by your waiter for the evening. All the waiters at Dans Le Noir are blind, and they know the complicated Dans Le Noir restaurant like the back of their hands. As they lead you through two sets of curtains, into pitch darkness, you are completely reliant on their expertise. The dark restaurant is bustling and noisy – your senses heightened due to the loss of sight. All around you, long tables are full of other diners, and the waiters guide you deftly around the room, giving careful instructions, and keeping groups together by getting you to hold onto each other’s shoulders in the dark.
I absolutely love Dans Le Noir as a date venue. It’s exciting, and different, and a real experience. Last year I loved being surprised by it, and it made for a real blind date, as I had barely seen the Enigma’s face before we were plunged into darkness. Since then, it also featured in the Hollywood film ‘About Time’, with Rachel McAdams, who meets her future husband in the dark.
However I can see that it wouldn’t be everyone’s choice for a first date, especially as the set meals start at £42 before alcohol. As a result, it’s a great place to go for a special occasion. If you want a different idea for date night, it’s a great call. It’s challenging working out how to eat and drink without your sight, and it’s really fun trying to figure out what you’re eating, which ever menu you choose. My personal recommendation would be the fish menu, which was incredible, though the white menu is the one for foodies and thrill seekers. All the menus change four times a year, and I defy you to work out every item of every course! If you’re there on a date, try to get a seat by the wall so it’s a bit more intimate.
It’s dark! When you first walk in, it’s like you have a super power. You feel like you can hear every conversation in the dark.
Eating in the dark was a little bit messy, and I’d recommend eating with your fingers, and not wearing white. As well as surprise food, I decided to try the surprise beer option. Every one of my beers was different throughout the night, and the waiter tried to get me to guess what I was drinking. The hosts were great, really fun and engaging. They have a lot more responsibility than most waiters – at times your safety is completely in their hands.
It’s a good place to get to know somebody better, because there are so few distractions. I’d probably suggest it as a third date venue. (Or a date with someone you’re not attracted to …!)
Dans Le Noir is on the Clerkenwell Road, near Farringdon Tube. A two course meal at Dans Le Noir is £42. A three course meal is £55.