Dans Le Noir?, a ‘dining in the dark’ concept originally founded in Paris, is now hosting a month-long pop-up from 1-31 March 2022 at Swinfen Hall Hotel. The immersive dining experience, in which diners eat lunch or dinner in pitch darkness, has been so popular so far that a pop-up return in November 2022 has already been confirmed.
The ‘dining in the dark’ concept aims to limit the sense of sight in order to heighten and intensify the other senses. Eating in pitch darkness, unable to see the food on your plate or fellow diners around you, is a sensory experience that breaks down the boundaries of traditional dining and encourages a re-evaluation of the perception of taste and touch.
Forming a line with a hand placed on the shoulder of the person in front, diners are guided to their tables where they are served a mystery menu in the dark by blind or partially-sighted waitstaff. Details of the dishes are only revealed at the end of the meal, encouraging diners to appreciate the textures, aromas and temperatures of the food without the assistance of sight. Guests are asked to hand in their phones and electronic devices, including digital watches, which are stored in a safe for the duration of the meal, to ensure there is no light pollution of any kind in the restaurant, and photography is not permitted.
Dans Le Noir? was founded in Paris in 2004 by French entrepreneur Edouard de Broglie and has since expanded to other cities in France including Bordeaux, Nantes and Strasbourg. ‘Dining in the dark’ restaurants have also spread to other cities and countries around the world, from London and Madrid to New Zealand and Egypt.
The Dans Le Noir? experience at Swinfen Hall Hotel costs £95 per person, which includes a four-course meal of dishes made from seasonal organic produce accompanied by specially curated wines, and is available Wednesday to Sunday. From Wednesday to Saturday the first seating is at 6pm and the last at 9.45pm, while on Sundays the experience is available between noon and 3.45pm. Any dietary requirements must be provided at the time of booking.
To book Dans Le Noir? at Swinfen Hall Hotel visit swinfenhall.co.uk