Back in August 2017 Vicky wrote an Insight blog on her visit to the Dans Le Noir restaurant – VIDA Insight Number 19 - Celebrating at Dans Le Noir. Well, back in July this year, I (Dave) visited the same restaurant in London (http://london.danslenoir.com/en/home/) with my family and thought that I should share my experience of the evening.
Unlike Vicky booking the private function room (Vicky – well it was for my husband’s 50th birthday!!), we booked a table in the main restaurant for our party of 8. Overcoming train cancellations and delays, we managed to arrive in good time and were greeted by the front of house team. We went through our menu choices, confirming whether we were having the Red (meat), Green (vegetarian), Blue (fish) or White (chef’s surprise) menu and had our drinks order taken that would be later served to our table.
We were then introduced to Trevor, one of the restaurant’s blind waiters, who was to be our waiter for the evening. We all followed Trevor line astern (one behind the other) with our right hands holding on to the shoulder of the person in front. We went along a narrow corridor, through several thick blackout curtains before entering in to the restaurant. As with Vicky’s experience, the room was in complete darkness and I was told by my dad that he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face. My son spotted a very small red light which we assumed was a CCTV or smoke detector but this light didn’t help with seeing!
We were seated 1 by 1 by Trevor. He took our names at this point and I was most impressed that he remembered them for the rest of the evening. He described the table to us and informed us where we would find our cutlery, glass and a bottle of water to share. He later served our drinks order, providing us with a glass with drink in it or, in my case, an empty glass and a bottle of cider that I had to pour myself.
Interestingly for me, the room didn’t feel dark; in fact I continued to have the stars and flashing lights that I usually have, with these remaining with me throughout the evening. Thinking and talking about the experience with Kelly (my wife) afterwards, I was disappointed that I didn’t get some time off of having the flashes and flickering… it would have been quite calming if I had!
What did become apparent as the evening went on was my dad getting quieter and quieter. I managed to swap seats after the main course so that I could sit next to him and found out that he was struggling, due to his hearing loss, to follow the conversation. He told me that it made him really appreciate what it must be like for me living with little sight all the time.
What was quite funny was that, before I had moved, I was sitting between Kelly and my father-in-law. Kelly kept feeling for my arm for some reassurance that I was still there. I switched with my father-in-law to sit next to my dad but forgot to let Kelly know so she was very surprised and confused when she felt her dad’s arm and not mine!! J
As for the food, we all had a 2 course meal and I had the red (meat) menu. My meal was split in to 3 small portions and I thought that this consisted of some steak, some duck and another meat that I couldn’t place. The dessert was moussey with a fruit sauce but I didn’t know what it was.
After the meal, we were all lead out of the restaurant to the reception area where we were shown photographs of the meal and told what we had eaten. I can share this with you all now as they were changing their menus in September… we actually had sirloin steak, a wild boar pie and guinea fowl. The dessert was a deconstructed trifle (nothing like the sherry trifles my nan used to make!).
Overall it was a great experience and I’m really pleased that we went. I’m sure that I’ll visit again at some point and would recommend this restaurant as a place to visit for something a bit different.
Vicky’s write up of her and her family’s experience is available on our blog page - https://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog/19-celebrating-at-dans-le-noir
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.
Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.