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Dans Le Noir information

After the huge success of the Parisian restaurant, Dans le Noir London has opened in the fashionable area of Clerkenwell.

Dans le Noir is a very unique restaurant offering the sensory experience of having dinner in the pitch dark served by blind or partially-sighted guides.

Once a month Dans Le noir have what is called travelling Monday. This is where a country is chosen and the menu will be from that country.

Ranked #154 of 5241 restaurants in London
"Dans le Noir ? is so much more than a usual restaurant! It is a unique human and sensory experience as well as an unexpected moment of conviviality and social bonding. Tasting a surprise menu in pitch darkness, guided and served by visually impaired guides is a unique experience that might seem a little strange at first. However, by suppressing the dominant sense of sight and putting your trust in your guide, you will enter a whole new world in which one is uncertain of their surroundings. Our waiters will lead you through this unusual gastronomic experience. A truly unforgettable experience!"

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
MON

18:30 - 23:00

TUE

18:30 - 23:00

WED

18:30 - 23:00

THU

18:30 - 00:00

FRI

18:30 - 00:00

SAT

12:00 - 00:00

SUN

13:00 - 00:00

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What did you think of Dans Le Noir?

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Dans Le Noir reviews



By J.

I was a bit worried when I went to Dans Le Noir that I would end up with food all down my front. It's hard enough to balance peas on your fork in broad daylight let alone in pitch darkness! However, I was very impressed. Not only is Dans Le Noir an original restaurant it really highlights the life of blind people in a positive way which is a really worthy thing.


By J.

Ooh la la! the Dans Le Noir in Paris is sooo cool if incredibly weird, you have to dine totally in the dark which was a first for me definitely! I dont know what the London one is like but if you can get past the weird feeling of partaking in someone's strange fetish then I imagine that Dans Le Noir is a lovely venue.


By Dora K.

So amazing! I went there few days ago, and it was scaring me at first. Nothing can prepare you to this experience but then, when you are in there, it is really enjoyable. I recommend everyone to try it because it is really amazing. I think we have to try it to understand exactly what it is about.


By Eve L.

I heard lots of bad reviews, so I guess it was inevitable that I would be pleasantly surprised. Me and my friends really enjoyed the experience, chatting in the darkness and reaching out to see how far each other was sitting and helping each other pour water etc. I wasn't happy with the starter (fish), and gave up using a knife and fork...but the main made up for it as I found it really tasty, and I'd actually mastered using cutlery by then. The desert was divine as well, but I only guessed about a quarter of what it was I ate, after they showed us at the end. There were times I felt a bit scared, as I was sitting in the thoroughfare and although the waiters are blind and you would expect them to be somewhat proficient in the dark, there was some wine spillage, cutlery falling and things bumping into me throughout the evening (I guess they don't have sticks to aid them!) All in all it was a great night, we laughed loads and marvelled at how odd it all felt; it almost felt like a dream. I've heard bad reviews about the meat dishes, so I would recommend the fish dish and don't go there expecting amazing food (or low prices), just go for the novelty and experience, as it's a night I will never forget!


By Sabina S.

We have visited the restaurant this summer. I have heard a lot about it from my friend, who had visited the one in Paris, so I and my fiancé booked the table in Dans le Noir in advance. I was worrying that it would be weird and I won’t be able to manage my feelings and my senses in the dark; I was really afraid that I will be lost in the dark, though it can sound funny. My fiancé tried to calm me and to assure me that everything will be fine. But once we entered the restaurant, and we were welcomed by the staff, all my trials were gone as if by magic. I wasn’t afraid any more. Personal was so nice to us, they asked about some special wishes in the food, or some prohibitions. I have chosen fish menu and my fiancé meat. We were introduced to the waitress, Sarah. She was nice and it really hurt me that she is blind. Once we were in the dark room, I realized that I couldn’t see a thing, and it was shocking, but really great. We were having a wonderful conversation and laughing at each other on the way we were eating. The food was delicious, and it was difficult to identify for us what exactly we are eating. We made some assumptions, but as it appeared to be later, they were totally wrongJ Our waitress, Sarah, was very attentive, she was like a magician: once you have a thought that you need her help, she is here! We also took a bottle of wine, and the wine was amazing! Tasting it in the pitch darkness was so unusual and it made me to love wine (earlier, I did not appreciate wine very much)! We left the dark room in about 2 hours, and it was difficult for my eyes to get used to the light. I can say that it is the most unique experience I’ve ever had. And my fiancé agrees with me! If you are looking for something new, for something that won’t leave you indifferent, I totally recommend you to visit Dans le Noir. I can definitely say that I will look forward for visiting it one more time!


By Hollie B.

I never write reviews, but I felt the need to write a review after visiting Dans Le Noir. I took my boyfriend there last night for his birthday, he'd heard about it and I knew he really wanted to go. But being me I did some post research and was surprised to find some very critical reviews about the experience and especially about the food. So I would like to be completely honest for anyone considering going. It is an experience like no other, you pay quite a lot for what you get, but you are not only paying for the food, you are paying for the unique experience. You have to completely immerse yourself in the experience. You are BLIND for one evening. And for the first time ever you will depend on a blind person (all the waiting staff are blind) to guide you through that experience. Our waitress was called Nadine, she was incredible. She made us feel very comfortable. She never dropped spilled or splashed anything on us, she guided us all the way through our meal. The food is tricky to eat but remember it's the first time you are experiencing eating like a blind person. You are given cutlery and you lose all sense of control, the cutlery becomes redundant. Personally I put the cutlery down and used my hands, no it wasn't finger food but I could discover what was on my plate and decide whether I could pick it up or whether I needed to use my cutlery. I would like to dispute all those reviews that say the food is bad...the food admittedly isn't Michelin starred but it is not the food that is bad, it is because we eat with our eyes. And you fool yourself into thinking that your senses will be heightened when you're in there. Yes, your sense of smell is heightened but your sense of taste just becomes confused and therefore the food doesn't taste as good as normal. You become more curious and sensitive to textures rather than taste. My meal was very varied and I very much enjoyed it, the meals are a combination of 3 tasters on your plate. I had the 'white me


By Russell D.

Myself and 4 colleagues attended Dans le Noir on 29th March 2011 and opted for the three course meal with drinks option at £62 each. In general, it was a unique dining experience leaving everyone with many interesting memories and talking points for the office the next day. The service is excellent bearing in mind the conditions, and everyone had a laugh experimenting with pouring wine and eating food in complete darkness. The food quality is not too bad, although I think the food and wine would be considered expensive in a 'normal' restuarant. However, we had no problems with the price paid due to the unusual nature of the restuarant. As a one-off event, I would definitely recommend this to friends, but I do not expect many to return to the restaurant once the unique setting has been experienced. RussD, London.


By Katie G.

Hi, I'm doing a piece on Dans Le Noir? for my university magazine and was hoping to get some feedback off people who have visited the restaurant. If you could give me any information on your time there, especially the atmosphere and experience you went through. Many thanks, Katie. x


By Natasha D.

I can officially say this was the worst dining experience of my life! My boyfriend thought it would be nice to do something different for valentines day. The concept doesnt work in reality. Tables are very close together and if you are looking for an intimate meal, be aware there will be someone else sitting next to you practically on your seat! The problem is even if you do want to enjoy it, you simply cant because you are not given the privacy and the space to explore. The food was also pretty terrible and the wine served with the suprise menu tasted cheap. I also requested no game meat or eccentric foods to which I was served crocodile and frogs legs. When I specified this again, they gave me the veg starter, but it seemed to be incomplete as the lady next to me who was also vegetarian had other things on her plate. I think this was because they just couldnt be bothered, and hey I couldnt tell anyway. Our waiter, although blind, and I appreciate this, was rude, and did not help to make guests feel at ease. I, in particular was uneasy about the dining experience and the staff do not make you feel better. Desert was good, but I could have bought it in the supermarket. For £150.00, I really dont reccomend dining here. I believe that this restaurant is supposed to make you more aware of your senses and assist you in appreciating the food in front of you. Unfortunately it fails to do this because the ambience is wrong, and the food is of a below average standard. Eccentric to the extreme.


By Benji D.

If you are looking for an interesting dining experience, have considered going to Dans le Noir and are now in two minds having read some of the high-brow comments below, do yourself a favour and go. I booked a table for my notoriously picky Peruvian partner and a group of friends from overseas eager to be impressed, then started to bottle it after reading some reviews on the internet. Overpriced, mushy, and, shockingly, too dark, were some of the negative comments left on this and other websites. Luckily, we went with an open mind and left feeling really impressed, and, though not the point of the evening, humbled by the attentive service of our blind waiter. We all found our food delicious. Having ordered the surprise menu, my partner was slightly concerned at the thought of being served kangaroo testicles and buffalo hide, only to be pleasantly surprised by shark steak, crocodile meat, duck and artichoke. The vegetable and meat menus were equally well met. The atmosphere at this restaurant was an interesting one. Despite being swathed in total darkness, everyone was in high spirits , including the people around us, and the conversation and giggles flowed. Our waiter, Gowl, was very attentive, taking great care with us, helping us find our way around the tables, chairs and dishes, and was there quickly when we needed him. Yes we were told to drop the volume, like others have mentioned, when the laughter got too loud, however the waiters need to rely on their hearing to attend to customers. Most importantly, my friend's gluten-free diet was also accommodated. Cons. The portions were not as bad as everyone has suggested, although they do need to be more generous with their desserts! It can also get quite loud at times, though this is to be expected given how dark it is. Yes it is pricey, but don't forget you are paying for the experience too. Go with an open mind and a sense of fun and you should enjoy the experience.


By Clara L.

We had a fantastic experience at Dans Le Noir! Despite many bad reviews we decided to go there to experience this very special way to have dinner. We frankly don't regret coming here ! We were friendly welcomed and someone explained us precisely the concept of the restaurant....we were then entered the darkroom by our very helpful guide, Deryck. Even if we had to eat with our fingers ( i found it to difficult to eat with knife and fork...) we had a good time and we enjoyed the food. We took the chef's surprise and had both fish and meat. When we came out someone showed us what we had. It was very surprising. We ate some meat we've never tasted before ! This is a very interesting experience, which allow us to realize what is to be a blind ! I recommend it to all of you !


By A A.

We went there as we got a voucher as our wedding present. Eventhough we didn't pay for it we came out strongly disappointed. The experience of eating in darkness is the only interesting part of it all. We expected this restaurant to speak to all our senses but sight but it was just the opposite. The food was very basic and not intriguing in terms of taste at all. Since we were to spend 124 per two, we took the most expensive menu including wine which turned out to be ordinary, poor quality wine. The water was tap water. All other senses were just suffering as it is so loud there (a very bad accoustic and a lot of people sitting in a small room I guess) you almost have to scream to be heard by your partner, so little space it is impossible to eat comfortably and you must take good care not to break glasses, etc. The surprise is based on the fact that you actually eat exotic food (in our surprise menu it was zebra and kangaroo) that you would probably prefer not know. Overall, a very poor experience, and you can make much better use with your 100 or so.


By Kenny B.

I went there yesterday. I can't help feeling ripped off, seems like it was sold on just the novelty factor. Didn't know I would be sharing tables with complete strangers sitting uncomfortably close to me cafeteria style. The food had aroma, and it was of a rather poor standard. I could have done better. I knew about the prices before I booked. But expected much more in quantity and in standard. No way is desert or the main course worth £20 each more like £13 each tops. the decor is probably minimal so they can surely improve the menu.


By Ed S.

Was very worried about coming here after reading all the bad reviews. However my worry was unfounded after having a fantastic evening. It's all about the experience, you should try this at least once. The food isn't inedible as some people have said on reviews. It's fine. I don't want to give away the fun of the experience but admittedly there are limitations to what food you can have in a pitch black room - i doubt if they'd be serving you soup for example, except in a mug. You're completely dependent on your touch and hearing (didn't really use my smell much). The lack of light also encourages interaction with those around you and everyone (myself included) could be seen coming out of the restaurant and going "oh, so YOU'RE the couple we were sitting next to" etc etc. My only caveat is i didn't pay - my girlfriend bought this for me - so i can't comment on the price.


By Andrea C.

I have given this 4 stars purely for the EXPERIENCE. This is definitely something I would recommend you do once. I brought my boyfriend here for his birthday plus a couple of friends and it was such a fun alternative dining experience! Eating in the dark in the comfort of friends was hilarious and eye opening (pardon the irony). It really did heighten your senses and it was interesting to gain a different outlook on life. Our blind waiter was 'asha' and he was very hospitable and was readily available should we encounter any problems without our sight!

As for the food....two people went for the 'Surprise Menu' one 'meat menu' and I went for vegetarian. The food got a mixed response. I personally detested the vege menu - should have gone for seafood after i found out what they were serving, and was still quite hungry after (they dont give you much). My friend who had the meat menu said it was delicious, the surprise menu was eadible but not thoroughly appetizing.

Afterwards you leave the dining room and enter the light to be revealed what you had just eaten. Oh, and the EXTORTIONATE price. Granted I did know how expensive the menu was, however I do not see how they justify their costs considering no money is rly spent on decor/lighting and food portion was incredibly minimal. Regardless it was a one off and a gift so I reluctantly paid the price! Despite my critics, i would say try it out with a group of friends, its a night you will remember!


By Oro O.

Overpriced! Hang on one second,they do not pay much for electric bills (no lights) or interior decoration /design so how can the support the reason for the overpriced menu? Exclusivity does not always mean good I mean a glass of cheapest house white wine 7 pound. Are you kidding me? Where is the common sense? Moreover, they said they would care about allergic food which they did not. And ended up being sick. Ok at the beginning it is seemed a good experience but then you realise wtf am paying this much for. I advise you go somewhere else and enjoy a nice bottle of wine instead. And food that you can can sense it.


By Rebecca S.

Go for the experience rather than the food. The meal was disappointing and the wine was overpriced but the novelty of eating in total darkness makes it worth going.

You really can't see a thing (until someone sparks up a lighter and ruins it). It's very surreal but lots of fun and you get the urge to do all sorts of naughty things.

Becca x


By Dr T.

I have never written a review in my life - but when I came out of this place I felt so cheated I sweared to myself I would - just to warn you all that although it sounds like a good idea, IT IS NOT! eating in the dark is great of course - the problem is WHAT you eat!!! and how much it costs!!! menu at £35 for what I am now convinced comes from the left overs of a local newsagent - the old chicken wraps, and noodles.


By Jayne A.

No stars The pancakes which accompanied the starter were cold and so floury I thought that I was chewing raw dough. My friend's fish-plate starter of fishcakes was still repeating on her at 2.00am in the morning. The main courses were no better. For £29 for two courses you do expect something vaguely edible. Service was awful, we were told by our Waiter that he 'had to help out in the kitchen so was unable to be around'. A complete waste of money, if you want the experience re-create it at home with a couple of blindfolds.


By Tamsin W.

A great concept and an amazing experience - our guide (waiter) Shane was both helpful and funny, making the experience even more fun. The food was average but the whole experience of eating in the dark; finding your wine glass, giving up and eating with your fingers as food slides off the fork and trying to filter out the multiple conversations to focus on those actually next to you....was one that we all really enjoyed. Sadly the organisation in the restaurant left a lot to be desired... we waited 40 minutes before being led to our table, and at a 9pm seating we were all starving! The service was speedy and when we left the dark room at 10.30, we had to wait in a queue for another 30 mins before we could pay. Considering that we had pre ordered the food and the wine before entering the dark room, surely generating the bills would have been an easy task.... at £55 a head, an interesting experience that is sadly let down by its service.


By Jodie J.

I love it! I felt like I had been transported into a different world. An excellent experience! Food was soooooo delicious and Cyril was very nice. I will come back soon and bring some more friends next time. Thank you!


By ... ..

Amazing experience! It makes you approach food from a whole new perspective. My birthday spent in darkness eating more than I can in the light, using my hands and forgetting all conventions...I loved it! A must do! Totally unique.


By L.

What is a more amazing experience that to have been to Dans Le Noir? I was a little scared about the concept but the staff were very reassuring and friendly. Plus the food was brilliant, and there are no more words to be said about Dans Le Noir.


By Anne Helene H.

Good food and a dining room surrounded in darkness make this an affair to remember.

The Venue
This unorthodox restaurant originated in Paris and now has locations in London, Barcelona, St Petersburg and New York. As the name ('in the dark') suggests, the venue is literally pitch black. The concept here is to rely on other senses such as taste, touch and smell, rather than sight. The experience is made even more poignant by the fact that all the waiters are either blind or otherwise visually impaired. The venue itself is tucked away on a quiet Clerkenwell street, and is fairly nondescript with its pleasant light blue façade and large windows.

The Atmosphere
Upon arrival diners are asked to leave behind belongings - including any items emitting light - in lockers situated in the lit bar area. The bar only has a couple of tables but is spacious enough for couples and small groups of twenty and thirty somethings to enjoy a drink before being taken into the unknown. Hands on shoulders, waiters lead diners into the restaurant before positioning them at the table. Usually your eyes get used to the dark after a while, but not so here: it's just as dark right before you exit, to blink manically at the light. It might get a little bit of getting used to, but that's half the fun, and everybody's in the same boat.

The Food
Not only is the venue blacker than Lord Voldemort’s soul, but you are also kept in the dark as far as the menu goes. You choose one of four menus beforehand (vegetarian, meat, fish or surprise), and inform them of any allergies you might have. Two courses cost £42 and three £51, and the menus change every two or three months.

The fish menu's starter of tuna steak is lovely and meaty, and comes served with crunchy sugar snap peas. The main is like a smorgasbord from the sea with swordfish steak marinated in a tangy citrus and ginger marinade; a melt-in-the mouth wild salmon steak drizzled in an interesting blood orange hollandaise with a hint of sharpness; and red mullet and scallops on a light and fluffy pea and truffle cream.

The 'surprise' menu has the most exotic fare, with a main consisting of a hearty springbok steak (easily mistaken for beef) accompanied by mushrooms and a red wine sauce, as well as some very juicy pieces of crocodile on a bed of coconut rice. Also included is some fatty (but succulent) ox cheeks, sweetbreads, black beans and carrots.

The meat menu is a little more traditional, though it too has its moments (cold wild pigeon and black pudding to start, for one) with an excellent lamb tagine; guinea fowl with mushrooms; and duck breast with spinach and potato cake for main.

The dessert is easily recognisable as white chocolate cheesecake with some delicious licorice macaroons; the bitterness perfectly accompanying the sweetness of the cake. The food is very good, and although you might not be able to judge the presentation, the combinations of flavour and texture suggest some impressive skills are at work in that kitchen.

The Drink
There's a long list of house created cocktails (£11-£13) and mocktails. The champagne cocktail is delicious, as is a coconut-based surprise cocktail (£9) and a surprise mocktail (£7) that tastes heavily of Amaretto. Wines are served as a surprise, dependent on what food is ordered. A bottle of wine costs £26, or £49 for a bottle of slightly posher stuff, though both are also available by the glass.

The Last Word
The food is certainly tasty and the experience unique to London, but more than anything this is a social experience and thus great for a big group - or even a date. It's definitely an icebreaker, offering up plenty of opportunities for fun, including that much-loved game ‘guess the animal I’m eating’, which is always a laugh.

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