This evening we found out what it would be like to be blind.

I always like to make a fuss of my Jean on her birthday so today I treated her to dinner at Dans Le Noir in Clerkenwell Green. The clue to this posting lies in the restaurant's name; when you eat you are, quite literally, in the dark.

Because Dans Le Noir is a blind restaurant. As well as providing some great food, it is a place with a purpose. It gives customers a chance to confront head on one of our greatest fears, that of losing our sight.

Upon arrival, we were asked to choose a locker and pack away our belongings. We were then introduced to our waiter, Asha, who led us to the dining room. We were taken in a line, each of us told to place our hand on the shoulder of the person in front. The dining room is behind a double curtain, and once you are through, it feels like reality ends. Complete darkness. Can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face black. We were blind and being taken to our table by a blind man.

Asha, who had already told us that it was important that we trust him, took us to our seats, placed our hands on them and told us to sit down. We felt around and found a plate, the cutlery and glasses. I had taken a glass of wine in and put it down on the table while I was sitting down and once comfortable tried to find it. Impossible. It was nowhere. Not only was I deprived of my sight, I was deprived of my wine! Eventually, the person sitting next to me found it and the panic subsided.

The rest of the evening was remarkable. Three courses of food. No idea what is placed before you and without sight, often unidentifiable by taste alone. Using cutlery became a chore. I had no idea what was on the end of the fork and no idea even if there even was anything on end of the fork. After many unsuccessful stabs in the dark, I took to eating by loading my fork by hand. Well, it wasn't if anyone could see.

The dining room seats sixty and without sight the chatter seemed amplified. I struggled to hear my companion and had to cup my ears to hear. Snippets of conversation drifting in from all around and in all this trying to identify one voice without seeing the face from which it was coming was frustrating.

But as an experience it was both amazing and humbling. Just taking a plate from the waiter and putting it down in front of you became a risk-filled task that had me holding my breath until it was safely in place.

When the meal ended, we were led outside and in the bar area were shown pictures of the food we had eaten. Before going into the dining room we chose from a fish, meat, or vegetarian meal and asked about allergies. We were also promised that there would be nothing unusual in the menu.

And that's pretty much what Dans Le Noir does to you. Nothing can prepare you for doing something, which for many of us is a routine activity, in total darkess, without twenty five percent of your senses.

Dans Le Noir has restaurants in Paris and Moscow. Their mission to increase our understanding of disability by allowing people to sample, for a couple of hours what it is like to step inside another world.

Views: 88

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Edwyn Collins to add comments!

Join Edwyn Collins

Comment by Greg on January 22, 2010 at 15:54
Very cool.

THE AED BOUTIQUE

All things EDWYN and AED, NOW ON SALE:

BADBEA, THE NEW LONG PLAYER BY EDWYN COLLINS

ENTER THE ART DEPARTMENT, 

COALS TO NEWCASTLE

and much, much more. . . 

TWITTER

Music

Loading…

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Blog Posts

Art Work and Bum Fuzz

Posted by scott owen on May 5, 2017 at 17:15 0 Comments

My Bum Fuzz unit just arrived in California along with some plectrums with Edwin art. It took me along time to order this unit, but the twenty five year gestation period for it to be built surely eclipses my lack of urgency. Best regards all...

Thank you for the music

Posted by Carran Waterfield on August 2, 2016 at 13:56 0 Comments

A while back I asked Edwyn if he would let me use his music on a little film I made.  Here is the result: Mill Mechanics

Thanks for that.

Shareefa Energy Reasoning With Self - Review

Posted by ALAN HORNE on July 25, 2015 at 22:41 0 Comments

Shareefa Energy – ‘Reasoning With Self’ - Review



A few months ago the BBC offered a profile of new emerging female poets, ‘Women Who Spit’. Watching the short films by Jemima Foxtrot, Cecilia Knapp and Deanna Rodger, I noted with great relief that the art of poetry is alive and well. I have always been fascinated by the medium. The ability to express intricate thoughts and feelings in a few lines of words. It is the most empowering process. And empowerment through self-expression… Continue

Events

Forum

Randy Travis

Started by Andrew Shields in General Discussion Jun 7. 0 Replies

Thought this might be of interest:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HN0_w48xgQContinue

Roddy Frame Toppermost

Started by Andrew Shields in General Discussion Mar 24. 0 Replies

Last of the 'Postcard' series:http://www.toppermost.co.uk/roddy-frame/Continue

Aztec Camera Toppermost

Started by Andrew Shields in General Discussion. Last reply by Andrew Shields Mar 14. 1 Reply

Thought this might be of interest to Forum membershttp://www.toppermost.co.uk/aztec-camera/Continue

Orange Juice Toppermost

Started by Andrew Shields in General Discussion. Last reply by Andrew Shields Feb 24. 1 Reply

Thought this might interest forum membershttp://www.toppermost.co.uk/orange-juice/Hot off the pressesContinue

© 2019   Created by Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service