One for the Bucket List – Dans le Noir, Paris

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Obviously, there can be no photographs of this particular experience (if you haven’t already deciphered the French above – it means ‘in the dark’) so we offer you a standard Eiffel Tower photo instead. We’re hoping our words can be enough persuasion for you to check this awesome place out on your next visit to Paris!

It was my birthday (major brownie points to Phil for bringing me to Paris) and we had an 8pm booking. When we arrived, we put all our belongings, including phones and watches, into a locker and waited to be seated. You then choose how many courses you’d like, what drinks you’d like (wine, alcoholic cocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails) – of course we chose the alcoholic versions – and you let them know of any allergies/intolerances, and that’s it! No further information given. This was a little more difficult as everyone mainly spoke French and we were told our waitress only spoke a little English, but that’s what made it all the more an experience (and should give us a kick up the backside to learn more languages).

When we were ready to be seated, we were told to put our left hand on the person in front of us (we were to be seated with 2 other people) and shut our eyes once through the curtain to help our eyes adjust once we opened them in the dark. We cannot tell you how tempting it was to ‘sneek a peek’ which is just ridiculous when you realise the levels of darkness. Anyway, after walking into a couple of objects and then sitting on the wrong chair (and thankfully not sitting on anyone’s knee in the process) we made it in one piece to our table. Now, I know we were dining in the dark but you really don’t quite realise the concept of ‘complete darkness’ until you experience it. You keep thinking your eyes will adjust to the dark but that never happens.

We were firstly given an unknown cocktail and were to expect our unknown starter shortly. I refused to put my drink down on the table just in case I knocked it over, so it went down quite quickly. We were sat down for what seemed like a lifetime, but it was probably only 20 minutes as we had lost all concept of time, and we were soon handed over our starter. It tasted like some kind of meaty and sweet salad which was delicious. Your senses are so heightened not being able to see and it was interesting to try something we probably wouldn’t normally choose on a menu. Between the starter and main, another couple came to sit on our table although we couldn’t quite work out where exactly they were sat. All we could tell was we were on a round table and our eating spaces seemed to keep getting merged, especially when somebody was feeling up Phil’s hand thinking it was cutlery!

Next came the main which was some kind of risotto with seared tuna. Amazing as Phil would never choose fish but he really enjoyed it. Only problem for me was there were some kind of nuts in the dish (which we found out later were roasted hazelnuts) and I am not a fan of nuts (didn’t think to tell them at the start, doh!) Normally, I’d spit them out into a napkin but I couldn’t find mine so Phil was giggling as I tried to chew them down, clinching onto his hand for support, with my eyes watering. Unfortunately, I’d already finished the second yummy cocktail for this course!

Dessert came with our final cocktail which I was also glad I had as the top layer was coffee (another food item I am not a fan of). Thankfully underneath was my favourite food item – chocolate! Half of the dessert was definitely spooned all over the table instead of into my mouth and for each course, I had touched all of the food to see how much was left on the plate and where to guide my fork to, so my hands and face weren’t looking or smelling too pretty once we got outside into the light again. But, overall it was an amazing experience and definitely one to add to the bucket list!

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