There is one thing in my life that I have always wanted to do, and one that I have never wanted to do.
Number 1 – go to the restaurant Dans le Noir in London. If you haven’t heard of it, this is a restaurant where you eat in a completely pitch black dining room, served by blind waiters. I can already hear people Northernly booming “But you cant see what the fook yer eating!”. Yes indeed my friends, that’s the idea. Supposedly by removing your sense of sight your other senses, e.g. taste, are heightened, transforming your Efes-furred taste buds into that of Lloyd Grossman (hopefully without the silly voice). Thus making you the food equivalent of that guy from ‘Perfume’ with the massive nose, if you will. I’m very curious to try this. Is this simply a master con of epic proportions? Is it likely that whilst diners are lamenting the delicious food to their companions a la Hamlet, the kitchen are snickering behind a mound of Iceland ready meals? Does the food on your plate actually spell out obscenities? Do waiters try and draw on the back of your neck with permanent marker? The possibilities for tom foolery and high-jinx of every kind are endless, and I’d like to see if they are exploited.
Number 2 – go on a “blind date”
As much as I love Cilla and am sure people have a “lorra lorra fun” on blind dates, the prospect fills me with horror. Your dining partner could look distractingly like a Lord of the Rings extra. They could have a “moley moley moley” (Austin Powers) that you simply can’t tear your eyes away from. Or a penchant for steam train mechanisms. Even if they turn out to be your Prince Charming, you still remain in danger. If like me you are wee bit cack-handed when it comes to clumsiness (my friend calls me a “gumby”, I think that’s a bit unfair…), there is every likelihood that as you stare into your lovers eyes you simultaneously drop a hefty forkful of summer pudding down your cleavage, and are left with the awkward dilemma of whether to attempt to retrieve it or not (you both saw it drop…).
However, the other day I considered the possibility of combining the two, and came up with what I believe is known as a “cunning plan, Batman”. How about a literal blind date, in the dark? Perfect! Embarrassing snaggle tooth? Misread the instructions of that home perm kit? Take them to Dans le Noir, they’ll never know! Yes, whilst your partner is entranced by your witty and stimulating chat, you can smirk to yourself that by the time they discover that medieval forehead of yours they’ll be well and truly in lurve. In fact the more you think about it, the better it gets. Don’t know what to wear? Go in your pj’s! Want the spaghetti but not got the fancy forkwork to make it look elegant? Go ahead! By the end of the evening when you’re both a lot more relaxed and, let’s face it, reasonably intoxicated, you can even whisk yourself off to the (apparently very nice) toilets for a quick sponge down to disguise any remnants of your enthusiastic tucking in.
Of course, like all my good plans, there remain a few slight problems. Mainly, it would be crushing to have your date announce your unmistakeable chemistry and whisk you out of the restaurant, shortly before emerging into the cruel light of day and dropping your wedding plans like a hot brick. There is also the possibility that the “witty and stimulating chat” remains non-existent and, realising it’s the best they’ll get, your sneaky dining partner seizes the opportunity for some indiscriminate and “accidental” gropage. It only takes one “let me help you with your napkin” and you’re begging for a candelabra. Still, it is comforting to know that there is a place where you could have a decent shot at seducing your object of desire, before they discover your huge zit. Think of it, if you will as a sort of head start.
Before ending, I would like to add a disclaimer to warn against creating your own “Dans le Noir” up in lovely York. In a restaurant, pitch black dining is “edgy”. Inviting a girl to your pitch black kitchen to disguise the mess however, can be read as nothing short than a bit creepy. Fairy lights or candles are almost as forgiving and a lot less “rapey”. Happy dining!