A unique ‘dining in the dark’ experience - whose guest list has seen royalty as well as stars from the worlds of stage, screen and sport enjoy their restaurants in London, Paris, New York, St Petersburg and Dubai - is coming to Scotland for the first time this Easter.
The internationally renowned ‘dans le noir’ is billed as “an outrageous pop-up” that sees diners enjoy a meal in complete blackout darkness – served by blind guides.
The team of award-winning chefs at the five red-star Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St Andrews invites guests “to see us in a different light” as they prepare to host this unique event in the home of golf between Thursday 26th March and Wednesday 6th April – plunging guests into a world of dining darkness as each enjoys the outrageous sensory and social experience.
The culinary side of this adventure is headed up by the resort’s Executive Chef Martin Hollis. Martin explains what makes this ‘Scottish first’ unique, saying: “Not only is this the first Dining in the Dark experience in Scotland, it is also the first time it has been done using predominantly Scottish produce.”
Martin adds: “We’ve been working closely with the experts at Dans Le Noir? to discover which ingredients will give our guests the most incredible sensory experience, and we’ve also had to adapt our cooking methods as the rules of presentation that surround and govern award-winning cuisine are replaced by the total dominance of taste, texture and temperature.”
David Scott, Director of Operations at the St Andrews resort is “very excited” to be hosting the hotel’s first pop-up dining experience saying: “This promises to be a never-to-be-forgotten event for all who attend – outrageous, fun, engaging … a real ‘bucket list’ activity.
"We have worked hand in hand with the team from the Dans Le Noir? London and Paris restaurants. They have taught us so much. When our sight is taken away, much of what we know about how we enjoy food is lost, and we rely on completely different senses to feed us the information on the plate.
"It’s an incredibly exciting and valuable opportunity to showcase Scottish food and drink in a whole new light – and to have a brilliant time in the process."
Dans Le Noir? is the largest permanent and private operation of disability awareness for the blind: over 40 per cent of the company’s workforce are blind – including their waiting and ‘guide’ staff who will be leading the restaurant experience for guests at the hotel this Easter.
Fabrice Roszczka, Director General at Dans Le Noir? is “delighted to be working with the Old Course Hotel team” saying: “They are a world-renowned brand and destination – and this is as unique for us as it is for them.
“Dining in the dark completely reverses the perspectives of our perception of tasting food and drink and the relations we have with other people, because the whole experience is driven by unexpected guides, blind or visually impaired, and they become our eyes. We are happy to bring this unique sensory and social experience to the Old Course Hotel, and to Scotland, for the first time."
There are no known menus. Guests simply choose their meat, fish or vegetarian preference – and only get to know what they have eaten once they return to the world of the sighted after the dining experience.
Martin Hollis says: “This is part dining, part theatre. Each event is timed to perfection as we are relying on blind servers to welcome, seat and serve our guests. The whole operation is phenomenal and we can’t wait to welcome guests at Easter.”
Three different Dining In The Dark Experiences are on offer beginning with a Whisky Tasting on Thursday 24 March, and Lunches and Dinners running rom Friday 25 March – Wednesday 6 April inclusive.
Whisky Tastings are £35.00 per person. Lunches are from £45.00 and Dinners are from £85.00. All experiences can be booked by calling 0800 085 3275 … that’s 0800 085 DARK.
• For further information, please visit www.dininginthedark.co.uk