Monday, 7 October 2013

A night of London that was awesome. Part one.

One-And-Only-Daniela and I recently went to see Richard Curtis' new movie "About Time." To say this film was the best thing to happen to me all year would... Well, probably not be exactly true as this year has probably been one of my favourite years ever, but it would probably come pretty close... Definitely it's in my top 10 or 20 things to happen to me... Possibly. Anyway, it's good. 

In the movie, the lovely Rachel McAdams meets the love of her life in a restaurant called Dans Le Noir. It's a restaurant in London that, once we saw the movie, both myself and One-And-Only-Daniela decided to make our life goal to go to. You may have heard of the concept before, and if you haven't, please find the nearest one to you, it's awesome. You see, it's a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness. 

Anywho, One-And-Only-Daniela, being the booking queen that she is, found the actual restaurant within a couple of days and we were booked in to go, moments later. 

This place is where I found myself Friday night. One-And-Only-Daniela and I rocked up at 7pm and was met in this dimly lit bar entrance/lobby by a smiling man who asked us if we had ever been to this restaurant before. We said no, he simply smiled and said. 

"You're in for a treat."

He then directed us to lockers where he asked us to put all out coats, bags, phones etc inside. We did as we were told and returned to the man with a slightly nervous and naked feeling... 

Next we were given a menu, on the menu were four colours. These colours represented the type of course we could choose. These were:

White: Surprise menu
Green: Vegetarian surprise menu
Blue: Fish surprise menu
Red: Meat surprise menu

He explained that we were to pick which one we wanted and left with that same knowing grin. I glanced nervously at One-And-Only-Daniela.

"Um, Daniela, I think we're going to have to eat the food without knowing what it is."

One-And-Only-Daniela looked at me with a look that said exactly what I was thinking... It was a look of 80% anticipation and 30% fear. 

"How brave are you feeling?" I asked, pointing at the White course, which could literally turn out to be anything.

"Not that brave." One-And-Only-Daniela mumbled. 

"Thank goodness." I replied, "I didn't want to seem like a wimp. If you had chosen that one, I'd have had to go with you..."

We both ended up settling for the meat surprise three course with a collection of surprise cocktails and surprise wines. Once we gave the menu back, we were guided to an even dimmer hallway where a woman was waiting for us, once again smiling that smile that made my stomach want to empty it's contents whilst simultaneously wanting to run for the hills. I turned to One-And-Only-Daniela. 

"Daniela, I'm worried. I'm pretty certain I'm going to go in there and suddenly I'm going to think that if someone wanted to stab me, I'd never know... Then I'll freak out and run about in the dark trying to find a light switch that probably doesn't exist, waving a fork around and stabbing everyone in the eye as I fight off the attacker in my mind. Then what? Will I be arrested? Will I have to serve time for attacking multiple people? I can't go to prison Daniela, I wouldn't survive one day. Seriously."

One-And-Only-Daniela thought about this for a moment. "Well, think of it this way, if you can't see the person then at least you won't have to worry about defending yourself, you'll only know about it when the knife is in your body."

I just stared at One-And-Only-Daniela with a look of dismay as she smiled back at me with a self-satisfaction that suggested her words had actually been helpful. 

"Do me a favour." I said. "If you are ever tempted to be a therapist, don't."

Before she could reply, the woman in the hallway came over and started in on her instructions. 

"Okay, in a minute, your waitress will arrive. Her name's Lisa and she will guide you to your seats. The important thing to know about all our waiters is that they are all blind. She knows the room better than anyone."

Lisa arrived then and smiled at us. After the first woman introduced us to her, she began in our next instructions. 

"Okay, now I need Lisa (me, in case you were confused) to hold onto my shoulder. Daniela, if you can hold onto Lisa's, and we'll go in."

We did as we were told and our waitress guided us into a room that had to be the darkest room I had ever been in. I tried to keep my calm, leaving all my thoughts of being stabbed at the door. However, One-And-Only-Daniela had decided that this was the perfect time to dig her nails into my shoulder and grab my free hand with a grip that felt as if every bone in my hand had crumbled to dust. Awesome. 

Waitress-Lisa then proceeded to talk to us, describing the room and informing us of what was to our left and right. Eventually she grabbed the hand I had on her shoulder and guided it down to a chair in front of me. She told me to pull it out and sit down... guys, I have trouble performing this task without falling over in broad daylight, let alone in this room. To make matters worse, she took One-And-Only-Daniela's hand off my shoulder and suddenly I felt completely exposed. I briefly considered turning and making a run for it, but figured that that would just cause even more mess than sitting down. So I stumbled around for the seat and collapsed onto it, resting my hands on the apparent table in front of me and clutching onto the edge of it as if my life depended on it. 

"Okay," Waitress-Lisa said. "Now that you are both sitting down, if you feel in front of you, you will find a knife and fork, napkin and two glasses."

... Yes you heard right, not only did this restaurant deem it safe enough to actually hold glass on its table, something that not even the dimly lit theatres and clubs would dare to do, it also had actual knives. Suddenly my worry of being stabbed by a stranger no longer seemed my biggest concern. No, a stranger wouldn't be stabbing me tonight, it would appear that this is something I'm quite clearly going to end up doing myself. 

Waitress-Lisa left to collect two other people and One-And-Only-Daniela and I turned into the most PDA couple in the world. We leant forward, found each other's hands and held on for dear life. 

The only way I can describe what it was to be in that room is to say that it felt as if I had actually lost my sight. I found myself gazing off at a diagonal direction whilst talking to Daniela and suddenly relying totally on touch and sound. It was the weirdest feeling. 

The other two people were guided to the seats next to us and we heard them voice every one of our own thoughts. Phrases like "Holy crap, I'm blind" and "There are knives on this table?" Were exclaimed. 

This broke the ice and soon One-And-Only-Daniela and I were chatting to this couple next to us as if we had known them all our lives. No word of a lie, these two were hilarious. Their names were Dominique and David. We had no clue who they were, but our joint blindness bonded us. 

David was the one that noticed the dimmest of red lights above our table. Realising that this was probably an infra-red camera, suddenly he exclaimed, "There are people who can see this!"

"Oh, this is definitely a video I want to see afterwards." Dominique added.

"Maybe they offer a service like at theme parks," David suggested. "Afterwards they show you a series of photos of you eating the food and ask which one you want to buy."

"If that's the case, I think we should all smile and wave." I offered. 

We did. We also embarked on a series of games throughout the night. There was the "try and poke the correct body part" game. I was hella good at this game. One-And-Only-Daniela sucked at it. Goodness knows how many times she stuck a finger in my nose or mouth. David also insisted on clinking glasses at every new drink brought over and high fiving each other. This actually went surprisingly well, especially as I usually suck at high fives when I can see. 

The food was awesome. I ate the first course with my fingers as I wasn't quite ready to handle sharp objects yet. It felt like salmon, which confused me as we had ordered a pure meat menu. Shortly after tasting it, I realised it was, in fact, raw beef. It was actually beautiful. Something I would never have tried if I had known. Wanna see a picture?

Doesn't it look scrummy? The main course was a selection of meat, all of which One-And-Only-Daniela and I got wrong. However, Dominique and David had braved the white menu, so our food wasn't as daring as what they had had, which I think involved Zebra and Ostrich. I had no choice but to use the knife and fork for this particular course as the plate alone almost burnt me. 

I had chosen, quite stupidly might I add, to wear a cream top that night. Thankfully I had also gained enough common sense to tuck my napkin safely into my neck line. This then saved my top when I leant forward to search for my drink and buried my breasts into my plate. 

"Ah crap." I said. "I've just dipped my boobs in my food."

"So, what I'm hearing from you," David replied. "Is that you have a big rack?"

"I'm not going to lie." I said. "They are rather large."

"I'm imagining a lolly pop figure." David said. 

"If the lolly is a Choc-Ice, then yes. You would be correct."

"I feel like we should dance." Dominique offered. 

"Daniela pretty much invented the wine." I explained. "She knows how to move her booty. Daniela, show them."

"Is she doing it yet?" Dominique asked into the darkness. "Because if so, it's amazing."

"So, what you're saying is," David chipped in, "Lisa has a rack and Daniela has a large arse?"

"That pretty much sums us up, right Daniela?" I said. 

"Pretty much."

"Well, I for one am looking forward to seeing you two when we get out." David added. 

And that was how cool the whole thing was, we couldn't see each other, we had no clue what the other looked like, yet we were chatting away for AGES. 

The rest of the meal consisted of David causing the whole restaurant to sing Happy Birthday to a random stranger we were pretty certain wasn't actually celebrating her birthday and a lot of exclamations along the lines of "why am I nodding to what you say? You can't see me!"

It was amazeballs. And the night didn't end there... But for now, my blog will... I fear I've talked enough and I want to give the second half of our night justice so I will write part 2 tomorrow... Tune in my lovelies, I'm making up for a hell of a lot of lost time. 

Peace hit my lovelies. 

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