Happenings: Make a Deadly Date with ‘Dine in the Dark’

Ireland’s food scene continues to grow from strength to strength. It’s great just how many new places are popping up week to week – offering an abundance of choice and unique settings.But if you are looking for something completely unique then check this out…

Last week I was invited to #GoDark at ‘Dine in the Dark’ with the National Council for the Blind, Ireland. They are an extremely passionate team who work with children and adults who have sight loss. Fade Street Social was kind enough to host us and the food was superb, but that’s not why the experience was so unforgettable.

Dinner came with a difference this time – we couldn’t see.

Blindfolded before entering the dining area, every one of us had no idea of the room we were in, the food that was before us (although I found the wine quickly enough) and most intriguingly, the people we were sitting with. The menu didn’t help much either…


The first unexpected thing that struck me was just how different negotiating conversation was.

I couldn’t see how far away people were. Or what age they were. Or if I knew them. Or judge their face in reaction to my usual nervous ‘I-just-met-you-and-want-you-to-like-me-so-I’m-going-to-be-super-goofy-and-probably-a-little-annoying’ jokes.

Perhaps ‘judging’ is the interesting word there…

Because that’s exactly what the six of us (we counted), couldn’t do – judge. They say you eat with your eyes, but it turns out, we converse with our eyes much more than we know.

So the next thing that happened was also completely unheard of among a group of bloggers and journos – we listened.

People actually listened to each other. I noticed things like inflection and tone. And the vulnerability in people’s words. To be honest, it was rather lovely. And probably one of the most fulfilling and interesting conversations I’ve ever had with a group of strangers.

So, on an entirely selfish level, ‘Dine in the Dark’ is a must do event if you are looking for the sort of rare life experience that really makes you reflect on our modern values and your own behaviour and interactions with others.

Oh, it also makes wine taste even better (if that’s possible).

However, this fun one off experience is not the reality for the thousands effected by sight impairment in our country. And the enthusiastic team – some of whom have vision impairments themselves, really deserve our support.

One in six will experience sight loss in Ireland – a truly shocking statistic that really takes a minute to sink in. One in SIX. So that is one person in my own family at some stage and probably yours too.  NCBI is committed to helping those people live life to the full and reach their potential as individuals.

Dine in the Dark is their flagship fundraising and awareness campaign.

So, if you want to ‘venture to the dark side’ yourself, events will be happening from the 6th – 13th November all across the country. You can check out the ones near you HERE.

I promise it will be one of the best dining experiences of your life  and you will be doing some serious good for a very important cause.

Win, win really.

Any restaurants interested in participating can also register here. The charity will support you on ‘the social’ and help get you all set up.

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@merchantsarch #regram #godark

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