North East Sensory Services
12 August 2016
Ditch the technology and dine in the dark
A North-east charity, which provides sensory services for blind and deaf people across the North-east of Scotland, is urging people to take part in a dining experience with a difference, by ditching their technology and delving into darkness for an evening.
North East Sensory Services (NESS), which supports over 4,500 people with sight and hearing loss, is hosting a ‘Dine in the Dark’ event on Friday 23 September in Mintlaw.
The unique event is a culinary experience like no other, as it enables customers to heighten their sense of taste and smell by dining completely blindfolded – preventing diners from thinking more about sharing their meal on Instagram but taking time to concentrate on the food itself.
NESS, which has offices in Elgin, Aberdeen, and Dundee, provides much-needed advice and support to the blind and deaf community in the North-east. The charity helps people to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence.
The ‘Dine in the Dark’ experience is taking place at the Country Park Inn in Mintlaw at 6pm. NESS has held a number of these popular events across the region, which has allowed hundreds of diners to discover how dramatically their senses change when one is not working.
Stemming from the ‘Dans le noir’ dining craze, which swept across the globe in 2004. The idea began in 19th century Paris, with the concept giving people the chance to understand what it is like to be blind.
When dining in the dark, customers find that they are able to truly appreciate all the textures and flavours of the food they are eating, as they aren’t faced with distractions from their phones or any bright lights. There is even the option to dine with earplugs in, giving diners a full deafblind experience.
Bruce Cruickshank, fundraising assistant for NESS, said: “All the Dine in the Dark events we’ve organised have gone down extremely well. I believe that it appeals to people who like to get adventurous with their food. Nobody knows what they’re going to be eating until it’s in front of them, so it’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
“Nowadays, most people sit and use their phones at the dinner table. That’s not possible when you Dine in the Dark, making it a really sociable experience. Without the distraction of modern day technology, diners can become fully engaged in conversation with their friends and family, as well as having fun together trying to figure out what they’re eating.
“The event strips the whole eating out experience back to basics. Everything is focused solely on the food, which is how it should be. Most importantly, Dine in the Dark is a great way to raise funds for NESS and also raise awareness of visual impairment. As well as this, it provides insight into what it feels like to live without vision and to gain understanding of the life of a blind person.”
Dine in the Dark tickets are priced at £20 each for a two-course meal, they can be purchased from the Country Park Inn, call 01771 622622 to book.