Have you ever eaten in the dark, and no I’m not just talking during a powercut? I mean with a three course meal with a blindfold on.
Dining in the Dark returned to the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus for a second time and this time I went along to see - pardon the pun - if I could master the art of eating without seeing.
The event was put together by the students themselves and organiser Manon Ghequiere said: “People eat with their eyes - if something doesn’t look nice I won’t eat it but this is about challenging people to eat with different senses.
“Since the last event in October I have had so many people asking me if it was coming back so we thought we would do a second eating experience.”
Held in the Devonshire Dome restaurant I was greeted with nibbles on arrival and as my stepdad, who came with me, said this was all a trap to try and confuse the palette for later on.
I was happily sitting on a table and the conversation was flowing nicely then the waiting staff told us to put on our blindfolds and everything changed.
With no visual clues of when is your turn to join in the conversation or if people are talking to yo.
I noticed that names were being used a lot more and I stopped using my hands when I spoke - what was the point?
After ordering a drink and successfully finding it on my table I started to relax.
The starters were brought out and that was when the fun really started. The blindfolds were good and even covered your nose so there was no peeking out of the bottom.
I found my knife and fork only to be told by our waitress that I was holding it the wrong way round with the cutting side facing up.
For what seemed like ages I chased asparagus around my plate, it smelt, felt and tasted like asparagus and that was good enough for me.
We then had to guess what we had eaten, I found out after there was parma ham on my plate, which I missed completely.
My other senses were going into overdrive, I was more aware of the sizzle of the grill and the chatter of people on other tables than I ever would be normally.
The main course arrived and it smelt like Sunday dinner, one person said it was beef and we all agreed when cutting it had the texture of steak. For safety reasons we were not allowed steak knives so the challenge of cutting the meat began.
I felt successful and victorious when I managed to cut a piece off, only to have Damini the waitress whisper in my ear that perhaps I would need to cut it again if I wanted to fit it in my mouth - oh dear.
It turns out the beef we were so convinced we were having was in fact lamb rump.
The food was amazing in particular the desert, it felt like doughnut fingers with ice cream and raspberries and yes I did make a mess with this one but in fairness I picked up a fork instead of a spoon to start with.
Server Damini Bhoobun said: “It was difficult trying to make sure everyone was doing okay and give guidance while still leaving you with your independence. It was funny to watch though.”
I had a really memorable night and if the event returns try and nab yourself a place you won’t regret it.