When my friend told me they had booked us tickets for a special dinner, I was thrilled.
When my friend told me we would be dining blindfolded, I was dubious.
When my friend told me we would be blindfolded and not know what we were going to eat, I was sensing a headache and finding excuses to cancel.
I am so happy I listened to the words of “try something new” and cannot recommend this unique experience enough.
First, the host makes sure to create a feeling of ease about using the blindfolds. You are made to feel comfortable and are given time to get used to basically not being able to see a thing. We were seated at a round table with six others and quickly found ourselves in great conversation. Without the distraction of seeing other things, I found myself really listening and enjoying tuning into our anticipatory talk about what was to come.
Personally, I do not have any food restrictions, but I saw them pay attention to those that did, and they made it easy actually. Everything is taken care for you so that you can just relax and sink into the experience.
With live music and interesting commentary, you are transported into another world. At first, I thought I wouldn’t be able to relax, yet somehow the environment is one that leads you into a sense of wanting to explore and discover. Not something you often get to do as an adult.
Then the courses are served and suddenly you find yourself with the strange dilemma of “I don’t know how to use utensils.” It’s so interesting, as everything I take for granted, I had to question. Where is my fork? How do I even use it? Where is the plate? Where is the food on the plate? What is the texture? Do I need to cut firmly, does it even need cutting?
It’s amazing. As you go on, your confidence grows and you become bolder. We were encouraged to toast one another (gently) with our glasses, you could forget about using utensils, I know I did at one point. At first, I was self-conscious about that but then realizing no one else could see, I just let go and had fun. The couple at our table who were celebrating their anniversary had an opportunity to feed one another, which made me think, yes this would be the perfect date night.
My taste senses seemed to go into higher action mode, as foods offered a deeper flavor than I’ve noticed before. The table conversations are lively discussing what we thought of each course. What was that, a carrot, a turnip, a piece of broccoli? Sometimes we would agree and at others, we were lost. The commentary was great because they only give hints without giving away the actual ingredients. We didn’t want to know, we wanted to discover.
The sense of fun and adventure certainly takes over as you become accustomed to the lack of sight matching the gentle pace of the courses. My friend and I were enjoying a dinner in a way we never have before. We both said that there was a sense of freedom. Where we often judge ourselves for our choices or the amount we eat, we could forget all of that. You were purely working on what you wanted in that very moment. It is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness.
Once you are instructed to remove your blindfolds, slowly, the room appeared so much larger. We found ourselves applauding one another for trying something new. The restaurant had the actual courses out on display and printed menus to read. Now, that was fun to see what we thought we had enjoyed compared to what was served. I had discovered that the large, sweet piece of “something” that I could not identify had been a carrot – and yet it had felt too big and seemed too tasty to be a carrot.
This whole evening opened our eyes (pun intended) to the pleasure of food and to the wonders and depths of our senses. There is so much we do without thinking which can be enhanced by extra thought and attention. What an original and fascinating way to enjoy a meal.
Check out Dining in the Dark – Salem select weekends in October!
Mystery Cafe, New England Fun, LLC.
18 Washington Street,
#200 Canton, MA 02021