Media Release: Dine in the dark for a sensory discovery

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AN Aberdeen-based charity, which provides sensory services for blind and deaf people in the North-east of Scotland, is preparing to bring the worldwide ‘Dans le noir’ phenomenon to Aberdeen, giving diners the chance to enjoy a new discovery of dramatic taste and smell.

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which provides joint sensory services to over 4,500 people, is hosting a ‘Dine in the Dark’ event in June.

The experience allows restaurants customers to re-evaluate their approach to eating, as they enjoy a meal while blindfolded.

NESS, which is acknowledged as Aberdeen’s second-oldest charity, exists to promote the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss and support them to overcome practical and emotional challenges and also to achieve greater independence.

‘Dine in the Dark’, which is taking place at Café Coast on Friday, 12th June at 7.30pm, is one of the group’s most popular events, enabling diners to experience how the senses change when one is not working.

Says a spokesperson: “The concept began in Paris in the 19th century, to give seeing people the chance to understand what it is like to be blind, and the popular format has grown with restaurants now open in London, Paris, London, Barcelona, New York, St Petersburg and Montreal.

“Diners find that the lack of bright lights and distraction helps them to enjoy the textures, smells and tastes of the food they are eating.”

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator for NESS, said: “Our Dine in the Dark evenings are extremely popular as eating a meal without sight is quite an unique experience. Not only do customers have great fun trying to work out what they are eating, they discover how amazing their other senses are.

“In reality, your other senses are not enhanced when one sense is not working, however you automatically concentrate more and listen better, paying more attention to the information your senses give you.”

Neil added that the experience also leads to a fabulous atmosphere.

He said: “It is great fun, and inhibitions disappear when you are less worried about how you look. The conversation is all about the food.

“The main reason for the evening, however, is to raise awareness of visual impairment.

“Although one in 30 of us lives with sight loss, not many people know how to interact with a blind person or how it feels to live without vision.

“Dining in the Dark is a fun and entertaining way for people to get an understanding of life as a blind person.”

Tickets are on sale from Café Coast, tel 01224 594488, priced at £30.

Issued by Frasermedia on behalf of North East Sensory Services.

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