At our inaugural experience - Dinner and Dessert in the Dark - guests learned the art of being present with delicious food and drinks, ambient music, and great conversation...all while blindfolded! If you couldn't make it, no worries! Check out our tips below for creating the experience at home. And don't forget to take a peek at the gallery.
You can find effective and budget friendly blindfolds here.
Be aware of your environment. If you opt for an outdoor experience, for example, mosquito repellant and blankets or sweaters may be in order.
Minimize distractions by asking guests to arrive on time, to take bathroom breaks in advance, and to silence cell phones. If an issue does arise, it's very easy to escort a guest from the table if needed.
Be prepared to jump in and boost conversation lulls when needed. Sometimes, people can become quiet without the ability to see facial expressions, etc. Remember that attention to food is great so no need to fill every silence…just the awkward ones.
Depending on the number of guests, you can help them relax and have fun by having enough helpers to direct them to their plates and drinks, clear the table periodically, etc.
A theme is helpful in creating the menu. I served clean, plant-based food because I thought it worked very well with the idea of being more mindful and present.
Simple is good – not necessarily in terms of flavor but in terms of handling. Consider foods that are finger-friendly or easy to serve, relatively non-messy, or pre-cut such as fresh fruit, roasted chickpeas, cauliflower bites or risotto. Spaghetti or tacos might not be good options here. :-) Tastings are great too and mini desserts or tarts work very well.
Allow extra time as guests will spend more time getting food onto their silverware and into their mouths.
Ensure that you have extra napkins on hand, as guests will be using their hands to feel where the food is on their plates.
Minimize the number of glasses on the table to no more than two per guest at any given time. Also, keep glasses half-full to minimize spills and make them easier to maneuver.
When the Blindfolds Come Off
The Big Reveal: Remember your guests have been in the dark for some time. It’s nice to have something lovely for them to see when they remove the blindfolds. I served champagne in sugar-rimmed flutes on a tray with rose petals (thank you, Pinterest). Another option is to plate each dish and put it on the table for the guests to see (you can eat it later). Also, make sure the room is not too bright to give time for eyes to reacclimate.
Go through the menu. Of course, one option is to describe the dishes ahead of or during the dining experience, but if your guests are adventurious, I prefer to do it afterward because people are more likely to really taste the food. If they know what they're eating, they may take for granted that they also know what it tastes like.
Talk about the experience. Your guests will want to share what they tasted and how they felt. It’s such a great time to connect in a real and meaningful way.
Should you decide to take on Dinner and Dessert in the Dark at home or elsewhere, these tips should make for a super enjoyable and totally stress-free experience. Would love to know how it goes!
Love in all things,