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What is Dinner in the Dark?


Dinner in the Dark, as we brought it – the volunteer team of “Me Alla Matia”– to Greece 12 years ago, remains faithful to the philosophy of similar events that emerged in the late 20th century. Although the idea dates back to the 19th century, its initial implementation was in 1999 in Paris, where the organization “Paul Guinot” for the blind and visually impaired individuals opened its first restaurant, with a purely philanthropic character. At that time, such dinners were often organized to raise awareness in the local community about the needs of blind people. The idea spread thanks to Edouard de Broglie and Etienne Boisrond, who in 2004 started the restaurant “Dans le noir,” in collaboration with the Paul Guinot foundation. These gentlemen argued that absolute darkness liberates us, allowing us to fully enjoy our food and the mysterious atmosphere. The success of the project was immense, leading to the birth of the first chain of dark dining restaurants in many cities in France. Gradually, an international trend emerged, and now there are similar restaurants in many major cities worldwide (London, Moscow, Berlin, New York, etc.).

Having been exposed to this trend and with previous relevant experience, we organized the first Greek Dinner in the Dark in March 2012 in Rethymno as an experiential awareness evening. Soon after: Heraklion, Athens, Tripoli, Karditsa, Ioannina, and Thessaloniki followed! The event has been offered to the public 15 times, while 5 times it has been held as a corporate action within the framework of team building and bonding! The philosophy of experiential events in Greece is always, besides the unprecedented experience, that any proceeds are donated to a charitable cause, as all organizers act on a voluntary basis.

What Dinner in the Dark is NOT and what to expect

As the idea becomes increasingly known in our country, progressively similar initiatives with the same title are emerging, but they do not meet the high standards and special characteristics of the original Dinners abroad.

For us, with over a decade of experience, Dinner in the Dark is not just:
❌ Dining in a fully lit restaurant wearing a blindfold

❌ A blind tasting with the purpose of trying a pre-known menu

❌ A simple tour in an unknown space with closed eyes, accompanied by sighted individuals

Such activities, while they may have some experiential value in cultivating empathy for the participating individuals, are not sufficient to compose the rich and revealing experience that constitutes a genuine Dinner in the Dark.

On the contrary, what ensures the enjoyable experience at our events are the following:
✅ Dining without a blindfold in an absolutely dark restaurant space, devoid of any light source. We take great care to ensure that the conditions approximate as closely as possible to the actual condition of not using sight for a while.

✅ Enjoying a surprise menu! Of course, upon booking, you inform us of any allergies or dietary preferences (e.g., vegetarianism) so that we can cater accordingly. Based on your requirements and dietary peculiarities, we ensure and offer you a personalized journey into the world of sensations!

✅ Guided by volunteers, both sighted and visually impaired, who give you clear instructions on what will follow. They lead you to your table, serve you in absolute darkness, and also accompany you outside if you need any breaks.

However, the experience cannot be adequately conveyed solely by the above. Imagine how many different things you will notice in the absence of any visual stimuli: for example, you might realize that you lose track of time in the darkness. Or that you need to communicate much more verbally – and tactilely! – with your company to orient yourself regarding the objects on the table and your food. You might recall the age at which you ate with your hands, in order to adapt more easily to this new condition of absolute darkness. Your coordination with sounds might be different as well.

What topics of discussion or feelings will surface?

And how much will you be concerned about how you are perceived when no one can see anyone?

➧ Stay  informed about everything that happens on our website 👉

➧ And organize with your association, the company you work for, or your group and host this exciting experience for you and your friends/colleagues!

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