London Day Twelve – The one in the dark

On the 12th day of London my true love and I decided to go back to South Kensington. We wanted to visit the Science Museum after enjoying the Natural History Museum so much. We also needed to buy some gifts at Harrods which is only down the road. We skipped breakfast as we knew we wanted to have an empty stomach for a Harrods lunch, having only having a small taste last time. We dressed up knowing how fancy it is and tried to act casual as we walked past the exclusive stores, into the centre were the food hall was. 

We looked around trying to find something interesting and unique. I found a selection of Scotch Eggs which I immediately knew I had to get. There was a jalapeno flavoured one and it was too intriguing to ignore. T-Rex ordered a Chinese (as they would say in the UK) but it was cold. We thought it would be served hot or ask to heat it, and she was too afraid to ask. I also bought a cola and a cheese and onion pastry pizza thing to round out the meal. Unfortunately Harrods is too fancy to have a food court or anywhere to sit down and eat, except at their fancy restaurants of course. So we had to leave the building. On the way out we plucked up the courage to look into one of the fancy store, Tiffany & Co. interesting the price was similar as the Brisbane stores, but again in pounds not dollars.

We found a table across the road and ate our cold food in the cold. Afterwards we were a bit over Harrods and their elitism but we still needed gifts, so we begrudgingly re-entered and did a round of shopping. After that we headed to the Science Museum and were immediately confronted by swarms of school children on excursions. There were at least a dozen different schools, some domestic and international, that were running amok through the place. Understandably to as my inner child was extremely excited by the awesome displays. Giant spaceship boosters on the roof, moon landing capsules, Einstein’s theories, first dog in space, animated hologram of the Earth; and that was just the lobby! In a different exhibition there were interactive games and computers teaching about the human brain, another had artefacts for different decades and their historical significance, introduction to programming, history of machines, interactive Internet of things display and so much more.

It was no wonder why schools were sending so many children here, it opened your mind to the magic of our reality. We grabbed some more food, as T-Rex did not eat much of the Harrods food for fear of food poisoning. We returned back to the hotel to prepare for Dans Le Noir, a French restaurant in complete darkness. It is situated in a bit of a black zone of public transport, at least for the tube. Having not yet been in a car in London, we were intrigued to see what it would be like. The roads are very different here in that people will cross the street anywhere and anytime, even if a car, bus or even police are driving on the road. So we ordered an Uber and got picked up at our hotel.

Our driver was very friendly and we talked about Australia’s road and Uber situation. Also how in Australia you don’t leave your car on and in the middle of the road to run to a bin or something similar – a phenomena we have witnessed a few times so far. He immediately thought that would be for fear of your car being stolen (we are all convicts of course) but we explained it would just be rude and dangerous. We arrived at the restaurant and were greeted with a pleasant decor and waiter. He explained the four blind menus we could choose from; meat, vegetarian; fish and chef’s surprise. We chose the meat set menu and met our blind waiter. Doing a very uncoordinated congaline type shuffle to our table, we suddenly realised how pitch dark the room was.

Our eyes kept trying to adjust to the darkness, but the complete absence of light made it impossible. It was a very odd feeling for me as shutting my eyes and opening them made no difference whatsoever. We were seated opposite each other or so we discovered by flailing our hands around. We had the normal plates and cups as you would expect, and our blind waiter served or drinks with the typical elegance and poise of any waiter, but was incredible as an entire sense was missing. Our first course came and we quickly realised it was a steak with a nice salty sauce, tasting sort of like a soy sauce marinade. We figured they were warming us up to the weird dishes in the main as we struggled to cut the meat into appropriate bite sized and get it into your mouth. Many a time I found an empty fork in my mouth which was frustrating to say the least.

Before our mains arrived, another couple was seated next to us. It seemed like they were extremely close, but I think it was a side effect of the environment as all sounds seemed to be originating a lot nearer than possible. They seemed friendly but we didn’t really chat too much in the awkwardness of the experience. The lady was sick and every time she sneezed we just had to cross our fingers and hope she was covering her mouth and not aiming it at our food. Our mains arrived and I noticed it was divided into two halves. T-Rex then alerted me that it was actually thirds, each with a different meat inside. We identified one as a braised beef with bacon, imagine the insides of a hearty pie. Another tasted like turkey or pheasant to me, but I wasn’t too sure. The third I thought tasted like snake that I ate in China but T-Rex thought it was Guinea fowl. Finally dessert arrived which was the easiest for us to identify. Cinnamon pear with a fig on a cake and cheesecake thing.

It was a very unique and interesting experience, but difficult to say if it was really enjoyable, but the overall experience certainly was. After the waiter escorted us to the light, the concierge explained what we actually ate. We found out that the meat we ate was actually zebra! A new one for me and another to add to my list. I did some Googling afterwards and read that is ten times less fat than beef and is becoming the next new super food. Our mains were much more plain than we had imagined, with duck and pork fillet as the two dishes we couldn’t figure out. After the shock of eating a cast member from The Lion King, we decided it would be simpler to get another Uber home rather than a bus and tube connection. However this time we got a very unfriendly driver who said nothing the entire ride and was very uncomfortable, much like a normal taxi ride back home. We got dropped of at Tescos to get some supplies and a second dinner and dessert, I am really going to start a diet when I return home. 

About the Author


Mannan is a software engineering enthusiast and has been madly coding since 2002. When he isn't coding he loves to travel, so you will find both of these topics on this blog.

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