Hair Repair… Dans le Noir

Phyto Secret de NuitWhat with the whole horrible business with Ted the Kitten, I totally forgot to tell you about a brilliant experience I had before Christmas! I got taken to Dans le Noir by the haircare brand Phyto for a dinner in the dark! Dans le Noir is a restaurant in Farringdon, London, that is completely pitch black inside. I mean, completely black. Were you to wave a knife and fork in front of your eyes (which I did), you wouldn’t see a single glint of light or a hint of a shadow crossing your face. It’s an extremely bizarre feeling, and not one for the faint-hearted!

I’ll admit to having a few minor panic attacks in the first fifteen minutes (there are about sixty diners in the room altogether, all talking and laughing, and the noise is quite overwhelming when you have been rendered completely sightless) but I found that shutting my eyes helped. It’s really very odd to have your eyes open and not to be able to see a single thing – not a particularly pleasant feeling, I have to say. But it does make you think quite deeply about sight and how it’s the dominant sense – it’s a short, sharp shock being plunged into total darkness and you suddenly feel very lucky to be blessed with vision, that you’ll be able to waltz outside afterwards and be able to see everything around you.

But what an experience – eating took on a whole new meaning. We all were at a loss as to what half of the things on our plates were supposed to be – there were shouts of ‘roast dinner!’ and ‘spare ribs!’ and also a handful of squeals and groans as people’s fingers searched their way around squidgy food on the plates. It was almost impossible to use cutlery, because you couldn’t see where the food was to pick it up, so we just ended up plunging our hands in. Which is fine if you’re eating canapés – not so fine if it’s haddock kedgeree with quails’ eggs!

Anyway, I highly recommend it as a one-off experience – so long as you’re not claustrophobic or afraid of the dark! You can find out more about the restaurant here:

The product launch, by the way, was for Phyto’s new Secret de Nuit, an overnight hair-repair treatment. It comes out in a few weeks’ time, but I have been testing it out over Christmas and it’s really very lovely. Non-greasy, silicone-free, delicately scented. Great on dry, frazzled ends. You can use it on wet or dry hair and you don’t need to wash it out – so long as you don’t use half a bottle each time, it gives just enough moisture that the hair soaks it up leaving it glossy and soft. You just need three or four pumps of the bottle (less for shorter hair) and you disperse the cream with your fingertips, combing it through. Just like a leave-in conditioner, but a little more intensive.

Phyto’s Secret de Nuit is £23.40 with free worldwide delivery at

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