Lidl invites customers to dine in the dark for first ever dining experience

New dining experience, RARE by Lidl, is coming to Dublin in April.

Lidl may not be the first place you think of when you think of fine dining, but chef Gary O’Hanlon is determined to help them reinvent themselves with a new restaurant in Dublin – where guests eat their meals in complete darkness.

Dining in the dark is an eating trend utilised by fine dining spot Dans Le Noir restaurant in Clerkenwell Green, East London. Eating in total darkness is thought to help bring out flavours in dishes and create the idea of eating as a sensory experience.

This new pop-up restaurant, called RARE by Lidl, is based in the centre of Dublin, serving its visitors meals “with Lidl’s Bord Bia Quality Assured Irish beef at the heart of each dish”, making use of exclusively Lidl ingredients.

The eating experience is in a completely dark dining room from the very start, with servers using night vision goggles to see guests to their tables. There are three courses to the culinary experience, designed and cooked onsite by O’Hanlon himself. An event for over-18s only, the exact dishes themselves will be revealed by the chef on the day once the meal has been finished.

Whether the thought of dining in complete darkness excites, intrigues or terrifies you, you can’t deny that it’s for a worthwhile cause. The three-day, booking-only event is in aid of Lidl Ireland’s charity partner Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland.

If you are interested in trying out such a place, it’s best to be quick as it only takes place for two sessions on three days each, from 25-27 April – There’s a waiting list at the moment, but tables for two or four are available for €15 at

Interested to see what Lidl has to offer in terms of a fine dining experience? Then look no further than RARE by Lidl.

Lauren is deputy editor at woman& in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.

Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 

A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 

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