Dining with a difference

If you want to experience something different on your next holiday then perhaps shake up the dining options. Instead of choosing the alfresco terrace or Michelin star restaurant, head underwater or take to the skies for a dining experience with a difference. Perhaps even twin together a couple of destinations to create a multi centre holiday where you hop between the radical restaurants on a taste bud adventure that challenges the senses.


Five of the most unusual places to dine around the world:


Dining in the dark


Dans le Noir
By Ewan Munro under CC BY-SA 2.0


A bizarre culinary encounter aimed at awakening the senses, Dans le Noir is described as a ‘unique dining and tasting experience’ in the heart of London. A sensory adventure for the mind, enter into the world of unknown as you dine in the dark. Lead by blind guides, choose between four different menu options before being taken into the pitch-black room to eat and drink an array of delicious gastro dishes with wine to compliment.


[embedplusvideo height=”281″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/13O0i2l” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Xu4szbNFPwM?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=Xu4szbNFPwM&width=450&height=281&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep1710″ /]



The surreal experience helps to heighten the senses by forcing yourself to rely solely on smell, touch and taste. Four different menus are available to choose from ranging from fish meat, vegetarian and the ‘chefs surprise’, all of which are prepared with mostly organic products to help enhance the revitalising experience.


Sky high supper


Dine in the sky
Via Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0


Quite literally dining in the sky, this experience takes you 50 metres above the ground for a dining experience with a difference. Perhaps not best for the vertigo sufferers, you can transform any meal, celebration or even business meeting into an unforgettable experience that combines breathtaking views and dizzying heights. Accommodating 22 people around the table, every session involves three members of staff in the middle with a chef, waiter and even an entertainer.


dining in the sky
By Everjean under CC BY 2.0



The most exciting part of this experience however, is that there are no set location so plan your holiday around your desired dining venue. The event can be held at any chosen place from a castle or golf course, to a vineyard or public spaces meaning that you can choose whatever view you desire! (So long as there are approximately 500 square metres that can be secured)


Chill out in Dubai


[embedplusvideo height=”281″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/13NZ6fj” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/XebKKq9gtPM?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=XebKKq9gtPM&width=450&height=281&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9290″ /]


Escape the heat of Dubai with a trip to the Chill Out ice bar for a surreal experience in sub-zero temperatures. At a chilling – 6 degrees, this is the first ice bar and lounge in the Middle East, and is carved entirely out of ice. Combining the cold with chic contemporary design, everything from the chairs and tables, to sculptures and chandeliers all carved from ice, the interior walls also glisten magically in the colourful illumination. Sit down and in the comfort of a thermal designer jacket, shoes and gloves, enjoy the range of hot food and drink on offer. With an extensive menu ranging from hot chocolate and mocktails to oriental kebabs and sushi, expect your order to arrive in an ice carved glass or plate to complete the surreal experience. After a teeth chattering experience in Dubai, why not carry on the dining adventure to the Maldives on a twin centre holiday, where you can combine cold coffees with underwater dining…


Underwater banquet


Ithaa underwater restaurant
By Ed Ralph under CC BY 2.0


Ever wanted to dine with the fish? Well now you can with the first underwater restaurant Ithaa – meaning ‘mother of pearl’. Part of the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa in Rangalifinolhu, Maldives, submerge yourself five metres under the water for a surreal dining experience with a difference.


[embedplusvideo height=”281″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/13NZJFE” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/rSYhioG4ZU8?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=rSYhioG4ZU8&width=450&height=281&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4678″ /]



With a capacity of 14 people and offering 180 degree views of colourful coral and tropical reef fish, the all glass restaurant offers a sense of exclusively that is perfect for that special occasion, or hired out for a wedding or private party. With a contemporary European six-course dinner menu on offer, as well as an array of thirst quenching cocktails.


Tree-top tea time


[embedplusvideo height=”365″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/13NYRRt” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/mA29MFnLkfY?fs=1&hd=1″ vars=”ytid=mA29MFnLkfY&width=450&height=365&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=1&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4230″ /]


Sit amongst the trees in this unique tree house with unblemished views over the surrounding woodland. Located just 45 minutes north of Auckland, this pod shaped structure has been carefully built around a redwood tree to create an award-winning venue in New Zealand. Built as part of a marketing campaign by Yellow in 2008, Yellow Tree Café was originally opened as a restaurant however is now available to hire as an impressive private venue. Holding up to 30 guests, either seating of standing, this is one unforgettable venue to make any party go down in history. Best enjoyed at dusk, the cocoon becomes gently lit and creates a comforting warm glow within the depths of the woods creating a magical experience.

By Jessica Little

About the author