About us

About us

Dans le Noir ? Company:
From a small inclusive restaurant to an international project

Ethik Connection was founded in 2003 by Edouard de Broglie, a specialist and author about innovation and Social Responsibility. As an Entrepreneur, Edouard was successful on the IT and NTIC market and decided to reinvest its profits in a useful idea. He met many foundations all over Europe looking for a good fit. He finally met with blind foundations in France, Germany and Switzerland organizing dinner in the dark to raise awareness about disability.

The concept was originally developed in 1997 by Michel Reilhac in cooperation with Paul Guinot, a major blind foundation in France. As an ex-marketing expert for major communication groups as Young & Rubicam or Havas, Edouard immediately understood the high potential of the concept as a business useful for people. He proposed Paul Guinot foundation to set up a model for a profitable company employing a high percentage of visually impaired people.

A few months later, without any banks, investors, public or charity support, the first permanent private restaurant in the dark open in Paris, rue Quicampoix.

Success was really fast thanks to a huge national and worldwide press support for the venture and their clients did the rest with an intense word of mouth. Soon the restaurant will be booked up to two month in advance.

Dans le Noir ? expanded over Europe with permanent restaurant in London, Barcelona, St Petersburg, Madrid, Auckland and all over the world with pop up restaurants in cities like New York, Bangkok, Riyadh, Nairobi, Geneva, Warsaw, …

As an independent group Ethik Connection / Dans le Noir ? is now expanding through different activities:

Dans le Noir ? Restaurant – Dining in the dark guided and served by blind people

Dans le Noir ? the Spa – Living a real moment of relaxation and well-being thanks to our professional blind masseur

Dans le Noir ? Sensorial Shops – Tasting in the pitch darkness high quality food selected by a team of sensory experts

Dans le Noir ? Blind Tasting Awards – The very first selection of sensory quality products based on blind tasting in the dark

Dans le Noir ? Otra Vista Social Club – Organize parties all over the world to mix people with difference through a brand new innovative concept

Ethik Connection also develops a B to B expertise with 3 main departments:

Ethik Event – Events department with extensive expertises in blind tasting, other sensory experiences and inclusion of diversity

Ethik Management – Training and consulting to improve productive difference integration at work

Ethik Image – Communication through Social Responsibility and Difference / Strategic planning to transform social responsibility into a profitable business

The group has around 70 permanent staff members including management, not including franchises and temporary staff. 50% of our staff has a disability…but we prefer to say differently abled!

With more than 1.5 million guests throughout our various experiences, Dans le Noir ? became one of the disability’s largest positive awareness experience in Europe and the world, and has remained a profitable and independent company since 2004.

Edouard De Broglie


“Even if Australia is very far from France, it is not a very different country culturally speaking! French and Australians share a lot of common interests such as wine, sailing and playing sports… It’s a pride to open the first restaurant in the dark in Australia and to bring this fantastic experience to you.

We were lucky to find here with Rydges on Swanston, a great partner sharing most of our values. 
I hope the restaurant will be as successful as in London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid and many other cities where we became famous. I think Australians are curious about taste and cuisine. I am also convinced that they are sensitive to social innovation and fair economy.Dans le Noir? is a fantastic environment to socialise with a more free and authentic communication, eradicating preconception and shyness.

It’s a once life time experience. Like it or not… but come in and try once! As we often say in our company: “A good experience is better than a long speech!” … and Shakespeare to close the speech …”There is no darkness, but ignorance !”

Edouard de Broglie – Chairman Ethik Connection group – Founder of Dans le Noir ?





Rydges on Swanston

Rydges on Swanston


Located in the heart of the Melbourne University Precinct and minutes away to central Melbourne, Rydges on Swanston Melbourne is the perfect choice for business and leisure accommodation, functions, meeting and events.

Rydges on Swanston Melbourne features 107 guest rooms with a on-site covered parking and is located in one of Melbourne’s best-know cosmopolitan districts, Carlton.






“With Melbourne being the foodie capital of Australia, there was no doubt in our minds about opening Australia’s first Dans le Noir ? at Rydges on Swanston. In a city spoilt for choice of cuisine, price points and restaurants by famous chefs, we are now able to offer something new to the Australian market – a completely unique social and sensory experience of dining in the dark.
Not only has Dans Le Noir ? provided Rydges on Swanston with new business opportunities and visibility of our hotel, but also created job opportunities for blind and low vision colleagues.

The project has required team members from all departments to come together to think outside of the box and bring to life a new concept, completely different from a standard hotel offering. In an age where people love novelty, we believe that Dans Le Noir ? is the perfect addition to Rydges on Swanston and the Melbourne restaurant scene, where guests are placed in an environment that is completely different to any dining situation that they have ever experienced before.”

Stanley Henry – General Manager – Rydges on Swanston Melbourne




Vision Australia

Vision Australia



Vision Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. We work in partnership with Australians who are blind or have low vision to help them achieve the possibilities they choose in life.

We support more than 27,500 people of all ages and life stages, and circumstances. We do this through 28 Vision Australia centres in Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia; 30 clinics; and through outreach programs in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

We are a not-for-profit organisation and a major participant and partner in the international blindness community.



“Dans le Noir ? – “in the dark” is so much more than a fabulous dining experience. It is an opportunity to take a few tentative steps in the shoes of another, a person who is blind or has low vision. It is also an opportunity to observe and celebrate that people who are blind or have low vision are able to adapt to overcome their disability, to gain employment, and to live their lives as full participants in our society.

We are certain that you will enjoy your Dans le Noir ? experience. Bon appetite!”

Ron HOOTON – Chief Executive Officer – Vision Australia



A clear price for a true experience!

The most frequently asked questions of our visitors are around the quality of the cuisine and the price of the experience. It seems natural to us to explain our policy.
You can read our FAQ page for other questions you may have about the concept.

Our kitchen: Flavours / Freshness / Fair-trade / Organic as we can

Dans le Noir ? at Rydges on Swanston kitchen proposes a modern international cuisine adapted to the context. Our cuisine primarily contains fresh, natural and when possible organic and fair trade products in order to extract the maximum flavours. Indeed darkness leaves us without any reference, and we are faced with a new truth: if the blind are without vision, we are to some extent handicapped by our nose and palate. We all have our impairments; though we prefer to say we all have our differences.

It is thus necessary to re-consider our idea of taste as it is influenced by appearance and “packaging”, largely amplified by contemporary marketing.

A lot of guests will find some food insipid (white fish for example) whereas they would find them tasty in full light. On the other hand, other products, as vegetables, usually leaving us indifferent take a particular relief in the dark.

This is particularly true about wine. We are suddenly less of the specialist or amateur without the support of a label!

Prices: Most accessible possible!

As for the price, we try to make this experience as accessible as possible for everybody. Nevertheless, it should be considered that “Dans le Noir ?” and the Rydges on Swanston do not receive any help for the employment of people with disabilities (more or less 50% of our staff).

The price of your meal, which can thus appear high, is in fact extremely modest if you consider that “Dans le Noir?” requires a more secure space and a bigger staff than any ordinary restaurant (for logistics and safety reasons). A $22 part of the meal can be considered as an access fee to the experience.

About 10% of our profits finance, A Light For Africa, an international program created in 2014 to support child and education.

Questions more than answers!

The main idea of Dans le Noir ? is that your visit to one of our venues will bring to your mind questions about your senses, your relations with the others, and your perception of disability and difference. However, we never claim to bring answers to these complex questions.

With more than a thousand articles worldwide and multiple awards, Dans le Noir ? became a reference of socially useful companies.

Dans le Noir ? is also providing consulting and services for large corporations, private companies and local administrations (press conference, internal communication, team building, brainstorming, seminars, etc.) through its sub company Ethik Connection. The events are organised in our restaurants but also in many other places all over the word (hotels, company offices, public cultural centers). Please see our Events & Functions page for more information.

Please review
Guests’ happiness is our main concern.

With more than 1.5 million visitors since its opening in 2004, the reputation of Dans le Noir ? restaurant is spreading all over Europe and the world thanks to media and through word of mouth.

We would like to point out that Dans le Noir ? is like any other business. We’ve chosen not to receive any state or council funding due to our particular employees and we don’t benefit from cost reduction or any private or charity funding. Our profits are mostly used to develop our activity all over the world. Moreover, after tax, up to 10% of the benefits are dispatched to charities and to finance our own charity program for child and education.

In order to welcome you and to make your experience a very unique moment, our team performs their roles every day. Our best support is you and your opinion is important to us! Help spread the word by telling your friends and family about this experience or go to the following websites to comment.

Click here to leave your feedback on Facebook, GoogleTrip AdvisorZomato .

We are so proud to provide unforgettable experiences for nearly 15 years!
Thank you!




Book online or contact us for any question you may have

03 9347 7811