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Eating with your eyes closed.

Recently I was invited to an interesting event to coincide with the launch of The Living Room’s new winter menu, designed to “combine traditional favourites with an original twist”. The event pitted me against fellow foodies trying out dishes from the new menu….whilst blindfolded. Easy peasy, I thought! My palette is awesome and I can pick out a flavour a mile off. So wrong…

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What followed was thirteen bite-size portions each of things from The Living Room’s new menu, and then a pop quiz after smelling and tasting each to try and determine the key ingredients. Admittedly, going into this I was mildly sceptical about the difficulty, however, failing to pick out even honey from dish number one – a dolcelatte, honey, walnut and butternut squash tart, probably set the tone for the night. It was interesting to note that my pre-conceptions were that food would taste better when the visual component is removed – though I might be in the camp of “we eat with our eyes” now.

As you might expect with these sort of tastings, there are highs and lows with the dishes – particularly memorable were the pork and chorizo burger, every bit as meaty as it sounds, and a creamy blanket of venison shepherds pie, whereas I’d probably pass on the not-even-a-hardcore-veggie-would-go-for-this glamorgan sausage, or the verging on tough sea bass.

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Then came sweets, a bit easier to identify – maybe I’ve just got a sweet tooth, and then cocktails. Having always thought of TLR as more of a drinks venue than an eating venue, the cocktails were definitely the weakest things tasted tonight.

Bubbly manager Louise explained they were considering offering this kind of event to the general public – an idea I think we all agreed would be quite a good one (though we would!). I’d certainly love to try again and beat my miserable score of 19/40 – maybe it was just my crappy tastebuds, or perhaps a lack of flavour distinction. Either way, I think this would be a great idea for a pre-night out meal with foodie and competitive friends. I’m sure they can develop the concept. The winner by the way, was on 28/40, and a low score of I think 8! Shaming no names but this was definitely more difficult than expected.

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Think this is a good idea? Let us know in the comments or pass it on to your favourite restaurant team! All dishes are available in their full-size variants in the restaurant now.


I was invited by The Living Room PR company and comped meal/drinks for the event in exchange for this post.

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