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Love is Blind

Last Valentine's Day we raised £5000 for Guide Dogs UK. The event involved a blind tasting experience developed by guide dog owner Dave Kent and our head chef Helder Goncalves. 

The experiential dinner was designed to raise awareness of the lived experience of blind and partially sighted people. It involved a blind tasting of elements of the three course menu using visual deprivation masks; customers were invited to guess objects by only using their hands; there was an awareness raising quiz to include facts about guide dogs, and the blind and partially sighted community; and simulation glasses to replicate common eye conditions were available for guests to try on. 

The event was inspired by Dave Kent – a loyal local of The Andover Arms who is a guide dog user. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dave said: “The Andover Arms has been my local for nearly 40 years. It has gained a special place in my heart.

“As a totally blind person, I’ve been supported by a guide dog as my principal means of mobility for nearly 45 years. The Andover Arms has always been a stalwart supporter of Guide Dogs. Over the years we’ve raised many thousands of pounds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. As a full-time member of Guide Dogs staff, I witness every day the life changing experience enjoyed by the vision impaired people we support throughout the United Kingdom."

“I sincerely hope people will take away from the Love is Blind evening a deeper and more considered appreciation of their remaining senses and how being deprived of sight might have an impact. The sense of smell, taste and hearing are the mainstays for someone who is blind to perceive and interpret their surroundings. The opportunity to experience an event without sight is designed to be thought-provoking and, most of all, fun.”

Suzanne Posthumus, publican of The Andover Arms, said: “I am really pleased we were able to hold this event to raise money and awareness for a cause that’s close to our community’s heart. Dave, and his guide dog Faldo, are firm friends with the team and our customers. His passion for Guide Dogs is inspiring – so it was clear to me we needed to do our part to help the charity with its life-changing work.”

Photo credit: Annabel Moeller and Ray Murphy

Chef's Table

We combine our tables into communal tables, allowing for food and thoughts to be shared. These dinners focus on a theme: From regenerative fishing to cooking on fire, from preserving foods to urban farming. We invite an expert in the field to devise the menu with us and kick-off the meal with a presentation. Each dish is paired with a matching drink.

The next Chef's Table will take place in October 2023
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