The chef at Luciano by Gino D'Acampo in Britain had used melted chocolate to spell out happy birthday in braille so Natalie Te Paa could read it.
In a world where nothing seems to be going right, it is refreshing to find there are still kindhearted people who let their thoughtful actions speak louder than empty words. It does not take a lot to bring a smile to a person's face and make them feel appreciated. And that is how Natalie Te Paa felt at a restaurant she visited recently. The London restaurant went the extra mile to make Natalie, a blind woman, who was celebrating her birthday feel special. As restaurants do, on the occasion of birthdays, the staff brought in a chocolate-decorated plate wishing her a happy birthday. But there was a little something more than that for Natalie.
The chef at Luciano by Gino D'Acampo, established by the popular TV chef in Britain, had used melted chocolate to spell out happy birthday in braille so Natalie could read it herself. The heartwarming moment was captured on camera and the video was shared by Natalie on TikTok where it quickly went viral. Natalie was touched and seemed genuinely pleased by the thoughtful gesture. In the video, she wrote: "So I'm totally blind, and this is the moment I realized the lengths the restaurant staff went to in order to wish me a happy birthday."
In the clip, we see Natalie sitting in the restaurant as the waiting staff placed a plate with a message on the table and say, "We wanted to wish you a happy birthday." Her friend, who was behind the camera, took Natalie's hand and moved it to the plate, and placed it on the special message waiting to be read. "No freaking way," she exclaims as she starts to read the message from the staff. "They did not," she added in disbelief, "Are you kidding me?" The video then pans to the staff who are also beaming at Natalie's response. "You guys are amazing!" she tells them. "Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me?! That is insane! Thank you so much!"
Natalie then concludes the video by sharing a message of hope, stating, "So take heart, despite how broken the world is right now... true kindness still exists." The video has been viewed over 11.3 million times on the video-sharing platform. It was aptly captioned, "I'll never forget this moment." It also had over 25k comments and one among them was from Gino D'Acampo who wished Natalie a happy birthday. She responded by saying, Thank you so much...Between the filming of this night, I was in a flood of tears! So blown away by this team!
Other TikTok users were also touched by the video. "I didn't plan on crying today, but here we are," one user wrote. As did other users who thought this was a heartfelt gesture by the restaurant staff. "I'm bawling my eyes out rn," another person wrote, a sentiment another person agreed with and commented, "Crying my eyes out." Another TikTok user joked, "My black soul is now a lightened charcoal grey."
Natalie is also a content creator who makes music. The singer-songwriter is breaking the misconception around disability through her music. "If I meet someone with assumptions I always get into conversation and tell them more about my story and experience to bust some of those myths about being blind," she told Stuff.co.nz. "For me, growing up blind is the best thing to happen to me," she explained. "I say you can either be bitter about the things you don't have or better at the things you do." Natalie said that she makes music "to inspire, encourage and impact people through music."