Have you heard of Diner en Blanc? I’m sure you’ve heard stirrings about it over the years, or prehaps you drove past line ups of people dressed in a sea of white, and wondered what the heck is going on? Well you’re in luck because today I’m chatting all things Diner en Blanc, from the concept and history of the event to what to expect, what to bring and what to wear. I’ve got you covered. Special shout out to Miss Lion Hunter for the images!
What is Diner en Blanc?
“At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc’s” secret place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space”.
Diner en Blanc “launched with just a handful of friends by François Pasquier over 25 years ago, Paris’ Dîner en Blanc now assembles nearly 15,000 people each year. The French capital’s most prestigious sites have played host to it: the Pont des Arts, the Eiffel Tower site, Place Vendôme, the Château de Versailles, the Esplanade de Notre-Dame, the Esplanade des Invalides, the periphery of the Place de l’Étoile, the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde and this year: Le Louvre Pyramid and the Trocadéro Esplanade at the same time!”
The idea is that “there are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic, except for the occasional amazed and astonished looks from passersby at the scene unfolding before them”.
I’ve been to a few Diner en Blanc events in Halifax and it was nothing short of a fairy tale, from the gorgeous place settings to the glow of sparklers to dancing mimes, circus perfomers, light shows and always a super fun dance party: Diner en Blanc is simply pure magic.
Hosted in a different location each year I can’t wait to see this year’s venue! In the past I’ve been to the Diner en Blanc at Kings University (stunning), and inside the Citadel (so cool). Both were such amazing spots I really don’t know how they’ll top it this year!
What Should You Bring.
I always say Diner en Blanc is what you make it. You can decide if you go over the top, and plan everything, or you can make it as basic as you like.
You might want to chat with your team captain to inquire if you have a theme for your table, or if you have a buddy you’re going with perhaps chat with them to see what their plans are. Remember there’s no expetations except that everything should be white (or silver), so the world is your oyster.
I would mention that it’s definitely a great idea to bring lighting because it does get dark after a certain point, so those little battery opperated tea lights/candles are great (espeically if the rain/wind keeps blowing out your candles).
It’s rain or shine, so a clear poncho wouldn’t be the worst idea.
You are responsbile for bringing everything for your dining experience. Think of Diner and Blanc as your picnic backdrop that’s full of entertainment and your beautifully dressed friends. It’s a lot of work to pull off especially when you need to keep it a secret. Don’t for a second let Diner en Blanc fool you into thinking it’s just a a picnic outside where everyone wears white because it’s so much more than that.
Don’t for a second let Diner en Blanc fool you into thinking it’s just a a picnic outside where everyone wears white because it’s so much more than that.
→ Two white chairs which can be rented from the e-store. (Tables provided)
→ A picnic basket, white tablecloth & napkins, gourmet meal items, cutlery, dishware, and glassware. Options also available in the e-store! There are often local restos who will prepare premade Diner en Blanc Boxes for you.
→Wine or Champagne, which must be purchased from the e-store and picked up on-site. Beer and spirits are prohibited. No alcohol is allowed to be brought on to the site.
What Should You Wear?
Participants must wear their most elegant white pieces (and white only – and silver or gold accessories are okay). I say have fun with this because where else can you get away with such over the top looks? I love seeing everyone’s outfits, hair pieces, top hats you name it. It really is a lovely affair.
As a sea of people dressed in head to toe white make their way into the secret venue you can’t help but notice how much effort everyone puts into their outfits and their dining experience. From their beautiful head pieces, to their creative white table settings: it’s just incredible and I think it gets better each and every year. Whether it’s white balloons, candles, chandeliers, you name it everyone’s tables is equally as spectacular as the next.
Mark your calanders because Diner en Blanc is set to happen again next weekend → July 22nd and if you’re able to attend I would 100% suggest you not think twice about it. It’s difficult to explain just HOW amazing this event is unless you’ve attended. There’s something about the unknown location and everyone dressed in unison that’s truly collective and wonderful.
At Diner en Blanc I felt as though I’d been transported to some far off distant land.
When I say it was like a fairy tale I mean it. Everything looks absolutely stunning, and being outdoors in the middle of the city is just blissfully fun. I honestly cannot remember the last time I’ve had so much fun, or experienced an event quite like this in Halifax.