Le Dîner en Blanc
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’ve put a Dîner en Blanc at the top of my bucket list, alas, without hope of getting to one this year. The dinners, which start with a secret location, were launched with a handful of friends in Paris nearly 30 years ago. Now they’re all over the world. That’s the Ontario town of Niagara-on-the-Lake above, and Toronto last year, below. I’m fascinated by how these events happen.
At the last minute, the secret location is revealed to participants, who have been patiently waiting to learn where they will meet. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, then gather for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space. (Below: Montreal in 2015)
Le Dîner en Blanc has elements of a flash mob, gourmet-picnic style.
Montreal-based D.E.B International is the organization behind the rapidly growing event, and provides a how-to template for local organizers. There are rules, including:
- Guests must be a member or be sponsored by a member from the previous year, or they must sign up to the official website’s waiting list.
- Once confirmed, each guests’ participation is mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as Dîner en Blanc is a rain or shine event.
- Participants arrive and then depart in unison by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
- They take all belongings with them at the end of the night, including leftovers and trash, and they leave the site as clean as it was upon arrival.
- A table and two white chairs.
- A picnic basket including a white tablecloth and napkins, gourmet meal items, cutlery, dishware, and glassware.
- Wine or Champagne, if allowed. Beer and hard alcohol is prohibited.
Have you been to one? Let me know what you think of the concept. Images are from the D.E.B. website.
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