Last Thursday, Rio and I got to experience one of the most interesting nights we’ve had in Paris: Dîner en Blanc.
Thanks to our friend Stacy of L’Amour de Paris, we joined approximately 13,000 other guests for this pop-up, invitation-only dinner on Pont Alexandre III. For the past 26 years, thousands of people who are dressed exclusively in white meet up at a secret location and set up rows upon rows of tables complete with flowers, candles, and even candelabras for a chic soirée.
Here are some must-knows about Dîner en Blanc:
- Want an invite? You have to be invited by a friend who attended the previous year. Those friends must have been invited by a friend (or a friend of a friend) of one of the original organizers. There are actual designated rows that are accounted for the number of people, so there is no crashing this pseudo-flash mob.
- Around 8pm, your group converges on a designated location that’s around where the dinner will take place. We didn’t find out what our designated location was going to be until around 4:30pm. And then at approximately 8:45pm when we were all together and ready to go, we received a final text letting us know where the actual dinner was going to be.
- Dîner en Blanc takes place from approximately 9pm to midnight, complete with DJ post-dinner and sparklers at 11pm.
- Everything must be white! I’m not just talking about your outfit, but your table, chairs, table linen, plates, etc. must all be white. There are a few exceptions (i.e. shoes), but for the most part, this is a sea of white.
- Not all 13,000 of us dined and partied on Pont Alexandre III…because well, we wouldn’t all fit. So the event took place across six bridges (I think we got the best one) and the grassy area by les Invalides.
- Technically, Dîner en Blanc is illegal. If you have a group of more than 30 getting together in a public space, you’re supposed to have a permit. Luckily, the Parisian police turn an eye on this since no one gets too rowdy, we all clean up after ourselves, and it just adds to the beauty of Paris, non? (Can you imagine the police force in NYC letting us get away with this?! Ha – je crois que non.)
- Speaking of cleanup, oui, once the clock strikes midnight, you are all expected to quickly pack up, throw away your garbage, and get the heck on out of there.
Want to know more about Dîner en Blanc? Here’s the official Facebook page, more information with photos from one of our fellow table attendees, and more pics (spot us in the last pic), and more pics (again in one of the photos!), and more pics.
Chef Justin came with a propane tank to sear chicken he sous-vided the day before, Jason entertains us with his ukelele (or is it a banjo?) and the night begins!