Recently I attended Dîner en Blanc in Victoria BC. I didn’t know what Dîner en Blanc was until a friend was looking for a date for the event. I will go on the assumption that many of you don’t know what it is either. Dîner en Blanc is a chic picnic in a public space where all of the attendees wear white. Thousands of people with tables, chairs and white picnic baskets converge on a secret location to wine, dine and dance. The concept began almost 30 years ago in Paris and it has now expanded to five continents so there maybe an event close to you.
From a participants view the evening went something like this. First you have to either be a member or be a guest of a member. Once you have registered for the event you are sent a few emails with instructions. We chose the meeting location that was most convenient for us. The goal is to meet your table leader at the location you choose at the time given. As we were driving to the meeting spot we happened to see our table leader (holding a sign so we knew it was him) walking in the opposite direction. We hoped out of the car dressed only in white with our table, chairs, and bags of dinner ware and met our group at the entrance of the event. This is not the way that it is supposed to go, but we made it just the same.
Once you have your wristband, and the police do a quick check of your belongings we entered the venue which happened to be in a park along the inner harbour in Victoria just steps from the Delta hotel. Along with the rest of our group (who we didn’t know) we proceeded to setup our table complete with white table cloth, white plates and glassware. The next and most important step was to pick up our wine, as you can not bring in your own wine we pre-purchased it and picked it up at the event.
As we were one of the first groups to arrive we got to see the whole event unfold. Busses of attendees rolled in, as well as thousands of others on foot. While the setup was happening the band began playing. Once everyone was setup and seated the waving of the white cloth napkins signalled the beginning of the dinner. At which point all guest began to dine on their picnic dinners. You had the option to purchase a picnic through the event or bring your own. As the evening wore on the dancing began followed by sparklers. There was an after party which we did not attend but I am sure that it was a blast as well. It was a fabulous evening and everyone was out to have a fun time. I am looking forward to attending next year as well!