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Le Dîner en Blanc returns to London

August 18, 2017

Food & DrinkLifestyle | by Harry Mills

Returning, this time another year older, the city of London will host Le Dîner en Blanc, which celebrates its fourth year in the capital. As the most coveted secret dinner in white, this year will follow in past traditions, delivering an unforgettable evening of elegance, sophistication and beauty.

Le Diner en Blanc Paris, photograph by Paris Sharing

Launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier (and a handful of friends) Le Dîner en Blanc has grown to become a worldwide epicurean phenomenon – the Paris event now attracts over ten thousand people each year and the concept is celebrated on six continents. It has evolved since the late ‘80s, but Le Dîner en Blanc’s principles remain firmly intact: guests continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with good friends in one of their city’s most beautiful public spaces.

Le Diner en Blanc Paris, photograph by Guillaume

The dinner, which occupies an undisclosed and public landmark, remains unbeknown to attendees, a well-kept secret until moments before the commencement of the event; only then are the crowds of white rallied to their final destination.

Le Diner en Blanc Singapore, photograph by Cui-Lyn Huang

With each year becoming increasingly popular amongst foodies, fashion and cultural enthusiasts, this year London is expected to attract 1,500 attendees. “We are honoured to host the return of Le Dîner en Blanc in London along with our amazing partners. The spirit of friendship in this French tradition will be celebrated in an evening that will surely be memorable for all our guests.” – Le Dîner en Blanc London Hosts.

Le Diner en Blanc Vancouver, photograph by Kate Wienburg

Registration to participate happens in three stages: Phase 1 is for members who attended the previous year; Phase 2 is for new members who are referred by Phase I attendees; Phase 3 is for people who signed up on the waiting list via the official website, by 22nd August.

Bystanders will witness groups of guests all dressed in white gathering at specific rallying points all across the city. Guided by Dîner en Blanc volunteers, these groups will then converge on one of London’s most beautiful and iconic locations. Every guest brings their own hamper of delectables, a table, chairs and a table setting. Over the course of the evening, guests will eat and celebrate amid music, entertainment and dance.

Le Diner en Blanc Mexico City, photograph by Erik Vicino

An evening filled with visually breathtaking traditions include, the waving of a cloth napkin to mark the beginning of the dinner to the lighting of sparklers, signalling time to dance. Sadly as all great things must come to an end, guest’s pack-up their belongings leaving behind no sign of their elegant revelry, in anticipation for the next Le Dîner en Blanc.

Le Diner en Blanc Philadelphia, photograph by Kory Aversa

The Rules

To maintain the uniqueness of Le Dîner en Blanc as well as staying true to tradition, guests must observe certain requirements and follow a few key rules:

  1. Once confirmed, each guest’s participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions. This is a rain or shine event.
  2. Dress code: elegant and white only. Originality is encouraged as long as it is stylish and tasteful.
  3. Table setting: all white!
  4. Champagne and/or wine only. Beer and hard liquor are prohibited. Per the venue’s alcohol regulations, guests cannot bring their own alcohol. Guests wishing to enjoy wine or champagne must reserve online through Le Dîner en Blanc’s e-store. Guests are welcome to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages.
  5. To ensure that the location secret is kept undisclosed until last minute, guests meet at assigned departure location and are escorted by a Dîner en Blanc
  6. In order to leave the event location as clean as when they arrived, guests are required to leave with all their belongings, leftovers and litter.

What to Bring

  1. A table, two white chairs, white tablecloth.
  2. A picnic basket comprising fine food, proper stemware and white dinnerware.
  3. A catered picnic basket option, which can be picked up on site, will be available for those who do not wish to pack their own. Guests wishing to do so must reserve online through Dîner en Blanc website during the initial ticket registration.

For Candid Magazine Readers

Win a bottle of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay from Moët & Chandon, a gift box from Ladurée and Boomf marshmallows. How? Follow Le Dîner en Blanc London on Facebook and Instagram, and submit proof of purchase of tickets to the 2017 event to: london@dinerenblanc.com. One winner will be chosen. The contest ends on the 29th of August.

Le Diner en Blanc Vilnius, photograph courtesy of Le Diner en Blanc International
Le Diner en Blanc Vilnius, photograph by Domantas Kvedaras

Le Dîner en Blanc takes place on the 14th of September For more details, visit London’s Le Dîner en Blanc.

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Lead image by Tyler Magyar