Thursday, September 3, 2015

Diner en Blanc Toronto, 2015


On a warm evening in August, I attended an event known around the world as "Diner en Blanc", Dinner in White.

With me was my brother's girlfriend, Dana, and 2298 other guests who had received the invite to this occasion. 




Before we get into this photo heavy post, a bit of history!

Diner en Blanc was started in Paris in the 1980s. Diners met at the park, dressed all in white to identify each other, and enjoyed a gourmet summer picnic; then left, leaving nothing behind.

The event has grown not only in Paris (where the guest list now totals 10,000 at the event), but in cities all over the world. I first heard about it last year, but was unable to secure myself a spot on the guest list. This year, when my invite arrived, I had my tickets purchased within the hour to secure my spot!

Diner en Blanc has a lot of rules. Diners must wear only white and come prepared with table, white chairs, white linens, napkins, cutlery, plates, glasses, picnic basket and a three course meal. At the Toronto event (because you can't drink outside without a permit for the venue) You have to buy your wine ahead of time from the event organizers.




Diners also have no idea where the event is to take place until they arrive; adding a sense of mystery to the event.

With our stuff in tow (including our gourmet pizzas for dinner) Dana and I arrived at the meeting location of Exhibition Loop, still unaware of where our dinner destination was.



Along with a few hundred other people dressed all in white, we were causing quite the spectacle among the crowds heading to the CNE for the evening. One little boy, cotton candy in hand, tugged on my skirt and asked if he was in heaven. I told him he had cotton candy, so he just might be!

Eventually we were carted (not gracefully with our baggage) onto a street car, which dropped us at our mystery dinner location, The Harbourfront Centre, where we began setting up our tables for the evening.





For an event like this one, I decided to break out my great-great-grandmothers cutlery, recently given to me by my aunt. Isn't it beautiful?

After a few photo ops, Dana and I poured our wine and then went off to explore some of the tables being set up. 





This table near us had arrived as a group, and were setting out gorgeous flower arrangements and a seafood buffet.




One had a stunning center piece, and glass decanter adorning their table, another row all had white flamingos! 



This table had a small Eiffel Tower, as a reminder to the original Diner en Blanc!



Other intricacies at the event included gorgeous balloons, ice dancers and a photo booth!






I had a bit of fun hamming it up, pretending I was a trapped prisoner behind those windows!



We arrived at our seats in time for the start of dinner. All diners waved their white napkins in the air to announce the meal had begun and we tucked in! Salad, pizzas, wine and a gorgeous brie bake for dessert.





at 9:30, when dinner was done, each guest was given a sparkler and asked to light it. 2300 sparklers hit the air in the early hours of the night over a sea of white linens. A beautiful sight.



This signaled the start of the dancing and fun! The party continued until 11pm, at which point diners were invited to the after party at a local bar. Unfortunately, a Thursday night event means we had to head home to make sure we were ready for work the next day.

I had such an incredible time at this event. I recommend visiting the Diner en Blanc website, and looking for an event near you to attend! Get on the waiting list for tickets now if you're interested for next year, or contact a friend who attended to receive an invite through them.

It's a magical night!





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