It was right after I moved to Paris earlier this year that a friend told me about the Dîner en Blanc. A giant planned/impromtu dinner party in Paris. I had so many questions about this annual event that when I discovered my friend Jenny Sundel scored an invite this year I asked her to answer a few questions about the event shrouded in mystery.
RS: What is the Diner en Blanc?
JS: Diner en Blanc is an exclusive pop-up dinner party that takes place at a top-secret Paris location. Guests don all white – as the name suggests – for the fancy outdoor affair and bring their own tables, chairs, champagne, and a four-course meal. Everything – except for the food – must be white, including candles, plates, tablecloths and chairs.
RS: Can you explain more about the logistics of the party? How and when did you find out where it was going to be held?
JS: Before the event, VERY detailed instructions are emailed to participants that include all necessary items, so everything is uniform and easy to set up. The organizer then sends you directions on where to meet – there are several meeting points – and you walk over as a group after they give you your seating location. You have ten minutes to set up and voila! It is time to eat! The level of organization and detail is truly remarkable. This year it took place at a courtyard outside the Louvre and at Notre Dame.
RS: How was it? Was it fun?
JS: Quite simply, it was the most magical dining experience of my life, eating course after course of decadent food alongside thousands of strangers in the beautiful cobblestoned courtyard of the Louvre. A jazz band played under the stars as people danced, clinked champagne glasses, shared their food, and at the end, lit sparklers in unison. At one point, the lights switched on – a wink of approval from the officials at the Louvre — further illuminating the beautiful scene before us. I turned to the guy next to me and wondered, mouth agape, “What movie are we in right now?” It was that amazing and awe-inspiring.
RS: The most important question: how do we get an invitation?
JS: It never hurts to ask. That’s all I did and it turned out my friend had a plus one!
Thanks Jenny! Jenny left her magazine job in Los Angeles to go live in Paris for a year. You can read about her adventures on her blog, The Jesus Year.
photo by Quinn Palmer