Well Hello there! This past weekend I attended my first Diner en Blanc, here in Dallas. You may have seen pictures popping up on your social media timelines of people dressed in all white with hashtag DEB. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, keep reading so you can be in the know.
Some background if you’re not a Francophile. Le Diner en Blanc (The dinner in white) originated in Paris years ago as a fancy picnic where foodies were invited to a secret location to enjoy dinner and bubbles, while wearing all white (think blanc and bougie!). Since then Diner en Blanc (DEB) has been featured in different cities all over the world. I was first introduced to the event when my friends in Miami attended, and told me how much fun it was. The pictures were so mystical and ethereal, I knew I wanted in on the fabulousness that was DEB. So, the whole appeal of the event is the mystery and the exclusivity of it. There is a process to get invited and there are a few ways to get in… or out the door 😉 I won’t give you a play by play on how to secure tickets because there are tons of bloggers who did that already like here. I will give you some tips on what to expect and how to make it a great experience. The real work begins once you secure your ticket.
As I mentioned above, this is a picnic. Well, as with any other picnic you have to bring your picnic items. In this case, you won’t have to sit on a blanket on the lawn, no you get to sit at a table with chairs, BUT you must bring ALL of your own stuff, meaning your own table, chairs, white table cloth, plates, flatware, and food (yes, you read that right!). There is an option to pre-purchase food on the website and if you want alcohol you must pre-purchase that on the website because you are not allowed to bring alcohol. For your table scape items I suggest checking my favorite place, Dollar Tree fpr most of your items, like white plates (paper or porcelain), as well as white candles, flatware, and glass vases. Part of the fun of the event is how fancy and whimsical people get with their table scapes. Some people go all out and include candelabras, canopies, and elaborate centerpieces. Get creative and have fun with it. Now remember you will be transporting all of these items from your pickup location to the event site. Therefore, I suggest packing items in a wagon or cart with wheels, as well as a wheeled suitcase.
What to Wear
This is another area where you can get creative. The only requirement is that your entire outfit must be white, although metallics were allowed for shoes and jewelry. Depending on where you live it may be hard to find white after Labor Day, (although I’m seeing that Winter white is totally a thing now). I lucked out and found my outfit at H&M and it was perfect because it’s still pretty warm here in Dallas. I wore white heels but I would suggest that if you are going to wear heels, bring a pair of slippers or flats for your walk from the bus to the site. Also, because we were on the lawn, my heels kept sinking into the soil, so I definitely think a block heel or wedge would have been better, and slippers as a back up.
What to Eat
I sat at a table by a sponsored group and the meal we had was catered by Chef Kevin Ashade who absolutely did his thing. The menu included shrimp skewers, pasta salad, kale salad, lamb lollipops, a charcuterie board, and brownies for dessert. The tradition is to have a three course meal. My suggestion is bring items that you can enjoy cold or at room temperature, such as salads, fried chicken, deviled eggs, sushi, diced cheese and fruit. Avoid anything with a sauce!
The day of the event, you want to make sure you are on time to your pickup location with all of your items packed and ready…don’t be that person that gets left. There is so much anticipation in trying to figure out the location. The DEB organizers pride themselves on selecting some pretty dope locations. The first year it was held in Dallas, the Trinity Bridge was shut down and the event was on the actual bridge (epic!). This year’s event was held at the Dallas Arboretum. Seeing rows of white tables sprawled out on the lawn, overlooking White Rock lake, and a sea of people in all white moving through the space, as as the orchestra played, and the trees were lit with white lights and Chinese lanterns, was breathtaking. It really felt magical.
Once everyone sets up, the event kicks off with the traditional napkin wave. Then you eat, drink, and enjoy as the sun sets and paints the sky. There were light-up fidget spinners on the tables that people held in the air in lieu of lighters, for the Light up the Night moment. After you eat the orchestra leaves and the DJ takes over. People walk around, mingle, and check out some of the other activities. Our event featured a henna table and a picture booth. DEB, Dallas was sponsored by Lincoln Motor group, who had a Navigator set-up for you to check out and take pictures; and Southwest Airlines had a Getaway Garden area. Other sponsors of the event included Merrill Lynch, and Evian.
I had a great time and I think everyone should do the event at least once, if you have the opportunity to experience it, especially if you like pomp and circumstance. One suggestion I would make to the organizers is to considering offering an option where people could show up with their table scape items but not have to bring their table and chairs. If you’ve attended Diner en Blanc I would love to hear your thoughts. Or just drop a line if you’re considering it.
*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored. All reviews for items gifted to me are my own honest opinion.