All white then, what is this fancy Diner en Blanc about then? Well, it’s an enchanting event originates from Paris and is equal parts culinary feast, pop-up event and visual spectacle. In 2016, Dîner en Blanc will take place in over 20 cities around the world.
The global phenomenon is returning to Melbourne in 2016 for the second year, with diners descending on a secret location on Saturday 27 February 2016.
The annual affair promises an unforgettable evening of elegance, fashion and dining, with the event held at a secret location – the precise site being revealed only hours before the event commences. 1,500 foodies and cultural enthusiasts are expected to attend this year, all donning the instructed dress code of head-to-toe white.
Melbourne’s first Dîner en Blanc had over 8000 people register for the event, including celebrities and notable foodies willing to go on a waiting list to secure a seat at the dinner table. Organisers forecast the 2016 registration numbers will double, and therefore have increased the amount of tickets (1500) made available this year.
The event is distinct in that guests must dress elegantly in white and bring their own table settings, silverware and white linen napkins.
True to its Parisian legacy and traditions, the feast begins with a visually breathtaking napkin waving, and a collective lighting of sparklers signifies the time to mingle and dance. When the trumpet sounds at the end of the evening, guests pack up their sophisticated silverware, elaborate centrepieces, chairs and tables leaving behind no signs of their revelry.
In essence, Dîner en Blanc promotes friendship, elegance and gallantry. Mikaela Smith-Chandler, co-organiser of the Dîner en Blanc Melbourne says, “Last year Melburnians embraced the philosophy of the event whole heartedly.”
“Melbourne locals love to seek out unique experiences, which is why we have experienced such an overwhelming welcome of Dîner en Blanc. Being in the cultural capital of Australia, we are passionate about food, wine, fashion and all things stylish.”
The golden rule? You’ve got to wear all white – everything.
The Dining Rules
• To participate, guests must be invited by a member from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
• Once confirmed, each guest’s participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event goes ahead rain or shine.
• The site chosen is typically in one of the most beautiful parts of the city, where diners can “see and be seen.”
• True to tradition, bystanders will witness groups of 100 to 300 people gather at specific rallying points across the city. These groups will then converge on one of the most beautiful settings in the city, either on foot or by other organised means of transportation.
• Colour of attire and table setting: white only.
Guests must bring:
• Participants must wear white and be dressed elegantly.
• A table, two (white) chairs.
• A picnic basket comprising quality menu items and a china dinner service including proper stemware and flatware.
• Wine or champagne. Beer and hard liquor are prohibited.
To get tickets:
People who attended last year will have a guaranteed spot at the dinner table (and their friends will preferential entry thereafter). Then, those new to the event will have to cross their fingers and hope they are picked out of the ballot. Register here.