This past weekend, my husband celebrated a birthday and we had decided to do something different this year- A date sans kids, we hadn’t done that in a long time! I had registered for the Diner en Blanc event in Dallas #CanYouKeepASecret?
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Have you heard of Diner en Blanc?
If you have not heard of it, the idea is basically an epic pop-up picnic that originated in France and was first held in Paris and now has gained so much popularity internationally. Launched with just a handful of friends by François Pasquier nearly 30 years ago, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris now assembles over 10,000 guest every year. The French capital’s most prestigious sites have played host the event over the years: The Pont des Arts, the Eiffel Tower, Place Vendôme, the Château de Versailles, the Esplanade de Notre-Dame, the Esplanade des Invalides, the periphery of the Place de l’Étoile, the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Le Louvre Pyramid, Trocadéro Esplanade, and the Palais Royal Garden! The Paris police continue to tolerate this ‘wild’ gathering, if not perhaps even wishing they could join in!
We had one Diner en Blanc event in Dallas last year that I totally missed out on it. So, when an opportunity to attend a Diner en Blanc event came up this year, I quickly signed up and was super excited to experience it. As the name states, everything had to be in white, no ivory, no beige, no pop of colors at all. Everything for the event, the tables and chairs, cutlery, food and wine had to be brought by the guests. The guests gather at a secret location with the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with a date or good friends at the heart of one of their city’s most beautiful locations. Participants arrive and then depart in unison by chartered bus or organized public transportation. And the event takes place rain or shine!
Can you keep a secret!
Le Dîner en Blanc is always held in a public location with space limitations, and organizers must therefore limit the size of the tables to optimize the given space. So we needed to buy a small table and 2 white chairs along with some white dinnerware (no disposables allowed). White clothing is not an issue in our household – we got that covered! Then it was the issue of hauling all the food in addition to the table, chair. We decided to buy the food through the eStore setup by Diner en Blanc – which worked out perfectly.
Almost time for the festivities and the white napkin wave…
We parked our car at the Allen location which I had picked as my spot, there were a few available around the metroplex. We met our Group coordinator here and other fellow Dallasites all dressed in white. While we loaded the bus with the supplies, our host checked us to make sure we were following the ‘code’ of all white and gave us our table card. While we drove towards Dallas from Allen we kept guessing the location – this had not been shared with us yet. Some of the guesses in the bus was Cotton Bowl, Fair Park, Zoo, White Rock Lake… the driver has us guessing till he finally made the turn into the Dallas City Hall.
The City Hall was beautifully lit with the pink DEB sign as we made our way and setup the tables. There was such creative tablescapes, meals and people in costumes around us that I couldn’t help gawking. Hubby went to go pickup our nicely packaged Food Glorious Food bento box meal and wine while I walked around and took some pictures and taking mental notes for next time. We met a couple of friends there and made some new ones.
Then it was time for the napkin wave to start off the festivities!
We had a wonderful Mia dolcea Moscato to start things off, some cheese, hummus and crackers for appetizers, a chicken dish with purple potatoes for our entree and warm crepes for dessert.
After dinner we walked around the different booths setup by the sponsor – DFW Mercedes-Benz Dealers, Southwest Airline and Apothic Wine for this year. Mercedes was doing cool photos in one of their white Benz but hubby was not too keen on standing in lines so we just watched for a bit and moved to the live music area. At around 10:30 the fireworks started right there on the water near the Dallas City Hall lighting up the whole square – It was romantic! There was an after party at the Omni that we passed on.
We had to setup and take down our table and haul all that stuff including chair and china to the event and back but it was all worth it. It turned out to be the most magical Dallas Date night ever, shared with 2000 other Dallasites. Can’t wait for next year!