Last week, Vancouver hosted its 2nd annual Dîner en Blanc, which was attended by over 2,500 people, all adorned in stylish white attire. This year, the pop-up dinner event took place at Vancouver’s TELUS World of Science, and had twice the number of attendees as last year’s event. Click here to check out our blog coverage of last year’s picnic dinner. The Dîner en Blanc phenomenon originated in Paris, and continues to gain widespread popularity around the world. The concept is quite simple. Register on their website, get your white outfit ready, wait for the secret location to be revealed just a few hours beforehand, and then bring your tables, white chairs, white tablecloths and picnic baskets to the party. As an attendee, there’s actually a lot of work involved to prep for this.
While this is a dressy event, some attendees go all out with their outfits. We even saw one lady bring her fluffy white dog as part of her ensemble.
Some ticket sales included the cost of transportation, and 200 diners got to travel to the secret location by boat (Left). French-inspired musical performances by Elea Sauniér (Right), DJ Marc Fournier, and Mimosa helped to set the mood for the party.
Left: Some beautiful china and centrepieces were set up for Table d’Honneur guests, who enjoyed a more exclusive and limited dinner by Chef David Hawksworth. Right: Most of the diners begin arriving at 7pm. It was quite entertaining just admiring everybody’s attire and getups.
This year’s venue was on a grass field large enough to accommodate 2,500 people with their tables, chairs, and non-disposable tableware.
Once everybody got settled in, event producers Tyson Villeneuve and Jordan Kallman of The Social Concierge greeted the crowd and officially kicked off the event in true Diner en Blanc fashion by having the diners wave their white napkins in the air.
Approximately 200 catered meals were ordered from Bel Cafe at $25 each, and 400 were ordered from Hawksworth at $50 each.
One table took this dinner to another level and even brought their own barbecue. @ChefShaun (above), who cooks at Falconetti’s, had steaks on the grill and offered to share with us some of his delicious duck breast that had been marinating overnight.
Above: Teresa looking stunning as usual. Below: As another Diner en Blanc tradition, sparklers were handed out to each attendee after dinner once it got dark. On cue, all the sparklers are lit, resulting in a spectacular and awe-inspiring light show. Live musical performances and dancing then wind down the evening.
What started as a “friends and word of mouth only” event grew into a worldwide phenomenon which is now in its 25th year! The secret picnic was launched by François Pasquier and his friends, and now attracts tens of thousands of people each year across five continents.
If you think you’d be interested in joining next year, be sure to sign up on Vancouver’s Dîner en Blanc website. The word on the street is that next year’s event is going to be even bigger, with twice as many people. We can only wonder where the 2014 edition will take place.