This past Monday, I attended the Diner en Blanc pop-up dinner in New York City. This annual, all-white dinner party is hosted at a secret location in many cities around the world, and the only way to attend is by being invited as a member's guest (which then puts you on the guest list for the following year). This was my first year participating and it was quite an adventure!
About a week before the event, I received an email with my group's meeting point. From there, we would travel to the secret event location together (this is done to maintain secrecy to prevent gatecrashers, and also to weed out any rule breakers who are not dressed in all white). I gathered my folding chairs, white seat covers, white linen napkins, electric candles, and white heels in my almost-white tote bag, and set out to meet the group at the New Amsterdam Pavilion in the Financial District.
|The ladies of our Diner en Blanc group, ready to depart for the venue.|
After receiving many stares and questions from passersby, our large sea of white was herded onto the subway with instructions to get off at a particular station. It was quite an interesting scene to see so much bright white on the dingy subway!
After exiting the subway, we started walking west and it became clear that our destination would be along the Hudson River. Sure enough, we wound up taking over Battery City Park! As soon as we arrived, all of the guests scurried to set up their white table arrangements.
Guests had the option of bringing their own food (some of the spreads were quite impressive), but my friend Lisa and I opted to pre-order one of the delish picnic baskets curated by Todd English:
Before diving into our meal, we had to take a quick pic (of course, I was worried all night that I would spill something and ruin my pristine white look, but luckily everything stayed clean!).
As the sun started to set, we enjoyed some good food, wine, and music while gazing out at the city views surrounding us.
As you can see, my iPhone isn't the greatest at taking night photos, so here are some prettier pictures to give you a better idea of the scope of the event:
Time Out New York (this one has some fantastic food photos too!)
The biggest hurdle we faced all night was a tricky wine cork...
But other than that, it was smooth sailing as we danced the night away (while holding our wine so that it wouldn't get taken off our table...priorities!).
Want to attend Diner en Blanc in your own city? Here are a few tips:
* Buy a pair of white flats or flip flops and wear them for traveling. It got a little hot and sweaty navigating through the subway and streets of New York while holding two heavy folding chairs, so I was happy to be wearing some comfy shoes instead of the white pumps that I changed into at the venue. And speaking of heavy chairs...
* Invest in either a trolley or lightweight tableware. Some DEB veterans lugged their equipment on wheeled trolleys, while others purchased the recommended tables and chairs for lighter carrying options. This way, you'll avoid sore arms the next day!
* Wear a headpiece. Part of the fun of the event is seeing how creative everyone gets with their attire while sticking to an all-white palette. There were fascinators, oversized bows, feathers, crystals, and more - I will definitely be kicking my accessories up several notches next year!
* Don't be a jerk. This one should go without saying, but a few of the other guests had some major attitude going on! Each table is assigned to a specific row and position within that row, but some people decided to simply ignore that and just set up their tables wherever they pleased, which obviously threw off the meticulously planned seating chart. We're all here to experience a fun evening, so spend the extra 5 minutes ensuring that you're in the right spot before you start setting up your floral centerpiece and lobster entrees.
Thanks again to my friend Lisa for inviting me to join her at this special event! Have you ever attended a Diner en Blanc event in your city?