DC’s Inaugural Le Dîner en Blanc
Le Dîner en Blanc (DEB) began 25 years ago in Paris. It is the epitome of a French picnic. Elegant, mysterious, and a bit fussy. It is part flash mob and part dinner party all rolled together with a secret location and all white color scheme. Navigating through the city’s red tape, hosts Bryer Davis, Linda Davis, and Justin Ross worked for 3 years to bring DEB to DC. DC was able to host its first DEB September 4, 2014.
I was honored to be one of the Table Leaders for this inaugural event. Not for the faint of heart, there are several rules that must be followed. All guests are required to pack their own table, chairs, linens, décor, china, and glasses. You could opt to buy a picnic or bring your own. It could be a challenge to find all white clothing at the end of summer. Everyone was assigned a meeting location with about 50 other people. Because the location was secret, there was no waiting for latecomers.
My group met at the North Dupont Metro entrance. We were one of 6 other Dupont groups. I can only imagine how surprised people were during rush hour to see about 300 people, all in white and carrying baskets and carts of equipment, descend the escalators and board the trains.
When we arrived at the secret location ~ The Yards Park ~ the magic began. With 1500 guests and tons of moving pieces, we all set up at the direction of our Group Leaders. Pleasantly controlled chaos ensued as we all set our tables and picked up our wines. Waving napkins signified the beginning of dinner and sparklers were lit at nightfall. With Moët & Chandon being a sponsor, the night was filled with champagne toasts and the music of glasses clinking. Guests were encouraged to mingle and create new friendships throughout the evening. The night ended with dancing overlooking the Anacostia River.
I can’t wait for next year!
(all images courtesy of Vita Images)