At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc's” secret place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space.
Over the course of an evening, the diners enhance the function and value of their city's public space by participating in the unexpected.
Beyond the spectacle and refined elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by a love of beauty and good taste.
Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of court society, and diners engage one another knowing they are taking part in a truly magical event.
There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic, except for the occasional amazed and astonished looks from passersby at the scene unfolding before them. And we, as they, wonder whether it's all not a dream…
Born 27 years ago in Paris...Launched with just a handful of friends by François Pasquier over 27 years ago, Paris' Dîner en Blanc now assembles nearly 15,000 people each year. The French capital's most prestigious sites have played host to it: the Pont des Arts, the Eiffel Tower site, 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 this year: The Palais Royal Garden!
The Paris police tend to tolerate this ‘wild' gathering, if not perhaps even wishing they could join in!
What are the key rules of the event?
Le Dîner en Blanc® is quite different from other special events. The evening takes place in a public place which was not designed for such a purpose and is often crowded. It must necessarily be very controlled in order for future editions to be held.
- Seats are allotted on-site in a very specific manner.
- In order to participate, one must be invited by a participant from the previous year or get on the official website's waiting list.
- Once confirmed, the presence of each guest thus becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event is held regardless of weather conditions.
- Colour of attire and table setting: white only.
- Table seating is symmetrical with men seated on one side and women on the other.
- Participants arrive and depart at the same time by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
- Depart with one's belongings, leftovers and trash, leaving the place as clean as it was upon arrival.
What must guests bring?
- A table, two (white) chairs.
- A picnic basket comprised of quality menu items and a china dinner service including proper stemware and flatware.
- Wine or Champagne, if allowed. Beer and hard alcohol is prohibited.
- Participants must wear white and be dressed elegantly.
- Originality is encouraged as long as it stays stylish and denotes taste.