On Saturday, I was invited to join in an exclusive international event – Diner en Blanc. As the name suggests, it started in France, and it’s a dinner in white. The tradition started many years ago when a group of French friends decided to reunite after years of living abroad – but how would they recognise one another? They decided they would all dress in white for a picnic. However, their planned location was a somewhat fancy area, so they all decided not only to dress in white, but to dress up! Since this first picnic, the idea has grown in size, and geographical location.
Nowdays, the event grows through attendees each year being able to invite some friends the following year. But space is limited, and logging into the website is best done with military precision (for once I was thankful for my early work hours). The venue remains a surprise until groups meet at various meeting points around the city. You pay a small fee to attend and this covers a coach to the secret location (and all the other logistics – such as some shared lighting, security and a DJ).
Last year, the Sydney event was held at Circular Quay, outside the Museum of Modern Art. This year, it was held on Bondi Beach.
Guests clad in white, are also required to bring their own table and chairs, white table cloth, cloth napkins and ‘real’ crockery and cutlery. Glass is not permitted, so plastic cups are OK. (You can imagine how pleased I am with an event for 3,000 people encouraging reusable options!) You may bring your own gourmet picnic, or buy hampers. The event is not BYO (Bring your own) alcohol, as a number of alcohol companies sponsor the event, and it’s difficult to get a licence for this.
These are more than enough words – let the pictures do the talking! There’s more traditions that I didn’t mention, so please feel free to ask.
If you ever get the chance to attend a Diner en Blanc, take it! (this link has a button on the right that scrolls through other cities) They are magical. Sure, there’s a little preparation to get tables and chairs to the venue, but once you’re seated in a sea of white in a public location, you can’t help but think just how lovely life can be!
17 Replies to “Le Diner en Blanc – Sydney”
I have always wanted to attend Diner en Blanc… !!!! This is so cool.
It is so cool, I didn't know much about them, so glad I made the effort though!
How interesting! I've never heard of this before. I don't wear much white, but I do have a white sundress that I haven't had a chance to wear yet. The location looks lovely 🙂
I didn't have a white dress – but I shopped the crowd and sourced one I like and will buy when I get a chance! I combined a white top I bought in Vietnam with white pants I've had for far too long. It was ok, but some women were very formally and stylishly dressed! The location was the iconic Bondi Beach.
This is the first I have even heard of a dine en blanc what fun. I have so many questions but don't know where to start. Love the selfie you shared! I don't like posting pictures of myself either. Love your necklace, perfect for the beach.
The necklace was my Christmas gift from the BF, and you're right, so summery and perfect for this event.
There were also sparklers, for all 3000 at the end (to signify the dancefloor open) but I didn't get any photos of that. There's some great photos online from our 'section' including a candid one of me and the BF!
I've never heard of it either, I really like the history behind it. It looks exciting, and I bet the beach was a nice location for it. Unfortunately I wouldn't have anything to wear as I tend to stay away from white!
I love white for it's crsipness, which as you know, doesn't last! I had to find pants in a thrift shop for the BF, and they weren't actually white, but they worked. It was a bit of a hodge podge of things for me too, I'd love to have had a lovely white summer dress.
I have heard of all-in-white themed parties, which must have been inspired by this. Sounds fun! Did you bring or buy food – and how was it? Was there a back-up plan if the weather wasn't good? I like your photo, too!
I think there are similarities between this and white parties, though this is somewhat ceremonial in feel? My friends hosted us, so they brought food (endless cheeses, bread and chicken). I brought the leftover pumpkin and apple pies from Thanksgiving. Another 4 people on our table BYO'd for themselves, which was awkward, as me and my friend intended to share all our stuff with all eight… I don't think there was a contingency plan – and it did rain in the morning. You're obliged to go no matter the weather.
What a fab idea! Sounds like a blast.
And you look gorgeous in the selfie.
Wow – what a cool idea! 3,000 people in white on Bondi…it might be French in origins but I think that is so "Sydney" to have a giant party like that. You look gorgeous. We can't see the BF but was he head-to-toe white as well?
The light in the photos is beautiful but is making me homesick for Sydney! I never thought I'd say that as a Melbourne girl but oh, those beaches and the surf!
Certainly 'fits' with Sydney!
I feel weird about 'revealing' the true identity of the BF – even though all his colleagues know about my blog (and have showed clients), I just feel weird. I thought the sunglasses shot was a good compromise. But yes, he was also all in white too!
There's more photos here (hope it works): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m45ew7fz839hs3a/NVPi0d… I can eye spy us in some group shots, and in one candid one (ie we didn't know it was being taken). It was such beautiful light, I can't deny it!
Ohhh…I have to say 'wow' again – those are some of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen of Bondi. We lived nearby during our time in Sydney and I'll never forget the light at dawn and dusk on those beaches. They really are iconic beaches all the way along there. Can't spot you in the pics but I'll look again later once I'm off my phone!
Maybe I should add 'see the sunrise' to this summer's bucket list – I can imagine the BF's annoyance at the alarm for that!