International culinary phenomenon Le Diner en Blanc makes its debut in D.C. Thursday night, bringing together what organizers expect will be more than 1,200 food and wine lovers clad completely in white.
For those uninitiated, Le Diner en Blanc is a dinner in which attendees wear all white and bring their own white tables, chairs, tableware and picnic meals to eat together in an outdoor venue that celebrates an iconic spot in the city where it is held. It began in Paris 25 years ago and has since spread to cities around the globe, including, recently, Philadelphia, where our sister publication covered it.
So where can you expect to see this spectacle in D.C.? Stay tuned.
The location of the event is kept secret until an hour prior to the actual start time, when attendees who purchased tickets in advance — and members of the media — will receive an email with the location.
My guesses of the dinner’s location include somewhere on the National Mall, in the middle of Dupont Circle or on the grounds of the Carnegie Library — the latter mainly because the event’s planned after party is at the nearby Marriott Marquis Washington D.C.
Attendees will be given a rally point from which they will move to the event site in groups, with their pre-purchased or rented tables, chairs, tablecloths and other gear.
The tables and chairs must be either white or covered in white; the same goes for non-disposable plates. There are other rules: real cutlery and glasses, a garbage bag and battery operated candles are required; a corkscrew, bottled water and some kind of table decor — flowers, for example — are encouraged. Everyone must wear white for this “chic picnic,” so it seems quite a few Washingtonians will be breaking the “no white after Labor Day rule” for the event.
For the D.C. version, attendees can bring in their picnic dinners, but not the wine to go with it. Due to permitting issues, any wine consumed as part of Le Diner en Blanc must have been pre-purchased from organizers and picked up at the event.
Meals were also available for pre-purchase and pickup on site, and event organizers stressed this week that attendees must produce their printed receipts for both food and wine for pickup.
The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the after party to follow.