Jozi, only 5 more sleeps to le Dîner en Blanc!!
2013 saw the very first Dîner en Blanc in Jozi. At that stage I was a very new mommy & not yet willing to leave my new little bundle in the care of someone else. This year, however, we’re booked & ready for a BIG WHITE NIGHT OUT!! Yup, this Saturday evening (20 September), Jozi will see the second Dîner en Blanc taking place at a top secret location!
Firstly, if you are not familiar with the concept, check out this lovely video.
The story behind the concept is basically this: a French guy by the name of François Pasquier & a handful of friends started Paris Dîner en Blanc in 1988 with the sole purpose of sharing a high-quality meal in one of their city’s most beautiful locations. The Paris event now attracts over 15 000 people every year! What began as a “friends and word-of-mouth only” affair, has now grown to an annual event in 40 cities, on five continents! The principals have remained the same since the inception of the event: it’s an ALL WHITE ‘Chic Picnic’ in a public space; all attendees are stylishly dressed in white; table settings & food are tasteful; & the event takes place in a secret public space which is only disclosed at the last minute!
Check out these wonderful pics if you’re not already super excited…
So, as a first time attendee to le Dîner en Blanc, I decided to gather 10 TOP TIPS from those who have attended the event in different cities around the world. Here they are:
- Be prepared. You want a fabulous outfit, a stunning table setting & yummy food, right? So, start shopping & plan well in advance.
- Drinks. I like this one from Kristy of 22ndandphilly: “Stick to white wine…. Who wants to be that guy/gal with the giant red wine stain on your pristine white outfit?” Take lots of bubbly. If you opted to pre-order your Warwick wines & other drinks – well done. Less to carry. Also remember your ice to keep those drinks cool!
- Comfort & budget. Some advice from Emily at herphilly.com: “Invest. In. Comfy. Shoes.” Oh yes, & if you’re seriously not keen on purchasing an entire white outfit, then hire some goodies.
- Sharing is caring. “Plan for practical amounts of food and wine. For us, that meant less food, more wine. Even if you underestimate on the food a bit, there will be so many people around you…who will be offering you their extra grub…” says Emily at herphilly.com. A good idea is to divide the preparation of the dishes between your friends & share on the night.
- Capture the moment, but still enjoy! Figure out your phone’s settings in advance & make sure you take lots & lots & lots of pictures, BUT don’t spend so much time on taking clips & pics that you’re not enjoying the moment!
- Practicality meets style. Because the venue is a surprise, make sure you’re comfy (without compromising on style). Take something warm & rain proof – just in case.
- Ambience. Opt for electric candles or battery operated fairy lights. You want the ambience of candles, but without the hassle of worrying about the wind.
- Le transport: The lovely Kristly McCarthy (@KristlyMc) who attended last year’s Jozi Dîner offers this great tip: “Get to know one or two people on your bus to make sure that you can find your bus at the end of the night.” A great option is Über, so have yours set up on your phone before the event!
- Your menu: Remember that you will be eating your food cold, so plan dishes that are yummy to eat at room temperature. My friend Lecia (who attended the Canadian event in Calgary earlier this month) also recommended including something “French” into your menu – like a baguette – to tie in with the theme.
- Be social: “Make a point of meeting new people. Even if you don’t know those around you, chances are that you share the same interests,” says Japie, who was also at the Calgary event. When last did you just take a night off & dance in the open air? So, relax & have fun!
Ooooo, the excitement!!