French dining phenomenon—Mark II

“LE Dîner en Blanc” sprang into life in 1988 in Paris, when a man called François Pasquier held a dinner party in Bois de Boulogne to reconnect with old friends, has become a worldwide phenomenon, held in 20 cities around the world so far, not least in New-York, Montreal, Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore.

Le Dîner en Blanc, last year

Le Dîner en Blanc, last year

Pasquier’s initial idea was to ask people to dress in white just so that they could recognise each other, a bit like wearing a pink carnation in a buttonhole. But it took off like wildfire and these days, up to15,000 white-clad guests get-together each year in Paris, and there are tens of thousands on the  waiting list.

Diners are asked to dress entirely in white, bring a picnic basket of gourmet food, fine china and silverware, white tables and chairs to a rallying location without knowing the final destination.

Readers will undoubtedly know that Canberra is also one of those cities that  go white for a night. Last year Le Dîner en Blanc was held in the space before the National Library of Australia, but nobody knew until the last minute.

With exceedingly strict rules about wearing white, the size of your table,  and not drinking uncouth beer and spirits, it nevertheless attracted 700 elegantly dressed people, so it’s likely to be a big success again.

Well, it’s all going to happen again  in a secret Canberra location, this time on Saturday March 8.

Described by the “Enlighten” marketing team as an  “uber-chic dining event”, and by one journalist as like a scene out of a French Impressionist painting, the idea is that people place their names on an online waiting list. Those who get to attend a Le Dîner en Blanc are eligible to become members, which means they are invited back, and can invite their friends.

“Enlighten” marketing and communications manager Adelina La Vita says Dîner en Blanc is the perfect combination of fashion, food and fun.  “Dîner en Blanc is not just about food – it’s about sharing an exquisite evening of glamour with friends.”

Le Dîner en Blanc 2014, secret Canberra location, Saturday March 8,  to register (to  join the waiting list)  visit

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