When in Paris ..... Le Dîner en Blanc

One evening after supper, I took a midnight stroll through the streets of Paris with my brother, and arriving at the Notre Dame Cathedral just before midnight we were treated to one of the most amazing sights. Every year around mid-June, an open air event in Paris called the Dîner en Blanc (the dinner in white) takes place in beautiful locations such as Place des Vosges, Arc de Triomphe or the Louve. The amazing thing is that it is forbidden in France to do such an event without the necessary authorisation. So what the organisers do is keep the location secret until 30 minutes before the start of the event. The invited guests (it is a very sought after invitations in France, apparently, a real who's who) know the date, but wait to receive an SMS and then rush to arrive with their own tables, chairs, glasses, silver and napery. And they dress in white!

The end result is a secret kept by about 10,000 people, and by the time the gendarmerie arrive, it is a bit difficult to evacuate the crowd. They party (and I mean party!!) until midnight before packing up every single thing to make sure the venue is immaculate again. It was fantastic to see and a huge stroke of luck to be in the right place at the right time.


To read more about the event, visit their website. They now have franchises around the world and you might see similar events in New York and Singapore. I hope to see a South African franchise soon, so if you ever get invited, remember to take me along!!

Image credits: All photography by me 

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