The Mystery of Diner en Blanc Arrives in Chicago

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  • August 16, 2016

What would you think if I invited you to a party with the key direction being you must wear white. The location is a secret until an hour before the event begins. You bring your own table, chairs, linens and food. And you have the time of your life!

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

Intrigued?


Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

It’s called Le Diner en Blanc and was started 30 years ago in Paris by Francois Pasquier and a handful of friends. Now, you will find events across the world with thousands of guests in attendance each time. The concept is simple: bring together a group of guests in a secret location where the purpose is to share a beautiful meal with new and old friends at a city’s most special locations.

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

Learning about the event is unique. It’s word of mouth and social media. Guests must be a member or be sponsored by a member who had attended previously. Or, you can sign up on the Le Diner en Blanc website waiting list. The cost to attend is $37. And has been sold out these past three years!

The mystery continues but that just enhances the fun. Everyone is assigned a meeting spot. In Chicago, our group met at a metro (subway) stop. It was pretty easy to spot fellow partygoers as everyone was in white, carrying tables, chairs and picnic baskets. Those that have attended previously brought extra touches like candles, flowers and other decorations in addition to the required white tablecloth.

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefrontWe received instructions once we were all together of where to walk too….and for us, it was the stunning Queen’s Landing on the Chicago lakefront just east of Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain.

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

We were there early, so didn’t realize how fully elaborate and beautiful this space was going to be.

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

As the white clouds of guests began arriving, the energy began to rise. The weather was a perfect warm summer evening. Sailboats were floating on the lake.

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

Music was playing, wine from sponsor, Apothic, was flowing and picnic boxes from Paramount Events were being delivered to those who ordered a gourmet meal.

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefrontIn the media lounge, refreshing fruit infused waters were available to enjoy thanks to sponsor, Equinox. 

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

With guests now seated, tables decorated and wine poured, white napkins were raised in celebration of Le Diner en Blanc. It was fantastic! 2,500 guests laughing and waving napkins in solidarity. Have to see it to get the full effect. Trust me. To see it yourself, visit here

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJEZkLehnzK/?taken-by=inspiringkitchen

The evening lasted about 3 hours until rain chimed in on the fun. But before that could happen, thousands of sparklers were lit for our final celebration of a well planned, glorious night of friendship and good food and wine on Chicago’s lakefront. See the full effect here

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

This was one of those experiences you have to be at to truly appreciate. Gather your friends, check for the date Le Diner en Blanc will be in a city near you and pull out those white clothes. You won’t want to miss it!

Diner en blanc pop up festival on Chicago's lakefront

Bon Appetit!

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