The Mysterious ‘Diner En Blanc’ Is Coming to DC

So, groups of somewhere between 100 to 300 people — all dressed in white — gather at random rallying points across the city. They then converge on one specific spot, bringing with them everything needed for a white-tableclothed feast: tables, chairs, fine china, silverware… The waving of a cloth napkin marks the start of a curious dinner, accompanied by live music, dancing, and even festive white balloons.  But when the trumpet call sounds at the end of the evening, everyone packs up their crystal and dinnerware and mysteriously heads into the night, leaving behind no sign of their elegant revelry.

What is this??!

It’s a phenomenon called Le Diner En Blanc, and for the first time this summer, the secret dinner is coming to DC.  Equal parts mystery tour, pop-up feast and je ne sais quoi, the très chic picnic, imported from Paris, will take over an as-yet undisclosed Washington public space on Thursday, September 4, 2014.

“We felt Washington, DC was primed for such a fantastic event as an increase of interest in all things epicurean has been noted over the years,” said Linda Davis, co-organizer of the Washington, DC Dîner en Blanc, in a written statement. “Not to mention Washingtonians are known for their love of all things festive and stylish,” adds Co-Host Bryer DavisJustin Ross, the third member of the Host team, hopes to make this very first DC edition a recurring tradition.

In 2014, the 26th annual DÎner en Blanc will actually take place in 50 cities around the world.  What began as a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international epicurean phenomenon on five continents, but remains secretive and selective.  Those interested in joining Dîner en Blanc’s guests in Washington, DC are encouraged to express their interest quickly (before August 13th) as space is limited.

In the meantime, here are the Rules:

  • To participate, guests must be invited by a member from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
  • Once confirmed, each guest’s participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event goes ahead rain or shine.
  • Color of attire and table setting: WHITE ONLY!
  • Participants arrive and depart by organized meeting locations and instructions.
  • Guests leave with their belongings, leftovers and litter, leaving the secret location as clean as it was when they arrived.
  • Guests must bring:
  1. A table, two (white) chairs.
  2. A picnic basket  – Gourmet picnic dinners available for purchase at time of registration.  Proper stemware, flatware, and china required.
  3. Wine or champagne – Selection of wine available for purchase at the time of registration.  Beer and hard liquor prohibited.
  4. Participants must be dressed elegantly in white.
  5. Stylish and tasteful originality is encouraged!
*Lead image from, a previous Diner En Blanc, Cincinnatti