Diner en Blanc debuted in DC with pops of Moet & Chandon champagne corks & the twinkle of sparklers

The waving of napkins in the air marks the beginning of the event
The waving of napkins in the air marks the beginning of the event

The international pop-up picnic started by Francois Pasquier in Paris 25 years ago, debuted in DC last night. It was an evening filled with food, music, sparklers, and about 1,200 strangers all dressed in white.

Groups of participants met up with group leaders at locations throughout the city, hopped on metro, and headed to the secret location: the Yards Park. The metro trip there was not an easy one. Hundreds of participants boarded metro, all carrying their tables, chairs, and picnic baskets while dressed in their white finery. I was disappointed with the location when we first arrived. I was expecting a more iconic backdrop with a view of one of the many DC monuments. But as all the groups set up their tables, the empty space turned into an elegant dinner party with a view of the Anacostia river.

The evening started with the waving of napkins in the air and a jazz band. We sat down to feast on our picnic dinners and sip on wine. The second part of the evening was marked by the traditional lighting of sparklers, and opening of the dance floor. Matches branded with the #DEBDC14 hashtag had been distributed along with our white Diner en Blanc wristbands.

Everyone instantly became acquainted with dinner companions in nearby tables, sharing food and stories throughout the evening.

The event was extremely well organized. Although it required a lot of planning, I really enjoyed the evening and can’t wait until next year’s Diner en Blanc!

I leave you with some photos from last night.

My simple white tablescape for Diner en Blanc
My simple white tablescape for Diner en Blanc
Appetizers: smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwiches with herb crust, blinis with creme fraiche/smoked salmon/caviar, and shrimp cocktail
Appetizers: smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwiches with herb crust, blinis with creme fraiche/smoked salmon/caviar, and shrimp cocktail
Time to sparkle!
Time for sparklers

Sparklers

Secret location of Diner en Blanc DC: Yards Park
Sparklers marked the opening of the dance floor.
How gorgeous is this floral arrangement in a tall vase?
How gorgeous is this floral arrangement in a tall vase?
An illuminated Eiffel vase holds a bouquet of baby's breath
An illuminated Eiffel vase holds a bouquet of baby’s breath
View of the Anacostia River
View of the Anacostia River
A must for the evening: a bottle of Moet & Chandon, sponsor of the event.
A must for the evening: a bottle of Moet & Chandon, sponsor of the event.
Pouring the bubbly
Bubbly
Desserts: madeleines, macarons, and caneles
Desserts: homemade madeleines and caneles, and macarons from Olivia Macaron
At the end of the evening, I was ready to kick off my white espadrille wedges and go barefoot on the lush grass.
At the end of the evening, I was ready to kick off my white espadrille wedges and go barefoot on the lush grass.
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Author: onevanillabean

I have loved cooking and baking since I was 5 years old. It was the one activity that I would share with all my extended family. Like most people, I love traveling. I love visiting the markets, exploring unknown ingredients, and bringing them back home with me for inspiration. I find that recipes with simple and pure ingredients yield the best results.

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