Five years ago, a beautiful, glamorous, elegant French tradition was introduced to Melbourne, and since then it has become one of Melbourne favourite event.
This November Le Dîner en Blanc returns to Melbourne and marks the 5th anniversary, celebrating elegance, style, great food and of course amazing champagne.
But this isn’t an ordinary event, in fact it’s filled with delectable mystery, keeping guests waiting with excitement to find out their secret location, then head over to one of Melbourne’s beautiful public spaces in their best all-white outfits for a magical night to remember.
So where did this all originate and what can we expect this year?
I sat down with the team to get an inside glimpse into this very Parisian Soirée …
Congratulations on the 5 year anniversary of this event! How did the idea first originate?
Le Dîner en Blanc was created by Frenchman François Pasquier in Paris in 1988 when he asked a large group of friends to meet him for a picnic – insisting that they should wear white so they could find each other.
The party was such a hit, they continued the tradition every year and it is now being hosted in more than 60 cities annually.
Could you tell us a little about the concept? How does it all come together on the day?
Guests register to participate in the event in their chosen city with the secret location revealed only on arrival.
When they arrive (by bus or walking groups) they are given seating arrangements and begin to set up their white table, chairs, table cloth and cutlery. Many decorate with flowers and ornate centerpieces as well.
Once all of the guests have arrived and are set up, they lift their serviettes into the air and wave them to signal the beginning of the dinner.
Guests enjoy their dinner and drinks with friends and fellow guests before lighting sparklers to mark the opening of the dance floor.
The thousands of guests then hit the dance floor and around midnight, they pack up their table and chairs and leave the public place with their rubbish.
What can guests look forward to this year?
We can’t give too much away but for the 5th anniversary edition guests can certainly expect and incredible evening and the best Melbourne Dîner en Blanc yet.
The chosen location will showcase our beautiful city in a way that is not often seen. With DJs, guest artists and entertainment provided by the Allegro Live (Australia’s biggest live music marketplace), guests are in for an amazing evening.
There’s a few more surprises to come and more to be revealed closer to night ?
Now, let’s talk food and wine, I understand there are some amazing hampers on offer as well as guests bringing their own picnic basket?
Taking the time to enjoy great food and delicious wine at a table with friends is so typically French and a big part of the night. We love seeing the array of fabulous picnics baskets, platters and treats guests create and bring on the night, however we will also have a selection of beautiful gourmet hampers and platters hand crafted by leading Melbourne caterer Fred & Ginger Catering. Their focus on sustainability, locally sourced produce and showcasing the breadth of Melbourne’s food scene really resonated with us.
Guests can choose from three pique-nique hamper options for two (including a vegan and GF option for the first time) each with three courses along with a cheese or charcuterie platter for six. Whether it be the rice paper rolls filled with chicken, green papaya, mint and mango, Thai beef or puffed tufu salads, local cheeses or dark chocolate cheesecake, we’re sure guests will not be disappointed.
This year guests can also enjoy champagne from Laurent-Perrier, and enjoy a selection of wines from local Yarra Valley wine maker, Rob Dolan. Our picks would have to be the White Label Chardonnay, their ever-popular Pinot Noir along with the deliciously creamy Blanc de Blanc sparkling – available to guests for the first time this year.
How would you describe the vibe in 3 words?
Sorry, I’ve tried but it’s too hard!!!!!
Elegant, exclusive, alfresco, celebration, dream-like, friendship.
This event is a sell-out every year – but there’s still time to reserve your spot …
Head to: www.melbourne.dinerenblanc.com