Le Diner en Blanc Paris Edition
to go or not to go?
Le Diner en Blanc was an amazing, fun and exhilarating experience. We completely took over the entire Esplanade des Invalides; for miles all you could see was white. I felt as though we were a part of an elite secret society. It's like viewing a silent black and white film, where everything is moving at lightening speed. Everyone setting up their tables, eating, mingling and enjoying the event. However, what happened behind the scenes that lead up to this moment, was very tedious.
Unless you’re invited to a particular location, you must choose where you would like to go then register for said location. After registering you must wait to see if you’re granted admission. If selected, you then pay a registration, transaction and pedestrian coordination fee for a grand total of💲68💲 (1 person = $43). The location we chose was Paris. It seemed as if the universe was perfectly aligned because I had yet to visit Paris. Also, I wanted my first experience to be with my mommy 😍. She has always wanted to attend Le Diner en Blanc, especially in her favorite city, Paris. At the time I was living in Sitges, Spain; attending the Institute of the Arts Barcelona. The dates worked perfectly; I would finish my master’s program in time to visit Paris and on our last day we would attend Le Diner en Blanc 30th anniversary🎊🎉. I thought this would be a perfect mother-daughter “hoorah”; as we have traveled to islands together but never abroad. When she received the official email invitation, we were ecstatic 🙌. When accepted, you're then assigned a group and a group leader. We were a part of the Atlanta group, since we were expats.
You have two options, one: you can either purchase your own table and chairs, as long as it's within the regulations. Two: you can purchase the table, silverware, and chairs provided. We opted for the latter. 💲110💲
As you reach closer to the date, they inform you of the location where you can pick up your items. Our pick up location was Les Galeries Lafayette - Paris Haussmann. This was perfect as this was one of the many sites on my to-do list for Paris. My mom had informed me of the gra7ndeur and extravagance of the mall we she visited it last year. When I saw pictures, I was bewildered! I kept asking, is this really a mall??? The reality definitely did not disappoint, the moment I stepped inside I was floored. I could not stop staring at the ceiling, the design was incredibly ornate. Enamored, I had to drag myself away from roof gazing 😂 to go pick up our items.
When we arrived they gave us a goodie bag for the event (because of the anniversary). Then we waited in line because there was a delay because they had temporarily run out of tables. Unfortunately, to our dismay the display we saw of the tableware we would receive was not what we purchased. The plate was a cardboard material and wine glasses were made of plastic. It was quite disheartening, but it is important to note that Diner en Blanc was not responsible for this aspect as we bought this through a third party. However, my mom bought the upgraded package which wasn't satisfactory. So a word for the wise brings or purchase your own tableware because we ended up purchasing our own plates, wine glasses, utensils, and napkins💲. After about half an hour we received our table and chairs. We were pleased with the chair. We were less concerned with the table because our tablecloth would cover it. Keep in mind that at the end of the night you have an option to donate all items. We donated our table and chairs. Also, please be sure to bring an umbrella ☂!!! Rain or shine Le Diner En Blanc will go on!
Here is where you must Plan! Plan! Plan! They advise that you purchase a trolley and might I add a durable bungee cord to hold the table(s) and chairs in place. I had the brilliant idea to save money to stay in an Air BnB outside of Paris in Chelles. However, this was not an ideal situation for all the items we would have to carry. We were coming into Paris every day by train, so as a quick solution we took an Uber from the mall to the train station and stored our items in the locker there for one day. Luckily, we had a department store ten minutes from our Air BnB, where we purchased our tableware, trolley and bungee cord. My mom had already brought our personal decorations for the table from home. Our dinner was pre-ordered gnocchi and tiramisu from a restaurant we went to prior to attending the event.
Finally, the day of the event arrived and we were running late 🤦♀️. The trains were on a strike which set us back and it forced us to deviate from our original plan. Being pressed for time, we not only took an Uber to the train station to pick up our items from the storage locker but also to our meet-up location with our group. It was hectic because we were to go to the meet-up location and then walk with our group to the secret location as the group leader is the only one who knows where it is. We were late meeting our group so we tried to message members to see where they were but no one was responding (rule: once you arrive at the meet-up location no one is to communicate to the group where the secret location is). However, I knew there was no way we could miss thousands of people dressed in white; I had faith we would find them.
Lo and behold we had the Uber drop us off at the meet-up location and there was our group 🙌. Honestly, we were so glad we arrived late because after we got in line with our group we waited for about an hour to set up our tables. Now, I’m not trying to justify our lateness but had we been on time we would’ve waited for three hours 😩. Also, our meet-up location was the secret location and our group was toward the end for set-up. I can’t guarantee the same experience for you but I would advise you make a friend in the group you could text just in case you're running late. After trudging along with our stuff (invest in proper carrying equipment), it was time to set up. Ladies, DO NOT WEAR HEELS, we wore sandals. Finally we set up, ate our food while listening to Biggie (I brought my beats pill portable speaker). Then the party began we got out mingled, danced and had a blast. We had sparklers at midnight and watched the Eiffel Tower glitter beautifully every hour.
Although the journey was bumpy and tumultuous, it was definitely worth it. Our first Le Diner en Blanc was in the city of love, Paris. Most cannot say they could be a part of such an extravagant experience. However, I would not do Le Diner en Blanc abroad again. I would only take part if they were holding one where I live. It was too much of a hassle which led to negative energy and vibes before the event. The simplest solution is to make sure you have a car unless you're willing to take an Uber. Also, make sure you have a well thought out system of how you’re going to carry your items so you're not trudging and dragging everything along. This experience has brought wonderful people into my life that I still keep in touch with to this day through social media. I connected with people who were friends of friends I attended college with (small 🌎) . It is truly an event I will never forget. My mom and I lived our best lives. It was a great way to end our girl's trip in Paris.