Picture this: you’re seated next to your date, having a delectable, home-made gourmet meal. The music is enticing and you can’t help but bob your head in tune, as you dine under the stars. you look around and all you see is an ocean of like-minded people decked in all-white, all mingling together over a sensational spread. You think to yourself: what an elegant picnic!
Noo! This is not an extract out of a novel, but an actual event that you can attend. The second edition of the Le Dîner en Blanc Nairobi event is finally upon on Saturday, 26, November 2016 at the … SECRET LOCATION, which will be revealed when you get there! How exciting is that?!
Okay, I know, you’re asking what is Le Dîner en Blanc. Le Dîner en Blanc was launched in Paris, 28 years ago, in 1988, by François Pasquier and a handful of his friends. After spending a few years aboard, Pasquier wanted to organize a picnic to reconnect with old friends. His concept was simple: “Bring a meal and bring a new friend.” He realized that his garden was too small for all the guests to fit in, so he told them to convene at the Bois de Boulogne and to dress in white, so they could find each other (Yep! There were no mobile phones then).
Soon, this gathering grew popular over time and now over 10,000 people come together every year in Paris. Though the technology behind the event has changed over the years, the principles behind the event have largely remained the same: guests continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with good friends, all in white attire.
Le Dîner en Blanc International started hosting these posh picnics from 2012 onwards, in over 70 cities in more than 25 countries around the world. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who are able to give this glorious French rendezvous a local flair.
When I was invited to the Le Dîner en Blanc 2016 Press Event held at my favorite – Artcaffe Oval, I couldn’t say no. it gave me a sneak preview of the actual event, with the white décor and white dress code. I had felt the FOMO when I saw the pictures of the first Le Dîner en Blanc in Nairobi, Kenya that took place in December 2015 at the Uhuru Gardens.
As I met LeAnne and Samson, the original hosts of the Le Dîner en Blanc, who this year have partnered with Jilna Collis and Timothy Njiru, explained to me the whole idea behind the lavish picnic. This year, Le Dîner en Blanc Nairobi partnered with Artcaffe, Slater & Whittaker and Holiday Bazaar as official local partners and Eat Out as their official communication partner.
Now, I know you want to attend this event. While it is exclusive, getting an invitation is not that hard. However, there are some key rules to remember:
- Registration occurs in three phases. Phase 1 is for members who attended the previous year; Phase 2 is for new members who are referred by Phase I attendees; Phase 3 is for people who signed up on the waiting list and is still open (till November 19), so go sign up on the waiting list on the official website: nairobi.dinerenblanc.info/register
- Tickets need to bought in pairs. A ticket per person is Ksh. 4,500/=. The ticket price covers the event logistics (such as rent, transport, music, photography and videography).
- Once confirmed, your participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions. So come rain or shine, Le Dîner en Blanc Nairobi 2016 will go on.
- The dress code is elegant and white only! No off-white or beige is allowed. However, tasteful and stylish originality is encouraged. Get creative with your whites!
- The table setting is all-white.
- To ensure that the location is an undisclosed secret, you will meet at assigned departure locations and will be escorted by a Le Dîner en Blanc volunteer.
- In order to leave the event location as clean as when they arrived, you are required to leave with all their belongings, leftovers and litter (I love how ecofriendly this is!).
As a guest, you must bring:
- A picnic basket comprising fine food, white dinnerware and proper stemware. If you do not wish to pack your own meal, Artcaffe is offering a catered picnic basket option.
- Champagne and/or white wine only. Beer and hard liquor are prohibited. However, Slater & Whitaker will have their JP Chenet Ice Edition sparkling wines for sale too (I tried these wines at the press event, and they were so so so good!).
Finally, as if you didn’t need another reason to sign up already, but a whole of prizes, including meal vouchers and hotel stays are up for grabs. However, Holiday Bazaar offering a couple a seven-day Celebrity Cruise to a destination of their choice takes the cake.You know how much I love cruising. I mean, a portable gigantic resort that transports you to different destinations overnight? Count me in!
Celebrity Cruises are a modern luxury cruises, that have cruises that have facilities for everyone, including first-time cruisers, experienced cruisers (Ahem! Me), couples, empty nesters, families, so basically, everyone. With destinations from Alaska, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Americas (North and South), Europe and the Transatlantic, there is so much for you to choose from. And the lucky winner gets to pick a cruise to the destination of their choice. I would definitely have a hard time choosing where to go, but that is a decision I would be willing to take on any day!
So, as you dress to the nines (in white, of course), fine dine and wine while mingling with like-minded people like yourself, you could win a chance to pick a seven-day Celebrity Cruise to a destination of your choice. You could enjoy a Martini Ice Bar, a glass blowing studio, endless entertainment, spectacular global cuisine in a stylish setup, all while enjoying panoramic landscapes of mountainous coastlines or stunning ocean sunsets.
Stop reading this blog post and sign up now at http://nairobi.dinerenblanc.info/register! Hurry before registration closes on November 19.
Photos courtesy of Dîner en Blanc Nairobi & Favier Photography.