This will probably be the only post that does not include a home made recipe from yours truly. I did want to capture my experience at this year’s Dinner En Blanc. If you don’t know what that is, it’s pretty much a big fancy picnic at an undisclosed location and you have to wear all white, bring your own white chairs, table, linens, cutlery (disposable is forbidden…I repeat FORBIDDEN) and food. It’s a pretty special event and you have to be ‘invited’ by someone that has attended before or in my case, know people with tickets. Apparently there is an insane wait list of people wanting to attend. Ok so I just re-read the above and I sound like a douchbag already.
I got a chance to go and at first I was SO excited…I mean me, little old me was going to attend one of the hottest most elite parties of the summer. I suddenly felt like I was a big deal. That lasted for like 5 minutes until I registered online and suddenly had a rules book mailed to me. Checklists of what to bring, whats allowed, whats not allowed, recommendations for where to buy your tables and chairs, what will happen to you if you DISOBEY one of the rules, blah blah blah. Suddenly I felt like I was part of some upper east side country club except I know i’m not fancy and not a big fan of rules so I started to feel like this was going to be a lot of work trying to fit in. I was still kinda excited though.
I decided to go out to Ikea and get white chairs right away, then I started buying tea light holders (um whaaat?) and a white lantern for my table. Other stuff I pulled together from friends and I might have pawned some stuff from a certain upscale hotel with the promise to return it…okay dammit it was tablecloths and napkins and I did return them. Next I had to get an outfit. I don’t exactly own anything white…I’m way to clumsy and spill shit on myself all the time so white clothing and I just don’t get along. I found something after purchasing odds and ends and now I was in business. In fact, I found an old fascinator that I wore to my besties wedding a few years back deep in my closet and thought ‘Screw it…if i’m gonna go to this thang, I’m gonna do it right and i’m going to rock fancy like nobody’s business’. Suddenly there was lace, pearls, vintage gold watches from my oma…what the hell was happening to me?? I suddenly had all of this gear and I hadn’t even thought about the most important piece…the MEAL. I decided to fork over 40 bucks for the 3 course catered meal for the simple fact that I just couldn’t carry any more white crap to this damn party.
Okay so here’s what went down:
We met our pedestrian leader at the Cambie sky train line and registered. Suddenly we were in business. About 300 people were assigned to our zone and suddenly all of these people showed up from all walks of life, fancy dresses, wigs, top hats, suspenders, bow ties, amazing picnic trollies and baskets…it was amazing to take it all in. The anticipation of not knowing where we were going was pretty cool too. When it was time to go, you take all of your stuff and head down to the empty skytrain that was waiting for us.
We exit the sky train and follow the signs to take us to our location. Since we were in Yaletown, it was pretty obvious that we were going to David Lam park. You walk in and head to your assigned row and you have a few minutes to set up your table and get organized.
Then the dinner bell rings, everyone stands up and starts waving their napkins over their head. Apparently this means Dinner is served!!
I have to say, seeing everything set up was amazing. It really was picture perfect and a real beautiful event. I got to meet some great people through friends of friends and it was awesome just sitting down and having a meal together with friends old and new.
I got the catered meal from Hawksworth and it was pretty good for cold catering. A gorgeous little baguette with a little jar of pork rillette to start, A piece of harrissa chicken and a lovely kale salad as my main and a fruit compote for dessert (which I never actually ate because I was apparently getting quite drunk at this point of the evening and completely forgot about it)
Next year I think if I do go, I would probably make my own food, now that I know what to expect. My table neighbours, some of the gals from work did it up right with charcuterie boards and it was beautiful. In fact, we even borrowed their bread knife a few times and might have stolen some cured meats.
After dinner we walked around and took in the sites, mingled with the other fancy folk, posed with props and people on stilts ( I needed to have the full experience) and of course posted pictures to instagram joking that I was filming the biggest tampon commercial of all time #Always
Then dusk set and it was beautiful, like really really beautiful. They set off lanterns and everyone got sparklers and man it was gorgeous.
Even though I went in to this pointing up my nose at the ridiculousness of it all, I really had an amazing time with friends, it was a great opportunity to dress up, be fancy and do something completely out of the ordinary for me.
If you are wondering would I do it again…YUP cuz it was hella fun!!