Le Diner En Blanc
Last Friday I went with friends and dear hubby to Le Diner en Blanc in San Francisco. Its modeled on the Parisienne popup dinners in white. You have no idea where it is until a few hours before, everyone dresses in white, table décor is white, and your bring own food and wine, ala a grand picnic!!
This was my second and the surprise location was Civic Center Plaza by City Hall in San Francisco. The location was perfect, the weather was perfect, and the crowd was perfect.
Its one of those events you need to plan for, but you don’t have to make yourself crazy. The idea is that it’s supposed to be a free spirited, energetic, classy, chic, light hearted event. I had tickets for ten, bought them months ago. Invited my friends, knowing that the guest list would ebb and flow. One couple told me a month before they couldn’t come, so I was able to sell their tickets. But one couple just couldn’t commit. Sound familiar? I emailed, forwarded the information, and heard nada. I decided not to stress on it. They had their reasons. Well, she did anyway. At first I was a bit irked, but then I let that go. Life happens and my bugging her wasn’t going to help whatever she was dealing with. Generally she is very on top of things, so I knew not to take it personally. Letting go of my expectations was good. If she and her husband couldn’t make, it, that’s fine. I never get stuck on the money, it was my treat, and if it didn’t work out, it makes me more sad and disappointed for them than mad at anyone.
Having a lithe approach to the evening allowed me to have an amazing time. I did put in effort for the décor, the flowers, the table wear, the food, the wine, but I didn’t stress on anything, which I have done in the past. I remembered we are all grown-ups, and just doing the best we can.
I am planning on going to this event every year and am collecting my paraphernalia as I go along, candelabra here, tiered plate holder there, linens, plates from the dollar store, silver wear set on sale. My sister in law brought her real silver!! I would be too afraid of losing a piece of an expensive heirloom matched set, so I go cruise the dollar store, If a plate is broken, or a fork lost, eh, replenish my collection next year. My plan is to search vintage stores, goodwills, garage sales, and start gathering white plates, tea cups, linens, whatever. They can always be used at thanksgiving or dinner parties!!
My other plan is to make this “my event”…the event I spearhead and help organize and get ore and more friends to join in. My husband, who sometimes isn’t thrilled with these them events, he had an amazing time and actually was disappointed we didn’t dance more!!
One thing we all commented on was how amazing it was for thousands of people to gather together, 20somethings to retired folks, put in some effort, and enjoy just being together without the need for a sports events, giant concert, need to get drunk, etc.
It was such a vibrant fun crowd and everyone was in theme!!! White and cream everywhere!! (Okay a few bits of beige, but at least it was paired with crisp white). Vintage dresses, white jeans and shorts, a polar bear, cape, and I will proudly say, my outfit rocked!! I have never had my picture taken so many times!! As you can see from the picture, my hat was vintage and will definitely be worn again next year, skirt was pleated with a white petticoat, and I had the best white lace umbrella. Green open toed heals with white trim, and a long sleeved white t-shirt to stay warm. It was chic, classic, old fashioned yet modern. Compliments galore and I felt great.
My food was all Trader Joes that I jazzed up. Friends brought dessert and wine. We shared with my sister in laws table and everything was so tasty. Eating outdoors by candle light with people you like and with a crowd who is all in the same mental space was wonderful.
In that note, go watch Out of Africa!! The scene where she goes “on safari” and brings the linens, the tables, the crystal!! Sure, it’s a bit over the top, but remember, lithe living isn’t about living a Spartan life, its about living a rich, supple, chic life with ease.
Enjoy the pictures!!