The Original Secret Pop-Up Dinner in White - Dîner en Blanc - Returns September 19th

August 8, 2013

Dîner en Blanc San Diego, the original secret pop-up dinner in white, which began 25 years ago in Paris, France will be returning to San Diego for the 2nd year in a row on Thursday, September 19th!  From global phenomenon, to highly sought-after “secret,” this très chic picnic, imported from Paris, is equal parts mystery tour, pop-up feast and je ne sais quoi.

Last year’s edition saw 1,000 people gather at Harbor Island for a memorable soirée. This year, more than 1,500 foodies and cultural enthusiasts dressed in white will descend on a secret location that will be revealed to them at the very last minute for an unforgettable evening of elegance, beauty and magic. True to tradition, bystanders will witness groups of 100 to 300 people gather at specific rallying points all across the city. These groups will then converge on one of the most beautiful settings in the city, either on foot or by other means of transportation.

Everyone is asked to dress elegantly in white, from head to toe, bring their own epicurean feasts, tables, chairs, fine china, silverware and white tablecloth. Over the course of the evening, the diners eat and celebrate amid live music, dancing, complete with festive white balloons. Visually breathtaking moments include the waving of a cloth napkin to mark the beginning of the dinner, as well as the lighting of sparklers to let participants know they are now free to circulate, mingle and dance. When it is time to leave, guests pack up their crystal, dinnerware and tables, pick up all their litter and head into the night, leaving behind no sign of their elegant revelry.

“We are so excited to have the pleasure of organizing the second annual Dîner en Blanc – San Diego. This event gives people with similar interests an opportunity to gather in a memorable and unique experience," said Meredith Bell, Director of Business Development for Hospitality Events, Inc., and Co-Organizer of Dîner en Blanc – San Diego.  "The excitement that has been building since the first Dîner En Blanc last October has been overwhelming and we can only imagine that this year’s event will be full of even more fabulous white outfits, over-the-top designed tables and delicious picnic dinners.”

The worldwide phenomenon known as Dîner en Blanc will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year!  Launched by François Pasquier and a handful of friends in 1988, the Paris Dîner en Blanc now attracts more than 10,000 people each year. What began as a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international epicurean phenomenon on five continents. While the technology behind the event may have changed over the years, the principles fuelling this fantastic event have not: diners continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a high-quality meal with good friends in one of their city’s most beautiful locations. Dîner en Blanc International, based in Montreal, is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 40 cities by the end of 2013. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who fell in love with the concept and wanted to bring it to their city, giving this rendezvous a local flair.

The original!
What are the key rules of the event?

Dîner en Blanc is quite different from other special events. The seating layout on the public site is very specific and the site chosen is typically in one of the most beautiful parts of the city, where diners can “see and be seen.”
In order to participate, guests must be invited by a member from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
Once confirmed, each guest’s participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event goes ahead rain or shine.
Color of attire and table setting: white only.
Participants arrive and depart by chartered bus or organized public transit.
Guests leave with their belongings, leftovers and litter, leaving the place as clean as it was when they arrived.

What must guests bring?
A table, two (white) chairs.
A picnic basket comprising quality menu items and a china dinner service including proper stemware and flatware.
Wine or champagne. Beer and hard liquor are prohibited.
Participants must wear white and be dressed elegantly.
Originality is encouraged as long as it is stylish and tasteful.

To better understand the reasoning behind the event’s rules and regulations and to view images and videos from last year’s events, please see the official website and Facebook page.

Those interested in joining Dîner en Blanc’s guests in San Diego are encouraged to sign up quickly via the registration page since space is limited.  For photos or videos of Dîner en Blanc events from around the world, go to, select the city you wish to view and click on the media tab in the top right corner.