One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art - Oscar Wilde

Friday, 18 June 2010

French Fancy Number 3 - White Hot

Oh to have been in Paris last night.......

Every year in June, one midsummer's evening is chosen for the renowned 'Diner en Blanc', where, at an appointed time, 1000s of people clad head to toe in white simultaneously descend upon a given location in the city centre to enjoy what can only be described as a picnic with an extremely unusual twist.

The event has to be planned with absolute military attention to detail. For starters, it is entirely illegal so it is kept a total secret until the very last minute to avoid alerting the authorities in advance. Only a handful of people are privy to the information about when and where the actual event will take place before the night itself. Otherwise you have to be invited by word of mouth and wait to receive your instructions about where to be via text or e mail on the night itself.

Like any picnic, the guests bring their own food, (white) wine or champagne and a table to be covered with a white tablecloth.

The event originated about 23 years ago among a handul of aristocratic friends and has increased in size every year. Nowadays it is less haute-society; more bourgeois boheme but the spirit of magic, mystery and bonhomie still pervades. Last night's spectacle took place between the Louvre and the Tuileries. As well as being part of what is essentially an super stylish dinner party on an enormous scale, guests also enjoy a variety of musical performances and at 11 pm when it gets dark all the attendees light sparklers to enhance the fairy-tale quality of the evening and to mimic the twinkling lights of the stars.

A chic pique-nique indeed!!

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