Decorating & Design

August 10, 2012

Tabletop Style At Diner En Blanc

The classy all-white event, Le Diner en Blanc (translates to “dinner in white”), popped up at historic Fort York last night, and I was lucky enough to be part of the chic picnic. In cities around the world, on various summer days, the location of the secret dinner party is disclosed to ticket holders a mere 30 minutes before the gathering. With folding tables and chairs in hand, and dressed all in white, guests gather for a mass yet elegant affair at an outdoor locale.

Started by Parisian François Pasquier and a few friends back in 1988, Diner en Blanc now draws impressive numbers: 30,000 people requested tickets for New York City’s event last year (only 1,000 tickets were sold), 11,200 attended in Paris on June 14th, and 4,200 are expected in Montreal on August 16th. Organizers sold 1,500 tickets for last night’s event in Toronto. Despite the rain, diners came out for an evening of wine, cheese, bread and good company.

Guests are bussed in from areas across the city, then led to the location with their own tables and chairs in tow. (Picnic baskets are provided to ticket-holders once they arrive.)

These oversized, glowing lanterns dotted the periphery of the event for some soft lighting.

There were certainly some gorgeous centerpieces guests brought along — some fresh, some faux, but all beautiful.

I loved this jar filled with sand, peach roses and a bit of sparkle.

Soft yellow roses in mason jars were the perfect complement to all the white linens.

Ikea’s Skurar plant pot fit right in with the elegant displays.

Here’s a more modern table setting. Did I mention no paper plates or beer are allowed at Diner en Blanc? I like it!


I was impressed with how prepared all the diners were. Many brought white and clear umbrellas, and some even lugged their patio umbrellas from home!

We also had quite a spread in the media tent — sushi, macarons and wine, yes please! Thanks to Lulu B. Wines and Big House Wines for sponsoring.

Some pink clouds peeked out eventually! A special thanks to hosts and coordinators Robert Morassutti, Jessica Tan and Nicholas Wong, and the many volunteers who helped the event run smoothly. Despite the weather, such a lovely party it was!

For more tabletop inspiration, see our Dining Design section.

Photo credits:
Gwen McAuley