Dîner en Blanc is this Thursday!! Stay Tuned – Photos to Follow!
Dîner en Blanc—what is it? Are you curious? Wanna find out more?
Then take the journey that I just experienced this year with Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia 2016…
It’s been surreal—the whole experience…it started last year when I attended for my first time, at the Navy Yard. Even though it rained I had a great time. I was really looking forward to this year, so when Laura Eaton called me a few months ago and said ,
“Hey! They’re having a preview party and invited me to submit a table decoration!”
To say I was excited is an understatement!
Laura accepted the challenge and graciously asked me to be her partner—she created the magical décor and I made the food of course!
The preview party (which you can read all about here!) was held at The Reading Terminal Market and I had something a little different up my chef’s sleeve this year…in keeping with the elegance of the all white party, I thought to myself—why not present all white food? I call it my “White Hot Dîner En Blanc Menu”!
It was a success! We won!
After the preview party it seemed like things really started moving at break neck speed towards the finish line of the big night…
Laura and I were asked to participate in the DEB Pop-up shop at Williams Sonoma at the Bellevue in Philadelphia…and that was such a fun experience (you can check it out right here!) because we got to connect with even more wonderful people who were also anticipating the Dîner and were looking for ideas on how to set up their tables, what kind of food to bring, and how to get it all there in high STYLE. It was wonderful help guests and to show off our white menu and glorious tablescapes. You can see the menus from last year and this year right here!
After the Pop-up Shop, we were invited to do segments on DEB decor and on food on PHL17! Somehow, I found myself in a television studio the morning of Dîner en Blanc! I had SO much fun working with Kory Aversa and Eri, his lovely intern, from Aversa PR and Events. Everyone at PHL17 was so, so nice and put me at ease…David Gryzbowski interviewed us—what a doll! Just such a cutie and so professional.
Click right here to watch our segment! Diner en Blanc Philadelphia Preview
And that, my friends was only the beginning of the white whirlwind…where do I begin?
I got into the city around 4pm in the afternoon of August 18th. We met up at Soirée, packed up all our things, and walked 2 blocks to our bus destination meeting point. We had a group of ten fabulous ladies, all decked to the nines in our whites. It’s very exciting…not knowing where you’re going or what to expect from the night.
So here’s the deal: you board the bus (or the subway, depending on your meeting point) with all of your supplies for an elegant pop up picnic—table, chairs, linens, china, table décor, picnic baskets, food, flowers…everything…and you have NO clue where you might end up. You can feel the energy of anticipation from everyone else on the bus with you as you roll through the city, guessing where you might stop and where the rest of the night might take you…
I can’t even describe the cheers that went up on that bus when we realized we were stopping at…THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART!!!! I have to tell you, we were just BEYOND thrilled!
I mean…what an iconic location–with its stunning architecture and the steps that Rocky made famous around the world—I just got chills spying it outside of my window on the bus!
The bus parked us about 4 blocks away and so here we are, hauling our goods… (it felt like an eternity…lol!)
We really got so lucky with our location—we had ground seats, close to the fountain, the photo booth was right there and the band and the dance floor right behind us…we really were in a wonderful section.
There are just so many snapshots in my mind of the grandeur and really…the spectacle of the evening…
Everyone’s dressed elegantly in all white…and that creates such a stunning visual, it’s like you’re transported to another time and place…a summer party in The Great Gatsby…and then to walk up and see 5,000 people leading all the way up the steps to the museum…it was just like a dream.
White napkins whirling in the air as different sections finish setting up their tables and then again…When everyone is ready to go—everyone puts up their white napkins and flies them through the air…beautiful. Like white birds taking flight signaling the start of something momentous and endlessly special. A night just like this one will never happen again.
During dinner there’s live music…not only the rocking band, but also, there are dozens of live performers strolling through our aisles serenading us!
Just look at this stunning violinist …so gorgeous. Brava!
Kayli Moran and Natanya Dibona–the two women that put this whole event together….all I can say is KUDOS. Job well done, ladies. I can’t thank you enough…there aren’t enough words to describe this feat you accomplished with grace, style, and over-the-top FABULOUSNESS.
I’ll try…it was beautiful, surreal, ethereal…and a hell of a good time!
As the sun started to dip below the trees, the luminaries start to wink on in the gathering dusk of the city. Some entertainers even included illuminated elements in their costumes…
My favorite was this little Philly Phairy 😉
We had to make the climb to the top of the steps to turn around and look down at the sea of lights and all the people in white—just a vision!
After dinner…that’s when the party really starts…live music, live performances, and an amazing DJ pumping out jams to get down to.
One of my favorite moments of the evening:
The tradition in Philly is that after the meal, Coldplay’s “Vida La Vida” rings out over the space and sparklers are passed out to each and every guests…5,000 points of light in the Philadelphia sky. It felt like a true work of art.
Everyone comes together to light their sparklers off one anothers’, and the energy of all the people there the night of DEB….it’s just so warm, so complimentary, so connected…it’s almost overwhelming…I get goosebumps thinking about it.
I think the most beautiful part of it all is how everyone feels connected by something bigger than ourselves—to one another and to the city of Philadelphia…that in this one night, it took everyone of us to come together to create the magic of the evening—so it feels like everyone is family—fitting for this gorgeous night in The City of Brotherly Love.
See you next year!