A picnic in white.

Thanks to our connections at Edible Ohio Valley magazine, Rob and I managed an invitation to a unique dinner party in Cincinnati on Saturday.

I was super grouchy about it.

Dîner en Blanc began as a casual picnic among friends in Paris, and it’s grown to a massive annual event there. Now there are Dîner en Blanc parties in a handful of cities all over the world: Sydney, London, New York … and Cincinnati.

On the face of it, the event is extremely fussy. Uptight, even. Which is why I was grouchy. Guests must bring their own food and wine, sure. But also their own table and chairs. And cloth table linens. Plates, glasses, silver (no disposables, please). Everything from table settings to attire has to be white. [Cue eyeroll.]

From my frantic queries to neighbors seeking white folding chairs and a properly sized portable table, to the multiple stops it took me to find inexpensive white table linens, to my agonizing over the menu, I was pretty well honked off about the whole thing. Considering not going, even.

On the bus ride to the “secret location” at Cincinnati’s Lytle Park, having schlepped and loaded all our stuff, I remained pouty. And then …

It turned out to be a lovely evening. About 1,000 people attended, and many got super creative with their dress and table decor. (I was expecting a predominantly young-professional, social-media crowd; instead, this was a rather old-money Cincinnati group.) Rob’s decision to bring two bottles of wine was fortuitous. The weather was perfect, candles glowed, white balloons floated into the sky, we met some fun people. I managed to coax Rob out on the dance floor.

We had fun.



So, you’re wondering what I prepared for our picnic dinner …

French picnic salads in jars
Camembert and summer tomato jam
S’mores slab pie, courtesy of my friend Karen at SoupAddict.com

5 thoughts on “A picnic in white.

  1. Dear Bryn: Next time let Rob go with us, and we won’t care if he dances or not. I posted a link to your article on whitewine.com. You are welcome.

  2. So glad you had an enjoyable time! Did you see Diner en Blanc on Top Chef Masters a few weeks ago? Looks like a fun event. What wine did you pair with your food?

  3. Pingback: Best recipes of 2012. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen