Elisabeth Sherman

Forget lugging a picnic basket to the dinner party's secret location. Sofitel will do it for you. 

Elisabeth Sherman
July 25, 2018

It’s one of the most exclusive, iconic events in the world. Guests dress up in all-white outfits, pack picnic baskets with dinner and a generous supply of wine, and cart it all to a location that’s kept under wraps until the moment the party begins. It’s Diner en Blanc, of course. The 30th anniversary of the open-air, communal dinner party took place last June, and hot on the heels of that epic event, the hotel group Sofitel has announced that it will partner with Diner en Blanc North America to bring guests the experience to them. 

Here’s how Diner en Blanc works: Guests—once they are approved to attend (you can register for the waiting list here)—show up to an assigned spot near where the official event will take place. Your group must assemble in the proper attire—that’s a formal, all-white outfit—at least 15 minutes beforehand. Eventually, a guide will appear, and take your group to the dinner party’s true location, usually an open-air space where you will set up your tables and your meal, all of which you have to bring yourself (in the past it’s taken place in the courtyard at Lincoln Center, for instance). Carrying all these supplies is quite the undertaking, though not impossible. You'll need deodorant and serious upper body strength to take it on. Through the Sofitel partnership, though, your experience will be much more carefree.

The Sofitel “All-Inclusive Luxury Package” does most of the work for you: Your night will start off with a champagne toast to kick off the festivities. Then, the hotel will shuttle your group to the drop-off spot. You’ll probably have to walk from there to the official location, but trust me, joining the huge crowd as you make your way through the streets is half the fun. Once you get there, you’ll find an elegant table, already set with dinnerware. You’ll be treated to a wine list and gourmet menu—no carrying or cooking required. If you’d also like to stay at the hotel, Sofitel is offering a 20 percent off special event rate.

This is true decadence worthy of only Diner en Blanc. All that is required of you is a chic white outfit, a group of friends, and taste for champagne. Sofitel will do the rest.

Diner en Blanc is coming to six more cities in North America in September and August: Chicago (August 23, 2018), Los Angeles (September 29, 2018), Montreal (August 16, 2018), New York City (date not yet announced), Philadelphia (August 16, 2018) and Washington D.C. (August 25, 2018). You can book the package here.