Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Diner En Blanc, Hartford 2019

What. An. Experience. 

Now, let it be known, my husband and I have been on the waitlist for Diner En Blanc in New York City for 7 years (the waitlist is upwards of 15,000 people long!) and the Boston one for 4 years. This is NOT an event I take lightly by the way. 

What exactly is it?! Well, you can totally google Diner En Blanc or check out their actual site. But here's my simple run down of it. 

It's an upscale fancy schmancy picnic at a super secret location for the super cool club. Kidding on the last part, but not really. 

You do have to pay to go. And you do have to bring all of your own stuff (tables, chairs, linens, food, etc) BUT the experience is SO worth it. Let me walk you through the evening (and well into the night) and give you my tips. 

First and foremost, once you get to go, you are in essence "grandfathered in" as in your get first round of invites for the next year and get to sponsor a friend to go too. Sorry peeps, my sponsored spot for next year has already been claimed. 

Once you are able to register and get a spot, you pick your desired pick up point. It is at that location where you will meet up with everyone else dressed in white (we had 5 locations to choose from), bring everything that you need for the evening, and load up on a chartered bus. You have no idea where you're going or how far you're going, so you REALLY have to trust those who planned it! Ha! 

People go ALL OUT. Like alllll out. Crystal table ware, large decor, you name it. We kept it suuuper simple and classic. Plus, that way, set up and breakdown was simple and easy. 

Take a foldable trolley, latch on your table and chairs, then attach a bag with your table decor. I suggest opting in for the catered options. Makes the night even easier. 

Now, we're off! 

We met up at our designated location and hopped the bus with 100ish of some seriously stylish people and headed off to the surprise location. For us, it was the Old State House Square in Hartford. We all had a number of guesses- I was sure we'd be on a closed off street (which we were) but was thinking Pratt Street because it's cobblestone. Other guesses were Dunkin Donuts Park on the field, Bushnell Park by the carousel, the yard at the Capitol building, and the Wadsworth Museum. All good guesses. NONE of us guessed where we ended up.  

Once we got off the bus, we walked to our set location. They are VERY organized and everything set up to a T to make the 10-minute set up super simple and efficient. We sat with new friends on one side of us and old friends on the other. We had a basic white table cloth and napkins, added a bit of specialness with some metallic napkins under our white dishes, then decorated our table with battery-operated candles and a small white flower arrangement.  

After we were set up, we wandered around to browse at the set up and see what the organizers had set up. There was a great band, an awesome DJ, two women on stilts dancing, but the best part was mixing and mingling with new friends talking about this incredible experience and how we were all happy to be able to attend. Finally. 

Is it really an official event if you don't have a formal photo?!

The two gals on the stilts were quite enthralling. And all white adds that something extra special. 

Seeing how different people interpreted this event was awesome. Some tables (like ours) were very simple and basic elegance while others were extravagant and bold. Anything goes, as long as it's white, so that made for imaginations gone mad! In a good way. 

We chose the catered option and picked the steak dinner from the Max Restaurant Group and we were SO glad we did. 

A watermelon salad, 

Steak with roasted potatoes and asparagus, 

And a cupcake and macarons for dessert. 

At the end of dinner, everyone lights a sparkler to signify the start of the after-party. We were a bit excited for that part, if you couldn't tell from the pic. 

An evening of an upscale picnic in the middle of the street, delicious food and beverages, meeting new friends, connecting with old friends, and enjoying an elegant night out is just what this mom and dad needed! 

It was a blast. An absolutely amazing evening. And we cannot wait for the years to come as this is now a yearly event for us! 

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