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Paris: Thousands dine out in culinary flash mob

Thousands of people dressed all in white, dined under the night sky on bridges around Paris on Thursday evening the world’s only viral culinary event - a chic take on the flash mob.

Paris: Thousands dine out in culinary flash mob
Diners in White take part in the world's only culinary flash mob. Photo: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

Organisers said around 12,000 smartly-dressed diners participated in the 26th "Dinner in White", which raises money for cancer research, after learning at the last minute where they were to meet.

The event is held at a different location every year – last year, nearly 11,000 dined in the outdoor courtyard of the Louvre and at the Trocadero, while in 2012 the event took place at Place des Vosges and in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

This year they gathered at six bridges across the city, including the Passerelle Debilly at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and Pont de l'Alma, for a civilised French dining experience.

The only rules were that diners should come dressed in white, bring their own tables and chairs, and disappear before midnight taking all rubbish with them.

Only wine and champagne were allowed – beers and spirits were strictly prohibited.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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