• France's news in English
In Images: Paris hosts world's poshest flash mob picnic
Photo: AFP

In Images: Paris hosts world's poshest flash mob picnic

AFP · 9 Jun 2016, 07:43

Published: 09 Jun 2016 07:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The latest "Diner en Blanc" (Dinner in White) took place in Paris on Wednesday when some 7,000 people dressed in white from head to toe descended on the swanky Place Vendome to dine al fresco on fine food and wine in the heart of the capital's luxury district.


The venue of the annual event -- which has now spread across the globe from Stockholm to Mumbai and Shanghai -- was kept tightly under wraps until the last minute.

Last year 13,000 took over the court of honour of the 17th-century Palais Royal in the French capital, sitting down to eat at rows of tables laid along the length of the square.

In previous years the secretive uppercrust club has taken over the Champs-Elysees, the Chateau de Versailles and the gardens under the Eiffel Tower for its impromptu soirees.

Having dined and then danced their fill, members of the group -- which attempts to recreate the glamour and elegance of bygone French high society -- go home on the stroke of midnight.

The organisers demand that guests "conduct themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette".

And they pride themselves on tidying up afterwards, leaving the venue just as they found it.

(A previous dinner in white on the Champs Elysee. Photo: AFP)

Story continues below…

The phenomenon began in the French capital nearly three decades ago long before social media kickstarted the trend for flash mobs, and it has since spread to 70 cities worldwide.

Only people invited by Diner en Blanc members can attend the gatherings, which are run with almost military precision, with the guests as well as the authorities only alerted to the precise venue at the last minute.

The movement was founded by the French businessman Francois Pasquier in 1988 who dreamt of eating in the open air in unusual places.

The first dinner was held in the city's Bois de Boulogne park.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available