A Private Dîner en Blanc to Welcome me home Image

The Dîner en Blanc is synonymous with an elegant summer party between close friends and new friends. And I was lucky enough to [pseudo] attend two in Paris, the first at Place des Vosges right in my Parisian neighborhood and the second in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Few people know, however, the story behind the annual flashmob picnic which started over twenty years ago when a Frenchman decided it was time to return to Paris after years of living abroad. So many wanted to come to his return party that they opted to meet in the Bois de Boulogne. Before the age of cell phones, the invitees decided to come dressed in white so they could find each other.

While I thought it was would be a fun idea for a private party, it was actually my mom who approached me with the idea for a small welcome back party soon after my return to Philadelphia. And how appropriate considering the origins of the opulent Parisian affair?

Welcome Back to the USA

Welcome Back to the USA

Under a canopy of lanterns and patio lights, dressed tablecloths of clean white were draped over a single line of tables. White dinner plates with silverware dotted the place settings. Fresh floral arrangements of ivory and blush were evenly placed as the center pieces. And for a final touch, candles were lit across the long white table.

Welcome Back to the USA

Welcome Back to the USA

Champagne was poured just as the guests were arriving. The menu, as happenstance would have it, was a perfectly synchronized mix of Provençal, American and Parisian specialties – all homemade by my mom and I. Although, credit for the mouthwatering delicious desserts goes to a close friend who also happens to be a professional pastry chef.

Welcome Back to the USA

Welcome Back to the USA

Welcome Back to the USA
Me standing between two dear college friends who married since my departure to France.

Soon I was surrounded by a sea of white as the deck filled with guests – my closest friends and family. Their laughter carried throughout the evening making me feel all the more assured that I had made the right decision to return. Night fell and the air filled with music, an eclectic mix of French and English ambient and jazzy tunes.

And so my return to the US began…

7 comments… add one

  1. susan September 9, 2013, 6:37 pm

    So lovely, and I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there to celebrate with you. Looks amazing! Hope to see you soon ;)

    Reply
    1. Stephanie September 10, 2013, 2:55 am

      You were missed! But I’m keeping my eyes open for fun things for us to do together! :) We’ll make up for it!

      Reply
  2. The Wanderfull Traveler September 9, 2013, 9:33 pm

    What a great idea for a welcome home party!
    Absolutely gorgeous evening and an ideal way to celebrate at the end of summer.
    I have a friend who is looking to make the move to Philadelphia. She is an art history major from Vancouver and debating between Boston and DC as well. I told her to follow your blog for some clarity since you’re back at home now.

    Murissa

    Reply
    1. Stephanie September 10, 2013, 2:56 am

      I’d love a new art history friend in Philadelphia! I was looking at Boston as well but so expensive! I’m not sure where life will take me next… if your friend makes it to Philly, ask her to get in touch!

      Reply
  3. Apres New York September 12, 2013, 10:27 am

    What a great welcome home party idea! The pics look amazing.

    Reply
  4. Not Just Another Milla October 25, 2013, 1:53 pm

    Oh Stephanie, how exquisite!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie November 7, 2013, 3:43 pm

      It was a fabulous affair!!

      Reply

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