White and dine picnic in Sentosa attracts 3,000 diners

White and dine picnic in Sentosa attracts 3,000 diners

SINGAPORE - This year is the third time the event is being held in Singapore. Meaning Dinner in White in French, it was held at Tanjong Beach in Sentosa this time around, with the location revealed to participants just hours before it began.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

A picnic dinner event mired in controversy previously for turning its nose up at hawker dishes featured its biggest crowd yet when it returned for its third edition here on Saturday.

Diner en Blanc - French for Dinner in White -  saw about 3,000 guests attending this year, up from 2,000 last year and more than thrice the 800 guests in 2012.

Almost 10,000 people are on the waiting list every year, Mr Aymeric Pasquier, son of event founder Francois Pasquier, told The Straits Times.

The invitation-only event began as the senior Pasquier's idea of an intimate reunion dinner party in Paris 26 years ago. Singapore was the first Asian country to host it in 2012.

It is described as a "pop-up picnic" as diners must take their own meals, tables and chairs, and then leave no trace once the night's revelry ends at a location revealed only hours before dinner. They also have to wear white.

The dinner was held in Marina Bay in 2012 and Marina Barrage last year.

The younger Mr Pasquier has been exporting the event to cities outside France, currently numbering nearly 40. Revellers have been known to hop around the globe to secure exclusive dining spots at these "secret" picnics.

Admission costs $40 per person, on top of a membership fee of $6.40.

Mr Aymeric Pasquier said the dinners are "non-commercial" and payments cover operational costs.

But it also sparked a controversy after organisers said no to local favourites such as chicken rice, char kway teow and soya beancurd. Organisers here on Saturday, as they did last year, allowed local dishes, in addition to giving guests the option of pre-buying a three-course meal, targeted at those who may not have the time to prepare their own picnics.

"The only rule is no durian!" said Mr Chiang.

This is because guests were taken to the "secret location" by organisers on public transport, and must abide by public transport rules here.

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