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Kiran Gupta reviews the iconic Le Dîner en Blanc at the Domain.
Over the last few years, some would argue Sydney has lost its magic. Its vibrant CBD, filled with world-famous monuments has lay desolate as office-goers and Sydneysiders moved their place of work back home and largely stayed within a short distance of their home. Even as Sydney has moved out of lockdown and life has slowly started to get back to normal, the CBD still seems a shell of its former self.
I wouldn’t say that this is reflective of a post-lockdown fatigue. Quite to the contrary, Sydneysiders seem to be flocking to events, with musicals, sporting events and restaurants selling out within minutes. Yet the CBD remains dormant. Perhaps that will change after Le Dîner en Blanc.
Part of a worldwide event founded in 1988 and spanning six continents, Le Dîner en Blanc is an event like no other. Picture hundreds of guests, dressed head to toe in white. No creams, no off-whites, no ivory. It’s quite a sight.
After previous iterations of the event were hosted in iconic Sydney locations like Bondi Beach and the Opera House forecourt, host Antoine Bessis had his work cut out finding a venue to match this year. After being rescheduled 3 times due to incessant rain and the pandemic, his team finally settled on The Domain, a fitting venue for hundreds of Australians to come together to leave and breathe the Sydney city once again.
We were welcomed into the Domain by volunteers and staff, all dressed in white. The iconic Sydney venue was littered with tables and chairs and when surrounded by trees all around, seemed to be decked out almost like an arena. In the middle of the venue stood the largest disco ball in the world, which was handcrafted for two weeks at Fox Studios just for the event. It was a stunning backdrop for a fully moonlit Sydney night, and just the spark required to get Sydney rolling again.
The premise of the evening is that everyone brings their own tablecloths, cutlery and food and treats themselves to their own special meal, either in a group or with a significant other. There is also the option to purchase one of the specially-crafted gourmet hampers from the organisers. Our hamper consisted of some beautiful produce, from fresh Yamba prawns to a gorgeous beef rump to some cute little macarons to finish off. It was a perfect complement to a beautiful evening.
After the meal was over, it was time to hit the dance floor. It felt as though two years of energy was being collectively released by a sea of bodies swaying arrhythmically to ABBA, Bieber and everything in between. Everyone was out and enjoying the city once again and the joy was palpable. There was a really pleasant vibe to the whole evening, from the friendly volunteers to the other guests who all wanted to make sure that everyone had the best time. When everyone lit their sparklers into the air, it was chill-inducing: a moment of magic suspended in time as the Domain momentarily transformed into a sea of orange. This was the event that Sydney needed, and wow, did it deliver. I couldn’t think of a more gorgeous and refined way to make Sydneysiders fall back in love with their beautiful city.
To find out more about Le Dîner en Blanc, visit dinerenblanc.com