Drink all the French Bubbles at DC’s First Champagne Week

DC Champagne WeekIf you missed Champagne Day on October 21, don’t worry! Champagne shouldn’t be celebrated in a day anyway, it clearly deserves its own week! At least that’s what my friends Jess and Alison thought. These two wine pros are throwing DC’s first ever Champagne Week, from Sunday November 6 to Thursday November 12.

The idea for DC Champagne Week started off small. Jess runs Young Winos of DC, a group that connects people in the District with wine tastings and events. She reached out to Alison, who runs her own wine consulting business Bon Vivant DC, to partner up on a champagne focused event. Jess jokes that Alison took a small idea and blew it up, but Alison retorts that Jess never would’ve reached out to her if she wanted something low key 😉 Before long, Alison was in Champagne attending le Printemps des Champagnes, the weeklong industry festival (you can read more about her trip to Paris and Champagne here). While there, she was able to meet producers, other champagne event producers and came back with a better understanding of what a champagne week might look like in DC. Right away, Alison had a vision of a grand tasting like the ones she just experienced at the Printemps des Champagnes and everything grew from there…

Champagne Week DCSo what can you expect from DC Champagne Week? Here’s a run-down of the events:

The event will feature an elite lineup of champagne houses including Pol Roger, Gosset, Pierre Paillard, Charles Heidsieck, A.R. Lenoble, Canard-Duchêne, J de Telmont, Heucq Pere & Fils, and selections from the Terry Theise champagne portfolio. Select cuvées will be available for purchase throughout DC Champagne Week at Calvert Woodley, a fabulous wine shop and the event retail partner. You can find out more about DC Champagne Week right here and I definitely hope I’ll be seeing you at some of the events!!

Santé!! 

Les 5 Produits Français que j’Achète à World Market

Vous connaissez World Market? J’adore!! C’est une chaine de magasins ici où l’on trouve un peu de tout que ce soit pour le décor, les meubles, mais aussi des bijoux et de la nourritures venus ou inspirés des quatres coins du monde. Le mien est un peu plus petit, on n’y trouve pas de produits alcoolisés (certains ont un super choix de vins et de bière) ni de meubles, vaisselles etc. En fait, c’est juste un petit rayon dans mon Bed Bath & Beyond local près du Verizon Center. Mais c’est le rayon le plus important! Celui de l’alimentation 😉 Voici quelques uns de mes produits français préférés que j’achète à World Market

LE SEL DE GUERANDE

Fleur de sel de guerandeGros sel de guerande

Le sel de Guérande est un sel de mer naturel et artisanal récolté à la main par les paludiers dans les marais salants de la Loire Atlantique. Je le trouve version fleur de sel ($6.99) et gros sel aussi ($4.99) à mon World Market

LE SUCRE DE CANE LA PERRUCHE

Sucre de canne la perruche

Je ne trouve pas encore de cassonade à mon World Market, hélas, mais bon, le sucre roux, ambré en cube comme ca c’est un bon début et à $5.99 c’est pas encore trop cher et ça fait bien plaisir dans mon nespresso du matin! 

LA MOUTARDE MAILLE

Moutarde a l'ancienne et moutarde originale Maille

Il n’y a que Maille qui m’aille et si mon supermarché local a fait de bon progrès (j’y trouve maintenant de la moutarde Maille a l’ancienne) elle coute toujours un peu chère.  Alors en attendant que Maille ouvre sa boutique sur Washington (c’est dans les projets de la marque apparement) je rempli mon cadis à World Market!  

LES CORNICHONS

Cornichons

C’est pas facile de trouver des bons cornichons français, pas les gros pickles comme ils font aux Etats Unis (et que je trouve très bons aussi, mais c’est pas la même chose). J’adore particulièrement les extra fins Domaine des Vignes ($3.99) que je trouve à World Market

LES PETITES DOUCEURS

Quelques petits produits que j’adore: les mini-pots de confitures Bonne Maman (toujours pratique quand on a des invité pour le brunch), le Nutella version sample que j’ai quasiment toujours dans mon sac à main (je l’appelle mon Nutella d’urgence, on ne sait jamais quand on en aura besoin!) et les Kinder. Oui, je sais, ni le Nutella ni les Kinders ne sont français, mais on en consomme tellement chez nous que c’est un peu comme… Dommage par contre, on trouve toujours pas d’oeufs Kinder Surprise ici 😦

KinderEmergency Nutella

Mini-confiture bonne maman

BONUS: QUELQUES PRODUITS D’AFRIQUE DU NORD

Du côté de chez ma grand-mère maternelle on est du Maroc (de Casablanca) et le couscous est mon plat français préféré (et je suis pas seule d’après ce sondage.) Alors quand je trouve de l’harissa, du ras el hanout et de la semoule, je saute dessus!  

Harissa from World Market

Semoule pour le couscous

Ras el Hanout spices from world market

 

Vous avez trouvé d’autres bons produits français à World Market ou ailleurs? Je sais qu’on trouve de tout si on bien y mettre le prix (par example à Dean et Delucca, nous on en a un a Georgetown) mais l’avantage de World Market c’est que c’est très abordable! Quels sont le produits qui vous manquent le plus? N’hésitez pas a partager vos tuyaux alimentaires dans les commentaires! 

 

What’s the Best Baguette in Washington, DC?

I’ve lived in the District for over 10 years now and as the French expat one of the top question I usually get asked is “where can I find good bread?” Usually it’s recent transplants from France asking… The answer partially depend on where you live I guess. I mean, Bread Furst probably makes the best baguette in the city. But I live in Shaw. It’s bad enough I have to spend close to $3 for bread, I’m not trekking all the way across town on top of it. So I get my baguette mostly at A Baked Joint now, and occasionally at Paul or Le Pain Quotidien. Two places where I would never buy bread back home…but hey, I have limited options here 😉
The best Baguette in DC

Of course, Parisians take their bread very seriously. It is like 20% of our diet… It’s so important that we have a trade association for bread and the bakers that make it, la Chambre professionnelle des artisans boulangers du Grand Paris. And since 1994, they’ve teamed up with the City of Paris to throw an annual baguette show-done to select the best loaf in town: la meilleure baguette de Paris. In addition to 4,000 euros, mad bragging rights and a guaranteed line outside your bakery for a few weeks, the winning boulangerie also becomes the official bread supplier of the French President and his residence. Yes, obviously, that’s a thing too.  

This year, the French Embassy to the United States has decided to organize its very own “best baguette” contest for the Washington, D.C. area. After polling district residents online to see what their favourite bread-spots were, the top 4 bakers are facing off for a carb-filled finale at La Maison Française September 29th. 

The bakeries competing for the Best Capital Baguette title are: 

A jury of chefs and other DC-food personalities will decide the winner that evening but guests are also invited to join and will get the opportunity to try the different baguette along with charcuteries, cheese and jam. Bonne Maman, D’Artagnan and President are partners, so you know there’s gonna be some good stuff there! No wine sponsor though, so that’ll be cash bar and at $25 for a ticket (which you can buy here), that seems fair.

My money is on Fresh Baguette or Bread Furst, but I guess we’ll have to wait until September 29th to find out and see who will become the official bread supplier of the French Ambassador’s Residence… and the 2016 Best Capital Baguette!

ps: New York hosted its own competition earlier this year… so if you’re looking for some the best bread in Manhattan, just head to one of Eric Kayser‘s many bakeries. And good news, it won’t be too long before we have our very own Maison Eric Kayser here in DC. CANNOT WAIT! 

Bon Quatorze Juillet / Have a Tasty Bastille Day

I just got back from a week of holiday back home. Other than that tiny little event when France lost the UEFA championship to Portugal, everything was absolutely wonderful. If anything, I feel like I got an early taste of the Quatorze Juillet since there were flags absolutely everywhere and I sang the Marseillaise like 50 times (it’s kind of the de-facto soccer chant for supporters of the French national team.) Seriously, my instagram feed (<– follow me!) turned completely bleu blanc rouge over the last 2 weeks 😉 

A Very French Instagram

A very patriotic instagram

At least I get to pretend I’m back in Paris a little longer because tomorrow is our national holiday (you say Bastille Day, and that’s ok, I say Quatorze Juillet… please just don’t say France independence day!). I’m stoked, as always, to celebrate at the French Embassy with my Frenchies. It’s always pretty special to celebrate July 14th with the French community and fellow French expats from the Washington area every year.

Elsewhere in the city, Washington’s many French restaurants always step up to the plate to celebrate one of the thing we are most proud of: our food!

  • Grab made to order crepes ($10) on the terrace at Café du Parc as well as a wine flight and cheese & charcuterie board ($30) from 5-8PM. After that, head to the restaurant to enjoy a special Taste of Bordeaux menu.
  • Celebrate Bastille Day at Bastille in Alexandria. Out of all the special Bastille Day menu I’ve seen, this is the one that I’m most excited about AND it’s available through July 17. I’d have a hard time deciding what to order between the canard aux pêches (see picture below), loup de mer (my favourite fish!) and entrecote Béarnaise if I went! Bonus: you can add a wine pairing to your menu too! 
Canard peche at Bastille in Alexandria VA

Picture courtesy Flash Public Relations via Chef Christophe Poteaux’s facebook feed

  • 2491 in Virginia is celebrating all week, with a special menu through Sunday, July 17. Highlights include a lobster thermidor and a lapin à la Provençal, which are not items you frequently see on French menus here in the US. The desserts by chef Caitlin Dysart, as always, sound absolutely delightful like the blueberry Vacherin with lavender ice cream or the apricot clafoutis.
  • If you haven’t had a chance to check out La Jambe in Shaw yet, here’s a perfect excuse! They’re come up with an adorable “bleu, blanc, rouge” board special for the holiday, which, along with a glass of wine, will only set you back $20!

    Bastille day at La Jambe

    If shopping is more your scene, City Center DC has some great shops (go easy on the champagne at Louis Vuitton, or your wallet might hurt tomorrow!) AND great food… plus music, wine tasting and mini-facials at Caudalie

    Bastille Day at City Center

    There’s a ton of tasty pics floating around my instagram feed today and way too many fabulous options to list them all. I’ll give you these two drool-inducing pics though:

    delicious

    But last but not least, of course, you can also celebrate with a night in. It’s going to be like a million degrees tonight, so that’s a perfectly acceptable option! You can always grab a bottle of French wine at one of the many great wine shops around town. I always find some great fun bottles at DCANTER on Capitol Hill and am never disappointed with the amazing selection at Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park. Bonus: Weygandt Wines is offering 20% off its French bottles on July 14th! For the films, I’ve got you covered with this handy list of the best French films on Netflix. 

    Anyhoo, as I mentioned I’ll be at the French Embassy tonight… following me on snapchat if you want to see what that looks like on Bastille Day! 

    Bon Quatorze Juillet à tous!! 

Christine and the Queens at the 9:30 Club

Have you heard of Christine and the Queens?

Yes!? Then you know how awesome she is! You can skip the rest of this post and just click on this link to buy tickets to see her perform at the 9:30 Club on May 31. French musicians don’t grace US stages very often, and when they do, we – Frenchies and francophiles – have a responsibility to go cheer them on. Otherwise, they won’t come see us anymore 😉

If you have no idea who Christine and the Queens is then let me introduce you to the best French band you’re not listening to right now. 

Christine and the Queens is the androgynous alter ego of Héloïse Letissier, a  stylish 27-year-old Parisienne who took France by storm with her 2014 debut album Chaleur Humaine. She won four Victoires de la Musique awards, the French equivalent of the Grammies, one for best female artist of the year in 2015, for best video for her song Saint Claude in 2015 and Christine in 2016 and one for best tour in 2016. She’s a really great dancer who counts Madonna, Mark Ronson and Lorde as fans, performed at Austin’s SXSW Festival last March and did a mini-US tour afterwards that included a quick stop in DC’s Lincoln Theater. She’s also been written up about in the New York Times’ T Magazine and was Trevor Noah’s second musical guest ever.

And that was all before she rerecorded and retooled her album, now just called Christine and The Queens, for an international audience (check it out on iTunes!). Her songs always had a bit on English in them and now they have even more. She’s about to take the US by storm. Her song iT was featured in a recent episode of Girls on HBO and is headlining a bigger US tour that will take her to Cochella, New York (obvi!), Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and *yes* Washington, DC again, where she’ll perform at the 9:30 Club this time. Rather than bore you with words, I’ll let her music (and stunning videos) speak for themselves and share Jonathan which I can’t get out of my head right now and the catchy Paradis Perdus, a mash-up of Christophe’s 1972 chanson with some Heartless by Kanye weaved into it (because why not?).

 

See you at the 9:30 Club on May 31?? 

Life Goes On~Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau in Washington, DC

I’m not exactly in a celebratory mood these days, but life goes on. Paris is about life, about being at a terrasse right now etc. Life has to go on and this week life includes the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau, which always takes place on the third Thursday of November (or midnight that Wednesday!) Here are a few, selected spots where you can partake in some Gamay-drinking in Washington, D.C.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

BITRO DU COIN    Still THE place to be at midnight when Beaujolais Nouveau is released. It’s probably too late to get reservations for dinner, but show up around 10PM when they start  clearing out the tables. The Beaujolais typically starts pouring 11PM, which technically is well past midnight in France anyways 😉 More details here.

CAFE DU PARC Get a complimentary glass of George Duboeuf Beaujolais at the bar between 6-9PM, with additional ones and small bites available for purchase too. If you like it, stay for the prix-fixe Beaujolais dinner ($55 diner only, $80 with George Duboeuf wine pairing).

CENTRAL   Michel Richard’s Pennsylvania Avenue restaurant will keep the party going from Thursday November 19 through Saturday, November 23. Rather than serve the Duboeuf Beaujolais you’ll find pretty much everywhere else, they’ll be pouring a Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 for $11 a glass, or $42 bottle. Executive Chef David Deshaies has also created a classically French 3-course prix fixe menu ($55) to pair with the grapes, featuring gougeres, escargot Fricasse, Filet mignon with syrah-shallot sauce, and winter vegetables; and a seasonal Apple-cranberry cobbler for dessert.  

SLATE   For those who want to try some of the finer vintages of Beaujolais, Slate’s owner/Sommelier Danny Lledo will be leading private at-the-table tastings of the 2014 Nouveau and three choice Beaujolais for guests on Thursday, November 19th from 5-8 pm.  The cost of the tasting is $15 and choices include: George Duboeuf Beaujolais “Nouveau” 2015, George Duboeuf Flower Label Beaujolais 2014, Jean Paul Champagnon Fleurie, Beaujolais 2013 andDomaine Laurent Martray Brouilly, Beaujolais 2013.

TABLE Who wants to cook the day before Thanksgiving? Nobody, that’s who. For $150, Table invites you to give thanks for Gamay wine with  masterfully prepared local cuisine paired beautifully with Cru Beaujolais on Wednesday November 25. Check out the full menu and book your spot here

 

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

BEAUJOLAIS FOR A CAUSE    The DC Center is hosting a Beaujolais-themed fundraiser at the Human Rights Campaign on November 19th to benefit its Women Center. Tickets are $20. L’Alliance Française and the French-American Chamber of Commerce are also hosting a “Beaujolais and Beyond” “fun”raiser celebration at La Maison Française. Beaujolais Nouveau and other red wines will be free-flowing and proceeds benefit causes dear to both francophone organizations. 

ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown is dedicating its Beaujolais celebrations to the 129 victims who lost their lives during the Paris attacks on November 13. On Thursday, November 19, the bar will be illuminated with France’s national colours blue, white and red. ENO will be pouring a Dupeuble 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau (same wine as Le Diplomate though it’ll be $9/a glass and $35/bottle at the 14th street bistro) for $10 a glass and $40 a bottle. Guests are encouraged to share prayers and messages over social media using hash tag #ENOPrayersforParis. These messages will be displayed on a loop on Thursday evening at the wine bar. I’m not a huge fan of the #prayforParis hashtag, though I really appreciate the sentiment. Consider adding a #Parisisaboutlife or . Paris may get tossed by the waves but she will not sink, even in a pool of Beaujolais.

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

Finally if you’re like me and your favourite way of “enjoying” a glass (or five) of Beaujolais Nouveau is at home with some friends, here are a couple of wine shop I recommend:

WEYGANDT WINES is carrying 3 unique cuvées of Pierre-Marie Chermette’s Beaujolais Primeur 2015: Cuvée Pierre Chermette ($12/bottle), Beaujolais Primeur Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2015 and Chermette’s Beaujolais Primeur Rosé 2015 (OMD Beaujolais Rosé!! Game changer!! That one is exteremely limited so go snag a bottle right now!!) ($12/bottle).

DCANTER carries a Domaine Descroix Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 priced at $13. This is a pretty decent Beaujolais option that would pair really well with your Thanksgiving meal, so you might want to reserve a few bottle since the Capitol Hill shop will most likely sell out pretty quickly. 

CORK & FORK is where I usually pick up my Beaujolais Nouveau every year. Dominque Landragin typically selects a couple of interesting bottles that you won’t find in most stores. Like DCanter, he’s offering the Domaine Descroix Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 as well as a Domaine Anoir du Carra Beaujolais Village Nouveau. My recommendation when it comes to Beaujolais is always go for the village if you can… 

Last Friday, terrorists sought to attack France’s way of life… what better way to show them that our spirit will never be defeated than with some headache inducing Beaujolais Nouveau. Or something like that 😉 Cheers!

 

 

 

13 Novembre 2015 – When Words Fail

Friday night’s attacks in Paris hit home. Very close to home. It’s hard to process my own feelings right now, let alone find the words to express them. My aunt and cousins used to live across the street from the Bataclan. One of those cousins was at the Stade de France for the France-Germany match. I have two sets of friends, both with young children, who live rue de la Fontaine-au-roi. The images I watched on newscasts that evening and throughout the weekend were not the Paris of tourists that’s typically shown in the United States, with the obligatory accordion background music. This was my Paris. These were my streets. This was my home.  

I wish I could be home in times like these. But I am not. So like in January, following the shooting at Charlie Hebdo, I gathered with friends, this time in front of the statue of Lafayette near the White House. There’s so much to process and think about already, just being able to speak French and hear French being spoken all around made me feel better already. I know that things are going to be ok. We’ve been through worse. But right now, I don’t really want to think or speak about it, so I will just leave you with pictures of two moments that warmed my heart over the weekend.

French embassy in Washington DC after the Paris attacks

Well wishers left heartfelt message, flowers and even bottle of wine – a very sweet thought – outside of the French Embassy here in Washington, DC

Vigil in front of the White House following the attacks of November 13 in Paris

A few hundred people, including many French expats, gathered for a vigil at the statue of France’s General Marquis Gilbert de Lafayette near the White House. Ambassador Gerard Araud and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough led a minute of silence for the victims.

Gad Elmaleh in DC – Part Trois, Now All In English


Le revoici, le revoilà! Gad Elmaleh repasse au Birchmere, avec un petit changement qui n’est pas négligeable: le comedien fait son show en Anglais!! 

It’s hard enough being funny in your native language, let alone in a foreign one. Seinfeld, for example, was notoriously bad when dubbed in French, and the humour didn’t quite translate. And yet, that’s exactly the personal challenge that French funnyman (and Seinfeld BFF) Gad Elmaleh has set for himself. After performing sold-out shows in Washington, DC twice in 2013 (in April and September – you can read my recap from the September show right here), the comedien is back for a third time. This fall, he’ll try to branch out of the French-speaking and expat crowd by performing en anglais in 17 cities across the US and Canada.

Gad Elmaleh al in English

I thought he was absolutely hilarious when he performed at the Birchmere in Alexandria two years ago. The running joke throughout the performance was Cathy, the lone non-French speaker in the audience whom Gad picked on repeatedly. Good news for her, she can go back to the Birchmere on December 13 and finally be in on the jokes. I, for one, would rather see the comedien in v.o. (version originale). But I’m excited at the prospect of bringing my husband to the show this time, or some of my other friends here who appreciate French but may not speak it well enough to follow an entire stand-up routine in it (maybe they should do like at the opera and have surtitles!). 

You can get your tics for the DC, Montreal and Vancouver shows here. You can also catch one of his film, Capital, on Netflix right now. Or you can get a sneak peek of his English show on YouTube, with a short segment where he comments on two very American things French expats in the US don’t get: air conditioning and over-zealous wait staff at restaurants 😉 Don’t worry, it’s not all US bashing during his routine. The French definitely get picked on too! 

*** note: it appears the DC show is already sold out… womp womp for those who didn’t purchase tickets soon enough, like me! But wow, that was quick!!*** 

Save the Date: Screening of Full Moon in Paris at the National Gallery of Arts

I’ve got an idea for you: travel to Paris without leaving DC. Actually, without leaving the National Gallery of Art

On September 20th, the National Gallery of Art is hosting a 4PM screening of Les Nuits de la Pleine Lune/Full Moon in Parisa masterful comedy of manners by new wave film maker Eric Rohmer that was recently restored. You can read a summary of the film here

Full Moon In Paris
Also on view at the National Gallery of Art right now (and through October 4th) are 50 of the most important and beloved paintings of Paris and its environs by impressionist Gustave Caillebotte. Never heard of Caillebotte? You’re not alone 😉 “Known” as the “unknown Impressionist” in light of Cézanne, Degas, Monet or Auguste-Renoir’s success, Caillebotte played a vital role in the early history of Impressionism by being a patron of the impressionists, whose work he supported and purchased (he came from a wealthy family and didn’t need to sell his work to get by.) His most famous work, “Paris Street, Rainy Day” is one of the highlights of the exhibit, which will move on to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas once it wraps up here. 

Gustave Caillebotte Jour de pluie à Paris
For a perfect “French in DC” afternoon, I would start with a casual brunch at Paul’s flagship store at the Navy Memorial then walk over to the National Gallery of Art on Sixth and Constitution Avenue to soak in Haussmannian area Paris at the Caillebotte exhibit before wrapping the day with the screening of the very French comedy of manner. If you *really* didn’t want to leave the National Gallery of Art you could also start with brunch at the museum’s Garden Cafe too 😉

Dîner en Blanc – Part Deux, DC Edition

When Washington played host to its first Diner en Blanc last year, the main complaints from participants concerned the location. Yards Park in Southwest DC was a beautiful venue, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t strike anyone as particularly iconic. Compared to some of the other famous locations where the all-white diners have popped up across the globe — Lincoln Center in New York, the Trocadero with the Eiffel Tower as backdrop or on 6 bridges over the Seine in Paris, Covent Garden in London, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles to name a few — the 42-acre development on the Anacostia River waterfront was a bit lacking in Washington monuments and recognizable sites. It was also a bit out of the way, with few passers-by likely to stumble upon the scene. With that in mind, the organizers sought out not only a more central location, but also one that felt more-DC. And that location was the Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, a 1900s beaux-arts building in front of the more modern Convention Center. 2,700 revelers, all dressed in their best whites, squeezed into the park around the former library for an evening of eating, drinking, dancing and of course, instagramming 😉

This was my second Dîner en Blanc of the summer. In New York last month, I got to experience what it was like to be a care-free guest at the event, showing up in Manhattan just hours before the start of the diner. Yesterday was a completely different story! I started the evening in Dupont Circle, where 500 of the guests met one of 10 different group leaders that would whisk them to the secret location — part of the concept of the flash mob dinner party is that guests only found out where it is being held at the last minute. The logistical challenge for the organizers is to get everyone onsite in a timely and orderly fashion, while they’re lugging their table, chairs and food. On the metro. The DC metro. Once my five groups had left Dupont Circle with their leaders, I hopped in an uber to beat them to the location, so I could be onsite to welcome them and help them set up in a pre-determined spot on the lawn of the Carnegie Library. The few quiet moments I got to spent before the storm of white-clad guests descended upon Mount Vernon Square were some of my favourites of the diner. 

Diner en blanc DC 2015

Diner en Blanc at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square ~ Enjoying some quiet moments before the groups arrived.

Then the groups arrived from the 8 different meeting points scattered around the city and Northern Virginia. The Convention Center and Chinatown groups arrived first obviously. The Dupont Circle groups arrived last which led to a somewhat frantic setting up. Before we knew it, it was 6:45PM and the second edition of Diner en Blanc DC officially kicked off with the traditional waving of the napkins. Finally, it was time to relax and eat! 

DC's 2015 Diner en blanc at the Carnegie Library

Rather than order from the catered options available for purchase, I had prepared a simple cold diner that was heavy on prosciutto: spiced watermelon soup with prosciutto, prosciutto wrapped melon (with additional hors d’oeuvre sized ones to pass around the tables) and a spinach-prosciutto quiche with a green salad. I had picked up some shimmery vanilla macarons at Olivia Macaron, the Georgetown shop had made them especially for the occasion and they looked so pretty on my table (in addition to being delicious of course!)  

diner Macarons

Bonus, like in New York, Celebrity Cruises also passed around some white chocolate dipped macarons and my friend Cecilia of OneVanillaBean had made all sorts of delicious desserts like a raspberry-rose roll-out cake and caneles, which she was kind enough to share with the people sitting next to her. By 8PM when the sparklers were lit and the jazzy background music that accompanied diner turned into more upbeat sounds spinned by DJ Sabeel, I was ready to kick-off my shoes and hit the impromptu dance floor set up on the stairs of the library!

Sparklers at diner en blanc DC

At that point, all of the stress I experienced in the early evening was long gone (copious amount of Lanson Champagne definitely helped with that as well!!) As I danced with old friends and new friends alike, 2,700 strangers from all walks of life who came together to share a magical moment, I remembered why I love this event so much and why I’m so proud to be involved with it. Because you have to bring basically everything with you, you can really express your creativity at Diner en Blanc, whether you express it through your outfit, menu or tablescape. My friend Sandy made this crafty #DEBDC sign, which was quite a hit! My friend Xionara had a bird on her head. Felicity Amos, my Dupont Circle co-group leader, had an elaborate table display, complete with a white bust of George Washington. 

My friend Sandy made this crafty sign! #DEBDC

The fact that I was able to walk home in less than five minutes made it only better 😉