Victoria’s first annual Diner en Blanc was a smashing success and an evening our city won’t soon forget. White clad guests gathered at their meeting points with picnic baskets, tables and chairs under arm. The anticipation and excitement was palpable, as everyone awaited the announcement of the evening’s secret location.
Soon, buses lined up and a beautiful congregation of white washed pedestrians arrived at the gates of Victoria’s idyllic St. Ann’s Academy.
There was laughter and little chaos as 800 guests began to set up for the finest of picnics in the orchard in front of Satin Ann’s Academy. Tables were set with formal dinnerware and linens, and there was an abundance of gorgeous floral centrepieces and candles. The entire scene was reminiscent of some terribly romantic movie shot in the French countryside. Everything was white, and it was divine.
Those who ordered food dined on a superb three course meal presented by The London Chef, while others unpacked homemade dishes from their baskets. Wine was poured and the chiming of glasses cheers-ing mixed elegantly with the classic sounds of an accordion that whisked us through dinner.
The event was hosted and put on by The Social Concierge, in partnership with Victoria’s Brink Events. Tyson Villeneuve, owner of The Social Concierge explained that after a few days looking at locations Saint Anne’s Academy seemed like the perfect fit. “No other city has an orchard in the heart of it,” Villeneuve commented. Below, the apple trees were decked out with up lighting in a whimsical shade of lavender that blended perfectly into the twilight sky. So how did this spectacular event come to our quaint island city? Villeneuve’s wife is a Victoria native and after spending time here with her family, he grew an appreciation and love for the city.
“With Dîner en Blanc, it’s the people who create the event and their commitment to the idea that makes it so successful – we felt Victoria was primed for such a fantastic event. Not to mention Victorians are known for their love of all things festive and stylish,” shared Aidan Henry, co-organizer of the Victoria Dîner en Blanc.
The evening began to wind down with guests dancing under the clear sky, while others strolled the grounds talking to new and old friends. Perhaps the most magical moment of all was the evening ending with all 800 patrons holding sparklers up in the sky.
Until next year Diner en Blanc, we bid you adieu.
Read more about Diner en Blanc and the history behind it in the current issue of NICHE magazine
Article by: Chelsea Forman, Associate Editor
Photos by: Willow Hillard