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Le diner en blanc Tauranga 2018

Thanks to the response to last year’s inaugural Le Diner en Blanc in Tauranga, the number of tickets available to the March 10 event has more than doubled to 1,000.

The sophisticated picnic was launched in Paris 30 years ago – friends dressing all in white to find one another easily in a public place – and last year attracted almost 8000 people in the French capital.

Organisers of Tauranga’s event – Kimberley Cleland, Rachelle Duffy and Dayna Comesky – say the “rituals and the rules” laid down by the founding Paris event are part of the fun. “The location must be kept secret until the night and it must be a public space so passersby can experience the spectacle too,” Kimberley says. Everything must be removed from the site at the end of the evening.

Diners dress in head-to-toe white (no ivory, off-white or beige) and bring their own square picnic tables and white chairs, food in a white picnic basket or bag, white cloths and plates, cutlery and glasses. Wine is available only by pre-purchase (no other alcohol is permitted). The Tauranga event also offers pre-purchase food options.

Kimberley recommends visiting Little Big Markets on March 3 for a special white clothes swap and sell, while long-time theatre costumier Alf Weston – who last year recycled a tablecloth into a white jacket and trousers – is offering to sew for men.

On the night participants arrive at one of six designated departure points between Papamoa and Bethlehem with their table, chairs and picnic materials, and travel by chartered bus or organised public transport. A host is assigned to every 50 diners. Le Diner en Blanc takes place rain or shine.

Tickets (including event membership) are $57.50. See more at To have clothing made phone Alf Weston, 021 175 9282.

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