Next week is the En Blanc week in our area. These all white outdoor picnics for grown-ups start August 20th, when Diner en Blanc hits center city Philadelphia. It’s slightly more laid back Chester County/Brandywine Valley counterpart Brandywine in White is August 22nd. (Yes you need to have registered and paid in advance for both events – both sell out.)
En Blanc events have been all the rage coast to coast in the US, Canada, and Europe for the past few years. I don’t know how long for certain – other than the first one was in Paris over 20 years ago.
These white dinner picnic party organizers are serious about their white…decorations, dishes, attire and even food.
So to me it is a perfect excuse to have fun with vintage finds. And you don’t have to spend a fortune. Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, hospital and church thrift shops, the Smithfield Barn, Consign-It in Kennett, the Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Kennett and Caln, are just a few places you can find fun things at a fraction of the cost. Also don’t forget yard sale groups on Facebook, eBay, Etsy, and the humble garage and yard sale. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a look.
Now some people prefer Crate and Barrell or say William Sonoma, and that is fine, but how often are you going to do ALL WHITE? So why spend like it is the proverbial last supper? Have fun with it and you can mix and match! Personally, I had the vintage glassware already for years and the napkins and tablecloths.
The glassware had been gifts from friends who were cleaning out their pantry closets and cabinets when I needed stuff. Again, I have had them for years. The linens came from church sales and the Smithfield Barn. All stuff I have used before and love.
The tablecloths at the time were like $8 and $12 and the napkins were part of a lot I bought from the Smithfield Barn for under $20 and the plates came from the barn too (recently) and were a big $1 a piece.
The mid century funky silverware was a steal of a deal from a thrift shop in Virginia that also sells on eBay. It was truly inexpensive and the silver plate napkin rings are just something I have picked up here and there for at least 25 years. None of the napkin rings match and I never pay more than a couple of dollars an orphaned napkin ring.
Old picnic baskets can be found at a lot of church rummage sales especially.
You have the most fun with these picnic events if you do it with a group of friends. You divvy up the table settings, food, flowers, beverages, and so on.
If you are attending one of these events and still looking for your “look”, seriously try thrift shops and garage sales and whatnot (as mentioned). You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a fab and fun tablescape! (You can also get great ideas off of Pinterest!)
Thanks for stopping by!