Al Fresco Dining, Flash Mob-Style

October 19, 2012 | By | Comments (6)
Le Diner a San Francisco

The Napkin Wave, just one of the festivities at Hand Made’s dinners. (Photograph by Dave Brown)

Imagine a Western al fresco dinner party. Add, say, 3,000 more people, an all-white dress code, and a hush-hush location and you’ve got Hand Made Events, whose enormous pop-up picnics are like the polished, hipster version of the 60s’ hippie be-ins. The modern take, known as a flash mob, is less political (and less fueled by LSD) and instead celebrates Western foodiness and a penchant for vintage duds.

At 5 o’clock tonight, more than 3,000 people will gather in San Francisco for one of the last dinners of the season. The menu is all DIY and BYO: you bring food, booze, and pretty much everything else; Hand Made supplies tables and the location, which remains a secret until 3 p.m.

Le diner a Los Angeles

An L.A. dinner. (Photograph by John Trice)

It’s the sheer romance of it all that gets me: The mysterious location, the sea of people dressed in white, the possibility of meeting someone new and fascinating, and the idea that, post-dinner, everyone disappears into the night, leaving no trace behind.

Live outside the Bay Area? Hand Made is based in SF but has hosted dinners in L.A. and San Diego and has big plans for the future, including dinners in locations as far east as Brooklyn and Miami.


  1. Gertrude

    It’s awesome to pay a quick visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues on the
    topic of this article, while I am also zealous of getting experience.

    November 3, 2013 at 2:51 am
  2. Nights of White Bacon, Never Reaching an End « stuff and things with Lee

    […] chicken, but most of us used it on the bacon, to our mutual delight.  We left at 4 to get to the location by 5.  We actually arrived and parked by […]

    October 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm
  3. Michelle Benjamin

    Aislyn…My Daughter is one of the people putting on these events..She is a huge fan of Sunset…I am beyond thrilled your magazine published this lovely article. After the first event I said it was like the s
    Summer of Love meets the Great Gatsby. Hand Made Events has brought people is is beautiful….hope to see you in LA.. Our table will be the one with the Golden Gate Bridge..come by for a glass of champagne… We look forward to meeting you!

    October 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm
    • Aislyn Greene

      Michelle, thank you so much. And congrats on your daughter’s success, we are big fans of the dinners. Perhaps we’ll see you in L.A.!

      October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am
  4. Jennifer Tonnelli

    I am attending my first Le Diner en Blanche tonight – here in San Francisco- and am very excited! But I have to say that I am no hipster, neither are any of my dining companions so I have to disagree with that generalization in your characterization. I have been telling people it is like a dinner flash-mob, or a pop-up picnic. Fun!

    October 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm
    • Aislyn Greene

      Hey Jennifer,

      Thank you for the comment! I’m envious – they’re such beautiful events. Feel free to send us photos and we’ll feature them on our Twitter account.

      And, hipster or no, have a great time. 😉

      October 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

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