A dinner

Starter, main course, dessert.
It seems a typical dinner.
But it was one of the most amazing dinner I ever had.

Let’s move the timeline back to June: we got an email, which was actually a
TOP SECRET INVITATION.
It was about a dinner, planned for the 24th of September: quite an early invitation…but a lot of organization was needed….
By accepting it, we would have accepted to attend the so called “Running Dinner”, where we would have met many new people and had a lot of fun.
We accepted, of course, with no hesitation.
We also got a task: preparing dessert for eight people.

The preparation was a long one, at least mentally; practically, we did almost everything last minute….
We looked for recipes, for a good way to prepare the table and the house, for our super babysitter: then, some tests on Friday (I am pretty good in tasting cakes) and the big preparation on Saturday.
Everything was ready: kids with babysitter, allowed to walk around only in half house; cat outside, not allowed at all to walk around (I could see all the glasses in pieces and cat hair all around!!)…

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…just waiting for the SMS.
Yes, the SMS!
We didn’t know where the starter would have taken place.
16.30 sharp, 30 mins before the beginning of the dinner, we got it.
Weather was lovely last Saturday, so we decided to bike.
We reached our destination, rang the bell and two perfect strangers welcomed us in their house.
In a short while, other three couples joined: one house, eight people, a mix of Danish and Internationals, some of whom just met for the first time, hungry and happy to have the starter together. Even happier to come know each other.
Typical Danish starter, good talks, some in English some in Danish (!!!), good wine….just not enough yet for a fluent talk in Danish…
Then the host took the envelopes she received from the organizers and distributed them to the guests, one per couple.
Each couple opened the envelope and got the next destination address: the one for the main course.

Before leaving, we couldn’t miss the opportunity of a group picture:

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The eight of us cheered each other, excited for the next step but also a little bit sad for leaving the good company.
It was funny to see other bikers running in different directions, all looking for their next destination.
It was a puzzle, where every step was built up of eight people, in a newer combination.
On our way we met other two bikes, going in the same direction: a quick glance and we understood we were heading to the same destination.
Again, we rang the bell and two perfect strangers welcomed us in the their house.
A few minutes later the forth couple arrived and everything was ready for the main course.
Great main course, great people. Different interaction, but lovely in the same way as the previous one.
The Italian red wine was really good and also had a nice story behind: we were honored to be the one sipping it.
When you have such a good time, it tends to run very fast and suddenly the new envelopes were distributed: we already knew our next destination.
From one side we were feeling a little bit the pressure of being the hosts for dessert, from the other one we were happy to fully experience this new kind of event.

But before leaving, we shot our picture, of course…

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…we cheered then the new friends and, with the same feeling as before, we cycled back home.
We got home, wondering if our cat had decided just that night to use the cat door that she had never used. Luckily, she didn’t.
Kids were sleeping, babysitter had everything under control, we lighted up the candles and waited for our guests.
For four of them we were the perfect strangers who welcomed them in their house.
Tiramisù, panna cotta and special rice balls were delicious.
One dinner, third steps in three different houses, third combination of people, third different dynamics around the table. One common thing: same fun and same wish to know each other.
Before opening the last envelope, we had time for the special Luca’s cocktail: that’s where we started singing Danish songs! 🙂

The vibe was high, we have had a fantastic time and we were looking forward to our next destination: Refborg hotel, where the party with all the participants was waiting for us.

But before jumping on our bikes…

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At Refborg, we met all our friends, old and new: lights dimmed down, music volume pumped up and the party began!
At some time in the night, we came back: now the bikes seemed to be not as stable and straight as before… but we succeeded with a great performance!
Running dinner is definitely a memorable experience: it is a unique way to merge different people and different cultures in a funny and interesting manner.
I actually don’t know in how many places you can organize such an event and having a so good outcome… I think Billund is the perfect place for that.
Now… I simply can’t wait for the next one…

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