Dinner with Jim Haynes
If you are looking for a unique experience and fancy the idea of having dinner in a private home in Paris, dinner at Jim’s is an experience to be had and a night you won’t forget.
Meet Mr Jim Haynes.
Jim Haynes has been entertaining guests in his home every Sunday for the past 35 years.
Rain, hail or shine, Christmas Day or New Years Eve, as long as it falls on a Sunday.
This kind gentle man opens his home, a former artelier and sculptors studio, to all in sundry because he enjoys connecting people.
If you ask him, he will tell you that marriages and babies have resulted due to his famous dinners.
This all began back when a woman and great cook, who once boarded with Jim started entertaining his friends and visitors.
But perhaps the seed was initially planted back in the days when Jim Haynes was asked by his landlady, George Orwell’s widow, Sonia Orwell, if he could wait on her guests at her Friday afternoon cocktail parties.
In exchange for free rent, for the apartment Sonia Orwell kindly let Jim live in, the young Jim Haynes served her distinguished guests each Friday afternoon.
Some of the guests included the likes of artist Frances Bacon and writer Mary McCarthy.
Jim Haynes has had a rich and wonderful past and is a fascinating man and continues to live life to the fullest.
In 1959 he established Edinburgh’s first paperback bookstore, The Paperback Bookshop as a way to support his studies.
Later, in 1962 he went on to co-establish the Edinburgh International Writer’s Conference together with Sonia Orwell and publisher John Calder.
He lectured at Paris University for 30 years, has his own publishing imprint and even has a few books under his belt, including his autobiography, Thanks for Coming.
Jim Haynes has not only had an amazing past but continues to live a vibrant and interesting life.
The after dinner mint company, After Eight have immortalised his legendary soirées by making a tv commercial based on his dinners.
You can take a look here for yourself :
People from all over the world, all walks of life, young and old, stand shoulder to shoulder whilst eating dinner, meeting and connecting with others, just the way Jim intends it.
He even supplies a wad of paper and a jar full of pens to ensure you don’t leave without staying in touch with your fellow guests.
Upon entering his home, as you work your way through the crowd, you will find the apron clad Jim, perched in his usual place on a stool by his long kitchen table ticking off a list as he introduces his 70 odd guests with a remarkable ability of remembering everyone’s name and where they come from.
I would like to say Jim’s Sunday night dinners is one the best kept secrets in Paris but after 35 years and thousands of guests later, it is hardly a secret.
I have met many wonderful people at Jim’s soirées over the years and cemented a few friendships along the way.
Jim has many wonderful stories to share but if I give away all of his secrets, what would you talk about? Probably plenty.
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Jim Haynes in his usual position, perched on a stool near the stove, donning an apron – connecting people Dinner at Jim’s is obviously so good, people come back for more, myself included. Jim Haynes, an American living in Paris, has opened his apartment, every Sunday, since the 70’s, to anyone who would like to …
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