Dinner with Jim Haynes


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.

Mr Jim Haynes


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.

If you have found this information interesting or useful, please thank me by leaving a comment or following me on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes about Paris.  Merci!

Paris Adèle’s Information Nécessaire :

Jim Haynes Sunday Night Dinners
supper club paris
to secure a place on the guest list,
contact Jim via his website
He will send you detailed instructions on how to reach his home and provide you with the key code to enter.
Language Spoken :
English, although anything goes
Every Sunday
8pm sharp – 11pm
except for a few weeks in August
when Jim attends the Edinburgh Writers Festival
Nearest Metro:  Alésia
Price €35.00
includes a three course meal, wine, beer and soft drinks
Sunday Dinner At Jim Haynes

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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16 Responses to Dinner with Jim Haynes

  • Jim Haynes

    Adele, Thank you for your kind words. All very accurate. Except my bookshop, The Paperback, was located in Edinburgh. See you in December!!!! Hooray! Love & hugs, Jim

  • parisadele

    Thank you Jim, you are more than welcome and I have fixed my mistake, I just made you the proud owner of another bookstore!  Yes, see you in December – hooray indeed!  bisous x

  • Donna

    I’m sure you know that Jim (see his website) has been ill and has cancelled these dinners until further notice.
    Beaufort, SC

    • parisadele

      Hi Donna,
      yes Jim has been unwell, I had a lovely long phone call with him a couple of weeks ago, many texts and an email the other day, he is home now. If you want to go along to a dinner, send him an email and he will let you know when he will start receiving guests again.
      thank you.

      • Kendal

        Hello! I’m in Paris for the month and would love to attend… however his website is down, is he alright? If so, how can I email him? Thank you so much!

        • parisadele

          Hi Kendal
          sorry for the delay in responding to you. Jim has been unwell and his dinners have been postponed. His website is in the process of being updated. So sorry that you won’t be able to go along while you are in Paris but I hope you have a wonderful time.
          kind regards

  • Sara Nitkowski

    How can I get in touch with Jim Haynes about attending a dinner? His website doesn’t work anymore.

    • parisadele

      Bonjour Sara
      I am afraid that Jim has been unwell for a couple of months and his dinners are postponed until further notice.
      kind regards

      • Susy Hopkins

        Please say “Hi” to Jim for me. I’m Susy Hopkins, of Hoppy. I remember you well, Jim, and with great fondness. Gosh I hope you’re still there!

        • parisadele

          Hello Susy
          I will pass on your message, that is very thoughtful of you.

          kind regards

  • Astrid D.

    Jim’s Facebook page just mentioned that he is starting the dinners again, as of this Sunday…  🙂
    You may email him directly at jim-haynes.com

    • parisadele

      Hi Astrid,
      thanks so much for the heads up and taking the time to leave this message. I am sure your it will be helpful to others too.
      kind regards

  • jesper haynes

    Hi this is Jesper, Jims son, he is still recovering and hopefully home soon, meanwhile the dinners have started up due to Jim insisting that”the show most go on”.
    For dinner reservations email him at jim_haynes@wanadoo.fr

    Cheers, Jesper Haynes

    • parisadele

      Hi Jesper,
      thanks so much for your message. I have had many people ask after Jim’s wellbeing and how to get in contact now that his website is down. This will be really useful. Big hugs to Jim and hello to you

      kind regards

  • Cathy C

    I tried to go to Jim’s this summer, but his assistant told me that they had to stop the dinners for the summer as Jim’s neighbours are causing him some problems and are trying to get the dinners stopped altogether. In an attempt to appease them they gave them a break for the summer. I hope he is able to work things out, as it would be a shame if he had to stop holding them. Have you heard any recent news?

  • Philine

    Hi my Name is Philine from Cologne, Germany. Are the Dinner Parties still running? I would love to got to one! Maybe not now because of Corona, but that will pass.
    What a great tradition.

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