Behind the Green Gate

June 12:  Gaining the access code to the green gate is the first step to joining Jim Haynes for one of his famous Sunday night dinners. 001 There are lots of things to do in Paris, but Jim’s soirees are a “must do” for many living or visiting here.
002 Jim has been hosting his dinners every Sunday evening since the early 1970s. Depending on the weather, as many as 50+ people attend. Good weather means guests can overflow from the atelier (which used to be a sculpture’s salon) into his garden.


There is no organized seating which increases the opportunity to mingle which is Jim’s primary goal.


The common language is English but often it is a second or even third language for guests from around the world. On any given Sunday, guests are all ages, nationalities and professions. Some are ex-pats who live in Paris and other are tourists visiting for a week or two for their very first time.

Randomness is the order of the day-or evening. Dinner is served promptly at 8:00 and is over at 11:00. Each week different cooks prepare the buffet-style meal. Figuring out where to sit or stand and balance your plate and wine is up to you and part of the fun.

005The first time we went, we ate Greek, the second time, New Orleans style Cajun.

This is not a singles group or a professional social club. Yes, there are singles and I’m sure couples do form and meet again on their own and yes, I’m sure professionals exchange cards ( we did with other writers) and solicit business or social  contacts, but that is a by-line not the purpose of the evenings. The evening is about the evening and meeting people. Jim believes in introducing people and to quote from his website: “If I had my way, I would introduce everyone in the whole world to each other.”

Jim may not have yet accomplished this, but he certainly has created the right atmosphere to make it happen. No matter why you find yourself in Paris, attending at least one evening with Jim will add to your memories of this fascinating city and the people it holds.004

If you want to know how to become part of these evenings, go to Jim’s website ( )and send him an email. He responds quickly. Don’t be surprised if you end up on the waiting list, he is almost always full. Just hope for good weather so you can come.

Weather permitting, we will attend again this Sunday along with four other friends in Paris for the week for a photography workshop.

Jan and Ed

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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1 Response to Behind the Green Gate

  1. Carla says:

    What a great story. Wow, inspiring guy! Never heard of the Sunday dinners, but whenever in Paris I will try to experience this. Beaucoup de plaisir pour vous!

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