Every Sunday evening, a man called Jim Hayne's invites up to 80 people to his home in Alésia, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, around for dinner.
After an afternoon picnicing on the Buttes Chaumont, a beautiful hilltop park in the north of Paris with views onto the city (and rather cheap mojitos!) we headed onto Jim's.
A very French picnic
Following Jim's instructions to his atelier, we found ourselves in a beautiful garden deep in the southern arrondissements of Paris.
We didn't go with this guy, but he just so happened to be wandering up the path to Jim's at the same time as us.
We gave Jim our names and handed over our contribution for the evening. He suggests €30, but living the life of an intern meant we gave a little less...
We grabbed a drink, avoiding the grape juice as Lucy poured herself a glass only to find mould swimming around in it.
Every week, Jim invites a different chef to come and prepare a meal.
The food was surprisingly good for something that had been cooked for 70 or so people in his tiny atelier kitchen.
Whilst some sat inside and made new friends, we sat in the garden and chatted to a group of American girls.
Dessert was served (it tasted MUCH better than it looks!) and I had a little time to think about the evening.
Jim says on his website that "I make a point to remember everyone's name on the guest list and where they're from and what they do, so I can introduce them to each other, effortlessly. If I had my way, I would introduce everyone in the whole world to each other."
However, I personally felt that Jim spent the whole evening sat on his stool in the middle of the kitchen silently watching over everybody chatting.
Whilst I appreciated the fact that he takes a whole evening every week out of his time to have people around for dinner, it seemed that he had had just about enough and was simply sitting there and not making much effort with his guests.
To be honest, if you had a large number of people in your kitchen every week without fail for the past 30 years or so, I think you'd feel the same, but I was a bit disappointed considering how interesting he seems on his website.
I had a lovely evening though and left with a full tummy and new friends.
A la prochaine,