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If you’ve ever wanted a taste of what the Belle Époque was like, look no further than Maxim’s on rue Royale in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.

Known for its Art Nouveau decor, the restaurant was opened by a former waiter, Maxime Gaillard in 1893. It became a hotspot for celebrities and one of the most popular restaurants in the world. In fact, you might recognize it from the film, Midnight in Paris!

Photo courtesy of Ricardalovesmonuments / CC BY-SA

It is said that the second owner who took over in 1898, Eugène Cornuché, had a secret to attracting elite guests: he would always have a beautiful woman sitting in the window viewable from the sidewalk by passersby. Cornuché is also responsible for the Art Nouveau style of the restaurant with the facade designed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle.

Over the years, diners have included Greta Garbo, Marlène Dietrich, Aristotle Onassis, the Windsors, Barbara Streisand, and more recently Lady Gaga to name but a few. Once, Brigitte Bardot entered the restaurant barefoot and caused quite a stir!

Today the charming historical landmark is a must-see. Here is a link to the menu of this symbol of French gastronomy. Next time I’m in town, I’ll be signing up for the tour of the 1900 Collection (the Art Nouveau Collection). Here you can see current owner, Pierre Cardin’s collection of Art Nouveau furniture, fashion, and trinkets.

Maxim’s has expanded into a lifestyle brand with its own haute couture line, a ready-to-wear line for men, perfume, luggage, and kitchenware. Click here to see more… 

As you might have guessed, Maxim’s is currently closed due to COVID-19. Be sure to make a reservation and visit once they are able to open their doors again.

3, rue Royale, 75008 Paris

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