King Edward VII (England) and many his mistresses, dined here, at the Red Table, still reserved for him. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were habitués. Noted fashion designer Pierre Cardin purchased the entire building in the 1960’s, renovated Chez Maxim’s, and housed his amazing art nouveau collection over three floors upstairs.
1893 The legend of Maxim’s begins in 1893 when Maxime Gaillard, formerly a waiter, opens a small bistro at 3 rue Royale.
In 1898, he leaves the place to Eugène Cornuché.
Art Nouveau, which inspires true passion, gives Cornuché an idea to decorate the Maxim’s restaurant by using great artists from the Nancy School. In less than two years, they transform the restaurant into an Art Nouveau temple.
In the heart of Paris, between Place de la Concorde and the Madeleine, stands rue Royale. The façade of Maxim’s, a symbol of Art Nouveau, was completed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle.
The elegant interiors are inspired by fauna, flora and feminine charm, flowing gracefully with undulation. Seemingly, one can find red poppies, lilies, irises, chestnut leaves, dragonflies, butterflies, insects and birds throughout the restaurant. Art Nouveau banishes all angles and straight lines in favor of curvy, sensual and round shapes that wrap and entangle it. Great artists such as Gallé, Guimard, Marjorelle, Tiffany and Macintosh were the leaders of this artistic movement.
His secret weapon was the women. He often said, ‘an empty room……..never! I always have a beauty sitting by the window, in view from the sidewalk.’ Therefore, Cornuché received Maxim’s elite French gallantry and a legend was created.
The cuisine is Belle Époque French: refined, esoteric and rich. The Foies gras with figs is something magical.
Maxim’s chicken with truffle and Joël Robuchon’s best mashed potatoes in the world.
And Pavlova dessert is an absolute must try. Named after the famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, as the story goes, the chef created the billowy dessert in her honour, claiming inspiration from her tutu.