Restaurant Maxim, London
In a London street, not known for its smartness, shone Restaurant Maxim, a beacon of culinary delight, providing dinners, suppers and dancing all for half a crown in 1914.
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Cafe des Ambassadeurs
The Café des Ambassadeurs was one of most fashionable and best-known summer venues in Paris situated on the Avenue Gabriel at the entrance to the Champs-Elysées near the Place de la Concorde. Named after the nearby Hotel Crillon that had become the residence of foreign ambassadors, it was founded in 1764 as a simple open air bar, a small pavilion was added in 1772 and it evolved into one of the most famous of the Parisian café concerts.
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The Lido des Champs Elysees
Clearly inspired by the growing status of the Lido in Venice as a fashionable haunt of high society,the Lido des Champs Elysees, Paris, opened its doors on 18th February 1928 and was a novelty being a unique combination of a swimming pool, cabaret and restaurant and was described as ‘the seaside resort of Paris.’
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Cafe de Paris, London
The Cafe de Paris was one of the most fashionable dining haunts in London in 1920s. Intimate and elegant it was described by Vogue magazine as ‘delightfully comfortable’ and by Dancing Times as ‘the smartest dance restaurant in London…’
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Excelsior Hotel, Lido
The Excelsior Hotel Lido has always been the focal point of social life on the Venice Lido and is one of the most luxurious and famous hotels in the world. It was made famous during the mid 1920s when it became one of the most fashionable spots in Europe with its very own cabaret called Chez Vous.
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The Kit Cat Club
The fashionable Kit Cat Club in the Haymarket, which to many people today still epitomises the gay carefree days of the 1920s, was opened in the summer of 1925 and immediately became one of the most famous nocturnal haunts in London. Decked out with the last word in restaurant and dance floor equipment it was regarded as the most sumptuous resort in Europe and was the only club in London that had been built expressly for the purpose of a club.
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The Frolics in Paris
An interesting venue that glittered brilliantly for a few years in the early 1920s and then promptly disappeared was regarded at the time as the rendezvous of smart international society in Paris.
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Hotel Cecil, London
The Hotel Cecil was one of the largest and grandest hotels in the world when it opened in 1886 situated between the Embankment and the Strand and not far from the Savoy Hotel. It was one of the most popular places to visit in London with excellent cuisine, perfect ambiance, luxurious surroundings and one of the best dancing salons in the West end.
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The London Casino
The Prince Edward Theatre on Old Compton Street, named after Edward Prince of Wales, opened on the 3rd April 1930 on the site of a drapers business called The Emporium. The area was soon to be known as London’s Quarter Latin now simply Soho and the venue later became The London Casino. The exterior was in the style of an Italian Palace, and the foyer pure art deco. The auditorium was on two levels (stalls and dress circle) and seated 1,650. From its inception the shows staged (Rio Rita, Nippy, Fanfare) did not do well and even an appearance of the famous Parisian music hall star Josephine Baker failed to click. After the pantomime Aladdin the theatre was forced to close in January 1935.
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The French Casino
In December 1934, the refurbished Earl Carroll Theatre located on the south-east corner of 7th Ave and 50th Street, New York City, opened as the French Casino. This glittering supper club was described by Fortune magazine as ‘a vast scarlet and silver restaurant which, in terraced rows of tables, seats fifteen hundred people without any crowding.’ For a short three year period it became the unrivalled premier nightspot in New York.
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