Restaurant Le Coupe-Chou
Restaurant Le Coupe-Chou - Société La Chartière - 9 & 11, rue de Lanneau 75005 Paris

Anecdote : The Queen of Denmark, the King of Sweden and our flags.

Anecdote : The Queen of Denmark, the King of Sweden and our flags.
In the mid-1960s, the Coupe-Chou had already developed a notable reputation, with the likes of Pierre Brasseur, Brigitte Bardot, and Louis de Funès often coming here to dine under the establishment's 16th century exposed beams.

However, other surprises lay in store for the restaurant's three managers. One day the telephone rang (always a good sign for a restaurant!). It was the Danish Embassy, who asked us to reserve our best table for a prestigious guest: Princess Margrethe, heiress to the Danish throne. A table for two was required, as she was coming here for an intimate meal to celebrate her engagement to Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, a Frenchman and future Prince Consort. The couple later married on June 10, 1967.

To welcome a Princess Royal at the Coupe-Chou was a glorious moment in the history of the restaurant, and as everyone knows, glory (just like luck) comes to those who deserve it! So the three managers decided to put on a big spread. And when you're looking to put on a big spread, you pull out all the stops!

They began by purchasing flowers and shrubs which were tastefully displayed on the tables, in the corridors and along the facade of the restaurant. The overall effect was certainly charming, but the managers were keen to add a little personal touch too. So they decorated all of the windows in the building, from the first-floor to the top floor, with the Danish flag. The restaurant was literally covered with flags. I'm not sure if it can be described as discrete, but it certainly didn't go unnoticed!

Next, they started planning the ultimate finishing touch. There was no point in doing things by halves, and so while they were at it the three managers also decided to lay on the red carpet treatment for their illustrious guests. But when I mention the "red carpet treatment", I'm speaking literally, as they rolled out a beautiful red carpet running from the Coupe-Chou down to the bottom of the street, running for a length of 15 m. All unbelievable but true.

If the Princess was keen to enjoy an intimate meal, she certainly succeeded.

Anecdote : The Queen of Denmark, the King of Sweden and our flags.
That evening, a Rolls-Royce pulled up in front of the carpet and the couple got out. The Princess was, it seems, fairly touched by this rather excessive tribute by the restaurant's three young managers. She walked majestically up the red carpet, and broke into a smile when she saw the flags of her country, before dining with her fiancé. And then she left, just as she had entered, walking once again down the red carpet, giving the distinct impression that all of the world's restaurants automatically rolled out a red carpet to welcome her. That's nobility for you.

The evening was certainly a memorable one and also had its repercussions. The newspapers reported the event, which became the talk of Paris itself. To such an extent in fact that 15 days later the Swedish embassy also phoned the Coupe-Chou. They explained that an "important" person would be coming to celebrate a birthday. Once again the restaurant became a whirlwind of pandemonium and excitement. News of Margrethe's dinner had reached King Gustav VI of Sweden. It was vital not to disappoint him and so once again new bouquets of flowers, new shrubs and new flags were ordered! And believe me, finding those Swedish flags was no easy matter! Once again, the red carpet was rolled out.

As evening fell, the three young managers were naturally on the lookout for their famous guest when a 2 CV pulled up in front of the carpet, and two women dressed in modest grey suits stepped out. When they saw the fabulous decor awaiting them, they started to cry.

"Oh, thank you so much! It's really too much!"

It was the secretary from the Swedish embassy, and she had come along to celebrate her birthday with her sister. She spent the whole evening thanking everyone and crying. As you can imagine, no one dared tell her the truth. What's certain, is that the secretary from the Swedish embassy enjoyed a magical evening here. Every year she sent the Coupe-Chou her best wishes for the New Year, and each year it seemed that the New Years card cried a little too, in memory of that very special birthday evening.

I don't know if Margrethe of Denmark remembers our restaurant, but I'm sure that the secretary from the Swedish embassy hasn't forgotten us.