le candide logo Secret Army logo

Le Candide and the Grand Place

The building used as Le Candide, the centre of Lifeline's operations in the second and third series, is located in Brussels' breathtaking Grand Place and is numbered building 28. It is also known as La Chambrette de l'Amman (little Amman's bedroom) but was originally called 'the Gold Merchant's house'. The coat of arms which adorns the front of the building is that of the Duchy of Brabant.

Today the building houses Maxim's Bar and Restaurant (now open again after a period of closure) and is one of a chain of eighteen exclusive establishments owned by Pierre Cardin. As the Grand Place is in the heart of Brussels tourist district Maxim's is not cheap, but the food and service is very good indeed (sea bass is a particular speciality). Thankfully you can follow in Kessler and Madeleine's footsteps and order a calvados, but it is the most expensive drink on the menu (12 Euros a glass!). The decor inside is in the Art Nouveau style and of course bears no relation to the studio set used in the series which was twice as wide for a start. Nevertheless as the restaurant looks out onto the Grand Place and waiters regularly nip out to the back room and to answer the side door there are still some evocative echoes of the series. The back and front studded doors are the same as those used in the series (exact replicas were made for the studio filming), although there are a new set of glass panelled front doors in front of the original pair.  If the weather is warm enough you may prefer to sit at a table in front of the building (as seen in the first episode of Kessler).

Looking across the Grand Place from No. 28, opposite is the architecturally magnificent Hotel de Ville (Town Hall). On the left facade of the square are the residences of the Dukes of Brabant. The Maison du Roi which houses the Brussels City Museum is to the right of No. 28, while on the left (No. 26-27) are the houses known as Le Pigeon, at one time the home of Victor Hugo during his exile in Brussels.

More photos of the Candide and the Grand Place

Screenshots (click to see the full image)