We visited Hélène Darroze, the two Michelin-starred restaurant, at the Connaught for a Birthday celebration. The elegant Connaught Hotel in Mayfair is one of the most desirable addresses in London, set in a charming Victorian brick building which had a £70 million renovation in 2007. The beautiful shimmering water feature ‘silence’ in front of the main entrance has been designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando and is a joy to pass before you enter the hotel.
We were very excited to eat at Hélène Darroze, who has been named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2015 and who inspired the character Colette in the 2007 Disney movie ‘Ratatouille’.
The dining room, designed by India Mahdavi, was a successful mix of the traditional and contemporary with dark wood panels on the walls, colourful upholstered dining chairs, white linen and two of Damien Hirst’s butterfly ‘Kaleidoscope’ paintings.
We were served three different amuse bouche: Milk cheese croquette balls, Noir de Bigorre ham from the French Pyrenees which was served with a lovely crispy pastry roll filled with tomato consommé and duck consommé infused with coriander, spring onions, lemon grass, ginger and galangal which we especially enjoyed.
As a first course I ordered the “Bonito ‘Atxik’ – Saint-Jean de Luz – cucumber, fennel, yoghurt, bergamot” which was beautifully arranged with edible flowers on top.
Followed by a main course of “chicken- Lake District Farmers – Ulverston, pumpkin, cep, sage” which was nice and succulent.
To finish most of us ordered the “chocolate dessert – Jivara – with the components of hazelnut, vanilla & orange”.
A complimentary treat at the end was a display of macaroons topped with caramelised black and golden sesame seeds.
The Christmas tree in front of the Hotel was decorated by Damien Hirst with medical instruments to celebrate the things that give hope in the world today.
The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL +44 (0)20 7499 7070