The Connaught…
love at first sight in Mayfair

In 2008....London caught my eye. The legendary Connaught Hotel, located in the prestigious Mayfair district, was looking for a French chef to take a lead in championing French cuisine a position previously held by chef Bourdin.
It was love at first sight with the Connaught from the moment I stepped through the doors of the 5 star hotel which combines a stylised, modern and contemporary vision linking the present with tradition and the authenticity of timeless luxury.
I am rising to the challenge of taking responsibility for the kitchens in this mythical hotel where I am now responsible for the fine-dining restaurant Hélène Darroze at the Connaught.
 I am embarking on a new adventure: to introduce my food to londoners diners and introduce them to my style of hospitality. And a real challenge: dividing my time between Paris and London where each week I meet with my respective teams.

On 14th July 2008, "Hélène Darroze at the Connaught" opened its doors sparking a revolution with a feminine touch with London's culinary landscape as a backdrop. Fine dining, elegance and authentic service are the key words here.
Surrounded by wooden panelling decorated by two exclusive works by Damien Hirst "Shangri-la" and "Xanadu", India Madhavi the restaurant's designer, combines lilac, purple and gold tones to create a space where time becomes timeless. I am inspired by the best French artisans of 'l'art de la table' to create a unique and refined table: Mikado glasses from Baccarat, Ord'Azur platinum encrusted porcelain plates from Bernardaud, 'Balcon du Guadalquivir' tea and coffee sets from Hermès. Only the dessert settings, unique heavy silver pieces, are made by English Traditional Art artisans.
In this London temple of French gastronomy, awarded 2 Michelin stars two years after opening, there is only elegance, refinement and femininity.

In the Connaught wine cellars,
the Sommelier's Table...

The Connaught's wine cellar, housing some 6,000 bottles, provides me with a unique opportunity to approach fine dining from a different angle, exclusive and personal.
This hidden treasure beneath the Connaught’s legendary kitchens, with its floor to ceiling limestone from Provence, is where the sommelier team keeps exceptional bottles of wine like a 1959 Château Latour or a 1964 Pétrus and is the setting for the Sommelier's Table. This private room can accommodate 8 covers at a round table set against a backdrop of oak panelling lined with fine art.
For wine aficionados, this is an innovative and unique experience. With the guidance of Nicolas Pierron, head sommelier who creates the different wine menus at the Connaught, the host of the Sommelier's table will select champagnes, wines or spirits. After selecting the drinks and receiving tasting advice from the sommelier, I then create an exclusive tailored menu, which will enhance the olfactory and tasting qualities of the wine, and sometimes provide a subtle challenge.
During this experience, the wines selected by the Head Sommelier will be served in crystal glasses from an exclusive Château Baccarat collection and the dishes are personally served by Hélène Darroze or her chef, affording real interaction between the guests, wine expert and chef. The Sommelier's Table experience is unique, and may be crowned by the tasting of a rare vintage from the Darroze Bas-Armagnacs collection. Guests will be presented with their own hand-written souvenir menu during dessert.
Prices
The Sommelier`s Table can be reserved Tuesday to Saturday for either lunch or dinner. The cost of the experience is £1200 inclusive of room reservation and chef`s tasting menu for a maximum of 8 people, the chef creates the menu to according to the number of guests in the party. The wines are an additional cost, starting at £40 a bottle.

Destination London The Connaught Official website >

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