Hélène Darroze at the Connaught: finally reconciled with this mediatized chef

As part of a surprise to celebrate a family event, I decided to make a last-minute reservation at Hélène Darroze’s London address.

The concept

At the Connaught, Helene Darroze deploys all her culinary talent, and offers a menu which reflects her personality. It’s not for nothing that she has just been awarded a third Michelin star in 2021.

It wasn’t a foregone conclusion, however, as our last experience with the Top Chef juror had not been a glowing one. We had in fact visited chef Joia’s bistronomic concept shortly after the property opened. And then, big disappointment: almost 120€ for a make-your-own guacamole and an undercooked rib of beef, without wine, was excessive.

But then, only fools change their minds, so here we go with this culinary experience!

The setting

The setting of the Connaught Hotel is magnificent, and the decor chosen by Helene Darroze for her restaurant combines the myth of the place with modernity and a feminine touch.

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And as we’re the first guests to arrive for lunch, we’re given an excellent, spacious table facing the window.

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The menu

The menu is quite simple, with an a la carte menu and a Taste of Summer tasting menu, which we’ll choose…

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If we’re here to test it, we might as well go all the way!

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The meal and the dishes

The dinner gets off to a flying start. But more than long speeches, a few photos with comments :

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I think we gobbled up quite a few loaves!

Mignardises and aperitif

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LP Cuvee Alexandra 2004

Refreshing cucumber bite: not to my taste, but very refreshing.

Tomato tapioca amuse bouche: fresh and crispy

Pan con tomate en empanada: would be better hot

Apricot and bonito tart: a very good, fresh combination

Espelette pepper butter and Oxfordshire butter

Meal

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The traditional and espelette pepper butters were perfect.

Crab: exceptional presentation but disgusting because there are too many of them.

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Superb trout, very fresh

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Landes foie gras, sliced peaches: succulent, just the right amount

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Filet of john dory fish with anchovy sauce: very good but artichokes a little bitter

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Lamb fillet with haggis: a killer!

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Donut stuffed with orange blossom and blueberries: too little for such good taste

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Apricot: perfectly balanced, not very sweet. A delight

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Chocolate a little nauseating

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Baba with Armagnac: perfect and very hearty

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Mignardises

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The service

The service was just perfect, polished but warm at the same time. For this special occasion, we were lucky enough to visit the restaurant’s kitchens, which are very well organized and don’t have an old-fashioned screaming chef!

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Note that a chef’s table is available.

The atmosphere

The atmosphere is hushed, as you’d expect from a place like this!

Bottom line

An excellent experience. Special mention for the Front of the House, who did an extraordinary job of welcoming us and even sent a thank-you email after our lunch.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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