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July 22, 2008updated Feb 08, 2013

The Connaught Hotel Unveils Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

London, England – The Connaught Hotel and internationally acclaimed Chef Hélène Darroze are delighted to announce the opening of the celebrated chef’s eponymous restaurant ‘Hélène Darroze at The Connaught.’ Hélène Darroze at The Connaught reinforces the Mayfair landmark’s remarkable 110 year legacy of discreet elegance, bespoke service and fine dining. The Connaught has recently emerged following an historic 8_month, $140 million restoration. The detailed restoration work included a magnificent redesign of the guest rooms, suites and interiors, and brought together some of the world’s finest designers and craftsmen. The legendary hotel has been brought into the 21st century while preserving with great care its authentic elegance, distinctive personality and intuitive style of service.

Hailed as one of France’s most distinguished chefs, two_Michelin starred Hélène Darroze is also the owner of the widely praised Hélène Darroze restaurant on the Parisian Left Bank. For her restaurant at The Connaught, she has chosen a menu that reflects her signature style of cuisine. This includes a combination of traditional produce from her native Landes in South West France, coupled with some of the finest ingredients from the British Isles. In addition to signature dishes including Gillardeau oyster tartare with caviar d’Aquitaine jelly and Le Poulet Jaune de Chez Monsieur Duplantier, guests will discover le sole de Douvres, a traditional British dish, and with a nod to the local butchers on Carlos Place, guests will enjoy le boeuf Aberdeen Angus de chez Allen’s of Mayfair .

Reflective of Hélène Darroze’s passion for the finest, simplest ingredients, guests will be greeted on arrival in the restaurant by artfully displayed freshly made breads, selected cheeses by master fromagerie Bernard Anthony, pots of wild herbs and reels of freshly churned butter. Guests will also delight in the trolley with an antique fire_engine red Berkel meat slicer where the Jambon noir from Bigorre in Gascony is served straight off the bone.

Commenting on her opening at The Connaught, Hélène Darroze said ‘I shall be cooking in the same way that I do in Paris. I live by the philosophy that the star is not the chef, but the produce that I use, and you must treat it respectfully. I will then cook it from my heart, and put my emotions into every dish’.

The wine list, overseen by Head Sommelier Matthew Gaignon, will include some of the finest wines in the world, with a large focus on France, particularly the South West. While aiming to present one of the most distinctive lists in London, the wine list also includes a variety of Vin de Table with wines starting from £28 per bottle. The Armagnac Trolley, a signature feature from Hélène Darroze’s restaurant in Paris, can also be found at The Connaught with over 44 vintages from 1904_1994, which have all been created by her brother Marc Darroze.

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught is designed by Parisian based designer and architect India Mahdavi, who also designed the award_ winning Coburg Bar at the hotel. In the restaurant, Mahdavi has imagined a décor that simultaneously pays homage to the English heritage of the space – originated in 1897 _ while weaving in a bold and playful display of colors and geometry. The warm and intimate space is at once exclusive and welcoming. Mahdavi has chosen neutral tones – crème mustard and lavender to establish a softness to the contrasting original Mahogany wall panelling, while a central chandelier gives a soft illumination to the room.

Great attention has been paid to sourcing the individual table settings, from the frosted lines of the Baccarat water tumblers, to the platinum gilded Ord’azur Bernadaud presentation plates, to the vibrant Hermes coffee cups and saucers. And with a nod to her new British location, Hélène Darroze has worked directly with Traditional Arts – the school set up by the Prince of Wales to nurture and preserve some of the finest craftsmanship in the country _ to create stunning and delicate silver cutlery to add a touch of surprise and drama to the desert presentation.

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Menus have been created in a simple format with a regularly changing Daily Set lunch at £39 per guest, a seven course Tasting menu at £95 per guest and the a la Carte for both lunch and dinner at £75 per guest. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday and is under the supervision of Restaurant Manager Dominique Corolleur. To make a reservation at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, please call +44 (0)20 3147 7200 or visit www.the_connaught.co.uk for more information.

About Hélène Darroze A 4th generation descendent of a long line of chefs, Hélène Darroze began her official culinary career in 1990 when she worked as right hand woman to internationally acclaimed Chef Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo. She then went on to run her family’s Villeneuve_de_Marsan restaurant before opening her own establishment ‘Hélène Darroze‘ in Paris in 1999. In 2001 she won her first Michelin star, achieving her second in 2003.

About Maybourne Hotel Group Maybourne Hotel Group whose headquarters is in Mayfair, London, owns and manages, Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley three of the world’s most renowned hotels. Maybourne hotels are committed to delivering authentic and unique guest experiences that reflect the individual nature of its hotels, its guests and its staff whilst maintaining a timeless elegance and intuitive service style that are the hallmarks of its properties. Voted one of the Top 100 Great Places to Work in Europe 2007 – Financial Times

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