Hélène Darroze at the Connaught

Caviar at the Connaught by Hélène Darroze

Back in 2008 (how can that be 7 years ago already?) the ever so clever chef Hélène Darroze waked into the kitchens at the Connaught and began to create a different kind of magic. In just three years she already had two Michelin stars under her belt and her delicious dishes are still being served up at the Connaught to its lucky guests and other London food lovers daily.

Last week I was invited to join a select gaggle of foodies at The Sommelier’s Table for a ‘Secret Supperclub’ at the Connaught for a seven course (SEVEN COURSE)  tasting menu, complete with blind matching wines.

Hélène Darroze

Hélène Darroze (picture from Fortnum and Mason)

Sommelier's Table at the Connaught with Hélène Darroze

I loved this amazing carafe. Is it even a carafe?

Sommelier Mirko Benzo selected each wine for us and we had to guess what we’d been drinking after each course. You may have already suspected that I was useless at this based on my previous wine tasting experience,  but I thoroughly enjoyed being terrible at it and learning some clever wine tasting tips along the way.

The Sommelier’s Table is hidden beneath the Connaught’s legendary kitchens where a collection of some 6,000 vintage wines are impeccably kept in a limestone-clad cellar… and it was from these wines that the sommelier made his selections for us.

The Connaught's wine cellar

The Connaught’s wine cellar

Vintage wines

Dusty vintage wines in the Connaught’s wine cellar…

Wine bottles

The Sommelier’s Table is right next to the limestone-clad wine cellar

The evening began with champagne and canapés… and as soon as I saw them, I knew we were about to experience something very special indeed…

 

 

 

 

 

Canapés at the Connaught - Hélène Darroze

Croquette canapés at the Connaught - Hélène Darroze

Croquette canapés

The meal was utterly exquisite. Hélène Darroze’s French heritage is at the forefront of her cooking, but nods to Asian and Spanish cuisine also shined through her sensational food…

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught's Sommelier table

 

Silver napkin ring

Hélène Darroze - Caviar - crab, radish, Hass avocado

Caviar – crab, radish, Hass avocado

Hélène Darroze - Foie Gras

Foie Gras, wild strawberry, rhubarb, lemon verbena

Hélène Darroze - Coco bean - eel, shimeji

Coco bean – eel, shimeji

Hélène Darroze - Lobster, asparagus, botargo, seaweed

Lobster, asparagus, botargo, seaweed

Lobster at the Connaught

Hélène Darroze - Sweetbread, asparagus, morel, vin jaune

Sweetbread, asparagus, morel, vin jaune

You can imagine that we were all feeling rather full at this stage… and heady on the delicious wine. I was certainly developing rather a large and lovely collection of glasses…

Glasses of wine

 

And then, it was time for dessert…

Baba Armagnac, with strawberry and banana

Baba Armagnac, with strawberry and banana

Armagnac poured onto cake

And then Hélène Darroze’s own armagnac was poured, generously, all over it… heaven.

Darroze Armagnac

Hélène’s family made Armagnac

And then THIS happened…

Chocolate - ginger, Bourbon vanilla

Chocolate – ginger, Bourbon vanilla

…followed by a tier of mini chop buns and macarons. I had to engage my second stomach for this. (I have several.)

Choux buns and macarons

A very sparkly macaron

A very sparkly macaron

The whole meal was utterly exquisite, and even though I am not a culinary connoisseur, I know fantastically special food when I see it. And eat it.

And dream about it…

Still.

Poppy Loves - a London Lifestyle Blog

 

 

p.s. Hélène Darroze is hosting another supper club at Fortnum & Mason on the 30th April. Tickets are £45 per person and if you want to book, call 020 7734 8040 or head over here.

 

The Connaught
Carlos Place,
Mayfair,
London, W1K 2AL


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7 thoughts on “Hélène Darroze at the Connaught

  1. Wow! What an incredible evening to go to! The food is so stunning and I bet was absolutely delicious, just looking into her Fortnum’s date now to see if I can get tickets :)

    Rosie xx

  2. This looks like such an amazing experience. The food looks utterly divine!!! I love the Connaught but had no idea about their wine cellar. Thanks for sharing! :) Andrea xxx

  3. Hi! I’m a portuguese culinary arts student and currently working on a paper about Hélène Darroze. And I’m veeeeery excited to read this post since it’s about the correlation between food and wine! Could you please tell me the wines you tasted (even if you just remember one or two) with each course? :) I’m finding particularly dificult to match these dishes since they seem so light, complex, and delicate at the same time. Thanks for your thyme (sorry, bad joke ahah). Cheers :)

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