There are many places for brunch in London, but if you ask me noone does it quite as fabulously as Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. Hubby Dearest's birthday yesterday was the perfect excuse for us to return here, Little Monsieur and his books and colouring kit in tow of course. If you associate Mayfair Michelin-starred dining with stuffy and not child friendly, this is the place to change your mind forever. Our brunch couldn't have been more relaxing, delicious, sophisticated, all at the same time...
The setting is a beautiful Edwardian room with dark wood paneling and sumptuous table settings, complete with Baccarat water tumblers; yes, the first thought that went through my mind was: "Let's hope Little Monsieur doesn't drop his glass!!", but then the super plush carpet looked like it was cushion-y enough to withstand a glass being dropped, even though thankfully Little Monsieur sat through the whole proceedings without dropping a thing, surprisingly.
We were served champagne (for Hubby Dearest), a Mimosa (for me) and apple juice (for Little Monsieur) as we contemplated the options for the main course: I opted for a waistline-friendly (read, one which would allow me to have dessert, he he) crab salad and Hubby Dearest chose the Connaught hotdog, which turned out to be a far more elegant affair than the name indicates... Little Monsieur had a slightly different, more toddler-friendly menu to select from, and he asked for fish fingers.
Choosing our mains was the toughest part of the whole experience. Once that was out of the way, we went up to the starters buffet, three tables laden with the most appetizing salads, cold meats, and delicious smoked salmon. The only thing missing for me were scrambled eggs, I would have loved a little spoonful with my starter; there are eggs on the mains, though. The foie gras rillettes were out of this world, and the salads were so fresh it seemed as if the ingredients were coming straight from the farm to our table.
Little Monsieur got a little bored around the end of his starter, so we pulled out his new Alphabet book to keep him entertained, and as soon as we got to E the main dishes arrived. Small enough to leave a little space for dessert, but perfectly sized for us to sample the incredible taste. Everything at Hélène Darroze seems to have been prepared with the most incredible ingredients. My crab salad was, quite simply, the best I've ever tasted.
After that, it's off to the dessert buffet. Thankfully this was all about yummy brunch-friendly sweets like cookies, cupcakes, and brioches, and no overload of patisseries. I asked for a waffle with a healthy-ish topping of fruit salad (yes, I'm deluding myself, but it's the week-end, and it's just too sad to diet at the week-end), and it was the perfect end to a perfect meal.
Of course we were lucky in that Little Monsieur was not in one of his tantrum-throwing moods for the occasion, in fact he was incredibly soft-spoken and well-mannered. Nevertheless, we were treated to the most high quality service, with a care and perfection that are difficult to find in the lesser establishments. We will be coming back, that's for sure.
Brunch by Hélène Darroze at The Connaught costs £55 per adult, £39 per child, plus drinks and service. All well worth it, if yesterday's experience is anything to go by.
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
0 207 499 7070