Hélène Darroze’s name in the restaurant world is well-known, and 2 Michelin stars are generally recognized as criteria of excellence, but what is this London hotel in the Mayfair district, and what makes it a world class paradise? 

The hotel first opened its doors in 1815 under the name of The Coburg, but in 1917 it was decided that the name sounds too Germanic, and it was renamed after Queen Victoria’s seventh son’s title – Duke of Connaught. The building has acquired its current look after two major renovations – in 1897 and, more than one hundred years later, in 2007. The 70-million-renovation included a Japanese garden, SPA and the newest banquet hall in the centre of London, which was built in a pure 1930s Art Deco style.

A water sculpture titled “Silence”, created by a Japanese artist Tadao Ando, now compliments the front of the hotel. The hotel services have been favoured by many members of high society, including the French president Charles de Gaulle in 1940, when he chose the hotel as his residency. Already since 1965 The Connaught has been known as one of the best gourmet hotels in the world; in 1992 Queen Elizabeth ll and Charles, Prince of Wales took part in opening ceremony of the renovated kitchen; in 2002 the hotel received its first Michelin star, when Angela Harnett, a world class gourmet star of the time, opened her restaurant on the premises.

The hotel excels with more than just its restaurant – Ralph Lauren was inspired by the design of the main staircase of the hotel and had a replica made in his Madison Avenue salon in New York City; in 2008 the Time Out magazine of London awarded the main hotel bar as the best bar in London, but in 2012 the Academy of world bars awarded it as the World’s Best Hotel Bar. Since 2008 the hotel’s restaurant is ran by Hélène Darroze, the queen of the 21st century gourmet world.

Feb 3, 2016