Sunday, 4 March 2012

Dinner at the Connaught

The Connaught would never be a place that I would think to go to with a group of girl friends, and yet it is top of the list for most chaps.  May be the destinations in London divide themselves between male/female appeal.
The first places that I would think of for a special tea/drink/ meal would be; Claridges, the Berkeley, The Dorchester, the Ritz, the Hempel and newly added to the list the Langham Hilton.
For men the list might be more like; the Wolsey, the Connaught, the Savoy, the Lanesborough and newly added 45 Park Lane.
The hunter regularly brings fantastic goodies to the home table, but I did suggest that sometimes it is nice to go out, and perhaps this could be a date, something that neither of us have experienced for nearly 20 years.
He had carte blanche and chose the Helen Darroze at the Connaught, my only knowledge of her is that the female chef in Disney's Ratatouille is based on her.
Unusually, I spent some time getting ready and tried on a number of outfits, to find something appropriate to wear.  As this was a 'date' my wardrobe choice was very different to the uniform of black trousers and sparkly top that I would normally throw on without a thought.
In the end I decided on a Gucci dress that I have never worn and have owned for around 10 years.  The purchase was a little strange.
I was in Kensington, it was just before Christmas, fairly early in the morning.  The bank, had closed down and looked like it had been occupied by a jumble sale, there were no lights and it was freezing.  The bank was full of bundles of clothes and a couple of people rummaging through them.  Always keen on a rummage, I went in to join in, as soon as I opened one of the bags, I picked up the most amazing chainmail and silk Gucci dress, which I knew had sold for over £2000.  It was too small for me, but in brown, my favourite colour and unlike any thing that I had ever seen 'in real life'.  'How much is it?' I asked, and a guy in a huge anorak said, 'How much do you have on you?' At that moment the police arrived with the Bailiffs to evict 'the shop', I stood out on the pavement looking at the dress that draped fluidly in my arms, I have £60 in cash I said. 'I'm not taking cards today' he said and took the cash, and so the dress was mine. A date at the Connaught seemed the perfect destination to christen it.

I was in desperate need of a bit of colour and used my friend's new fake tan, I was already dressed with shoes on, you can see how dark it goes when you look at my feet (which I missed completely!)

The Connaught did not disappoint, it is a very beautiful hotel with an art deco meets modern gentleman's club interior.
The bar was bustling and the champagne served in etched crystal saucers
The restaurant was very warm, so the dress was ideal, I felt sorry for the men, it was way too hot for suits.

The choice of food was vast, there was a standard menu at £80 for a choice of 3 courses (there were amuse bouches between every course, and I lost count of the sweet offerings at the end so it was more like 7 courses).  There were two tasting menus, one of 6 courses and one of 9, again, these all came with amuse bouches and then there was a truffle menu which was about 6 courses and was the most expensive priced at £145.
I had scallops, followed by veal and chocolate ganache from the 'standard menu', although the food is anything but standard.
The chocolate ganache was delicious and came with its own side dish...

Bursting at the seams of my chainmail, we jumped in a taxi after and evening of magical indulgence.


  1. What a great story about the dress! I loved the line " bursting at the seams of my my chain mail " It's been a while since we've been out any anywhere that merited dressing up, hopefully when we go away, we'll have "date' night.

    I'm a Wolseley and Claridge's fan, I really liked the colour scheme of the bar in the Connaught but dark wood panelling gives me the heebie jeebies - all the houses round here have it and I always find it heavy and depressing.

  2. I agree about the dark wood, and yet it is found in most of the gentleman's clubs, they must find it comforting, I find it claustrophobic! I have been to the Wolseley once, and didn't have a great experience, they gave the impression that we were lucky to have a table and they wanted it back before we sat down. I think I have blanked it from my mind which is why I can't spell it! If you are ever looking for brunch, we discovered Cecconi's (after another let down from the Wolseley) and it was fantastic and much cheaper!

  3. Oh I've never been to Cecconi's but I've read about it, yep on my list, hopefully we'll be down for the Freud exhibition.

  4. The Connaught looks like a great place, and nice dress by the way!

    1. The bar is very Poirot, I was expecting some sort of crime to occur! I have to confess that I wore a cardigan too so it wasn't quite as va va vroom as the pics!

  5. Wow what a bargain that dress was! You look incredible in it. Your meal sound Devine. My favourite food too.

    X x

    1. Yes I was in Topshop over the weekend, I think I am completely out of touch with how much things really cost (blame it on ebay!) I was shocked that a pair of shorts were 60 quid, since when did Topshop become Harvey Nichols?!

  6. Wow what a great dress and what a great price! The fashion gods were looking down on you that day for sure, its gorgeous, as is your figure! Try Fake Bake next time lol xx

  7. You are making me blush, the product is good, it is my application that is lacking, looked like I had accessorised with white bobby socks!


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