On Thursday night, we went to Helene Darroze at the Connaught for her signature menu. Tasting menu, in fact. And it was fabulous, and fabulously expensive and actually verging on vulgar if you think too much about the recession. So I will skip over the vulgar part and tell you what £465.00 gets you of a Thursday night at a posh hotel in London town.
Note: I took no photos. Eejit.
Complimentary framboise virgin aperitifs
Connaught Collins (gin, lime, cherry)
3 bottles Badiot sparkling water
1 bottle wine (didn’t see what it was as PREGNANT, remember, and don’t want cone-headed infant)
4 x ham and cheese croquettes
4 x parmesan and tomato pipettes
4 x freshly sliced parma ham in a pink salty fruity bundle
4 x gazpacho topped with a basil foam
(here is where I parted company from the rest – it was a fishy kind of menu and as fish and seafood FREAK ME OUT I got lots of substitutes) so I had:
an aubergine and anchovy wanton with spanish cheese and relish in a gazpacho bath
baby mushrooms, turnips and celeriac served with a yoghurty herby sauce
foie gras with french country bread and rhubarb relish (The best – the star. In theory, ’tis bad, but in practice, ’tis GOOD)
lamb with spicy crust with haricot beans and bean puree
pigeon with peas and pea puree. (This was a bit frightening and so I gave it to Mark. The pigeon breast was pinkly bloody and fleshy and felt a bit wrong)
panna cotta with biscuit crumbs and jelly and strawberry sorbet
chocolate sponge, chocolate icecream and frozen milk chocolate with a fizzy spun sugar top
petit fours – chocolate and basil ganache on wafer, pistachio tart with apricot top and lime leaf, red pepper turkish delight, and frozen berry ice with banana and blackberry on a cassis wafer
a take home french regional cake in a Connaught box
To be included in the price must be:
attentive waiters who bring out each dish on a platter covered in a porcelain lid with the help of an assistant and who then describe each dish and who keep pouring wine/water and who silently point you to the loos in elegant manner;
toilet lady who turns both taps on for you so to get a nice tepid flow, and then who hands you a hand towel in discreet and non-eye-contact kind of way;
plush armchairs to sit in, that envelop you and suggest sleep and comfort and wealth; and
crockery and cutlery that is beautiful, and stylish and covetable.
What we could have blown the money on:
Stella McCartney boxy jacket from the Matches sale
What we maybe should have blown the money on:
This is how we normally eat. My cooking. Less glamorous, but cheaper.