Looking out over the fountains of Carlos Place, Espelette wraps around The Connaught as a bright conservatory lined with Portland stone & subtle yellows. A casual alternative to Hélène Darroze’s Michelin-garlanded flagship, this is no second-rate compromise; just expect less fuss & a simpler style. Salmon might be poached & offered with sides of exceptional skinny fries or Provençal tomatoes beneath crisp breadcrumbs, while luxurious Landes foie gras crops up in a plain combo with penne & wild mushrooms. Hélène’s influence also shows in the Bayonne ham carved tableside & in the delicate complexities of desserts such as New York cheesecake lavished in lime & white chocolate cream dotted with candied fennel & celery. Prices are some of Mayfair’s most punishing, although those on a budget can bask in the hotel’s distinguished luxe with a £41 afternoon tea.
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