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Buffets, burgers & waffles - test driving Helene Darroze's brunch menu at the Connaught

The burger at the ConnaughtWe freely admit to being about as barking mad about burgers as most London foodies. So when we heard that the signature dish at the weekend brunch two-Michelin-starred chef Helene Darroze was serving up at the Connaught was an ox cheek burger with foie gras, we knew it fell upon us to go and try it out for you. Selfless and greedy – that’s us.

The Connaught’s a lovely hotel to go to at the best of times (its bar recently came second in the World’s 50 Best Bars list) and the dining room is particularly nice for lunch. There are three tables by the windows, all looking out over Carlos Place – two for couples and one large one seating 6-8 which would be great for a special family meal. We sat ourselves down, ordered a couple of glasses of Lanson extra age (at £16 a pop) and we were off.

The Saturday brunch begins with a help-yourself buffet simply groaning with food. There are patés – from top Basque deli Pierre Oteiza - and a small selection of well-kept cheeses, really excellent fresh little brioches and tomato rolls and a mound of freshly-churned butter the size of your head. The chef will slice you some smoked salmon to which he’ll add creamy scrambled eggs if you’d like. We even had some of the salad - as the chicory with stilton looked really good.

Be warned – it’s easy to go completely crazy at this point, particularly if you’ve been cunning enough and forgone breakfast in order to prepare for a blow-out brunch. But next up is a choice of main courses which you’re going to need room for.

Of course, we went for the burger: Aberdeen angus ox cheek slowly braised and formed into a patty with an ‘almost’ unseemly slab of roasted Les Landes foie gras on top. A few ethereally light onion rings finished that off. Although this isn’t a burger in the strict sense – it’s pulled meat rather than mince – it was still intensely rich and worthy of a detour to Mayfair to try it. We were disappointed though by the chips that accompanied it – they just weren’t crispy enough to do that burger justice.

There are three other main course alternatives to try, including roasted scallops with Tandoori spices or Carnaroli Acquerello rice with courgettes. We also went for the Eggs Benedict with Perigord black truffle and York ham soldiers which was as delicious as billed (although to be honest you’ll feel cheated if you order this and have to stare at someone else devouring the burger).

Desserts (yes we had room) were a choice of pretty French pastries or freshly prepared waffles with a choice of syrups. These will prevent you from doing anything remotely energetic for the rest of the day so order them and then retire to the Connaught’s lounge with a paper and a pot of tea, as we did, until you feel ready to brave the outside world again.

Saturday brunch at the Connaught costs £55 per person (£29 for children).

Find out more about Helene Darroze

Hot Dinners were invited to eat at the Connaught.  Prices are correct at the time of writing.

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