Dezeen Magazine

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught restaurant, designed by Pierre Yovanovitch

Pierre Yovanovitch opts for salmon pink in revamp of London restaurant

Salmon-coloured surfaces, curved furnishings and a cooking-themed wall mural appear inside high-end restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, which has been recently refreshed by Pierre Yovanovitch.

The restaurant is located in London's Mayfair neighbourhood, set within luxury hotel The Connaught.

To mark its 10-year anniversary, French designer Pierre Yovanovitch was tasked with overhauling the dining space to more acutely reflect the "refined yet comforting" style of chef Hélène Darroze's cooking.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught restaurant, designed by Pierre Yovanovitch

"There was freedom in this project in that our main focus was to create an ambience that supported the strength of Hélène's Michelin-starred menu," Yovanovitch told Dezeen.

"It was different to designing a private residence in that we weren't designing to fit someone's everyday lifestyle, but instead were quite focused on the dining experience of The Connaught's customers."

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught restaurant, designed by Pierre Yovanovitch

Keen to strike a balance between "tradition and newfound contemporary soul", Yovanovitch refrained from making any significant alterations to the restaurant's architectural shell.

Instead, the existing dark-wood wall panelling has simply been stripped back to a lighter hue. A butterfly-print panel by British artist Damien Hirst that was mounted in the dining room before the redesign has also been left in place.

Surrounding surfaces like the ceiling, window frames and ornate cornicing have been painted a complementary shade of salmon-pink, an attempt by the designer to represent chef Darroze's "femininity and light spirit".

Splashes of red are provided by a handful of velvet cushions and a tasselled rug.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught restaurant, designed by Pierre Yovanovitch

Yovanovitch worked with a series of craftsmen to custom-make all of the restaurant's furnishings.

Oak dining tables are surrounded by curved, sand-coloured leather sofas and egg yolk-yellow armchairs. Plaster side tables and cast-glass wall sconces supported by thin brass stems have also been dotted throughout.

"We found many parallels in our process with working with skilled artisans to create custom furniture and lighting as compared to Hélène's focus on working with only the most high-quality farmers, customizing her menu according to what these purveyors are able to source seasonally," Yovanovitch explained.

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught restaurant, designed by Pierre Yovanovitch

There will also be the option to dine at the "chef's table". It lies just a few metres away from the kitchen pass – a long counter where chefs plate each dish – allowing diners to get an up-close insight into the culinary craftsmanship behind the menu.

The table is crafted from peachy travertine marble, while the floor underneath has been overlaid with grey terrazzo tiles. On the deep-blue ceiling above is an illustration by French artist Rochegaussen.

Titled The Utensils of Heaven, the piece features various white-ink depictions of cooking instruments like whisks, pots, colanders and cheese graters.

The overhaul also saw Yovanovitch create a new tasting room that will be exclusively dedicated to Armagnac – an oak-aged brandy made in southwest France's Armagnac region.

Having earned two Michelin stars over the course of her career, chef Hélène Darroze is one of the 17 female role models that Barbie chose to immortalise in doll-form for International Women's Day 2018.

Other figures included Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Darroze's self-titled restaurant at The Connaught isn't the only project where Pierre Yovanovitch has applied a bold use of colour – earlier this year the designer updated the gift shop of art centre Villa Noailles by painting its walls pastel pink, yellow and cobalt-blue.

Photography is by Jérôme Galland.