Jean-Georges at The Connaught
Created by world-renowned chef Jean-George Vongerichten, Jean-Georges at The Connaught is now open.
The Connaught is a luxury hotel located in London’s chic Mayfair village that perfectly blends a discreet English ambience with contemporary five-star touches expected by the modern traveller. The Connaught is one of the most elegant, understated and highly personal five-star hotels in London, dedicated to ensuring an exceptional stay.
Opened in July 2017, Jean-Georges at The Connaught is a meeting place for both hotel guests and the neighbourhood. The restaurant overlooks fashionable Mount Street, in the heart of Mayfair, and offers informal gourmet dining, all-hours in a relaxed, contemporary setting.
Illustrating the way The Connaught balances its distinguished heritage with a passion for the new, the restaurant has been redesigned by contemporary interior architect John Heah. Wall-to-ceiling windows, accented with stained glass create a light, vibrant mood that reflects the appealing colours served on the plates; the stain glass on the façade by French artist Jean Michel Othoneil was especially commissioned by the Owners.
John Heah, owner of the design and architectural studio, Heah&Co spoke to Premier Hospitality about the project.
He said: “The brief we were given was to come up with a concept for a restaurant that was casual and yet embodied and respected the ethos of “The Connaught” – yet contemporary. The studio’s approach always steers towards the more contemporary side but we fully respect the fact that the hotel has traditional and established roots. Although the hotel is a Grade II listed building we introduced a more relaxed style of eating and ambience to bring things up to date
“Although the previous restaurant was quite popular with regulars, the new restaurant is now all-day dining with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with after dinner drinks and late supper – it is a multi-purpose space that has to transform for at least four different meal ambiances. We had to create a space that could cater for all of those things. We also wanted to introduce a more causal way of enjoying the space – so we tried to create more residential dining feeling throughout, yet it needed to project a quality environment and it was that challenge, to combine the two.
“As part of the design, we also worked with the owner to include artwork and, in addition we have also worked for the first time with the lighting designer, L’Obervatoire from New York.
“The biggest challenge has been to create a contemporary feel in a traditional hotel and not feel out of place. That has been the most difficult mix as we had to create the sense that the two were complementary and projected the same standards. I think most people feel a contemporary interior may not be appropriate for a traditional hotel so we have tried to create a delicate balance between the two and I hope guests and customers would feel that we have pulled this off!”
At Jean-Georges at The Connaught, eclectic, imaginative menus are inspired both by Jean-Georges’ experiences of the Far East and his signature of South-East Asian flavours, whilst also featuring his distinctive take on British and Connaught classics, influenced by his earlier working life and love of London. Sourcing the best British ingredients, the menus also reflect the farm-to-table, fresh-from-the-market approach long pioneered by Jean-George and found at his restaurant at The Mark and ABC Kitchen New York.
Served daily at Jean-Georges at The Connaught, afternoon tea is an elegant occasion that begins with a savoury bite which melts in the mouth, accompanied by a glass of champagne. Traditional finger sandwiches are served with classic fillings with a Jean-George twist like smoked salmon with chipotle chillies. These are followed by fresh scones with clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam and lemon curd. Finally, exquisitely-crafted pastries and a fun chocolate fondue fit harmoniously into the most English of celebrations, the best of the best. There’s a wide choice of teas too, to suit everyone’s taste.
Now the project is complete, John said: “Our background is in international resorts and we have done work for Aman Resorts and The Four Seasons Hotels. We finished our first Aman resort called Amanera last year in the Caribbean and we are currently working on our second one Stateside. Our work also includes the Four Seasons Resort in Sayan, Bali, so our background is more on the resort side – although we have also recently completed the First Floor Suites at The Berkeley Hotel. To be able to work on an urban hotel in London was a great honour.”
Established in 2006, Aspraes is one of the UK’s premier soft furnishers. The company works alongside interior designers, contractors and specifiers, who are all looking for high-end quality and excellent service.
Over the past 12 years, Aspraes has worked with many fantastic and creative people, in some amazing places across the UK and overseas. This includes Godrich Interiors, Studio Reed, Peter Marino and Rainey & Best, who have all endorsed Aspraes as their approved soft furnishers.
Most recently, Aspraes has been involved with the Jean-Georges at The Connaught. Working on this project, Aspraes manufactured and supplied fabric walling and ceiling panels, as well as the restaurant’s sheer curtains and hardware.
Aspraes Director, Chris Williams, said:
“All projects are important to us, but it is always an honour to be involved in an iconic landmark such as The Connaught, which adds to our pedigree portfolio.”
“At Aspraes, we are renowned for the highest levels of finish, our contribution and lateral approach to manufacturing complicated bespoke products, our unrivalled knowledge of traditional techniques, our faultless service and our passion for soft furnishing.”
Rathbanna specialise in the manufacture and supply of architectural metalwork to the retail, commercial and private sectors. The company works in copper, brass, bronze, pewter, stainless steel, zinc, chrome and nickel plating and has the capabilities to create specialist finishes such as bronzing and patina.
Established in 1895, Rathbanna has over 120 years’ experience in metal manufacturing and to this day remains a family-run business. Past projects for Rathbanna have included Tredwells London; Kasper Seafood Bar and Restaurant at the Savoy London; The Royal Suite at The Goring Hotel; Shoe Heaven at Harrods London; Shelbourne Hotel Dublin; The Flemings Hotel; Adare Manor Golf Club; and various works at The Berkeley Hotel including Marcus, The Opus Suites and Ballroom feature ceiling.
Most recently, Rathbanna was involved with Jean-Georges at The Connaught, working alongside John Heah of Heah & Co. Working on this project, Rathbanna was responsible for the gold entrance reception desk, the entrance screen and the antique metal shelving.
James O’Neill, Rathbannas’ sales and estimating executive said:
“Having worked closely with The Maybourne Hotel Group for the past ten years, this is another facet of the type of design led works we are associated with. There are few companies like Rathbanna who are able to turn out quality, well designed, projects with such tight deadlines.
“Rathbanna have established a good relationship with the Maybourne Group and we are proud to have worked in another exceptional project where quality and superiority shine through.”
“At Rathbanna, we are continuously searching for new concepts and ideas and working alongside architects and designers, give us the opportunity to expand on these new ideas – making visions become a reality.
“We recently re modernised all of our metal manufacturing machinery, to improve capabilities, however we still retain our traditional skillset.”