Helene Darroze is popping up in San Sebastian for the summer


While we know there's nothing more irritating than reading about a party you weren't invited to, indulge us if you will while we regale you with details of a bash last night in Mayfair. The do was at Balenciaga where London's foodies brushed up against fashion folk to celebrate the launch of Hélène Darroze's imminent popup in Spain.

The Michelin-starred chef is expanding her empire over the summer with a popup at the Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel in San Sebastian. And if what we tried in canape form is anything to go by it'll be one hot ticket.

On the menu will be (among other dishes)

  • Oyster tartare topped with caviar jelly and served with a chilled velouté of white beans;
  • “Black Rice” with chipirones, chorizo and manchego (which we tried last night and may be one of the nicest things we've EVER tasted)
  • Hélène’s unique interpretation of the traditional ajo-blanco or gazpacho
  • Armagnac baba soaked with brandy from the Darroze family distillery.

It's a bit ot a dream project for Hélène whose grandparent's home is just a few miles away from San Sebastian, across the border in France. "It's a dream come true,” she told guests last night, saying she'd always wanted to return to the Basque country to cook. "I’ve built much of my culinary DNA in this amazing city, having visited many times. It is truly one of the gastronomic capitals of the world.”

Hélène Darroze at Hotel Maria Cristina will run from 8 June to 30 October at San Sebastian Paseo Republica Argentina, 4, 20004 San Sebastian, Spain. Call 0034 943 437 600 to book. It will be open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday from 8th June – 30th October (and full time during key summer events) offering three different menus priced at €98, €125 and €175 per person.