What are Ariane Daguin's favorite restaurants?
That’s very difficult. I have good friends and wherever they are I tend to go to their restaurants. In London I love going to The Connaught Hotel where Hélène Darroze has her restaurant. And before the meal and after, I go to that bar. They have a bar lounge that is unbelievable. It has a super ambiance. It’s very unlike a regular hotel ambiance. It’s very much classy, but at the same time is has a fun ambiance.
And there’s one more in London: Club Gascon by chef Pascal Aussignac. Great, great food. Great décor. It’s very creative, but has a nice sensibility, as far as the food taste. And also because he’s so close to the market. If you want to have lunch there, first you go to the market. There are two markets — the meat market that is next to the restaurant and the Borough Market, which is five minutes away. And that works your appetite while you’re waiting for a great lunch.
In France — and this is nostalgia talking — on the way to the Riviera, where I would go every summer with my parents, there is a place called Sète. It’s a beautiful little village on the Mediterranean. And right behind it is l’Étang de Thau, which is a big lake open to the sea. There is a whole bunch of little oyster and mussel fishermen there. You can just ask for either a big platter or a combination of oysters and mussels, and they are surely the best mussels in the world in my mind. But the oysters are great, too. You just go inside a place along the dock and ask for a dozen, and another dozen, and another dozen and then they give you that little white wine from the region, which is a little bit heavy but goes perfectly with shellfish. It’s beautiful. It’s something that you remember for years after that.