Whizz-bang cuisine from an acclaimed cooking genius
Heston Blumenthal’s hyper-experimental restaurant in the tiny village of Bray might not offer the locals much by the way of a quick dinner bite – although his two nearby pubs most certainly do – but for gourmands willing to travel that bit further The Fat Duck remains the ultimate UK destination.
The restaurant celebrates its 20th birthday next year and its relevance hasn’t waned during that time. In fact, Heston and The Fat Duck team, led by Canadian-born head chef Jonny Lake, continue to push the envelope both on and off the plate. For example, diners can watch a secret online animation a month before their reservation, taking them on an interactive menu tour designed to whet their appetite before the main event. Thankfully, under Lake’s calm stewardship the kitchen succeeds in meeting the sky-high expectations that such a build-up creates. The menu includes exquisite and often exciting dishes, not least the nitro-poached aperitifs; the ‘sound of the sea’ that is accompanied by an iPod; and the ‘Mad Hatter’s tea party’, an edible magic trick in which a golden pocket watch is transformed into a mock turtle soup. And the often-underrated service element remains as well-drilled but full of personality as ever.
Next year The Fat Duck flies south – opening in Melbourne, Australia, for a six-month sojourn – while the premises in Bray receive a long-awaited upgrade. It will then reopen in Bray in late 2015, no doubt even richer for its stint on the other side of the world.
- High Street, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AQ, UK
+44 1628 580333