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The Fat Duck

High Street, BRAY, SL6 2AQ

5 rosettes

You don't just book a table, you buy a ticket. For this is a journey and, as the man himself says, expect a 'memorable day out'. Since its revamp in 2015, when the restaurant was decamped to Australia and the original premises got done up from top to bottom, there's a sense that Heston Blumenthal has completed a journey himself, the restaurant now able to reflect his sense of adventure and discovery better than ever before. A visit feels like a day out, for even lunch is a four- or five-hour affair (good job the striking leather chairs are so darn comfortable). The front of house team are more integral to proceedings than ever before, delivering the multiple courses with style and a naturalness that is to be commended. The whole experience is theatrical, even a trip to the loo, and The Fat Duck offers the most singularly exciting, stimulating and invigorating dining experience in the UK. Each stage of the journey has a theme and tiny dish descriptions are read with the aid of a magnifying glass to enhance the sense of wonder. 'The day before we go: Are we nearly there yet?' kicks off with the lightest aerated macaroon you'll come across, bursting with beetroot flavour and tempered with a delicate horseradish cream. 'Just the tonic' is a welcome 'drink' - choose from a Paloma or Pina Colada, and revel in the theatre as liquid nitrogen does its stuff. 'Morning: rise and shine, it's breakfast time' is a simply inspired feat of interaction between kitchen and customer where we play our part in the construction of the dish by choosing a 'variety pack' carton. The mini iPod is one of the elements that has had a lot of press, and there's no doubt 'Sound of the Sea' is a signature dish worthy of the name - the seafood seemingly washed up on the beach full of flavour, texture and balance. Recollections of rock pooling days results in Cornish crab, smoked caviar and golden trout roe matched with velouté of white chocolate and sea vegetables in an absolute stunner, the white chocolate looking for all the world like the shell of a crab, and melting into the dish as a mussel broth is poured over - a belter. 'Evening are you ready for dinner' is a four-course meal in itself, recalling the flavours of gourmet meals of old, and involving so much work for the kitchen it is quite staggering. Among sweet courses, 'And then to dream' is a virtual sweet shop delivered to your table. The wine list is a bit of a journey too, a five-star trip with most time spent in the top regions of France.

Further information

Tel: 01628 580333
Please quote 'The AA'.


Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 2 wks at Xmas

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Heston Blumenthal, Jonny Lake
Number of seats: 42
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.



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Use the route planner for your trip

M4 junct 8/9 (Maidenhead) take A308 towards Windsor, turn left into Bray. Restaurant in centre of village on right
Nearest station: Maidenhead

Local information for SL6 2AQ

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