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AA Notable Wine List 2018-19
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

A narrative concept menu from a modern legend

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, and its telegenic proprietor himself, have entered the modern pantheon of culinary legend with the four-hour marathon of idiosyncratic and inventive eating that is one of those bucket-list experiences that will stay with you forever. A foodie pilgrimage here has never come cheap – the entrance fee is £325 these days - and that’s before you bring jaw-droppingly expensive wine, sundry drinks and the 12.5% service charge into the equation - but when you appreciate the work that goes into each dish – the craft, the passion, the time - the cost seems easier to justify, and the stellar staff can cope with eight or so languages to keep the international punters informed as they go along. What follows consumes you as much as you consume it, as a parade of highly conceptualized dishes unfold, arriving on sandy beaches accompanied by gigantic seashells or perched on great white cushions floating in mid-air. Ice cream is crab flavoured, and rocket-shaped ice lollies taste of Waldorf salad - Blumenthal’s mission is to mess with your head and recreate the sense of thrilled anticipation one had as a child when the family set out on a summer holiday, and that joy is tangible in the intensity of the flavours as much as in the entertaining menu concept that it generates. A turbot course brings fish of remarkable quality, alongside smoky torched cucumber, caviar and a heavenly reduced broth. Botrytis cinerea is the ‘noble rot’ that produces the mouldy grapes destined for legendary dessert wines such as Sauternes, but chez Heston it’s the name of a dessert designed to resemble a bunch of grapes, each exploding with contrasting flavours and textures. That’s ultimately what great cooking is about: when all the theatrical ingenuity makes sense and has purpose delivering flavour, emotion and craftsmanship; something the Fat Duck is incomparably good at.

What's on offer?

Opening hours

  • Closed: 2 weeks at Christmas
  • Days closed: Sunday and Monday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 9

Chef

  • Chef(s): Heston Blumenthal

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines over £30: 500
  • Wines by the glass: 12

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from: £325
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 1
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 42
  • Off-site parking available: Two village car parks

Getting here

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

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Nearest train station

Maidenhead
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