RestaurantsBerkshireBraySL6

Breaking news

January 2022: Oli Williamson, who joined the Fat Duck last year, is promoted to Head Chef.

survey result

Summary

£399
£££££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Celebrating its 25th year, revisiting some of its most iconic dishes from the nitro-poached green tea and lime mousse and snail porridge to the amazing ‘counting sheep’ dessert: the most expensive meal we have ever bought but undoubtedly the best!” – Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous converted pub (nowadays overseen by Heston, but owned by a relative) delights its remaining fans with its current anniversary format – the latest in a line of reinventions of the ‘molecular gastronomy’ approach that made it famous. But, as prices have headed north, its ratings have gone south, with 2 in 3 reporters now considering it poor value. To disciples of its wacky culinary creations, “what it does is not just done for effect, everything has a purpose. Dry ice? Yes! But not just for the sake of it, as the vapours smelt of being in a forest and the dish that came with it tasted of the woods too”. And to such converts, it is “such a unique experience, you can’t compare it to anywhere else. It’s a journey not a meal”. But, even those who are wowed by its “totally amazing food” can now judge it “overpriced to an eye-watering degree”. And others are less kind: “the prices go up, the standards go down… gimmickry has taken over taste, and there’s not enough of the original panache and soul. Sad”. And then there are the sceptics who have never seen the point in the first place. “Why do folk bother? Still the same old over-fussy myriad of courses, which leave you feeling queasy and bored witless by the endless pantomime of serving a mouthful of something pretentious on a bed of seaweed under a silver dome wafted about by dry ice”.

Summary

£396
£££££
2
Average
3
Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Is Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous HQ starting to look “a bit old hat”? Or is it just “too bloody expensive”? What’s for sure is that over half of reporters commenting on this renowned ex-pub nominated it as their most overpriced meal of the year, while only a quarter say it was their best. Truly, it’s “a unique gastronomic experience, unlike any other”: “more of an event than a meal” (“it’s a long evening”), with a series of courses “very theatrically presented” based on your past experiences (as researched at the time of booking). To a majority, it’s “Alice in Wonderland on steroids” and in a good way – “yes, absurdly expensive” (“half the price would be too much!”), but not the disappointment we had feared: “joyful, engaging and oddly emotional…”, with “exquisite tastes and textures, extraordinary flavours and surprising sensory phenomena…”, “…in short we loved it; a bravura performance all round”. But even those who “fared very well on the food” can feel that “it would not be for everyone, as the approach is somewhat a production line, with neighbouring tables either behind or ahead in their journey to Cornwall or wherever”. And “the dining room is very stark which detracts from the ambience”. And then there are the few folk who plain loathe the whole set-up. “This place is a performance art commentary on capitalism. If you’ve ever read ‘120 Days of Sodom’ and want to eat something that gives you the same feeling as that book, come here!”.

Summary

£396
£££££
2
Average
3
Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Is Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous HQ starting to look “a bit old hat”? Or is it just “too bloody expensive”? What’s for sure is that over half of reporters commenting on this renowned ex-pub now nominate it as their most overpriced meal of the year, while only a quarter say it was their best. Truly, it’s “a unique gastronomic experience, unlike any other”: “more of an event than a meal” (“it’s a long evening”), with a series of courses “very theatrically presented” based on your past experiences (as researched at the time of booking). To a majority, it’s “Alice in Wonderland on steroids” and in a good way – “yes, absurdly expensive” (“half the price would be too much!”), but not the disappointment we had feared: “joyful, engaging and oddly emotional…”, with “exquisite tastes and textures, extraordinary flavours and surprising sensory phenomena…”, “…in short we loved it; a bravura performance all round”. But even those who “fared very well on the food” can feel that “it would not be for everyone, as the approach is somewhat a production line, with neighbouring tables either behind or ahead in their journey to Cornwall or wherever”. And “the dining room is very stark which detracts from the ambience”. And then there are the few folk who plain loathe the whole set-up. “This place is a performance art commentary on capitalism. If you’ve ever read ‘120 Days of Sodom’ and want to eat something that gives you the same feeling as that book, come here!”.

Summary

£396
£££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“How can anyone justify £325 for a tasting menu?… Without wine! But still, it’s SO hard to get a booking anytime soon!”. That’s the conundrum in assessing Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous venue, where the gulf between the ‘ayes’ and the ‘nayes’ grows ever-wider over the question of whether the “extortionate prices” are ultimately worth it for such “unmissable theatre” (“I didn’t realise four hours could go by at a table with such enjoyment”). The ‘ayes’ still have it… if only just… reporting “an amazing adventure into a fantasy world”: “an absolutely incredible and extremely personal experience” via an individual menu researched in advance around your memories that’s “nothing less than magical”. Many fans and foes alike, however, agree that the pricing for said trip “marks it down as a once-in-a-lifetime encounter” that’s “too expensive to repeat”. And amongst the growing number of sceptics – N.B. this year, for over 50% of reporters this was their vote as most overpriced meal of the year – there’s some feeling that “after the latest reboot of the Fat Duck a couple of years ago, it has lost some of what made it great: dishes are avant garde purely for that purpose rather than previously when it was to make them more delicious”.

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at The Fat Duck?

Restaurant details

Highchair,Menu
6
No dress code
41

Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 315.00 Dinner only 4
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £50.00
Filter Coffee £7.00
Extras  
Service 15.00%
High St, Bray, SL6 2AQ
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑8:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑8:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑8:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑8:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑8:30 pm
SundayCLOSED

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