Page 0007

squaremeal.co.uk � 5

� e fi rst time I can remember eating at � e Fat Duck was a

midweek dinner on a beautiful summer evening in the late

1990s. It was, of course, an extraordinary meal, but looking

back the most extraordinary thing about it was that the dining

room was half empty. � ese were the days when � e Fat Duck

had just won the fi rst of its three Michelin stars and to almost

everyone the name Heston meant a service station on the M4.

Fast-forward almost 20 years and we're thrilled to announce

that for the second time, � e Fat Duck is our UK Restaurant of the Year. Read our

interview with the always thought-provoking Heston (p.68) to fi nd out about the radical

new turn � e Fat Duck has taken since it re-opened last year. We've watched it go from

insider's secret to one of the most famous restaurants in the world, a standard bearer for the

creativity and innovation you'll now fi nd at all levels across the UK restaurant scene.

Take a look at our list of the 50 best restaurants in the UK (p.56) to see what we mean.

Sure, you'll still fi nd the big names of British gastronomy that have long dominated the

scene. But you'll also fi nd young chefs going it alone and bringing their own vision of what

good food means to every corner of the country. We applaud these risk takers and urge

you to visit as many as you can over the next 12 months. So if you haven't yet booked your

summer holiday, you could do worse than take a gastronomic tour around these islands.

Failing that, four hours spent at � e Fat Duck will take you on the foodie trip of a lifetime.

JOHN

O'CEALLAIGH

John O'Ceallaigh is The

Telegraph's digital

luxury travel editor

and contributing editor

to Ultratravel, The Telegraph's luxury travel

magazine. Covering the most decadent travel

experiences, recent trips have seen him � y

to New York on the Four Seasons private jet

and sail the Caribbean by superyacht.

Favourite beach? For sheer dramatic beauty,

the beaches that fringe Table Mountain.

Preferred picnic Item? I'm more concerned

with simple comforts - a blanket, warmth,

papers and not-overly chatty companions.

Favourite summer thirst-quencher? A crisp

G&T, but I don't con� ne it just to summer.

John wrote Lavish Living, p.198

STEPHEN PERRY

Inspired by the likes of

Helmut Newton from

a young age, Stephen

was lucky enough to

assist the great Terence

Donovan for three years. Stephen was also

one of the photographers who shaped the

look of the original Loaded magazine. His

work now ranges from celebrity portraits

to architecture, interiors and cars.

Favourite beach? Australia's Bondi Beach.

Preferred picnic item? Any barbecued � sh.

Favourite summer thirst-quencher? It has

to be a G&T or a good old-fashioned ale.

Stephen photographed Heston Blumenthal, p.68

NEIL SIMPSON

Neil previously worked

at The Good Food Guide,

where he read many

menus but rarely ate at

the restaurants. Such

voyeurism meant it was inevitable he'd

end up eating everywhere for Squaremeal.

When's he not doing that, he enjoys writing

about pop music for cultureortrash.com

Favourite beach? Siesta Key in Sarasota,

Miami - it has beautiful white, cool sand.

Preferred picnic Item? A magnum of Prosecco

(and a bag of frozen peas to keep it cold).

Favourite summer thirst-quencher? You

can't really beat a massive Stella.

Neil wrote Restaurant News, p.12

PUBLISHERS Mark de Wesselow, Simon White EDITORIAL Tel: 020 7840 6295

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CIRCULATION Tel: 0870 141 6101 COVER: Photographer Stephen Perry

A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations. We believe our facts are correct at the time of going to press, although inevitably information changes, which

means care must be exercised. Reviews are subjective. Neither Monomax Ltd nor its agents or employees can accept liability for omissions or inaccuracies. No

material can be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher. © Monomax Ltd July 2016. ISSN 977-1369264-01-3-48

FOR REVIEWS OF 11,500 BARS AND RESTAURANTS NATIONWIDE,

PLUS VENUES FOR ALL YOUR EVENTS: editor@squaremeal.co.uknk" title="Visit squaremeal.co.uk">squaremeal.co.uk

Published by: Monomax Ltd, Quadrant House, 250 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 5RD Tel: +44 (0)20

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CONTRIBUTORS

BEN MCCORMACK, EDITOR

56 � squaremeal.co.uk For fuller reviews of 11,500 restaurants throughout the UK, visit squaremeal.co.uk squaremeal.co.uk � 57

For fuller reviews of 11,500 restaurants throughout the UK, visit squaremeal.co.uk

THE FAT DUCK

1 High Street, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2AQ;

01628 580333 £££££

The fantastical gastronomy of which dreams are made

While the kitchen spent six months popping up in Melbourne, the

Bray restaurant was getting a makeover. Now Blumenthal is back,

with tantalising innovations ranging from high-tech Japanese loos to

a new, 17-course tasting menu weighing in at £255 per person. Diners

are taken on the "most incredible journey"- a tumble down the rabbit

hole into the most creative reaches of the chef's imagination, based

around his perfect childhood holiday. From 'A Change of Air'

(an intensely Šavoured sphere of aerated beetroot and horseradish

cream that ‹zzes away on the tongue) to

'Counting Sheep' (a meringue on a pillow

actually Šoating above the table), this is

literally the stu’ of dreams. You need to

buy into the immersive fantasy, but for sheer

"exquisite artistry" •e Fat Duck remains

a must-do, once-in-a-lifetime trip.

1

Squaremeal's annual survey has once

again revealed the best of the best when

it comes to UK restaurants. Thousands

of votes have been cast by readers,

bloggers and our nationwide team of

reviewers, so all you have to do is book

UK TOP50RESTAURANTS

KEY TO REVIEWS

£ Less than £16

££ £16-£33

£££ £33-£43

££££ £43-£61

£££££ More than £61

Prices are based on a two-course dinner (starter and main)

for one, including half a bottle of house wine, co�ee, cover

charge, service and vegetables. The numbers in [] denote

last year's position. Words in double quotation marks

represent reader comments.

l Visit squaremeal.co.uk for a fuller review of �e Fat Duck

From the comfort of a £3,000 leather

bucket chair in the revamped

restaurant, Heston Blumenthal is

talking me through the new menu at �e

Fat Duck. "I've been telling stories through

food for years," he says. "Ever since opening

the Duck, through In Search of Perfection,

Feast, �e Fat Duck Cookbook and Historic

Heston; where we're at now is

the culmination of 20 years'

work. It feels like �e Fat

Duck is ‚nally beginning."

Few restaurants survive for

20 years, let alone mark the

anniversary by completely

re‚guring a magic formula

that produced three Michelin

stars in 2004 and the

accolade of being voted the

World's Best Restaurant in 2005. What's

more, the fame of the restaurant's ‚rst

incarnation propelled Blumenthal to being

one of the UK's most successful cookbook

authors and TV chefs, making him famous

on a ‚rst-name basis and a familiar face to

millions who could never aŽord to eat in

his restaurant (though they could aŽord to

eat the food from his Waitrose range).

�e latest chapter in the Blumenthal

story began with the re-opening of �e Fat

Duck last September. During the £2.5m

refurb, the entire kitchen team decamped

to Melbourne while the renovations were

carried out. �e new restaurant oŽers a

new concept: a 17-course menu based on

the idea of Heston's perfect day at the

seaside. "And nothing," Blumenthal says,

"has been more pivotal in the evolution of

�e Fat Duck than the seaside element."

Blumenthal's earliest food memory

involves ice cream. He remembers being

taken, every Saturday, to Chapel Street

Market, oŽ Edgware Road, by his

grandmother. "It was the last thing I

wanted to do at the weekend," he admits.

"I wanted to go and play in the park.

�e only thing that kept me going was

knowing that on the way

back we'd get a tub of ice

cream in a brown paper

bag to take home. So I

had this real thing for

ice cream: I had to go

through the process of

going to the market and

walking home with it

before I could eat it."

SEA CHANGE

Blumenthal put crab ice cream on �e

Fat Duck's menu in 2000, challenging

diners' preconceptions that ice cream

must be sweet. "If you called it frozen

bisque, it was acceptable. But calling it

squaremeal.co.uk � 69

68 � squaremeal.co.uk

Winner of our BMW UK Restaurant of the Year award, The

Fat Duck o�ers a magical new dining experience like no other

WORDS BEN McCORMACK PHOTO STEPHEN PERRY

"NOTHING HAS BEEN MORE

PIVOTAL IN THE EVOLUTION

OF THE FAT DUCK THAN THE

SEASIDE ELEMENT"

"

HESTON:HESTON:THE NEXT CHAPTER

RESTAURANTS + FOOD

WELCOME TO

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