Heston Blumenthal's famously unorthodox restaurant isn't one you attend in expectation of a good feed. Instead expect to be a changed person when you leave.
The village of Bray is not limited to just one fine dining experience. With two other pubs, both owned by Heston, along with the Roux brothers Waterside Inn nearby. You're certainly spoiled for choice if you're trapped in this neck of the woods.
It's Heston Blumenthal's infamously unique Fat Duck that brings in the food lovers. It's quaint farmhouse exterior hides a multitude of mysteries. On arriving we were actually unsure as to whether the restaurant was actually open, it was quiet, with shuttered windows and no one going in or leaving. Taking my confidence in my had I entered to be warmly greeted at the door and shown to a delightful round table beneath the wall mounted gin bar.
This is a long tasting menu, adequately sized dishes that are not designed to fill you up but to stretch your understanding of food. As if each plate is trying to break your preconceived association of what food should look and taste like.
Highlights were the nitrogen frozen gin and tonic as an amuse bouche, the chocolate black forest gateau, the whisky-wine gums and sweetshop treats to take home. The surprising revelation was the snail porridge which was a delightfully hearty dish in amongst a host of "lite tasters". The famous "sounds of the sea" was seriously overrated to me, it was immensely clever but was a hideous amalgamation of tapioca for the sand and damp fish from the foam and stray seafood on the glass. The audio track added little and increased my risk of nausea.
Overall, this is an experience restaurant. Once you've done it there is little reason to re-attend. It is however a once in a lifetime dining experience that you will truly revel in and come out smiling.