In honour of Heston Blumenthal’s Australian tour, I take a look back at my visit to The Fat Duck in 2008, and what it took to get there.
When my most excellent friend Spiderman heard that my round-the-world trip included a stop in London, he insisted that he book us a table at The Fat Duck. Despite it’s reputation for being “difficult to get a reservation”, Spiderman got through on the phones, exactly two months prior to our date of choice. Dinner had already been booked up, so lunch it was.
My itinerary had me landing in London a day or so earlier, which would have left me plenty of time to be relaxed and refreshed before our eating adventure. The reality however, was very different from my schedule.
Due to flight delays out of Cusco (Peru) I missed my direct flight from Lima to London by 5 minutes. As you could well imagine I was panicked, but no matter what I did or said, they would not reopen the gates. As it was 7:05pm, all the airline desks were also closed for the day.
I met a gentleman who seemed to understand my troubles and he instructed me to follow him. As I didn’t speak any Spanish and he didn’t speak very much English, all I could do was run along side him, me and my 20kg backpack strapped to me, and hope he wasn’t leading me to my death. My luck somehow had turned because with the help of this very kind man I found a late night travel agency a mere 2km away from the airport.
After 4 hours of broken English and ticket re-issuing they got me onto the next flight to London, via an 8 hour stop-over in New York. This meant that I would be arriving in London a mere 6 hours before our lunch reservation, and I still had no idea of the tube and train trips to come.
If you are wondering how long it took to me get from Cusco (Peru) to Bray (England), it took 45 hours. Of which I had slept 0 hours.
The Fat Duck was such an awesome place of wonder and amazement that not once did I feel my exhaustion. “Sound of the Sea”, mustard ice cream, salmon poached in licorice gel, hot and iced tea, parsnip cereal were all beyond what I had expected. But it was the egg and bacon ice cream that had both myself and Spiderman audibly moaning (or mmming if you will), to the point that the table next to us laughed as we got louder with every mouthful.
I’m really glad we got a lunch time booking as we were able to enjoy our meal from 12:30pm to 6pm without being kicked out. The waiters even asked us if it was ok for them to start preparing for dinner around us. We had no problem with that at all, we were too full and happy to care about anything.
The Fat Duck
High Street, Bray
Berkshire, England, SL6 2AQ
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