Many people dream about the culinary experience that the 3 Michelin starred ‘Fat Duck’ by Heston Blumenthal has to offer. Earlier this year, Charlene, Gareth and I, were lucky enough to be invited the Inspirational Lunch as part of the BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Events Management at Cardiff Met.
The outside of the restaurant is deceivingly plain in comparison to the amazing tastes, sights and experiences that lay within. The dining area itself was sparse; nothing lay in sight to give anything away, crisp white linen on the tables, with nothing but a magnifying glass on top. The journey begins…
Presented to the table was a map, which was our menu, the magnifying glass helps you to read the description of the dish, as in true Heston style, the writing is too small to read without it.
This wasn’t a typical three course meal (If you hadn’t already guessed!) With 11 courses ahead, the story became clear, the map was set out to taste our way through the trip you make when going on holiday.
First stop breakfast, Brioche with tomato and coffee jam with a side of clotted cream, and not forgetting the addition of a gin martini, as you do.
Little boxes of variety cereal arrived at the table, bringing back memories for all the guests. Inside was a full English breakfast, with beans, bacon egg and sausage but dried to look like cereal, served in bowl with emulsions, jelly and what can only be described as one of the best but weirdest breakfasts I had ever had!
As the day (or meal went on) we arrived at the beach, receiving personalised chip forks (I know!) with a delicious course of triple cooked chips and amazingly battered cod… with lots of salt and vinegar.
And what’s a trip to the beach without ice lollies? Served to us, in miniature form, rocket lollies which were actually waldorf salad and twister lollies that were salmon, horseradish and wasabi, and a crab ice-cream, this part of the trip was complete.
After a few more tasters along the way, we moved to the evening meal, which included the famous snail porridge, bright luminous green in colour and strong smells of garlic filling the room, with apprehensive faces around the table, we all dug in. Let’s just say it was an experience but it won’t be something I’ll be rustling up at home anytime soon – sorry Heston!
We enjoyed venison for main and rhubarb galatte for dessert. For the final course we were transported to bed time; with lullabies playing in the background, a floating pillow topped with malted meringues was served. Minds blown and feeling full and sleepy from 5 hours of eating, this was a fabulous end to the meal, although a few more surprises were still to come!
This blog post couldn’t fit all 11 courses in, but truly my words will never be able to express the incredibly bonkers, imaginative, taste explosions we all experienced. If you ever get the chance to go, I would thoroughly recommend it, even the snail porridge!