Michelin Star Xmas Weekend away to Bray: The Fat Duck

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

The most magical Christmas dinner you will ever experience. Heston Blumenthal has the ability to take you back to being a child again and bringing the joy of Christmas to the dinner table through all of your senses. He does this all while serving the most delicious food I personally have eaten all year in the UK. It is hard to capture the extent of the detail in every section of the menu, so I will not attempt to do that. Plus I do not want to spoil your own experience, part of the fun of the evening is not knowing what to expect. I will only capture the essence of what the experience made me feel, and I will encourage all foodies to add The Fable Tree dining experience only available for Christmas to their bucket list.

Bringing the joy of Christmas to your table

The Fable Tree Menu: 10/10

In typical Heston style, our menu is not your standard menu. It was presented as a tree with 7 hidden windows each of which you must open to discover each course. Your excitement grows as you unveil each course of amazing dish after dish. We were served 15 flavoursome, and creative dishes which included, believe it or not, 2 Christmas dinners. One of which I would classify as a traditional (although there is nothing traditional or ordinary about Heston) Christmas, and then another dinner representing the next day dinner from the leftovers. I personally was stuffed towards the end of the dinner and was struggling to finish, but was enjoying the delights of each meal too much to let that stop me.

The menu revolves around the Christmas tree. We start by growing the tree, then watching it sprout, we then decorated the tree with mini bottles of brandy and ornaments. After that, we were presented with gifts to open around the tree including personalised Christmas stockings which had our names on them, and a welcome back star for those who had visited previously (which included me :)) There were wooden eco-friendly toys found in our Heston Christmas crackers which we opened together and then just like kids we started playing with them around the table. We then proceeded to the Christmas day, where we dined on a traditional Christmas dinner with gourmet canapés to start, followed by a roast pigeon dish and a dessert that looked like a dessert, but of course, it was not a dessert at all. The 'leftover' meal is the best leftover dinner I have eaten in my life. Made from the unused parts from the pigeon and wrapped in cabbage. The cheese course with port and, served with a walnut, followed, though as it so happens this walnut, was once again not actually a walnut. To open the walnut, we were given a silver walnut cracker to open it, and inside a delicious surprise awaited us. The cheese was severed with these ultra-thin and light Heston branded crackers. Finally, the real dessert was served, accompanied by the sound and warmth of a crackling fire tinted with the smell of brandy that floated on the air. All the excitement, magic and fun of Christmas was recreated right on our table as we indulged in beautiful, innovative and tasty dishes using only the finest ingredients.

The experience revolves around The Tree

Dish after Dish of ingenuity

Cheese course and pudding

The Wines: 6/10

We selected the standard £160 wine pairing option. With all the creativity and excitement of the actual food menu, the wines took a back seat. They were all perfectly good wines that complemented the dishes, but nothing to write home about. My favourites were the Gusbourne Estate English sparkling and the Merlot Opaka 2016. If you are looking for an exceptional wine experience, I suspect you need to go for the next level option on the wine menu, which is over £300.

Drinks pairing including a martini to start

Tour of the kitchen: 10/10

We were then offered a tour of the kitchen at the end of the meal to meet the chefs responsible for creating one of the most memorable meals, I have had the pleasure of indulging in. I am always impressed with how immaculately clean these kitchens are kept, and that these chefs still have a smile on their faces after such a long day creating dish after dish of perfection.

Tour of the kitchen

Overall Rating: 9/10

For making me feel like a kid again, and bringing to life the joy of Christmas, this experience must get a rating of 9/10. I had 15 dishes, and loved every one of them. Like a greedy kid, I left the restaurant with a goody bag of gifs, souvenirs, and toys which included a wrapped Christmas gift of a sapling tree to plant and grow at home to remind us of this dinner forever.

Left the restaurant with a goody bag full of gifts