Sep 16, 2010

Heston Blumenthal's London restaurant opens December at the Mandarin Oriental

by Alexandra Forbes, special contributor

When I attended the 2-day long festivities that surrounded the announcement of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, in London, I was lucky enough to attend the luncheon in honor of the winners, at Bar Boulud restaurant, in the Mandarin Oriental hotel (pictured above).

Even better, I sat to the left of chef  Ashley Palmer-Watts (below). For those who don't know him, he's been Heston Blumenthal's right-hand man at The Fat Duck for years. Now, he's been named Executive Chef of Heston's upcoming restaurant, also located at London's Mandarin Oriental hotel, and slated to open December 1 late January.

It's not a stretch to say that this will be THE restaurant opening of 2011, here are the first images showing what it will look like:

Needless to say I was thrilled to be able to ask chef Palmer-Watts what the place - called Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - would be like.

Palmer-Watts said: “We'll base the menu on the extensive research we did of the last 500 or 600 years in the history of British gastronomy, we came up with contemporary versions of very ancient dishes. We discovered recipes from the 16th and the 17th centuries that still today seem relevant and right, it was fascinating".

He also told me they've got a full-time food researcher on staff.
The 158-seat brasserie-type restaurant, one floor above Daniel Boulud's Bar Boulud, where we were lunching, will feature several meats roasted on the spit, as was done centuries ago.
The décor will incorporate elements that allude to the passing of time, and will be heavy on leather and dark wood (even the walls will have leather coverings!). A contraption made to resemble the mechanism of an oversize clock will be the centerpiece, while framed antique recipes will line the bar walls.
Here's what the private dining room will look like:

And he's the architectural layout of the place:

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and - of course! - afternoon tea. All inspired by 16th Century England. Bookings will be taken starting in mid-November.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7235 2000

Published by Alexandra Forbes, a Brazilian food and travel writer and restaurant critic. Alexandra Forbes writes for the site Brazil for Insiders, and can be followed on Twitter by clicking on this link.

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