Showered with accolades, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants. Having spent years researching and exploring Britain’s gastronomic past, Blumenthal and Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts consulted with food historians and spent endless hours at The British Library in search of ideas. The result is a menu that has achieved worldwide recognition from food critics, chefs and customer alike.
With exceptional views of Hyde Park, the restaurant’s interior was inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s deep interest and knowledge of 15th and 16th century cookery. Using natural materials such as wood, leather and iron, the design references historic craftsmanship whilst simultaneously creating a chic, contemporary feel. With glass walls opening up onto the kitchen, diners can witness the restaurant’s unique spit roast pulley system, which is modelled after an original used in the royal court.
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Focusing on dishes inspired by Britain’s historic gastronomic past, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal features a menu with recipes dating as far back as the 16th century. Adapted for the modern palate, these dishes include forgotten classics such as Spiced Pigeon with Ale and Artichokes and Tipsy Cake made with Spit Roast Pineapple.
With inspiration gained from recipes as far back as those used by the Royal Courts of King Henry VIII, Dinner’s menu includes classics such as Mandarin Meat Fruit. A savoury meat course disguised as fruit, this delicious dish is the perfect example of how - through the ages - food has been used both as fuel and as a form of entertainment.
Having spent years researching such recipes, Blumenthal and Ashley Palmer-Watts have devised a menu that will not only excite your taste buds, but also stimulate your mind. Appearing on the menu with its date of origin and a reference to the cookbook in which it originally appeared, these wonderful dishes offer a unique insight into Britain’s rich culinary history.
When Heston was 16 years old and dined with his family in a three-Michelin star restaurant in Provence, he fell in love with cooking and the idea of being a chef. For four years he conducted an experimental education and apart from three unpaid weeks in a few professional kitchens, he is entirely self-taught.
During his research, Heston read ‘On Food and Cooking’ by Harold McGee which questioned the basic notion that searing meat seals it. If this were untrue, he wondered, how many other ‘rules’ of the kitchen could be broken? This encouraged Heston's natural curiosity, showing him the benefits of taking nothing for granted and using his renowned scientific approach to cooking.
In 1995, Heston bought a 450-year-old pub in Bray, The Fat Duck. He transformed an impossibly cramped space with minimal culinary facilities into a gourmet kitchen and in a few years earned his first Michelin star, swiftly followed by two more. In 2005, it was named Best Restaurant in the World by the highly-respected Restaurant magazine.
During this time, Heston continued to explore the interests that have become a central part of his approach to cooking: multisensory perception and how the brain influences our appreciation of food. Through his deep interest in the history of British gastronomy, he came up with the idea of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, his first restaurant in the capital.
Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts
Originally from Dorset, Ashley has been influenced by his love of the countryside and his knowledge of British seasonality and produce. Aged 14, his passion for cooking was fuelled by an after-school job in a restaurant. His first full time catering position was in Le Petite Canard where he studied the fundamental disciplines of the kitchen before joining Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck in 1999.
Ashley has worked with Heston ever since, using his artistic eye and enthusiasm for research to help create the historic British and multi-sensory dishes served at the Fat Duck. Ashley has been Executive Chef of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal since its opening in early 2011.
With room for up to 10 people, Dinner’s private dining room offers a unique and exclusive environment in which to enjoy its award-winning cuisine.
With a traditional wood-beamed ceiling and rust coloured leather-clad walls, this intimate room has a warm, cosy design that reinforces the restaurant’s historical British style. To complete the picture, cobalt blue fabric covers the elegant dining chairs, unique pigs’ head lights adorn the walls and a stunning glass light fixture hangs directly from the ceiling over the table.
We also offer guests the option of reserving our Chef’s Table. Situated opposite the kitchen, this semi-private space offers diners a window into Dinner’s busy kitchen. Very much encapsulating the idea of restaurants as theatre, this fabulous table allows diners a unique insight into how the talented team work.
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