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Matters of taste

Could Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck really be the best in the world? I went to lunch there with my mother, who usually hates fancy food

A couple of months ago, the unthinkable happened: a British restaurant was voted best in the world. Months after obtaining three Michelin stars, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray became the third restaurant—after Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli and Thomas Keller’s French Laundry—to top Restaurant magazine’s annual “best 50” poll. On a recent Wednesday lunchtime, I visited the Fat Duck with my mother, a culinary traditionalist who generally despises fancy food. What, I wondered, would she make of Blumenthal’s most famous inventions: snail porridge and bacon-and-eggs ice cream?

The Fat Duck is housed in a cottage-like building on a narrow street…

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