An ingenious British culinary history lesson from Ashley Palmer-Watts
What to expect: It may be a large, extremely busy hotel restaurant in the posher part of west London, but don’t underestimate the ingenuity and originality of the dishes at Dinner, which retain the Blumenthal stamp, albeit in a very different guise to those at The Fat Duck. What’s more, dishes are delivered by super-friendly and well-versed staff.
History lesson: The menu was conceived following extensive research into historical British dishes from as far back as the 14th Century, and has retained that unique niche since its opening. But while some creations have become world-famous – Meat Fruit, Rice & Flesh et al – there are lower-profile gems to look out for such as Frumenty (grilled octopus, spelt, smoked sea broth, pickled dulse and lovage, circa 1390) and Eggs in Verjuice (verbena and coconut panna cotta, coffee parfait, verjuice and citrus, circa 1730).
Will Heston be there? Not usually. The restaurant is led by chef-director Ashley Palmer-Watts, who has been with Blumenthal for almost two decades. At Dinner, which now includes a branch in Melbourne with another to come in Dubai in 2019, Palmer-Watts has established himself as an innovator in his own right.
Worth noting: The glass-walled kitchen allows diners to see a pineapple slowly roasting to on an elevated spit, the centrepiece of the famed (and delicious) Tipsy Cake dessert.
Portrait: Karon Photography / Dishes: John Blackwell