One of the top restaurants in the country, and ranked by many food writers among the best in the world, this extraordinary place packs in fans of hypercreative, hyperexpensive cuisine. "Culinary alchemist" Heston Blumenthal is famed for bizarre taste combinations—scrambled-egg-and-bacon ice cream, for example—and his laboratorylike kitchen, where this advocate of molecular gastronomy creates his dishes. There's just one sitting per night, which is just as well, as the 14-course tasting menu takes around 4½ hours to get through. It's impossible to say exactly where the culinary flights of fancy may take you. A tray of oak moss with truffle toast is brought to life with liquid nitrogen, poured like gravy (it smells like a forest after a rainstorm); at one point you're given headphones, which play the sounds of the sea from conch shells, while you munch edible sand and seaweed. It's as much theater as it is food, and the very definition of "not for everyone." However, those with a
taste for adventure (and deep pockets) find it a magical experience. The Fat Duck is a discreet building in the small village of Bray; look for the duck-inspired implements hanging outside. You must reserve a table two months in advance, and the booking process is strict; call or see the website for details.