About Dinner

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

It is never easy naming a restaurant and on this occasion I wanted something that represented our menu that is inspired by historic British gastronomy, so I searched for a name that had a bit of history, but was also fun.  'Dinner' fit the bill perfectly.  In the past, the main meal -dinner-was eaten at midday, before it got too dark.  But affordable candles and, later, gaslight saw dinner shift.  By the mid-1800s people were dining later.  People working in the cities were taking a 'lunch' to work and having their main meal at 5.00pm when they got home, while in rural areas the main meal was still taken at midday.
 

Even today, depending where you are in the British Isles, 'dinner' might be served at lunchtime, suppertime or, indeed, dinnertime!
 

This made 'Dinner' the natural choice for its typically British quirky history and linguistic playfulness.  If nothing else, I hope it's easy to remember. 

Ambience

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The restaurant interior has been conceived as a subtle, elegant portrait – contemporary and innovative, yet mindful of tradition. The dining room features floor-to-ceiling glass walls, giving diners a view of the kitchen and its unique pulley system. Modelled after a version used by the royal court, the pulley's rotate the spit on an open-fire. The ivory-painted walls are decorated with custom-made porcelain wall sconces in the shape of antique jelly moulds.

The Kitchen

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Originally from Dorset, Ashley Palmer-Watts’s love of food began with his love of the countryside and his familiarity with the seasons and exceptional produce of the British Isles. An after-school washing up job in a local restaurant at thirteen ignited a passion for cooking that has resulted in a career spanning almost twenty years. After leaving school, he started to work at Le Petit Canard in Dorset where he learnt the fundamental disciplines of the kitchen whilst spending most of his free time visiting producers and suppliers.
 

Ashley joined Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray in 1999 when it had just received its first star. Within two years, he was promoted to Sous Chef and he became Head Chef in 2003. Since 2008, he has been the Executive Head Chef for the Fat Duck group. Ashley currently heads up the kitchen at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park.
 

His creative eye for detail coupled with a great enthusiasm for research and British ingredients have enabled him to create the unique menu of historically inspired British dishes with Heston Blumenthal for the new restaurant. He continues to oversee development at The Fat Duck, The Hinds Head and The Crown Pub in Bray.

Recognition

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2 Michelin Stars
Michelin Travel Publications 2014

 

San Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Awards

Highest New Entry at no. 9 2012

Climbing to no. 7 2013

 

TatlerRestaurant of the Year
Spring 2011

 

BMW Square Meal Award for Best New Restaurant
Spring 2011