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How to get a booking at Fat Duck - 2011?


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Please allow me to quote from an article in the Sunday Times Business section, 6 March 20011 - from an article about the Waitrose managing director Mark Price.

"Mark Price....never does things by halves.....The Fat Duck....is his choice for the evening."

How does he, or anyone, become able to readily get bookings at The Fat Duck?? My wife tried repeatedly to get a booking for my birthday last year and consistently failed. She wants to try again for my 60th next year but we are concerned that she will again be unsuccesful. Is there a way to get bookings??

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Other than a career change as sunbeam suggests, there's only one way. Start ringing dead on 10am, two months before. It'll be engaged. Keep trying. Eventually it'll be ringing. You'll hang on for ages. Eventually someone will answer. They'll tell you they're already fully booked for that day.

We managed to get there for my 60th - although not on the day. We rang two months to the day. We knew full well that the restaurant would be closed on my actual birthday but asked if we could make a booking for that day. Woman apologises that they are closed that day. Mrs Harters, in her sweetest voice, then asks if it would be possible to book for the next day then. It was.

John Hartley

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First try calling as instructed above.

If that fails and your easy on date use the website and keep trying, If you can vary numbers even better a table for 2 may not be avaialable vbut a table for four is. Last time I tried this found a table for for, a couple of days from the date I was looking. Did not book it but it was available.

Finally try calling last minute in case there has been a cancelation.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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I've tried twice - first time it wasn't too painful, about 30mins of calling, but the second time I spent an hour and a half trying to get through, and when I did get through everything was gone :(

Going to try again this year to go back, I'm hoping that Dinner will reduce some of the attention but I guess it's perfectly possible it'll make it even more difficult!

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Pick the date you would like to eat at the Fat duck

Phone them up 2 months prior to that date…Exactly 2 months prior , not even a day before because theyll just tell you “sorry sir , 2 months isnt until tomorrow”

Phone them up at precisely 10am…. Not at 9.45 , Not at 9.50 or even 9.55 , you`ll just get the answering machine telling you to phone at 10am.

So phone at 10….on the dot , you will then find that its engaged….Hang up and redial…..then redial again……and again……and again……Carry on doing this until you get a ringing tone ( in my case this was 45 minutes )

WOW….I`m through…..To Alice in Wonderland……………..15 minutes of it….. O dear…..and finally

I get to hear the human voice after an hour.Even luckier , I GOT THE LAST TABLE FOR 2 on my chosen date,Simples ;-)

CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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Even luckier , I GOT THE LAST TABLE FOR 2 on my chosen date,Simples ;-)

Based on the number of people who seem to get the 'last' table, I wouldn't be surprised if they told everyone that to make them feel like 90mins spent on booking a table in a restaurant wasn't a tragic waste of time.

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Oh, I wouldnt call the time waiting to get a table a "waste". My meal there was an absolute delight and a wonderful birthday present.

That said, I've no need to rush back and eat it all over again. If I did, I'm sure that, for example, the wonderful Mock Turtle Soup would have become just another very nice soup.

'Tis a case of been there, done that, would have bought the T-shirt.

John Hartley

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I`ll echo Harters "bought the t shirt " comment.Nice meal but been there n done it.

Just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons ,My manager turned up on the doorstep last week and got straight in for lunch , done the same at "Dinner" last sunday lunchtime.

The fact that he`s 6 foot 5" , 22 stone and dressed in Kilt and full Scottish regalia either impressed them or put the S***s up them.

CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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I will echo that, I am just glad that I was booked for dinner the week after he was voted Best Restaurant in the World and it was a lot cheaper in those days. An experiance, has to be done once to find out just what everyone in raving about but not worth repeating. Lots of better places to try - I hope!! :biggrin:

Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society

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  • 2 months later...

The GF an I are planning at eating at the Fat Duck this coming September. Any tips on trying to snag a reservation? Is the new online booking system any better? I've noticed they recently updated their website - presumably to make getting a reservation easier? I know dinner will be tough but I'm going to go for it. Either Thursday or Friday.

The site says bookings open 2 months in advance but is that really accurate?

Thanks

Aman Adatia

eat my LIFE

@amanadatia

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman

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I suspect the online system may possibly be of use for lunch but hopeless for dinner. You'll have noticed that it does not open until 1 week after the telephone reservation system by which time, I've have thought tables would be long gone.

Our experience, last year, was that you had to telephone exactly two months to the day. In fact, you had to telephone at 10am when they start answering the phone. It was constantly engaged for about 30 minutes and we then went on hold for another 30.

I have seen a post suggesting that the best way to get through is to set up several phones with speed dial and just keep ringing them.

John Hartley

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So if I'm wanting to book between August 31-Sept 2 I should call from June 30?

Yikes!

Edited by Aman Adatia (log)

Aman Adatia

eat my LIFE

@amanadatia

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

If you're visiting the UK and staying at anything resembling a swish London hotel, one strategy is to get the concierge there to try for you - some of them have special powers that mere mortals do not possess. This has worked for me in the past. A friend of mine was staying at the Savoy (before the renos) and the concierge there got an FD booking with about two weeks' notice, when all our efforts otherwise failed.

Of course, if you merely LIVE here then that's not going to help... :rolleyes:

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Whitecat has it correct. If you have access to a concierge they can usual find you something. Otherwise calling exactly at 10am 2 months in advance to the day and waiting is the only other way to get through- Lewis Carol will become your new best friend but you will get someone eventually and likely be able to get a table if you are willing to go for lunch.

Let me just tell you it is worth every minute waiting and effort spent calling, and I have gone for lunch and is equally if not more spectacular.

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Whether served on a spoon, stacked in a stiletto, or sipped in a stem glass pleasure in life is all about taste.

The Supper Model

www.thesuppermodel.com

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