It’s a common belief that in order to secure a table at some of London and the UK’s most well-regarded restaurants, you need to book months in advance. However, a recent study has revealed that waiting times for Michelin-star restaurants in the UK are far shorter than most people think.
The survey, conducted by Celebrity Cruises, revealed that there are a total of 14 two Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK and Ireland where you can book a table with just 48 hours’ notice. The restaurants in this list include Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers in Marlow and Raymond Blanc's Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxford.
The famous 'meat fruit' at Dinner by Heston
Not all of the starred restaurants are as easy to access though. The wait for Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Bray can be between one to two weeks, while if you want to head to dinner at two Michelin-starred The Ledbury, you will need to ring up for a table one to two months in advance.
The title for the longest wait for a table in the UK goes to another Heston Blumenthal gaff, namely his Dinner restaurant which can be found at the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park. Diners wanting to secure a table here may have to wait a painstaking three to four months before walking through the doors, with the restaurant’s popularity down to its Instagrammable and inventive dishes such as the famous ‘meat fruit’ (which is actually a paté).
The rustic-chic dining room at The Hand & Flowers
Dinner by Heston is closely followed by two Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill and three-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, which both have a waiting time period of two to three months.
The findings of the study were achieved by contacting restaurant reservation teams across the country to find out exactly how hard it is to secure a booking at top UK restaurants.
Want to embark on a restaurant odyssey across the country? Check out our list of the UK’s Top 100 restaurants.