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Flying the nest: Heston's Fat Duck restaurant to relocate to Australia

Billed by the restaurateur as "the furthest migration of a duck", Blumenthal said his award-winning venue would move to Australia in January next year, before opening in Melbourne the following month.

He said The Fat Duck would temporarily close its UK premises, in Bray, Berkshire - with staff and some of the furniture at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant migrating south for six months.

Speaking at a press conference in Australia, Blumenthal said: "I'm going to shut The Fat Duck and bring it here to Melbourne.

"This is probably the furthest migration a duck - of any kind, let along a big fat duck - has made."

Blumenthal said the Australian venture would close after six months and he would return to the UK, with a new restaurant - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

He said: "This is not a pop-up restaurant, this is not a guest chef coming over and doing a few weeks or a period of time in somebody else's restaurant.

"We are going to pick up The Fat Duck, the whole team, and fly them over here.

"We're even going to pick up some of the bits of the restaurant - maybe the sign, maybe bits of the leather from the chairs - and incorporate it into the dining space in The Fat Duck.

"Then in January we are all going to come over here. The plan is to open here in February."

Opened to critical acclaim in 2011, the restaurant specialises in historical English food and caters for about 1,000 customers a week.

A meal for two can cost around £190, and signature dishes include the Meat Fruit recipe - a chicken liver mousse made to look like a mandarin orange.

Blumenthal shut The Fat Duck for two weeks in 2009 following an outbreak of the winter bug that left more than 500 people feeling sick.

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