When it comes to concentrated culinary excellence forget the fashionable salons of Mayfair. Bray-on-Thames established itself yesterday as the epicures' epicentre of Britain after a second restaurant in the village was awarded three Michelin stars.

The chef-owner of the Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal, 37, saw his establishment become one of only three in the UK to hold the accolade. One of the others is the nearby Waterside Inn owned by Michel Roux. Mr Blumenthal attributes his first name to the Heston motorway service station.

"The stars are given for the food. When you get to that level the surroundings will be in keeping as well," Paul Cordle, a spokesman for Michelin guides, said. It says of the Fat Duck: "History and science combine in an innovative alchemy of contrasting flavours and ... confident service." All of which spells good news for the 8,000 inhabitants of Bray - a well-heeled Berkshire commuter village on the banks of the Thames.

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