Heston Blumenthal will close his three-Michelin-starred restaurant the Fat Duck, in Bray, for a six month relocation to Australia.
The Berkshire restaurant will close its doors in December and reopen at the Crown Melbourne Resort, Australia, for a six month visit before returning to the UK to its original but modernised site.
Blumenthal will take the entire Fat Duck team with him for the duration of the sojourn down under, but not everyone will return to the UK right away.
Self-taught chef Blumenthal and group executive head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts will stay behind to open Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, taking over the site at the Crown Towers hotel in Southbank, Melbourne, used for the pop-up Fat Duck.
Commenting on the unusual business decision, Blumenthal said: "This is an incredible opportunity and I am thrilled that it has worked out the way it has.
"I just couldn't bear the thought of closing for an extended period, though. When we first started conversations with Crown, I saw the potential of the situation and really began to hope. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome."
James Packer, chairman of Crown Resorts chairman, added: "Heston's decision to relocate the Fat Duck to our Melbourne resort is an incredible result for Crown Resorts and the Victorian tourism industry.
"To attract an internationally renowned chef and innovator of Heston's calibre is a reflection on Melbourne's culinary reputation and Crown's commitment to dining excellence. The relocation of the coveted restaurant will be a big boost for local tourism, attracting interstate and international guests to Melbourne so they can experience a once in a lifetime dining opportunity."
While at Crown Melbourne Resort, the Fat Duck will offer the full tasting menu it is known for in the UK. Meanwhile, the building in Bray will have its interiors modernised, creating new work areas, particularly in the kitchen. The dining room will be refurbished as well, but the interior design will remain largely unaffected.
Following the Fat Duck's return home to the UK, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will take up residence within Crown Melbourne Resort, becoming the only restaurant the chef has in his portfolio outside of the UK.
His UK restaurants are the Fat Duck, the Hinds Head and The Crown at Bray, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, and the Perfectionists' Café, which is expected to open at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 in June.