Fat Duck: Sweet Trolley

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Saving the best ’til last: an enticing surprise in the form of a mechanical sweet shop.


Heston Blumenthal is famous for creating multi-sensory dining experiences. We were tasked with bringing one of Heston’s extraordinary visions to life: creating a centrepiece which would add to the culinary experience and allow the magic of the final course to unfold at Heston’s The Fat Duck restaurant.


In close collaboration with Heston and his confectionery chefs, we set about designing and making a detailed, scale model of a Victorian sweet shop. It is packed with hidden innovative digital technology which stuns and surprises diners by seemingly coming to life and serving them each a personalised petit four. To ensure the sweet shop was the finest quality, we collaborated with the cabinetmaker Mark Heeler, who created new tools in order to fully realise the bespoke design.


The scaled model of a Victorian sweet shop, set atop a wooden trolley, is kitted out with metal cogs and gears. The shop’s exterior features traditional signage and windows and houses rows of miniature sweet jars. Smoke billows from the tiny chimney, while lights flicker in the windows upstairs.

Turning a brass handle on the side of the trolley causes gears to spin and the shop to open up, revealing 48 drawers and two detailed attic scenes: a sweet shop laboratory filled with scientific apparatus and a model of Blumenthal’s childhood bedroom, complete with posters, a train set and a model plane hanging from the ceiling.

Diners are asked to insert a coin, given to them in an earlier course, which causes drawers to open and close in a seemingly randomised sequence. Finally, a single drawer dispenses – as if by magic – a particular dessert sweet personalised for each guest.


Heston Blumenthal

Saving the best ’til last: an enticing surprise in the form of a mechanical sweet shop.