On Monday night, 14,000 very happy people found out via email that they’d been allocated a seat at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck when it relocates from England to Melbourne’s Crown Resorts for six months in 2015.
Another 76,000 – yes, 90,000 people applied for a table in the two-week ballot – received an email saying sorry, they’d missed out, but have an option to go on the waiting list should some of the chosen few check their bank balances in the new year and decide $525 a head is a little too much for dinner. Plan B is going to the front of the queue for a table at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which takes over the site permanently in mid 2015.
Naturally, those thrilled to discover they’d be spending nearly 5 hours tucking into snail porridge, seafood while listening to an iPod playing ocean noises, and scrambled egg and bacon ice cream as part of an 11-course meal, took to social media to share their good fortune.
And that’s when others descended like seagulls on a chip at St Kilda beach, offering to buy their reservation.
@julsl91, a locked account on Instagram that follows nobody, was among the first to try and get in on the action: “Hey there! This is a long shot.. But would you consider selling your reservation? Lol” its owner messaged several people within the hour after they’d posted their acceptance email.
A spokesperson for Crown Resorts told Business Insider that the bookings are not transferable.
Blumenthal is closing the English version of his Michelin three-star restaurant for six months for renovations and moving to Crown between February 3 until August 15 next year.
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