Where is Great British Menu filmed and can I visit?

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Food lovers across the country are keen to find out where Great British Menu is filmed and whether they can visit.

And who can blame them, really? The BBC series is, after all, one of the biggest highlights in the food TV calendar.

If you’re a die hard fan, you may think you know the cooking show’s set like the back of your hand by now… from where the sous vide machine is to the location of the ice chiller.

But how much do you actually know?! We’ve got all the information about Great British Menu 2023′s filming location below.

great british menu filmed

Here’s where Great British Menu is filmed (Credit: BBC)

Where is the Great British Menu filmed?

As always for 2023, Great British Menu is filmed in two locations.

During the heats and regional finals, the series shoots at a studio in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

The studio itself is actually a specially constructed studio kitchen, complete with everything a cook needs to make Michelin-quality food. What else would you expect for some of the best chefs in the country?

READ MORE: The Lowdown on the Great British menu judges for 2023

Once chefs make it through the rigorous heats, things get a little more complicated. The location of the final banquet, which marks the culmination of the show, changes year on year.

Previous seasons of Great British Menu, for instance, have been recorded at The Great Albert Hall and Abbey Road Studios, among other illustrious locations.

great british menu filmed

Great British Menu is filmed in a special kitchen studio (Credit: BBC)

Where is the Great British Menu banquet held in 2023?

For 2023, the Great British Menu banquet is happening at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion.

Where the banquet itself takes place depends entirely on the theme of the evening year on year.

This year’s spot has been chosen because the series is celebrating the best of British animation and illustration, in honour of Paddington Bear’s 65th birthday.

You might remember the Pavilion is a spot famed for appearing in Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, hence why it’s featuring.

great british menu filmed banquet brighton pavilion

The Brighton Pavilion is a pretty special location (Credit: Alamy)

As a result, there could be nowhere better to tie the theme together and gather a bunch of prestigious illustrators and animation pros in one place.

Pretty special, right?

Can I visit the Great British Menu set?

Visiting the Great British Menu kitchen set is currently not an option, sadly.

The Stratford location exists especially for filming, and isn’t open to the public.

The only exception is obviously if you’re a guest judge during the heats (although we’re afraid to say that’s an accolade a little out of most of our reach.)

Every week, a famous figure from whichever industry is the focus of that series’ banquet gets to take part in the tasting process for the final heat. If you’re a leading light in your industry, this is one way to get on set.

READ MORE: Everything we know about Andi Oliver – Great British Menu host

Another way to get on Great British Menu is to get an invite to the actual banquet itself. However, both of these options are pretty exclusive, so are unlikely to be an option for the average viewer.

Again, these coveted banquet seats go to industry leaders surrounding the annual theme.

Of course, you can visit Brighton Royal Pavilion when the banquet isn’t on if you want to check it out (just don’t expect the same world class meal).

It’s a really pretty building and would allow you to step foot where your favourite contestants have done before. More deets on how to do that here. 

great british menu filmed banquet location

Great British Menu’s banquet is held at a variety of prestigious venues (Credit: BBC)

Other than that, we won’t be able to visit the set except for via our TV screens.

That is, unless you wanna apply for the next season!

Is Great British Menu filmed in one day?

The heats on Great British Menu are undoubtedly intense, which is why they’re filmed over several days.

Yep, it might look like the heats are condensed into a super short period of time, and some people have even assumed they take place in a day.

However, speaking on The Grilled podcast, Great British Menu producer Avril Welch revealed that filming each heat takes a week.

She said that on Monday, the chefs get to grips with the kitchen, meet their veteran and cook canapés. Then, on Tuesday, they cook their starters and fish courses, and on Wednesday their main courses and pre-desserts follow.

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The Great British Menu heats are filmed over a week (Credit: BBC)

Thursday is the day that they have to cook dessert. Lastly, on Friday, they cook their whole menu for the judges chamber, and find out if they’ve made it to the banquet.

The filming schedule hasn’t always been the same. It used to be filmed over two days, with two courses made each day.

“Those days were absolutely brutal because if you’ve had a bad score on the starter or main course, you’ve got to pick yourself up and start again to do fish and dessert,” said Avril.

Despite the change offering chefs a little more time to perfect their dishes, she added: “It’s hard work, and even though they’re only cooking three dishes on those days for each course, it’s still really draining.”

The judges have their work cut out for them, too, with a total of 12 dishes to try in total.

How long is Great British Menu filmed over?

In total, the Great British Menu series takes nine weeks to film.

The show sees chefs from eight regions battling for a banquet spot, pitting four chefs from Scotland, the South West, the North West, Wales, Central, the London South/East area against each other.

As we mentioned above, each round takes a week to film, and then the banquet and accompanying footage is filmed during the final week.

Speaking to We Are Liquid, a former home economist on the show said that no two days are the same and that timings were super carefully mapped out to ensure that everything is filmed in time.

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Andi Oliver is present for all nine weeks of filming (Credit: BBC)

What is the Great British Menu prize?

Unlike other reality cooking competitions, the grand prize at the end isn’t cash or a trophy. Instead, the successful contestants have the honour of cooking at the Great British Menu banquet – one of the highlights of the culinary calendar.

Every year, chefs compete to cook at least one dish for a four-course banquet, held in honour of an important British industry.

READ MORE: Inside Guy Fieri’s incredible rise to fame

Throughout the course of the competition, chefs are awarded scores for their starter, fish, main and dessert courses. Once the judges announce the regional winners, the best chefs compete head to head, each trying to get a course to the banquet.

As the show culminates, the winners of each course get to cook their food for the banquet guests.

There might not be much cash involved, but it makes a massive difference to a chef’s reputation.

Great British Menu Winning Great British Menu is a massive achievement (Credit: BBC)

Chefs that have won slots at the banquet over the years are even invited back to judge competitors in future seasons, positioning them as one of the UK’s very best chefs.

Then, there’s the fact that viewers are home get to learn about who they are, their restaurants and their incredible culinary skills.

Forget money, the advertising is off the charts.

Do the Great British Menu chefs get paid?

The chefs on Great British Menu don’t get a wage for taking part in the show, despite the hefty time commitment.

Not only that, if you’re wondering who pays for the ingredients on Great British Menu, the answer is that restaurants actually have to foot a budget.

Of course, it’s fair to assume they’ll make that cash back pretty quickly thanks to the brand awareness the show provides. 

We don’t know about you, but we’d be much more inclined to visit a Great British Menu chef’s restaurant after seeing their food on telly…

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Great British Menu offers great exposure for chefs (Credit: BBC)

Who is favourite to win the Great British Menu 2023?

With the heats still underway, fans are none the wiser as to who will win Great British Menu 2023.

After successfully negotiating the regional heats, chefs then have to navigate a national final. Only after beating off the best of the best from around the country can they earn the right to cook at the banquet.

READ MORE: Who is Tom Brown from Great British Menu? 

This means it is still too early to tell who is a favourite to win the series in 2023.

There are several big names heading into the finals, including Scottish chef Adam Handling, owner of The Frog restaurant and Scunthorpe based Gareth Bartram from Winteringham Fields.

Landing a banquet spot is no small achievement, and then on top of that only one chef can be crowned champion of champions.

Previous Great British Menu winners include some of the most talented chefs in the country, such as Spencer Metzger, veteran and head chef at The Ritz, and Dan McGeorge, who works at the Rothay Manor hotel.

Despite the difficult journey, the rewards are definitely worth it. After all, there’s a reason why top chefs come back year after year.