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“Very good but not great.”

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Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Great Milton
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very good but not great.”
Reviewed 10 November 2011

I don't know whether I expected too much of the place. By the way people had spoken of it, I expected it to be somewhere that, should God himself want to dine somewhere he'd choose here. I suppose it was always going to be slightly disappointing in the respect. My wife is a massive foodie, so as a treat we came here and by no means left disappointed or hungry - just not amazed.

The food was very good, not to my taste, but I appreciated the work that had gone into it. A little niggle was some patrons talking loudly across the room to eat others tables about the other Michelin starred places they'd been to - this isn't the restaurants fault, I know, but it did rather detract from our experience nonetheless.

Small niggle - if I go to a place made famous by a legendary chef - I kinda expect him to be working there to be able to charge so much, perhaps this is too much to ask for in this age of the celebrity chef!

Great place and setting just not awe-inspiring.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tongmeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,043 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (372)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2011

Right. Le Manoir. Famous throughout the culinary world and a place we'd both (my wife and I) been keen to go to for ages. So, kid's with grandparents; weekend to ourselves; a birthday to celebrate (it made the ridiculous price seem justifiable) and off we go across the heart of England......

To dinner. We were left with in the ante room with some nibbles which were nice. And some other guests which were not. I'm thinking Harry Enfield and his "I appear to be considerable richer than yow" character. Nouveau riche. You know, the kind of people who have to buy their own furniture, have uPVC double glazing and drive BMWs. There were Americans there too. Crikey, I'm such a snob.

To be fair, the proximity to London and Birmingham makes this inevitable. This proximity also means that prices get metropolitan too. £1800 nicker for a suite didn't quite make me bleed from the eyes....

Having watched the dapper Raymond on telly I was expecting French perfection. What we got fell some way short. It's not that the food was bad. It wasn't. It was just OK. Fair to middling. Duck liver took the place of foie gras. Brill masqueraded as Turbot. A restaurant that's gone PC. This was the theme and whilst it wasn't badly executed I wasn't overwhelmed. Both the brill and duck liver were ovecooked. The revelation of the night was the butternut squash ravioli as we worked our way through the tasting menu. The lowlight was the apple croustade which was burned and disintegrated like shrapnel with a mere glance. Very bad indeed (go to Koffman's place at The Berkely to see how this should be cooked)

For a restaurant puporting to be steeped in the seasons, cooking from it's own gardens (which are lovely by the way), in England, in October I might be forgiven for expecting game on the menu. Absent it was, but for a solitary grouse (for a further "supplement") now nearing the end of its time anyway. The wine list was fairly poor. Lots of grand crus at exorbitant prices but who's going to tuck into a Latour with less than 15 years on its side? There are some decent French Burgundies but I have to be honest these cellars don't stock wines ready to drink they stock wines ready to sell to those who've got a few grand to burn but know no better.

The most bizarre event came at the end of dinner. Knowing it was my wife's birthday the following day a waiter came the table and said, sir, I know it's a day early, but here is something from the kitchen. I was given a little white box. I opened it and, to my delight, it was empty, save for a tiny candle which read happy birthday (!?). The 2 inch cake, it seemed, had to be bought separately.....

As a pleasant place to have dinner this place just about hits the mark. For the cost of dining and/or staying here I'm amazed they survive. The food does not justify 2 stars. If you’re looking for a culinary experience you won’t find it here. Compare this to Gidleigh Park in Devon. There is no comparison. Gidleigh produces thoughtful, innovative and expertly executed food. You won’t hear a chef screaming and swearing from the kitchen like we did here. Nor would I be given an empty box with a candle to “celebrate” a birthday. Nor would I be relieved of the best part of £3k for a one night stay. Who’s the idiot? You might well ask.

Room Tip: Don't go.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank KeithTalent13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thame, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2011

I have eaten at Le manoir a little while ago now and have been dining in many michelin star restaurants in and out of England. I was disappointed in the overall services...maybe because it is such a big place and the staff turnover is so big that the front of house staff lacked of training or maybe it was a bad day...nevertheless I still paid the full amount of my bill.

The worse bit is this; I ordered a coffee parfait and had soe unmelted gelatine bit in the first one, I then called the maitre d' and he took it away without any apology, quite sure of himself, a few minutes later our maitre d come back to our table with a second coffee parfait...guess what....the same again! and still no apologies. I was very disappointed and so was my girlfriend. As when you go to places such as le manoir, your expectations are fairly high and these were most definetely not met at all on many grounds

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank francoistilman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2011

Myself and my partner stayed for my 40th Birthday along with two other couples who's 40th we were all celebrating together.
From start to finsh the experience was amazing! The room was excellent, we were booked into the 'Snow Queen' .............beautiful!
Champagne cocktails in the bar, stunning, Food in the restaurant, best service and food quality i have ever experienced,I would recommend the taster menu along with the 'flight of wines' you will not be dissapointed.
Yes it is very expensive, but there is a reason for that, you simply pay a premium for the best and therefore you cannot put a price on perfection but it won't come cheap! It makes you value such an expereince all the more.
Le Manoir has got it absolutely spot on, a benchmark for other fine hotels and restaurants to follow.

Room Tip: Book the Snow Queen you won't be dissapointed
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mattjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cumbria
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2011

The best b+b in the world! Having previously lunched there we were lucky enough to dine one evening and stay for breakfast. The prices are as out of this world as the food but you will walk away thinking that it was worth it. The rooms, service, food, gardens, wine list, tea and coffee list, and even a gin and tonic list are all fautless.

There is something very special about seeing fellow diners in the coffee lounge being given their bill whilst knowing you can just walk upstairs.
The breakfast experince feels even more special. The buffet is amazing with a huge choice of unusual fruits and breads and meats and cheeses, none of which you were offered the night before. Everytime you stand up to go to the buffet (which will we a lot) waiters come over a refold you napkin. When it got slightly busier the manager came into the dinning room and started getting fresh coffee etc.

Save up, book and go , it will cost the same as 1 weeks holiday, but quality not quantity etc.

Room Tip: The Bluebell room is lovely with a superb bathroom the same size as the bedroom
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank keithinthelakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poole, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 November 2011

The staff at Le Manoir have a knack of making you feel very special. I thought that they mistook me for a filmstar but I think that everyone is treated like that.
The food was fantastic and meeting Raymond Blanc was a great treat.
The best of the best.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bmlbml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2011

The stay was a 40th birthday treat for my wife and I and it lived up to expectations. We felt special from arriving through to leaving. The food was supurb and the ambiance in the restaurant just right - special and a sense of occasion without being in any way stuffy. Do make time to have a stroll round the gardens, which are amazing in themselves.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rajec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Property: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Address: Church Road, Great Milton OX44 7PD, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Great Milton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Great Milton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons 5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is renowned for offering one of Britain's finest gastronomic experiences. Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, it is also one of the country's most intimate and original hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms and suites. The hotel received two Michelin stars in 1984, the first year of its opening, and, remarkably, has held them ever since. Surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, the luxury hotel enjoys an idyllic, typically English setting. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchen-and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School-with ultra-fresh, organic produce, ensuring the Michelin-star restaurant remains at the cutting edge of culinary excellence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Manoir Aux Quat`Saisons By Orient-Express Hotel Great Milton
Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons
Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons
Manoir Quatre Saisons
Le Manoir Quatre Saisons
Manor Quatre Saisons
Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons Oxfordshire/Great Milton, UK

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