Husband's 'significant' birthday merited our first visit to Le Manoir, when we stayed in the African themed 'Sandalwood' - a delightful ground floor garden suite.
Our Ruby Wedding beckoned, so for our (...and I can't believe I am writing this) 40th Anniversary, a return visit was called for. This time we stayed in a stunning Art Deco themed suite - 'Anais'. We wallowed in the luxurious surroundings whilst sipping champagne, eating fresh fruit and hand made chocolates whilst idly considering how we were going to transport the beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses back home without crushing the delicate petals.
It was at this point that I discovered that the roses, chocolates, and signed Raymond Blanc cookery book (whilst exquisitely beribboned and wrapped) had 'Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary' festooned ribbons instead of 40th!
Faux Pas Alert !!!.....30th Wedding is Pearl and 40th Wedding is Ruby! I clearly stated Ruby 40th Anniversary at the time of booking the extortionately priced (but we felt we were worth it) suite.
However, that aside, I could happily have romped off with two magnificent hefty glass sculptures and a Frida Khalo inspired painting which were amongst the many decorative items displayed in our suite...but I just couldn't find a suitcase big enough.
Suddenly the thought occurred that we were due to dine in an hour or so, and I had lost count of the number of chocolates I had consumed. Needless to say, once we had showered and bathed in the huge marble bathroom and were suitabley attired, we mustered the strength to go downstairs through the cobbled courtyard (not exactly suitable for the impossibly high heels I was tottering about in) in order to enter the gastronomic fray.
Think I am fast running out of gastronomic superlatives but the canapes, more champagne, menu decouverte of seven courses, wine flight, coffees and petit fours.......were all beyond fantastic. Got no idea how we devoured all of the foregoing, but rest assured it was probably one of the best culinary experiences we have ever enjoyed.
The following morning whilst breakfasting in the conservatory - husband still had room for cereal, a full 'English' breakfast, followed by toast, home-made jams and a pain au chocolate, whilst I toyed with some muesli and fruit.
After that lot, a very long walk round the magnificent grounds was most definitely the order of the day.
All the hotel staff are to be commended for their committment to making guests feel pampered and special. On our departure, we were even given a small canvas bag containing 2 bottles of water and 4 mini lemon cakes, just in case we needed further sustenance on our way to Bicester! A truly memorable way to celebrate our special anniversary.
- 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