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Launched by adopted national treasure Raymond Blanc in 1984, Le Manoir is a spellbinding vision of pure escapism guaranteed to transport world-weary souls back to la belle vie. Much depends on the seductive appeal of the hotel’s ravishing organic gardens, so it’s no surprise that the food is all about seasonality and what Blanc calls ‘sustainable harmony’. Almost everything is infused with the essence of intelligent French cuisine – from an exquisitely pretty plate of smoked salmon ‘mi-cuit’ with horseradish and cucumber to roast loin of venison with Grand Veneur sauce or squab baked in a salt crust with mushrooms and Madeira jus. There’s also room for gasp-inducing extras, divine patisserie and high-art desserts, while everyone feels cherished as staff go about their business with impeccable poise. Of course, you will pay handsomely for the velvety escape of a lifetime, but Le Manoir remains the ultimate dream ticket for out-of-town indulgence and a worthy recipient of the BMW Square Meal Award for the Best UK Restaurant 2013.

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  1. One of Britain’s most loved destination restaurants – le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – is the perfect place for a gastronomic escape. Chef Raymond Blanc is a hands-on kind of boss. It’s not his style to be hidden away, simply overseeing his brigade. He’s out welcoming guests, gauging times, subtly managing the whole operation. And well managed it is too with the front-of-house service working in elegant concert with the kitchen.

    Once you’ve had a chance to take in the surroundings with you apéritif and amuses bouches, you’ll be escorted to your table. Menu wise, you’ll notice that there doesn’t seem to be any...
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  1. Published : Saturday, 1 December 2012

    samphire and salsify :: Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons

    Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons is a restaurant and hotel in the Oxfordshire village of Great Milton. It comes from the legendary French chef Raymond Blanc who received his two Michelin stars for Le Manoir just a year after opening in 1985 and has held them ever since.

    As it was my birthday we decided that a visit here for lunch would be the perfect way to celebrate – and we weren’t disappointed.

    We arrived after an hour and three quarter drive from London (without any traffic – hoorah) and were rather impressed by the beauty of it all. The building, the hedges, the lawn, the flower beds; all perfectly...
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  1. Stepping onboard the Belmond British Pullman, you are transported to a bygone era of luxury and style. Sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, it departs from London Victoria to a wide variety of destinations. Ours was to be Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s famous two Michelin star restaurant.

    The train is named in honour of George Mortimer Pullman, the father of luxury train travel. Its carriages were used by the British royal family, President de Gaulle and many other celebrities...
    More from Luxury Columnist »

  1. I celebrated my birthday in January and my husband surprised me with a lunch reservation at Le Manior Aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire.

    We sipped on champagne and nibbled canapés as we browsed the menu and relaxed. The reception and lounge area reminded me of The Waterside Inn, the conservatory dining room reminded me of Midsummer House, where I had celebrated my last birthday...
    More from Happy Birthday to Me! Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons | Food Obsessed Sam »

Raymond Blanc

‘RB’ came to England from Besançon in 1972, originally to work as a waiter in Oxford. Entirely self-taught (unless you count the influence of his dear mother ‘Maman Blanc’), he opened Les Quat’ Saisons in Oxford in 1977, followed by Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons just outside the city in 1984. Among his other achievements are an honorary OBE, a French knighthood and the founding of the now 20-strong Brasserie Blanc group.

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