The Atrium at Lords of the Manor

Modern European·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Atrium at Lords of the Manor

Silver Award

The quintessential Cotswolds bolt hole, Lords of The Manor’s 17th-century stone buildings, precisely manicured, eight-acre gardens and subtly luxurious finish are pure historic country chic – and merit a serious restaurant to match.

They get one in The Atrium: an intimate, destination affair framed entirely around chef Charles Smith’s ambitious, ingredient-driven cooking. Having worked under culinary luminaries such as Marcus Wareing, Alyn Williams and Thomas Keller, Smith is long overdue a spotlight, something The Atrium’s single, multi-course menu only serves to underline.

No, there’s no choice (unless you’re going veggie), but any quibbles on this score vanish with canapes that dazzle from the off. Tuna tartare wrapped, cannelloni-like, in a strip of mouli; duck liver stacked with cherry and almond as a mini Bakewell; and impossibly thin slithers of cream cheese and squid ink stacked under cured salmon and caviar are pure art-in-a-bite with a whack of flavour that outperform such diminutive dimensions.

Pacing is handled astutely. A delicate tartare of scallop might be followed by grilled brassicas, egg yolk and Gouda sauce, then pressed smoked eel and duck liver made sprightly by seaweed and roasted onion consommé.

While the wunderkind cooking more than justifies a prolonged format, the 14-seat room suffers a little in contrast. Open five evenings only, the architectural focus – a towering central skylight – is in redundant darkness for six months, leaving plush carpets, double clothing and high-backed seats to pull all the visual weight.

Service is kind and attentive yet staff are somewhat exposed in the small room. We missed the clubby, cocoon-like qualities of the old, paneled dining room that is now – quite sensibly – a dedicated, informal restaurant where classic dishes, affordability and choice are in the ascendant. 

Still, it’s Charles’ plates that you’re here for and they consistently captivate. The standout dish of this visit was John Dory done as a nose-to-tail take on traditionally gutsy Marseille bouillabaisse, although delicately smoked pigeon with carrots and greengages as a main was barely a step off it.

Rather than a trolley-based afterthought, cheese came as Beauvale blue melting over a hot oat roll with honey-poached quince, while dessert combined a technically flawless slice of custardy malted milk tart with classic vanilla ice cream.

Meals conclude with a bit of live-action marshmallow toasting with Smith himself delivering each table’s petit fours. It’s a nice touch, principally because he’s a humble chap whose modesty belies the confidence conveyed in his cooking.

To drink, matching wines are on offer, but there’s also plenty of value to be had in a generous list that presses all the right Burgundy/Bordeaux buttons without neglecting fun, quirkier regions.

Although in need of a few atmospheric tweaks, The Atrium’s star is undoubtedly in the ascendant. We expect numerous accolades to follow and bookings tough to come by in the near future.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Modern European
Fine dining, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Traditional, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions

The Atrium at Lords of the Manor is featured in


Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire, GL54 2JD

01451 607047 01451 607047


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:45-22:00
Thu 18:45-22:00
Fri 18:45-22:00
Sat 18:45-22:00
Sun 18:45-22:00


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01451 607047 01451 607047

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