Church Road, GREAT MILTON, Oxford, OX44 7PD
It's a little over 30 years since Raymond Blanc took a chance on this little manor house in Great Milton. The amount of love, energy and hard work directed at the place over those years is immeasurable, but the result is clear for all to see, for Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons is beautiful inside and out, and what it offers by way of hospitality is as good as you'll find anywhere in the UK. Whether you come for a once in a lifetime dinner to celebrate a special occasion, or are lucky enough to be a regular customer, the service you receive will live long in the memory. Now part owned by the Belmond group, Le Manoir remains a truly singular place. The manor looks immaculate with its old stone walls covered in creepers and the garden primped and manicured to pretty perfection. Leave time to explore the rest of the grounds, with its Japanese tea garden, striking statues and English water garden, and take a wander around the vegetable garden where much of what you eat is grown. The house itself more than passes muster - the comfort-factor is set at ten - and every room in the place looks elegant and refined, with the conservatory dining room at its best during daylight hours when the garden view can be best appreciated. The arrival of a series of amuse-bouche (curried vegetable bonbon, say) and the array of fabulous breads (eight in total) signals the start of a meal that is rooted in classical French ways. The bilingual menus include tasting versions and an à la carte that change with the seasons and reflect the superb supply lines that have been developed over the years by Raymond and Gary Jones, his long-serving right-hand man at the stoves. The ingredients shine throughout, such as a superb piece of salmon, prepared mi-cuit, and partnered with apples in various textures and lemon verbena, or the wild mushrooms and white Alba truffle that find their way into a risotto. There's nothing here to confound or confuse, but the precision and technical proficiency of the kitchen never fails to impress. Examples include a main-course roasted loin of Rhug Estate venison lavishly served up with a smattering of truffles and a silky celeriac purée, or a fish dish that combines Cornish sea bass with a light seafood broth and sea vegetables with a hit of citrusy yuzu. A dessert of Manjari chocolate and raspberry crumble delivers an astonishing balance of sweetness and sharpness, and looks positively stunning on the plate. The cheese trolley is hard to resist. The wine list has been trimmed in recent years to meet the changing demands of their customers, but it continues to offer a stellar array of top-drawer options at prices that might well make your eyes water.
Tel: 01844 278881
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email
Open all year.
Sunday lunch available.
Cooking type: Modern French
Chef: Raymond Blanc, Gary Jones
Number of seats: 100
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Vegetarian meals available.
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £52.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.