The two-Michelin-starred realm of Raymond Blanc is renowned for its gastronomic experience and the stunning grounds, which surround it; particularly, the vegetable and herb gardens that supply the famous kitchen. Strangely, it seems less well-known is the wonderful hotel, which it also houses.
There are 32 individually designed guest rooms and suites; and, since this is part of my aspirational series, I’ll predominantly focus on the gorgeous Garden suites!
I can’t decide which is my favourite. I feel rather drawn towards the ‘Blanc de Blanc’ suite. Le Manoir describes it as, “a serene, inviting space”; and it’s difficult to argue with that. The décor is all about textures, with beautiful porcelain and ceramics, adding to the stunning fabrics. This suite also has access to a private terrace.
All that would normally make the Blanc de Blanc a slam-dunk, but it’s got some stiff competition, from L’Orangerie. Designed to evoke the sights and smells of a Chateau, the tangerine trees in terracotta pots, limed oak and heated stone floor and the terracotta picked out into the décor, make this a real temptation. Combine that with a glorious marble bathroom, private garden and open terrace, and I’m struggling to resist it!
Located in the Garden Courtyard, these suites take their inspiration from France and Raymond's travels. The Garden suites are suitable for two adults, and two children using two rollaway beds. Prices vary by month and day of the week, of course, but I’ve seen them around £2,000 per night for two (including breakfast), in June 2020; and studio suites around £1400. That said, even the entry level rooms are ‘deluxe’, by any standard. They can be experienced for around £700 per night, again with breakfast for two; and what an experience!
Of course, the restaurant is superb, and so familiar that I’m sure it’s not necessary for me to wax lyrical about it, here.
Also, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the hotel is surrounded by glorious Oxfordshire countryside, in the picturesque village of Great Milton, with plenty of similarly gorgeous ones, such as ‘Dibley’ (Turville, in the real world), not far away. Obviously, there are larger but equally beautiful towns, such as Thame; and Oxford, of course.
So, all-in-all, if you’re looking to treat someone special – or yourself – to a stunningly romantic break, I suspect there aren’t many better choices, in England, than Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
Have you ever been to the restaurant, or stayed in the hotel? Where would you choose for your romantic getaway, in the UK? Let me know, in the comments below.