Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“One of the most beautiful places in the UK”; Raymond Blanc has created “a jewel-like experience” (especially for couples who stay over in one of its rooms), at this “immaculately kept” Elizabethan manor, in a small village south of Oxford – “an iconic destination” (and the survey’s most mentioned outside London). “From the moment you step out of the car”, the “staff’s welcome instantly makes you feel at ease”, and a visit to the gardens – including the large kitchen garden that partly supplies the dining room – is an essential part of the trip; “even in the icy cold of February they are a pleasure to wander around”, and “make one truly believe that fairy tales are indeed true!” For some reporters the atmosphere in the dining conservatory itself is exceeded by other elements of the experience, but quibbles in this respect are few. Meanwhile, if there’s a gripe about the “beautiful and typically French haute cuisine”, it’s that some find it “slightly lacking innovation” – but for the vast majority of guests its “finesse” and “awe-inspiring attention to detail” contribute to an overall occasion that’s “a benchmark for all things good in hospitality”. Naturally it’s best not to dwell on the prices, but the overwhelming verdict is that it’s “worth it!”
“A wander around the magnificent gardens” is the overture to a “blissful” all-round experience (especially if you are staying the night) at Légion d’Honneur winner, Raymond Blanc’s “immaculate” Elizabethan manor house, which has few rivals in the UK as the choice “for a very special occasion”. “Exquisite” modern French cuisine – with much produce from the grounds – is delivered by “sensitive” staff in a “light and airy” conservatory. On the downside “you need a second mortgage”, but most reporters feel “it’s an investment worth making”.
“Worth the 300 mile round trip!”; for “spectacular” food in a “stunning” setting, Raymond Blanc’s “impeccable” country house hotel and dining room offers “a sublime experience” that’s “worth pushing the boat out for”; “make sure you leave time to explore the gardens before dinner!”
“Absolutely perfect, not cheap but worth it” – the cost issue may be ever-present, but Raymond Blanc’s “fabulous” manor house hotel and restaurant remains THE destination for those in search of a “fantastic all-round experience”; make sure you leave time for “wandering round the garden”.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Beautiful and relaxed setting, great service which was top quality but non intrusive. The whole experience was relaxed yet still special. Food was beautiful and delicious, though didn't wow me any more than some meals I have had for half the price. Most courses flowed perfectly, but some long gaps between others. I loved the little extra touches and food treats and the ambiance especially."
"You need to be sitting down when you open the wine list. Matched prestige wines to accompany the 5 course tasting menu work out at £50 a glass! The staff are delightful, friendly and make you feel at home. Any visit must include a walk through the gardens. The food was, as expected, first class. If one were to be hyper critical, the risotto course, delicious as it was, was very filling, meaning my sister and I were unable to finish the following lamb course."
"The service and location is faultless, very impressive. The food was good to very good, but never really hit the heights."
"This is more than excellent, food is sublime & the service is wonderful. Great hospitality & linen on tables.Good quality ingredients , dishes lovingly & superbly prepared. Dishes are based on French haute cuisine. Everything is very professional with a friendly atmosphere."
"Tried the 5 course tasting menu. Excellent but not startling, about as good as the champignon au sauvage but a bit more expensive. The service and ambiance was perhaps more grand. At £140 a head with a glass of wine makes it a once a year venue."
"it was a lunchtime and there were quite a number of people there. The service was sharp and not at all over the top. We felt relaxed and had a very flavoursome meal. Having been before it was actually better than the last time"
"We stayed here over the Christmas period and as always received an excellent welcome with food and service to match. Whilst not cheap, you pay for what you get and Le Manoir never fails to deliver a fantastic experience. Save up, it's worth it."
"le Manoir at Christmas is a magical place to be. Food was as usual very good safe but very nice. Service immaculate. Wonderful atmosphere."
Church Road, Great Milton, OX44 7PD
lunch noon - 2.30 pm, dinner 7 pm - 10 pm
Last orders: 9.30 pm