survey result

Summary

£246
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The gardens are just so stunning and add another level of beautiful to the whole experience”, when you visit this famous, stone-walled manor house, set in very tranquil countryside a short drive from Oxford. It was founded in 1984 by chef-patron Raymond Blanc, who remains at the helm (although nowadays ultimate control resides with brand-owning powerhouse LVMH). For many couples, a visit here remains “the ultimate treat” – especially if it incorporates a stay in one of the enticingly luxurious bedrooms. And the property has long been one of the most commented-on destinations outside London in our annual diners survey, as “you are made to feel wonderfully welcome and looked after superbly in wonderful surroundings”. Much of the seating for the restaurant is in a dining conservatory, with the meal bookended by drinks in the gorgeous lounges elsewhere in the property. The cuisine “maintains a very high, French-led standard”, although there is also a longstanding school of thought that it risks becoming “formulaic” (“dishes had a robotic narrative to their composition”) and “needs some new inspiration to justify the two stars and the prices”. But even if critics of the cooking seemed a bit more vocal this year, the prevailing view here remains that “you pay for a transcendental experience… and you receive one”.

Summary

£248
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“You feel on Cloud Nine when eating in such incomparable surroundings” as Raymond Blanc’s famous Elizabethan manor: the survey’s most-mentioned destination outside London, and, “unparalleled for a special occasion”, with legions of reports of weddings, landmark anniversaries and birthdays celebrated in its cosseting quarters. It boasts “a gorgeous setting, buried deep in the Oxfordshire countryside”, “everything about the place is done with impeccable taste”, and no visit is complete without a stroll around its glorious and “well-tended gardens”. From the moment you arrive, staff “make you feel special”, and you are “whisked through to the cosy lounge to make your menu choice”. Most diners are then seated in the dining conservatory: a “wonderful environment” on most accounts (if, arguably, a tiny bit anticlimactic compared with the house proper). “The food tastes like it has come straight from the garden, field or ocean to your plate” and dishes “are not ostentatious: just perfectly-made food, beautifully served”. That’s by far the majority view anyway, although there is, perennially, a dissenting view that “while classy, the food lacks innovation” (very occasionally laced with cynicism that the whole experience is a luxurious “production line”). For most folks, though, the whole experience is plain “genius! – truly unforgettable!”. Ah yes… including the bill! “Your credit card will have a severe heart attack, but at least you’ll have ticked it off, and enjoyed doing so”. Staying the night is also highly popular, although it does then take the cost to a new, parallel dimension. Justify it to yourself with the thought of breakfast which “is unbelievable in scale, scope and quality!”.

Summary

£248
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“You feel on Cloud Nine when eating in such incomparable surroundings” as Raymond Blanc’s famous Elizabethan manor: the survey’s most-mentioned destination outside London, and, “unparalleled for a special occasion”, with legions of reports of weddings, landmark anniversaries and birthdays celebrated in its cosseting quarters. It boasts “a gorgeous setting, buried deep in the Oxfordshire countryside”, “everything about the place is done with impeccable taste”, and no visit is complete without a stroll around its glorious and “well-tended gardens”. From the moment you arrive, staff “make you feel special”, and you are “whisked through to the cosy lounge to make your menu choice”. Most diners are then seated in the dining conservatory: a “wonderful environment” on most accounts (if, arguably, a tiny bit anticlimactic compared with the house proper). “The food tastes like it has come straight from the garden, field or ocean to your plate” and dishes “are not ostentatious: just perfectly-made food, beautifully served”. That’s by far the majority view anyway, although there is, perennially, a dissenting view that “while classy, the food lacks innovation” (very occasionally laced with cynicism that the whole experience is a luxurious “production line”). For most folks, though, the whole experience is plain “genius! – truly unforgettable!”. Ah yes… including the bill! “Your credit card will have a severe heart attack, but at least you’ll have ticked it off, and enjoyed doing so”. Staying the night is also highly popular, although it does then take the cost to a new, parallel dimension. Justify it to yourself with the thought of breakfast which “is unbelievable in scale, scope and quality!”.

Summary

£243
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Any visit must include a walk through the gardens” when you visit Raymond Blanc’s “enchanting” converted Elizabethan manor, and “from the moment you arrive you are hit by the peace and tranquility of the whole enterprise”. “From beginning to end, the attention to detail is exceptional”: “nothing is left out, nothing is too much trouble” and staff “make you feel very, very special; not in a cloying way but through sheer politesse” (“exceptional service that includes attention to young children”). On the vast majority of accounts, it’s “a breathtaking, out-of-this-world gastronomic extravaganza” too, with “exquisite food (with no hint of overambitious ideas or overloading of ingredients), whose preparation is exact and whose plating is very graceful”. Where reservations are expressed, the issue is usually either the absence of a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (“the food was beautiful and delicious, courses flowed perfectly, but they didn’t wow”); or “the need to chat with your friendly bank manager before you open the wine list”. On most accounts, though, the equation stacks up beautifully: “this was a one-off bucket-list visit, but worth it despite the vast expense”.

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

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Restaurant details

Highchair,Menu,Portions
50
No dress code
65
Yes

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Restaurant in OX44, Great Milton by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons restaurant.
John H
Great atmosphere and superb food, with exce...
Reviewed 6 months, 28 days ago

"Great atmosphere and superb food, with excellent attentive service. Breakfast when staying over was a little ‘ordinary’ but anywhere else we would have thought it was lovely."

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Aroon L
Exquisite food and a spectacular, peaceful ...
Reviewed 10 months, 25 days ago

"Exquisite food and a spectacular, peaceful setting. Truly wonderful. "

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Martine E
The finishing touches are what makes dining...
Reviewed 11 months, 2 days ago

"The finishing touches are what makes dining here such a pleasure. The crab with coconut , chili and lime was a delight, the turbot was excellent, service impeccable. "

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simon A
A wonderful destination establishment….di...
Reviewed 11 months, 28 days ago

"A wonderful destination establishment….dinner was as impressive as you’d expect…."

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Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 155.00 Lunch only 6
Menu2 194.00 Dinner only 7
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £30.00
Filter Coffee £10.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%
Church Road, Great Milton, OX44 7PD
Opening hours
Monday6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑2:15 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑2:15 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2:15 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2:15 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2:15 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑2:15 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm

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