Breaking news

November 2022: Luke Selby (who this year received London's #1 rating for food quality at Evelyn's Table in our annual diners poll) has been appointed executive head chef, and will start in the New Year replacing Gary Jones. Luke's brothers Nathaniel and Theodore will join him here, and they are all are due to leave their London restaurant Evelyn's Table (see also) at the end of December.

survey result

Summary

£269
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Go on, spoil yourself!". This “fabulous” fifteenth-century manor house is regularly the most commented-on destination outside London in our annual diners’ poll, and consistently one of the highest rated. Founded by Raymond Blanc in 1984, he remains its public face, although ownership nowadays is in the hands of LVMH and the executive head chef is Gary Jones. A visit here often starts with a tour (“so interesting!”) around the “spectacular and peaceful” grounds and kitchen gardens: TV star Blanc helped pioneer the current vogue for sustainable produce grown on-site, and herbs and veg from the gardens regularly feature in the dishes. Gradual expansion has created over 23 bedrooms and suites, and “for a special occasion, especially a romantic one”, a night away here is many couples’ first choice (“words cannot describe the joy this place brings to my wife and me”“It’s an annual pilgrimage just to reset the benchmark of what dining perfection should be”). As an all-round experience, it’s hard to match. “You are made to feel special the second you set foot inside”; a spell in the “cosy” lounges bookends a meal with aperitifs and coffee; and “the finishing touches are what makes dining here such a pleasure”. Since Covid, the only option now is a tasting menu format. Some long-time guests miss the à la carte, although the classical-ish modern French cuisine is almost invariably still applauded for its “complete culinary precision” and “exceptional” flavours (“one of the best meals we have ever eaten…we ran out of superlatives!”). Opinions vary on whether the best tables are those in the dining conservatory, or elsewhere in the body of the house and extensions. Even fans caution: “be in no doubt that the trip is very, very expensive” (in particular, there are “enormous mark-ups on the wine list”, which is as heavyweight as you might expect). But they still recommend a trip “goes on the bucket list”“Yes! you are worth it!!". (Watch this space, as some change is afoot. In July 2022 the local council approved a plan for a £36m expansion at the property, to lead ultimately to a bistro, spa and new garden suites – the aim being to encourage guests to extend their stay).

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!”.

For 32 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).

Have you eaten at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons?

Restaurant details

Highchair,Menu,Portions
50
No dress code
65
Yes

Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Restaurant in OX44, Great Milton by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons restaurant.
Martine E
Sunday lunch on a beautiful Summer's day, a...
Reviewed 5 months, 15 days ago

"Sunday lunch on a beautiful Summer's day, aperitifs in the garden, followed by excellent quality food. The finishing touches are what makes dining here such a pleasure. The crab with coconut , chili and lime was a delight, service impeccable. "

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Prices

  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 190.00 Lunch only 6
Menu2 220.00 Dinner only 7
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £35.00
Filter Coffee £7.00
Extras  
Service 10.00%
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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