Today's we focus in on one of Britain's finest hotels, the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons situated in the Oxfordshire village of Great Milton. Our attention was drawn to this remarkable hotel because of it's notoriety among British elite and it's possession of two Michelin stars, which it has had since 1985. As the Michelin stars suggest, the hotel has been oriented towards exquisite cuisine since its creation by celebrated Chef Raymond Blanc OBE in 1984. However, with its family friendly features, luxurious amenities, and breathtaking gardens the hotel is much more that best-in-class food.
The Dining Experience
Non-guests are suggested to make reservations up to three months in advance; however, guests and residents receive much easier access to the coveted restaurant. What makes dining at the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons so widely sought after?
Most would answer with two words: Raymond Blanc. His dishes are known for being imaginative and always fresh, regarding quality above all. Having been born in eastern France, which boasts some of the world's best dairy, meat, wild mushrooms and clear water fish, his culinary philosophy has always revolved around fresh, seasonal, and local cuisine.
This philosophy is fully expressed at the hotel as its two-acre kitchen garden produces 90 types of vegetables and 60 varieties of herbs. Unlike other dining experiences, the food served at the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is always sourced from their own backyard because for them, there simply is no other way to produce exceptional food.
The one exception the hotel makes when it comes to dining local is with their wide selection of wine from around the world. The hotel's wine cellar is home to about 1,000 different wines that have origins around the globe. While there is a bit of a bias in the selection, it's all in good measure. About 60% of the wine selection is French, which must wink at Chef Blanc's own preference!
The celebration of fine food is abound at the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons making it a foodie heaven. If simply enjoying Raymond Blanc's creations is not enough, you can try your hand at creating phenomenal cuisine at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. There is no need to have a wide skill set to participate in this cooking school as their vast gamut of classes are suitable for all experience levels. The only thing necessary is a passion for food and learning something new!
What kinds of courses does the school offer? Some classes are simply half-day introductions while other are more extensive, such as the dinner party master course. There are even residential programs for those committed to mastering the craft and children's courses for the little ones. The Raymond Blanc Cookery School is different in that it offers more avant-garde courses such as "Tastes & Textures from Afar", "Summer Dinner Party", "Learn to Cook in One Day", "Sauces for Courses", and "Food, Body, & Mind".
When Raymond Blanc first saw the Belmond Le Manoir he fell in love with more than culinary possibilities but rather the vast and bountiful Oxfordshire countryside. Today, the hotel takes full advantage of the stunning greenery that surrounds the polished grounds. The concierge can accommodate the most adventurous outdoor pursuits from fishing, horseback riding, and clay shooting.
Outdoor activities balanced with domesticated pursuits indoors are what make the Belmond Le Manoir so compelling. Besides sport, simply exploring the Cotswold Hills or Thames Valley could prove to be a lasting experience. The hotel offers exciting tours that guide guests through the famous Oxford hills, which have even been designated as an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".
This region inspires all sought after sentiments while on vacation-- those of introspection and serenity. In fact the Cotswold region has inspired several notable English composers. In the early 1900s, Herbert Howells and Ivor Gurney use to go for long walks together over the hills as inspiration for future work. Based on the magnificent views of the Malvern Hills, Herbert Howells wrote his first major piece, the Piano Quartet in A minor.
Curated Guest Rooms
The Belmond de Manoir is one of the United Kingdom's most original hotels. This is largely because of sheer amount of artistry executed in each individual guest room. The 32 guest rooms at the hotel are inspired by the travels of Raymond Blanc and with names such as Mimosa, Passion Flower, Orchid, and Emily, the rooms are elegant and decedent.
Should you want to treat yourself, the Blanc de Blanc suite is the crème de la crème. Located on the ground floor this grand eco-friendly suite has access to its own private terrace, spacious sitting room, bedroom, and walk-through dressing nook. Besides the sheer grandness of the suite, it embodies pure tranquility. As it's "Blanc" name suggests, the entire suite is made up of white hues and tones.
Every suite as a personality all its own. The Hydrangea Suite features antique furniture, a balcony and a double jacuzzi, while the contemporary Vettriano Suite is decorated with deep reds, Venetian masks and sexy bodices inspired by the works of avant garde Scottish artist Jack Vettriano.
Fit for Hosting
Belmond Le Manoir is fit for hosting weddings and the most luxurious events. Private receptions and luncheons can be held in a special dining room. The event space also includes a secluded garden, a reception room and a conservatory that overlooks the property’s original 15th century manor house.
Wedding parties can also be held in the conservatory, while more intimate ceremonies can be accommodated in some of the larger suites. However if you're looking for an entirely exclusive affair one can even hire the entire hotel and all surrounding area.
Having an event at the Belmond Le Manoir would be exquisite in every way. Their best-in-class waitstaff and concierge are receptive and ready for any need. Plus, unlike other venues that might may remain stagnant and perhaps monotonous, this particular hotel offers a wide variety of gardens, manicured greens, and rustic building facades.
The Belmond le Manoir is widely regarded for its gastronomical experiences and unique decor that distinguishes individual guest rooms and suites. However, it is true that the hotel has that je ne se qua because of its English charm and countryside locale. For best-in-class cuisine, prestigious cooking classes, adventurous walks through the English countryside, and the most luxe events, the Belmond le Manoir is the UK's most luxurious foodie hotel.
We've fallen in love with this venue, what do you love about the Belmond Le Manoir?