Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons ** | Great Milton (UK)

Legendary dining, top-class service and luxurious surroundings
make Le Manoir an exquisite, indulgent treat for any foodie!

The location of the restaurant and hotel, with its beautiful grounds, is stunning. Located in Great Milton (UK) in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant holds two Michelin stars since 1984. The Belmond hotel was named the UK’s favourite hotel by operators in the Hoteliers’ Hotels 2018 Top 100 list last month.

Raymond Blanc is still an important and integral part of the restaurant and hotel, even though in recent years Gary Jones (executive chef since 1999) and Benoit Blin (Chef Patissier since over 20 years), have been given a more prominent role, with their names clearly stated on Le Manoir’s website and menus.

Garden entrance

Parking up and walking towards the main building – a beautifully kept 15th-century manor house –already gives a nice view of the beauty of this place. We went for lunch in March, so the gardens were still in their winter-state, We definitely have to go back in the spring or summer to see the gardens in all it’s beauty.

We were greeted by Raymond Blanc himself, as he happened to be at reception when we arrived!

Amuse bouches

We first went into the lounge, a civilised and pleasant way to begin the experience, where we were served amuse bouches with our aperitif. Curry croquette garnished with lime mayonnaise, a biscuit with goat’s curd and honey, beef carpaccio and rustic toast with smoked haddock. Four lovely amuse bouches.

Besides à la carte, there is also 5-course lunch menu (at £105) or a 7-course lunch menu (at £145) or a 3-course Les Spécialités du Moment menu (at £175).
We choose the 7-course menu together with the wine pairing (at £89). You can exchange any dish from the set menu with one of the Les Spécialités du Moment menu (at £25 supplement). I exchanged the second course (L’Œuf – Hen’s egg, watercress and coppa) with the risotto from the Les Spécialités du Moment menu (Le Risotto – Alba truffle risotto & wild mushrooms).

L’ail Sauvage – Wild garlic soup

A very simple looking dish, but really packed with flavour. A surprisingly mild flavour that is. The creaminess of the soup was exceptional, and the bursts of flavour from the garlic flowers as you nibble on the asparagus were wonderful.

La Truite De Mer – Cured sea trout, beetroot and sorrel

Sea trout, cured and smoked, with a sorrel sorbet, horseradish cream and beetroot. The sorbet was a vibrant green, perfect quenelle sat in the middle of the plate just begging to have the glorious trout dunked in it. The earthy beetroots and gentle hint of fiery horseradish really grounded the dish.

Terrine of beetroot with horseradish sorbet

A pitch-perfect beetroot terrine with a horseradish sorbet quenelle. The tangy beetroot with the creamy mozzarella was delicious and the horseradish sorbet was fresh. It is earthy, sweet with a hint of fire. Light, delicate and summery.

Le Risotto – Alba truffle risotto & wild mushrooms

A star dish of wild mushroom risotto, rich, creamy, perfectly cooked and seasoned. The Alba truffle enhances the earthy flavour of the mushrooms, a classic but wonderful combination.

L’Œuf, Hen’s egg, watercress and coppa

A pretty dish of soft hen’s egg garnished with strips of Jabuga ham and foie gras, served with wilted spinach and watercress puree and crisp quinoa. A pleasing and comforting combination of flavours.

Cornish turbot, clams, oyster leaf, wasabi and calcot onion

The texture of the braised fish was beautiful and melts in the mouth. You could taste the sea in those clams together with the sea vegetables. The flavour of the wasabi mousse was beautifully paired with the delicate flavours, yet thankfully did not overpower the dish at all. It was stunning.

La Caille – Roasted Norfolk quail, carrot purée and cardamom

A clean and colourful plate, with a great depth of flavour, this dish was both rich and light. The quail was definitely the star of the dish, but the vegetables definitely played their part well!

Le Comté – one cheese in three stages of maturation

Clever twist of the cheese platter. You can clearly taste the difference of maturity of the cheese.

L’Orange Sanguine – Blood orange carpaccio

As a palette cleanser, we were then presented with blood orange carpaccio accompanied by a blood orange sorbet.

Le Chocolat – Bitter chocolate marquise, soft caramel and Curcuma ice cream

A well-made, intensely flavoured chocolate marquise, soft caramel, and delicious Curcuma ice cream, topped of with a touch of gold leaf. A delightful dessert showing creativity and skill.


Our overall experience was heightened only by the members of staff who genuinely want to share their food of knowledge to their diners. Most importantly, there was not even a hint of patronising snobbery in any conversation we were involved with, or overheard. I always find it a shame when restaurant staff almost belittle their guests – this is not present at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons even in the slightest.

Holding two Michelin stars for over three decades is amazing. My only question is: why doesn’t Le Manoir have three Michelin stars? They certainly deserve it. Especially when I compare it with some other three Michelin star restaurants, like Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.

A visit to Le Manoir is a pure pleasure. It manages to be both highly luxurious and very homely, the service simultaneously friendly and incredibly professional.

Chapeaux Raymond Blanc!