Wednesday, 3 June 2015


I know it's been all about gardens on this blog lately,  but I do want to share our one night's experience at Le Manoir aux quat' saisons,  Raymond Blanc's famous hotel and restaurant,  just outside Oxford.

We visited Le Manoir 29 years ago!  I'm not sure why we waited so long to return,  but what a credit to Raymond Blanc that, after all these years, the hotel has gone from strength to strength.  Michael and I were hugely impressed with the outstanding service.  I don't think I've ever experienced this level of cosseting before!
Our welcome was warm and efficient,  our room and of course, the dinner,  was superb.  The gardens have changed and there are numerous garden sculptures creating whimsy and humour.  Chris Beardshaw has recently designed a new flower meadow, planted beneath some old apple trees.

The English Water Garden is fed by natural springs.  These gardens were originally dug by the monks who occupied the site in the 16th Century.

The vegetable and herb gardens are very impressive.  The gardens are organically managed. 

The approach to the hotel.  Note the mortar and pestle on the left.

One of the three sitting rooms.  

The wide passages outside the bedrooms

Our beautiful bedroom, 'Hollyhock'.    What a treat it was!  Once the Master bedroom of the Cromwell family.  The wallpaper is hand painted.

A beautiful soap next to the bath and a little muslin bag provided so that the guest may take it home.

The food was out of this world...

The abundant breakfast buffet

The gardens at Le Manoir are special.

A view through the wall to the water garden below.

Unusual way of growing Ceanothus on decorative trellises.

A little buxus collection

I spy more Aliums

Loved this dark ruby Astrantia

Rows of Hidcote Lavender lining the pathway

Chris Beardshaw's flower meadow.

'The two acres of vegetable gardens are overseen by a bronze scarecrow, modelled on Raymond Blanc himself!'
The Japanese Garden and below the English Water Garden.

I do hope we will return very soon to this wonderful place.

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