More about Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons
Sheer luxury at le Manoir
Took a mid week break for my wife's birthday. Arrived in pouring rain and met by receptionist with umbrellas who took the car keys and led us into the hotel to show us around the main house. No formal check in just confirmation of name. Quick tour before going to room, Vettriano, in Garden Wing. Luxuriously appointed, soft classical music on CD, complimentary decanter of excellent Madeira and fresh fruit. Knew what to expect as we had checked the room on the web before we went. Dinner was ordered in the Champagne Bar or in the lounge and we ate in the Dining Room but tables are also in the Conservatory. Food was excellent. Don't be fooled that English breakfast is extra - the included Continental buffet in the Conservatory was supberb - this was also available from room service. The gardens are delightful and interesting. Sure it is VERY expensive, but for sheer luxury, elegance and outstanding friendly service in beautiful surroundings it must take some beating.
Here are my suggestions for...
Here are my suggestions for eating out in Oxford...
For CURRY: Jamals, Walton St., North Oxford
For THAI: Thai Orchid, St.Clements (East Oxford - the left-hand branch off the Plain roundabout near Magdalen)
For FRENCH: Le Petit Blanc (it's Raymond Blanc's restaurant, and much more affordable than Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons, which is also in Oxfordshire)
For PIZZA: try the Gourmet Pizza Company in Gloucester Green (try the Chinese Duck Pizza!)
For ICE-CREAM: you can't beat G&D's! There are two branches, one on Little Clarendon St and one near Pembroke
For KEBABS (!): if you really must.... Ahmed's is quite good, as is the Roving Gourmet. I don't recommend the one on George St opposite DTMs!
I was interested to read a recent disappointed review of Le Manoir. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary there on 19th June last year. Given that Le Manoir is such a beautiful place I feel a little churlilsh saying this but I couldn't help feeling just a bit disappointed too.
The service was second to none, the gardens and house were exquisite, our room and courtyard were just lovely. However, dinner should have been the highlight of our stay and I honestly can't say it was. The 7 course gourmet menu, although beautifully presented, timed and served didn't rate as the best food I've ever eaten - which is what I expected. The wine was also ok but not fantastic. I have no specific complaint about the food because it was good - just not superb. Breakfast made no lasting impression on us.
Would I book again? No I don't think so. If you are paying such a high price for one night then you expect to be blown away - and we weren't! Maybe Le Manoir has become just a bit complacent or maybe it's just too difficult to be fantastic 100% of the time.
Looking forward to my next visit
I could not agree more with all the positive sentiments expressed about this hotel's cuisine and its staff. The greatest compliment I can give Le Manoir is that after holding my truly fantastic wedding reception in its Milton Room some years back I have booked up to hold my daughter’s post -Christening reception there this coming July and I have absolutely no doubt that once again the staff will provide my family and friends with a wonderful meal in a truly glorious setting.
as good as it gets
I have been to le manoir twice within the past two years and on both occasions the stay was fantastic. I am writing this review because i can't understand some of the comments that have been made regarding the food, which was outstanding on both occasions, and without a doubt the best I have ever tasted. I do understand the comments about about the cost of a stay here, but all prices are clearly detailed on their website so their should be no real suprises at the end of the stay. The service is second to none, and the rooms and grounds within the hotel are also hard to beat. I don't believe in perfection, but this hotel and all of its staff certainly tried to prove me wrong.
Great for luxury break with young kids
We stayed here last year with our two kids, then aged 4 and 7. Its a great place for a luxury break with kids, as they are very child friendly, have fantastic child menus in the restaurant, and quite happy for young kids to eat with their parents in the dining room. [Several other families were eating, and there was no disturbance to other diners].
Lovely room - junior suite with two extra beds, and exceptionally nice grounds for wandering/running around.
The (grownup) food was very good, but not the best we've eaten. We went to the fat duck the next day for lunch and that WAS the best we'd ever eaten (much less child friendly though!).
Very expensive of course, but worth going at least once..
Stayed in a top suite (Peony) for 1 night on Valentines day. Staff excellent, suite first class. The food was an adventure for us but we tried the menu gourmand - it was very good indeed - not quite our thing, but we came to experience the food and thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the courses. Staff could not have been more helpful in explaining the different dishes. Wine list was interesting - a lot of good value wines for those with more of a budget - we appreciated this. You could of course spend thousands on wine if you so wished!
The hotel is excellent throughout, gardens worth a visit in themselves - a wonderful collection of bronzes to discover.
Was it worth it is what most people want to know - yes it was. A dream of a place, for someone of our means it is to be seen for what we wanted it to be - a "one off" bit of something very special. It exceeded our expectations.
We spent our wedding night here and all I can say is that the whole experience was amazing from start to finish.
The room was beautiful, the food was most definitely the best meal I have ever had and the service was attentive without making you feel uncomfortable.
If I had a bottomless pit of money I'd be back here every weekend!
I honestly cannot recommend this place enough. There is no denying that it is expensive but it really is money well spent.
I have been luck enough to visit twice, once for lunch (2002), and once for dinner and an overnight stay (2004). On both occasions I have had a totally fabulous experience (as well as the most expensive lunch ever, £1000 for 4!!).
It really is worth the expense to visit/stay for a special occasion (and lunch is actually quite reasonable if you don't swill down vintage pink champagne as we did!). You are treated like royalty from the moment you drive in and your car is parked for you (the grotty Scorpio looked so bad next to all the designer marques!)until the moment you leave.
I am not really into food, eating to live rather than the other way round, but the memory of the intense flavours will linger forever. The team were also willing to accomodate little foibles (I hate truffles).
All the staff were helpful and charming, and on a recent telephone query (2006) were extremely informative, going well beyond what I would have expected (I'm only sorry that for logistic reasons what we planned did not come off).
Save up, go, and have a great time. You won't be sorry.
Quite a place
Most of the reviewers have said it already and it really is a pretty special place. The attention to detail is excellent and overall my wife and I had a wonderful time. On the down side I personally found the restaurant staff too attentive. There was forever someone at your table topping up your water or wine which I found a little off putting. I know some people like that but it is not for me. The plusses though far far outweigh any negatives. Having spent £800 plus on one night for accomodation and meals I left feeling that I had almost received value for money..almost!
I will certainly go again once I have finished paying for this trip.
All Souls and New College
Thames river frozen,N.Y's day
Brasenose College and Radcliffe Camera
Car Parks in Oxford
Hi, my husband has asked me to show him Oxford during our trip to the UK in September. It's one of my favourite places, so I'm very happy to do that. But when I travel on my own I always use trains or National Express and I have never paid any attention to the parking situation in Oxford.
There is a car park near the train station, I remember that.We'll be coming down Headington Road, is there any car park closer to this area? Is parking allowed in the smaller side streets?
The map I have doesn't show car parks so I hope someone in Oxford can help me.
Re: Car Parks in Oxford
I visit Oxford frequently when staying with my sister in Banbury and I always use the Park and Ride service(the one I use is at Peartree, but there are others at different points). I've found the city to be so busy that car parking is a nightmare..look for the signs for the Park and Ride, and try them out.
Re: Re: Car Parks in Oxford
I agree with the above. Parking is a nightmare, and the Park and Ride places make it really easy. I used Peartree (near the motorway and well-signed), lots of spaces and frequent buses into the centre of Oxford. Recommended.
Re: Car Parks in Oxford
Agreed. We went to Oxford after a period of about ten years and I couldn't believe how bad the traffic was. the first day there wasn't even a space in the Park & Ride car park!
Re: Car Parks in Oxford
Parking is a nightmare in Oxford. The Main Car Park is the one situated next to the Westgate Shopping Centre and the entrance is off Thames Street. If you are coming from the Headington direction there is another car park in St Clements. Expect to paid about £1.50 a hour. There are 5 Park & Rides around Oxford. There is one in Headington off the A40 at Sandhills by the traffic lights. A number of coach services also call at this car park. You may find these websites useful for information on Park & Ride, buses and car parks.
Be aware car crime is high in Oxford especially in car parks, though there is CCTV and security patrols. DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING IN VIEW IN THE CAR. If you need anymore info please send an e mail.
Re: Car Parks in Oxford
Thank you all for your information. We'll try the park and ride system and take a bus into town.
When I was there on my own, I took National Express into Oxford and then I walked. So much easier!
Thank you again
Re: Car Parks in Oxford
A final PS to this thread - I've just been reading in the British papers that a day breathing in Oxford's polluted air is the equivalent of smoking 60 cigarettes a day! It came out as the worst city for air quality in the UK. That's how bad the traffic's become - what a shame for such a beautiful city.