FAMILY TRAVEL: Top Table - LE MANOIR AUX QUAT' SAISONS, OXFORDSHIRE

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Location

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Church Road, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD (01844 278881 or: www.manoir.com)

Views

The Conservatory restaurant overlooks the croquet lawn, the vegetable and Japanese water gardens and, in the distance, the verdant Cotswolds.

Design

The exterior is grand country-house, but inside the rooms shout chic: a 15th-century manor exquisitely restored. Emily Todhunter designed the latest rooms.

Service

Perfect. No intimidation, no whispering.

Clientele

There's a heli-pad; say no more. A gaff with such celebrity status that there's no need to brag. Frequent visits from the Queen Mother and her pals can't have helped her overdraft.

Romance Factor

If you're here, it's probably a special occasion or you're trying to create one, and nothing spoils the mood. If you're staying over, the bedrooms come with candlesticks, decadently proportioned double beds and sweet soul CDs.

Wine List

Extensive, exhaustive, expensive.

Menu

Le Manoir has two Michelin stars and makes the most of the ingredients on hand from the gardens. Raymond Blanc's Menu Gourmand is the best choice: I lost count after seven courses.

Price

Raymond Blanc's Menu Gourmand is pounds 72 per person. Rooms cost from pounds 230 per night.

Oh yeah, and the food

Just for starters, I had salad of macaroni with truffle cream and vegetables. And, the rest - the best I have ever tasted.

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