Belmond's Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons; Culinary Retreat in the Countryside
Updated: Nov 24
Considered one of Britain's finest country house experiences for the past 30 years, visitors from around
the world looking for a gastronomic escape to the countryside flock to Belmond's Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Just a 25 minute drive from the heart of Oxford through bucolic English countryside, Le Manoir is the brainchild of celebrated chef Raymond Blanc. The grounds of this 32-room manor house are filled with lawns, flowers, orchards, and includes a two-acre garden that provides vegetables and herbs for the heralded restaurant and the Raymond Blanc Cookery School and Gardening School.
The fresh, organic produce grown in the gardens ensures the restaurant remains at the cutting edge of culinary excellence. Take a half-day class or in-depth course; you can even join the kitchen team for a day. Seeing as the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars in 1985 and has held them ever since, a day cooking in with them is a day not to be forgotten.
The Raymond Blanc Cookery School offers a variety of classes throughout the year, covering topics from patisserie and bread making to seasonal dinner parties and even residential courses.
A guided walk through the organic garden, clay target shooting, and other outdoor pursuits are also on offer. The hotel also hosts a number of events throughout the year, including classic concerts, dinners hosted by guest speakers, and expert demonstrations. With a number of suites and a splendid garden, Le Manoir is ideal for a family break as children will enjoy their own special amenities including in-room toys and game consoles - even a dedicated menu in the restaurant. The hotel is also conveniently located for exploring the many gems of the local area - only half an hour drive from the city of Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Waddesdon Manor, the Chiltern Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and so much more.
Covid-19 Updates from Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Le Manoir has sent out updated information regarding the new and improved procedures they have put in place regarding Covid-19. Here is an overview of what they shared with me:
Dedicated In-house Expertise – prior to reopening, Le Manoir went through a deep clean by a third party specialist cleaning company, following our established pre-opening procedures, and further specific measures designed to protect against Covid-19 were carried out.
Our extremely robust cleaning standards have been further reinforced to protect against Covid-19. Additional antibacterial disinfectant products that are proven to effectively remove Covid-19 are regularly used throughout the day. These enhanced protocols will continue to be overseen and regularly reviewed by our dedicated on-site safety management team. These measures are also in addition to our comprehensive hygiene and cleanliness protocols which already mandate good hand hygiene, the supplying of handwashing facilities, as well as alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and strict guidance on regular hand-washing throughout the day.
Enhanced Protocols - All our employees are well-trained to identify the symptoms of Covid-19, and have been instructed not to come to work if they are feeling unwell or had contact with anyone who is suspected or confirmed as having contracted this virus.
As an added precaution, employees will be temperature screened before starting work. If an employee is displaying any symptoms relating to the virus, they will be sent home.
Safe and Seamless Service – We will continue to explore and make use of digital technology so that we can provide a seamless service whilst respecting social distancing requirements at all times. Menus will be displayed on digital tablets, which are sanitized after every use and housekeeping staff will not enter rooms whilst guests are present. As far as possible, we will automate these fundamental processes so that our team can focus on delivering Le Manoir’s exemplary service.
Partnering with Industry Leaders - We will continue to work closely with the relevant health bodies and are partnering with a third-party specialist to develop these standards and have them regularly audited so that our guests can trust that we are meeting these at the highest possible level.
To ensure the arrival is as seamless as possible, we have made some changes to our check-in process. We will now be asking guests to complete this process, including our enhanced registration form prior to arrival.
It is important for guests to know that upon arrival we will be asking all guests to undergo a contactless temperature check.
In order to adhere to the social distancing recommendations, we have restricted the number of tables in the restaurant and have carefully allocated individual arrival times. To ensure guests receive the very best service and comfort, we respectfully ask that guests arrive, ready to be seated at the table, at the allocated time of the reservation. Failure to do so may result in us being unable to ensure the social distancing and safety of both guests and our staff.