Beautiful country manor hotel serving stylish and pricey 2 Michelin starred dishes heavily influenced by the expansive garden produce
The paté, the lamb and the pea puree starter on this lunch occasion were very nice but unfortunately back to the old style of expensive freshness providing the reason to be charged such a charge for the experience which was not really returned on the level that the menu prices were. Perfectly pleasant food on this occasion but it was only just that with the added negative of being too expensive for what it was.
Food Grade: 78%
This was a special occasion and now etched memory. As a treat for doing something completely different and creating a welcome change away from home for this one year, this was the perfect location to arrange and take the family for a wonderful Christmas meal. In short, it rates as one of the most memorable Christmas Day lunches ever had.
The biggest fear before going on such an occasion was the service being too formal. This however, was actually kicked right in to touch as the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming and genuine at every stage. The meal itself was a set Christmas menu but with elements of real brilliance that I genuinely thought was better food than the degustation menu experienced earlier in the year. The salmon blini starter was wonderfully light and creamy; the true ‘Normande’ was beautifully fresh as an apple sorbet with freeze dried apple slice; the turkey was actually moist unlike how turkeys can very often be and the bread sauce with bacon bits and small amounts of cheese was a stroke of genius as well as the cheese with blob of truffle honey on the top being a delight.
The menu demonstrated simple flavours that would agree with virtually anyone and was beautifully done. The mini ice creams (had in the bar with after the meal with early evening liqueurs) were a lovely way to finish and this really was a superb meal. In terms of finding somewhere to have a unique Christmas Day away, it really was pure gold as an experience and one that will be very hard to match.
Food Grade: 88%
This was a no brainer to try as a long-standing 2 Michelin starred restaurant which was also the nearest to where I was located in 2009 /10 on a nine-month training course. The first thing that struck me when I finally got here, was how beautifully laid out the restaurant was with its conservatory setting. This cannot fail for any celebration or a special occasion but as an establishment, it would also be a special place to stay for a weekend or even to have the likes of afternoon tea; one can only think England, on a June afternoon when doing so.
The food served here is elegant and definitely among the freshest I have come across with its plethora of vegetable selections, which Raymond Blanc uses, from his many surrounding gardens for all his dishes along with beautifully succulent fish. The meats are equally delightful but my only criticism with the food for this first visit was that for all its obvious style and impressive creations, the flavours were just pleasant rather than outstanding. The dishes themselves were luxurious and highly pleasing on the eye though. Overall, this is a gem of a place in general and I will never have an issue going here on any occasion, but it would be probably more for the occasion rather than to go for just the food itself – the latter here serves more as the bonus factor.
Food Grade: 78%
Location (Click google logo for directions)