Luncheon at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons on Monday 14 July 2014
SETTING INCLUDING GARDENS
I would strongly recommend that you leave plenty of time to enjoy the gardens and reception will supply you with a leaflet that includes a plan so you can maximise your time in the garden. We were very fortunate to be able to meet Ken, Amy, Jimmy and David who are part of the gardening team at Le Manoir. David told us about the purple pea pods that had been passed on from a gentleman who was keen for them to be continued. The Heritage Garden is currently being developed in collaboration with the Heritage Seed Library. We visited to 17th century pond and observed the family of ducks. If you look closely on the picture of the water lilies and sculpture you may see a tiny black duckling.
On arrival we were escorted to the garden where we were entertained by the Frenchman playing his accordion. Monsieur Blanc had provided a glass of champagne for each guest to celebrate Bastille Day and then the canapés arrived to accompany the bubbles.
We chose the five courses with wines to accompany each course. Ben, one of the excellent team of Sommeliers, instructed us on each of the wines as we travelled across the various countries of Germany, California, France and Spain. We all found this extremely enjoyable and decided that the red dessert wine Dolç Mataro 20122, Alta Alella, Catalunya, Espagne would be on our list to source after our visit.
Then we went outside once again and our coffee and petit fours arrived, courtesy of our super waiters.
All the staff, without exception, are trained to a very high standard but they are friendly and welcoming. I am reluctant to name individuals but we did get to chat to Ahmed, Ben and Jonathan a little more so I felt I should mention them here. We were delighted to be introduced to Paul Shanahan who was in charge in the absence of the GM Philip Newman Hall. We all felt very relaxed as the staff were not stuffy or pompous. I hope they enjoyed seeing the delight in our faces as we relished the whole Le Manoir experience.
CLOAKROOM FACILITIES (TOILETS!)
I should perhaps mention that the facilities were of an exceptional standard as one would expect. They were light and airy with plenty of white hand towels. I forgot to note the name of the toiletries as I was eager to return to my meal! The room had plenty of space with good mirrors for refreshing ones make-up and hair.
We all said that we would love to return and that the luncheon had surpassed our expectations. Two of us had in fact been before but still thought it was even better on this occasion. Whilst it may appear expensive on paper we thought it was excellent value for the quality of the setting, staff, food and wine that Le Manoir delivers. We kept waiting for something not to be quite right as I can be quite critical, particularly of poor service, but this was a day when I could completely relax in the knowledge that all would be perfect. We really did not want to leave.
Thank you to all the staff at Le Manoir for indulging us.