Sunday, December 9, 2007

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Tuesday 4th December, Carols and dinner at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons. My husband was given a pair of tickets for this event, each year Le Manoir puts on six evenings of Carols at the local church in Great Milton, Oxfordshire. On the evening we attended it was the Winchester Cathedral's Boys Choir singing, they were of course superb. The evening begins with a champagne and canapes reception in Le Manoir with a harpist playing in the main lounge. Log fires are burning and each room has it's own colour scheme for Christmas decorations, all linked with a touch of gold. The short walk to the church is along torch lit paths amongst twinkling lights in the trees. The church has been lit with hundreds of candles and is surprisingly warm. The readings, on this occasion, were by Charles Collingwood and Judy Bennet (Brian and Shula from the Archers). On return to Le Manoir we were seated at large tables of 10 - 12 people for dinner. We were lucky enough to be seated with the Manager and his wife who, like the rest of the guests, were very good company with lots of tales about Le Manoir. Dinner was everything one would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant and the service impeccable, when I said no to wine (as I was driving) I was offered non-alcoholic cocktail instead and fresh peppermint tea was offered as an alternative to coffee after the meal. To say that the meal was pumpkin soup, confit of foir gras, steamed halibut, fillet steak and chocolate desert followed by coffee and pettit fours does not begin to describe the experience.
At this time of year the gardens are not at their best but I intend to return in the summer for lunch and a day spent enjoying the gardens and their sculptures.

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