Le Manoir is an icon, everyone who’s remotely interested in food and dining out in the UK knows this legendary hotel and restaurant.
The service was great from start to end and the staff were very friendly and professional. The lady that brought our drinks...in the lounge and the lady who served us in the dining room were both such lovely people.
Regarding the food, first of all I’d like to mention the bread. Bread at Le Manoir is possibly the best bread I’ve encountered at any restaurant in the UK, never do you see such a selection and of good quality outside of France, we ate all of them, a most impressive bread basket. Cheese is also fantastic and mostly French, another thing I like to see as most restaurants in the UK no longer offer continental cheese.
Vegetables served at Le Manoir are of a high standard and fresh from the garden, which is good to see.
All dishes served (besides vegetarian) were good, though not spectacular. Considering Le Manoir at £220 for the tasting menu is more expensive than Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth and Hélène Darroze which are all three Michelin stars and deservedly so, I think pricing here is a bit off. For comparison, Claude Bosi is also two Michelin stars and is undoubtedly the next restaurant in the country to gain three stars and the tasting menu there is priced more accordingly at £185.
Coming back to the vegetarian menu. Two dishes were okay but not really to my taste, these were the Moroccan aubergine course and the curry course. I was hoping to be served something more in line with French cuisine, perhaps akin of the Waterside Inn or Le Gavroche. I didn’t expect to be served something Moroccan and Indian, which was pleasant enough but barely one star quality, never mind two. I don’t think Arpège will be quaking in their boots any time soon over this vegetarian menu.
I also found the beetroot dessert rather strange, I suppose the flavour combinations worked but this was hardly a decadent dessert of classic French cuisine.
It’s also worth mentioning that the dining room is somewhat dated. I’m a passionate lover of antiques and classical décor, but would choose modern over 00s and 90s interior design, which is what the conservatory we sat in felt like.
I was also slightly disappointed to not encounter Monsieur Blanc that evening also. Considering both Michel and Alain Roux frequently meet their guests in their restaurants, I was left rather disappointed at Le Manoir.
Dining at Le Manoir was a slight bittersweet experience for me. This is such an iconic property that now seems to have been around since time began. My recent visit however was part top notch and part not so much. Perhaps it’s now resting on its laurels.
Despite the negatives, I would still highly recommend Le Manoir for its fantastic staff, wonderful bread, great cheese and it’s lovely gardens and house.More