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Lords of the Manor

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16 replies to this topic

#1 bainesy

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 04:40 AM

To celebrate an important date we set off lateish on Friday evening to avoid the Oxford traffic, stopping off on the way for junk food (no dinner reservation for that night).

Lords of the Manor is set in the tiny village of Upper Slaughter in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, not far from Adlestrop (Yes, I remember Adlestrop). LOTM is the former rectory and manor house and lies in glorious surroundings which make it seem miles, and years, away from reality.

Staff were friendly and efficient, but the rooms and decor are a little bit tired.

Dinner on Saturday night was taken from a choice of tasting menu and ALC - we had the latter (mostly because we'd rather filled up on afternoon tea at another Manor, in Lower Slaughter). While ordering, had a fino with smashing little cheese straws striped with anchovy. I went for sea bream followed by gloucester old spot tenderloin (for some reason I thought it was belly on the menu, but I'm more likely to be wrong on this than they are), while H went for pumpkin velouté followed by red mullet. She wasn't drinking so I had a half-bottle of Cotes du Rhone (Chapoutier Belleruche).

The dining room, which had looked a little cold and stiff at breakfast, was nicer in the softer light of evening. We were each brought a little complimentary taster dish: mine, a poached quail egg in bacon foam, H, some sort of smoked salmon thingy (er...I wasn't really paying attention). Both were good. My bream was on couscous dotted with chorizo, with parsnip matchstick chips and a few leaves, and was probably the standout dish for me. H's velouté came in a sort of glass preserving jar as a bowl, which was amusing, but not ideal for access. It came with submerged ?poached egg, and she loved it. I thought it was perfectly nice and executed, but lacked a little oomph. My pork was fantastic as well, pink and tasty, with vanilla mash and broccoli and carrots - nothing fancy but pretty much faultless. I didn't get to see much of H's mullet, and she's not a big one for details, but I did have a mouthful of fish, and half a scallop, and among the mouthful was that intense squiddy-cuttlefishy-in-its-own-inky type of taste (we couldn't remember what the menu description had been, and forgot to ask the waiter). Her dish also came with a foam, which H was getting a bit tired of (as her amuse and her starter also came with one).

H had caramel souffle with white coffee bean chocolate ice cream (?) for pudding, which came and went without me noticing, so it can't have been bad. I went for the perverse choice of ordering the pudding I liked the sound of least - spiced pear with gingerbread and foie gras ice cream, which, though I acknowledge the boldness of the idea, was pretty disgusting, but I blame myself to an extent - what did I expect?

Coffee was crap.

*RANT MODE ON* Coffee is always crap in restaurants. I love coffee, and I manage to order quality beans and grind them just before use, so why the hell can't quality restaurants? All they would need to knock people off their feet is a good supplier (I could give them half-a-dozen names, and none of them are the Italian big names) and a good grinder. They don't really need espresso machines, which require maintenance and proper training to operate (as well as a large initial outlay). *RANT MODE OFF*

Breakfast was OK, but not in the same league as dinner (lovely black pudding, nice sausage, so-so bacon, undercooked fried eggs).

Well worth a weekend visit.

EDITED TO ADD. Chef is Les Rennie, former Michelin one-star at Ynyshir Hall.

Edited by bainesy, 06 November 2006 - 04:44 AM.

Sheffield, where I changed,
And ate an awful pie

#2 Bapi

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 05:54 AM

Thanks for your report bainesy. I think I have posted about this elsewhere- but we too stayed and dined there, en-route to Ludlow a couple of years ago. Toby Hill was the chef back then and had taken over from John Campbell, when he upped sticks and moved to the Vineyard at Stockross.

Our experience, in terms of service was the complete antithesis of yours. We were left for twenty minutes in the lounge, before I got up and went to the bar to get an aperitif. The woman in charge was far too busy chatting to the one other couple in the bar, despite having seen us arrive. We then waited an hour after ordering, before being be taken into the dining room.

Once in there, one of main courses was wrong, so I sent them both back. "We will have them freshly cooked for you Sir". So I was amazed to see our erroneous dishes disappear back into the kitchen and then re-appear 10 seconds later, only be taken to another table. :blink: They must have been close to tepid by then.

Then when our main courses arrived, the poor lass holding them stood there for an aeon waiting for one of the more senior members of the team, to serve them to us. My wife had to restrain me from getting up to take the plates myself.

A shame as Hill's food was very good if overpriced. I commented that if service continued in that amateurish manner they would lose their star, which indeed they did the following year. Totting up what we spent, we could have had night at The Waterside Inn instead, which we would always do from now on rather than risk another such night at Lords of The Manor. Oh, and the missus thought our room was haunted too.

#3 bainesy

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 06:59 AM

Yes, your bloody earlier report nearly made me cancel our booking. I'm glad we gave them a whirl though, and I thought the service was pretty spot on (a couple of very nervous youngsters at breakfast, but you can forgive that) although tripadvisor has a recent review which suggests it might not always be so peachy (although with that site you can't rule out vindictiveness).

Impoverished oik that I am, I'm not really in a position to say how well they're performing Michelin-wise although the meal was considerably better than one last year at Lucknam Park, just before they got their star (not that that was bad).

Thanks for replying. The topic was looking a bit lonely on the forum board.
Sheffield, where I changed,
And ate an awful pie

#4 Bapi

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:48 PM

Totting up what we spent, we could have had night at The Waterside Inn instead, which we would always do from now on

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Yes, your bloody earlier report nearly made me cancel our booking.

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Oh dear, it would appear that senility is fast approaching :blink: Delighted that you had a much better experience than us though.

But just to be safe, since you gave me the prompt to sort out our anniversary. I booked the Waterside Inn for a meal with friends - cheers :smile:

#5 fisherman

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:34 PM

Oh, and the missus thought our room was haunted too.

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So it wasn't all bad. Can you remember which room, I feel a TV show coming on.

#6 Bapi

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 04:15 PM

Oh, and the missus thought our room was haunted too.

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So it wasn't all bad. Can you remember which room, I feel a TV show coming on.

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Sorry Jon, I can't other than it was at the front, on the first floor, overlooking the grounds and to the right of the hotel- if one were facing it. I have to admit, it did have a slightly odd atmosphere and it was the worst night's sleep I have had in a hotel. Nor did it help that one of the American guests barged into our room by mistake, whilst we were having a doze that afternoon. Poor bastard was mortified.

So all of that combined with the shoddy service, means it's not a place I would rush back to.

#7 wackychef

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:21 AM

On my mini tour of the Cotswolds last weekend ,I decided to give Lords a try as i'd read it had, had a £2m re-furb and a new Head Chef Matthew Weedon.Enjoyed a fantastic meal £50 carte including canape's ,bouche ,coffee and really friendly service not perfect but solid.Re-furb quite contemporary but still in keeping with the old style of the manor,may be worth another shot if passing was very impressed but couldn't afford the bedroom rate! :laugh:
Never trust a skinny Chef

#8 AlexForbes

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 07:09 AM

I was there recently and also had dinner. the dining room is beautiful. Thought it was good but not great, some dishes were badly executed. Highlight of the evening was the cheese cart, with several choices from the region, although a dish of rabbit in many different preparations was interesting and tasty.
Alexandra Forbes
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#9 Petit

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 08:28 AM

Not sure if I agree with your post wackychef, I think you need to re-visit Lords of the manor.
I recently had the pleasure to visit the Cotswolds, and what a stunning area, however our biggest mistake was dining at Lords of the Manor what a disappointment, service was appalling, since when does it cost to SMILE specially if you are paying such prices. I work in the same industry and if you are having a bad day it should never come across to the customers. The food, well, not much to comment. I wasn’t blown away. Beautiful Manor and the most gorgeous setting.
Overall a bit disappointing considering it is in a beautiful area. I will visit the Cotswolds but not Lords of the manor.

#10 Harters

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:16 AM

Anything recent on this place?

My partner celebrates a significant birthday later in the year. It is already being hinted that a suitable celebration would be posh(ish) country house hotel with good grub.

I have hinted back that Le Manoir and Sharrow Bay would fit the bill but these hints have been spurned on the basis that "we've been there and I want somewhere new".

If not Lords of the Manor, then where?
John Hartley

#11 MaLO

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

Not been to lotm but I think they have recently changed chef. Not sure if this is for the better or worse.
Other suggestions. A few places I fancy trying that might fit the bill - Whatley manor, The Montagu arms and Hambleton hall. Not been to any of them because they are a bit of a trek and a bit pricey, especially if you stay over. Maybe others will have been and can add something more useful!
The couple of lunches I had at Pennyhill park were very good too, althouh the hotel doesn't feel too country house.

#12 Pam Brunning

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

Hi John
Been there done it with most of them but why don't you try Gidleigh Park. We went there for my BIG bithday one year in January - it was nearly empty, we were upgraded from a small room to one of the best suites, it was great. Michael Caines was in the kitchen and the food was fantastic a really memorable occasion.
Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society
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#13 Andrew

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

John, of the places suggested I would certainly go for Gidleigh Park if Le Manior is off the list. Two slightly 'off beam' suggestions of restaurants with rooms ie not country house hotels would be Sat Bains or the Waterside Inn both serve amazing (but very different!) food. If you're looking for a country house hotel with amazing food then it is Gidleigh Park.


#14 Harters

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:18 PM

Restaurants with rooms are off the menu. Herself insists on the luxury of the country house hotel style. Gidleigh may be too far of a schlep from Cheshire for what will pretty much just be an overnighter. But maybe not.
John Hartley

#15 CalumC

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

Ellenborough Park just outside Cheltenham is getting a lot of good press, I think it did well in the AA guide. For a while I think the draw was Tobias Brauweiler, the sommelier, but I believe he's now working at Hedonism in Mayf

#16 PhilD

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

John - how about Bath Priory? It's a luxury hotel just on the edge of Bath so good for a stroll around town and not too bad a drive from the wilds of the North.

I ate there before it recieved it's recent macaroon, and I think soon after Caines took over as exec chef, we had a really good lunch in a very bright room that looked onto some pretty gardens - light, bright and a perfect summer meal. Not certain if Caines is still actively involved but I think the hotel is still the sister restaurant to Gidleigh Park.

You can also try Allium Brasserie for lunch in the town centre - Chris Staines new place - it's in a Best Western in the centre of town but don't let that put you off - I think Rayner reviewed it recently.

Edited by PhilD, 14 February 2013 - 04:53 PM.

#17 Kropotkin

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

A couple of suggestions a little closer to your NW roots, Harters...


1) The Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey.  I went there last year with some nagging reluctance at the prospect of handing over my hard-earned cash so directly into Aristocratic coffers (yes, I know...).  However, I was charmed by the place, the staff and a very fine dinner and I'd happily subvert my class-warrior instincts again for the same (yes, I know...).  To my mind the rooms were not quite as stellar as their website / brochures suggest, but they were perfectly good. 


2) The Pheasant, Harome, N. York Moors.  A first visit here for me just last week: the public rooms are very nice and comfy and the setting is lovely (next to the village duck pond).  I expected all this, but the impressive food arrived at a level beyond our anticipation.  Some salmon with langoustines in a smokey, light batter with hazelnuts and broccoli were a real highlight, as was the spectacularly good beef - but there were no bum notes at all and a genuinely neat balance all through the five course menu.  Very good, I'd say, and a relative bargain at £45 (if I remember correctly).   

Edited by Kropotkin, 25 February 2013 - 12:02 PM.