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.