Quite simply Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons is luxury with a big fat ‘L’. It’s a legendary haunt for those serious about their food, a gorgeous place to hold a wedding and somewhere that I’ve wanted an excuse to go to for a long time.
It is of course where Raymond Blanc OBE set up house way back in 1984, opening his restaurant to critical acclaim and receiving two Michelin stars during the first year of opening that it has retained since then.
Once the home of Lord Cromwell, this 15th century beauty has been transformed without losing its sense of ‘English Country House’; situated in Great Milton, Oxfordshire the first impression is one of being welcomed. The honey coloured stone walls and mullioned windows of this ancient manor house entice you in to warm cosy lounges on a cool autumn day, and in summer the thick walls provide a cool respite from the heat outside (on the rare occasions that the UK has such warmth!).
You can hold a small ceremony in one of their gorgeous suites. The Blanc de Blanc suite (6 guests) and L’Orangerie (6 guests) are just gorgeous or the Provence suite can accommodate 12 guests. Or, for a larger ceremony, take over La Belle Époque with its bijou interiors and gorgeously private garden space ideal for a small wedding of up to 50 guests.
The conservatory is light and airy, becoming one with the garden once the doors are open, whilst the dining room is more formal. You can make a grand entrance for the ceremony through the great gates that are part of the boundary and walled garden or make a more genteel entrance from the front of the building.
For a really private special ceremony you can of course exchange vows at the Japanese Tea House (you and two guests) and then perhaps be joined by other guests in Le Bourgogne dining room (for up to 14 guests) for a delicious wedding breakfast in the main house
But, if your bank balance can take it hire the whole place exclusively – now that’s what I call making a statement.
My personal choice; I love to have exclusivity and intimacy so if we were to do it all again, my wife reassures me that she would love to take her vows in the Japanese Tea House with just closest friends or have an intimate celebration for just 24 around a gorgeously decorated oval table in La Belle Époque.
Once we had walked around the beautiful house and some of the individually decorated bedrooms and suites, we meandered around the gardens before heading back inside for a spot of tea. Oh, what beauties these gardens are. Even on a damp, smoky autumn day they were just magical and in summer I would say they are going to be heart stoppingly stunning. Immaculate wide expanses of lawn, herb gardens from where chefs choose herbs daily and tranquil ponds are brought together by little walkways that feel just that bit secret and ‘lost’. These gardens are a place of love with appropriately named Japanese pavilion Fugestu-An (translating as ‘deep love of nature) where many a beautiful ceremony and proposal has taken place…………..
If you’re planning your wedding at the amazing Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons and love my style of natural wedding photography get in touch by giving me a call on 0370 626 5200, e-mail me at [email protected] or complete the Contact Form to request my latest brochure, check my availability or just talk through the plans that you have for your own amazing celebration.