A Wander In Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons’ Gardens

Le Manoir Dovecot And Croquet Lawn

Le Manoir Dovecot And Croquet Lawn

Even bathed in the grey light of a dull June day, the mellow stone walls of the fifteenth century Le Manoir and the abundant gardens that surround it, make it so much more than a mere restaurant and hotel.  This is a tranquil slice of rural England centered around food and the best quality produce, much of which is grown and nurtured in the twenty acre estate that is Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons.

Down The Steps From The Walled Garden To The Pond

Down The Steps From The Walled Garden To The Pond

The estate is not a homage to the past, but nor has it thrown out its extensive history.  The 15th century ponds fed by natural springs that were originally winter fish storage for the monks from the nearby priory, were used for irrigating the garden until a bore hole was sunk in 2008.

Bronze Terns Rising from The Pond

Bronze Terns Rising from The Pond

A graceful bronze flight of Terns, that rises from the surface of the water is now the teaser to the delights of sculpture that is in every corner of the garden.

Bronze Scare Crow Watching Over The Vegetable Garden. Is This Modelled On Raymond?

Bronze Scare Crow Watching Over The Vegetable Garden. Is This Modelled On Raymond?

This is a garden of preservation and experimentation, old English and French fruit varieties are grown alongside poly tunnels of asian herbs and spices, lemongrass, ginger and turmeric.  New varieties are grown, as many as thirty of a particular fruit or vegetable, then tasted and only the most flavourful are kept and replanted.

Carpets Of Micro Greens Waiting To Be Cut

Carpets Of Micro Greens Waiting To Be Cut

Even the poly cloches are open for exploration, carpets of multi hued greens and purples fill one of the flimsy structures.  Micro herbs, the tang of utter freshness that is so much sweeter and more delicate than its full grown counterpart, tiny bright green coriander, deep purple radish tops, oriental mustard and chrysanthemum greens.  Each carefully chosen for its flavour and appearance.

Le Manoir Vegetable Garden, Not A Weed In Sight

Le Manoir Vegetable Garden, Not A Weed In Sight

The extensive vegetable garden supplies frilly lettuces, bouncing out from underneath terracotta cloches and amaranths draped in their fronds of tiny red – purple flowers, huge globe artichokes so sculptural they have been cast in bronze and even the humble carrot is less humble here, coming in heirloom varieties and a plethora of colours.

Elizabethan Knot Herb Garden

Elizabethan Knot Herb Garden

This is vegetable gardening at its most exciting and innovative, only the best will do, that means organic and hand picked.  Raymond Blanc sees himself as custodian of this parcel of perfect English countryside and he has taken to the task of building, growing and blending to produce a garden as beautiful outside as the food on the plate inside.

Bronze Cranes Perching Above The Japanese Garden

Bronze Cranes Perching Above The Japanese Garden

Mr Glam and I visited Le Manoir for his birthday lunch

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Comments

  1. says

    What a gorgeous place! And I can’t even imagine how great the food is with such fresh ingredients right outside the door of the restaurant! I think it’s so interesting that all the varieties are tested for flavor too.

    • says

      The food was amazing, I didn’t mention it because everyone writes about the food at Le Manoir and the garden was such a fabulous way to spend part of the afternoon after having lunch. GG

    • says

      The cookery school is fantastic. I did a seasonal dinner party course there a few years ago, it was great fun and I learnt so much. GG

  2. says

    I always get so inspired when I see gardens like that – so meticulously planned and maintained. Amazing. And then I think about how I could achieve something like that in my backyard. And then I realise how much work it would take. And then I love my lawn a little bit more. Gorgeous post from a gorgeous place – thanks for taking us along!

    • says

      It is masses of work particularly as it’s an organic garden so much of the heavy digging and weeding is done by hand. GG

    • says

      It really was a pleasure. Of course the food is wonderful, but the gardens allow you to make even more of an event of your visit. GG

    • says

      You’re absolutely right, great way to walk off lunch, although we went back for coffee, petit fours and brandy. It made the whole experience last longer and was so relaxing. GG

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