But what's stand out about the Lords of the Manor is its culinary reputation which, for a long time now, has made it one of the leading dining experiences in the sizeable county of Gloucestershire. Accordingly, I have been wanting to go and my current UK wanderings seemed an ideal time to stop by and enjoy their offering.
Grand manor houses like these do face a food challenge however as we observed in our recent post on the Wiltshire based Manor House Hotel and Golf Club, the challenge being that your client base is varied, has a large tourist component and a mix of nationalities, all of whom are invariably older. Clients are wealthy for sure because it's not cheap, but in turn you can postulate with some confidence that the average diner is more traditional than avant garde. For an ambitious kitchen, getting the balance right then is tough.
The meal starts in the usual manor house way, drinks in one of their many lounges, a menu to peruse and some finger food amuses to snack on including today mini fish and chips where to their credit, they did capture the traditional fish 'n' chip shop chip perfectly (assuming that 's what they were trying to do). There's a duxelle tart with egg and a gougere and one other that I have alas forgot.
Then it's down to business: select the menu, select the wine. After that, follow the smart waiter through to the dining room where another amuse, a leek and smoky bacon veloute is served. It's good, the favours clearly defined and little crispy bacon bits even adding some crunch.
I think this was possibly my favourite dish of the meal so I'm glad they sent it out. Bringing the pigeon together with the acidity and freshness of raspberry and cucumber, and adding texture with granola and toasted nuts which also lent further depth to the dish, it was a nicely realised.
It little matters for Lords of the Manor does what you'd hope it would do, and from overseas tourists to closer to home anniversary and birthday celebrations, a meal here does possess a sense of occasion. I would imagine that most diners leave happy, which, I'm please to report, I did too.
Visit Lords of the Manor website
Previously I visited: Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 restaurant, Cornwall
Next stop: Lumiere, Cheltenham
Lords of the Manor location map