A night of romance in Oxfordshire

The Manor Country House Hotel in Oxford is the perfect place to check out of everyday life and escape reality.

It has all the wow features you’d expect from a 15th-century country house, set in 12 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and grounds.

First impressions are everything and they’ll not disappoint. We arrived just as dusk set in, it looked magnificent. The softly lit, tree-lined drive created an enchanting entrance allowing the mansion to glow spectacularly in the distance.

Pushing open the grand, red front door we were immediately faced with huge Tudor fireplace and the sound, warmth and smell of a roaring log fire. The hotel is instantly welcoming and although refined and luxurious the overall feel is relaxing and carefree.

SLEEP:

Our bedroom – a suite – was the perfect way to sample what country life is like in a real Manor House. Bursting with character, it was authentically elegant including a regal, mahogany four-poster-bed.

Despite the obvious grandeur of the room it also felt very homely and relaxing. In contrast the bathroom was ultra modern with a bathtub overlooking a beautiful section of the garden.

Waking up in a four-poster bed is definitely one way to make you feel like the Lord or Lady of the Manor!

Our bedroom had all the usual necessities you’d need including an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, robe and slippers, kettle, tea, coffee and biscuits. The bathroom was kitted out with products from The White Company.

Complete with historic squeaky doors and creaky floors the room felt very atmospheric, allowing you feel the history and take a step back in time.

EAT:

The opulent dining hall is the perfect backdrop for a fine dining feast. The beautiful oak paneling, antique chandeliers and silver candelabras create a sophisticated but soft ambience. At one end there’s a huge stag head and at the other a private balcony for more intimate dining.

The Table D’Hote menu is three courses for £42.50. The food was superb, as you’d expect from a fine dining restaurant. We chose pan-seared scallops with asparagus and crispy bacon. Followed by monkfish and lobster croquettes (me) and pan-seared lamb rump (Jim). For dessert we shared a blackberry panacotta and sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream.

RELAX:

The communal areas of The Manor Country House are just as impressive. Downstairs you’ll find a cosy bar area, which feels more like an old fashioned smoking snug (although you can’t smoke anywhere in this hotel). With low lighting, candles and an open fire it’s wonderfully mellow after dark.

Grab a tipple (they have every spirit you could possible want and all the premium brands) and kick back with a traditional board game or a competitive game of chess. The slow life is definitely the good life here.

You can have dinner from the bar menu in here if you’d prefer, offering nibbles, sandwiches, toasties, salads, soups, stews and all the traditional favourites such as fish and chips, burgers, steaks and fish of the day. There is also a good selection of desserts.

After waking up in a bed fit for royalty we had a hearty breakfast. You can chose from full English or continental, we had eggs Benedict and eggs Florentine. We decide to have a morning stroll around the gardens to soak up the countryside.

EXPLORE:

The immaculately kept gardens are definitely worth a meander around. They’ll leave you wanting to turn your hand to topiary, sculpting your bushes into animal shapes too. High five to the gardener who’s responsible for that.

You can have afternoon tea (a full high tea service with finger sandwiches, cakes, scones and champagne) on the terrace or play croquet on the lawn. All the equipment is there ready for you.

Or just wander around the immaculately manicured gardens, weaving through the passageways and finding your way to the intimate Knot Garden.

LOCATION:

We live in Solihull so for us it was a quick drive down the M40 but location wise it couldn’t be more accessible. Despite feeling very remote it’s only a short ten-minute drive to Bicester Village. Which, if you haven’t been to before, I highly recommend even if only to check out Soho House’s new eatery – The Farmshop, the lobster and burger being a particular highlight.

OVERALL:

Definitely a weekend to remember. The Manor Country House Hotel at Weston-on-the-green is a unique experience, doused in history and rich in atmosphere. The perfect country retreat to escape and unwind.

 

*Disclaimer – I was given an over night stay at The Manor Country House Hotel in return for a review. All photos, words and thoughts are 100% mine and honest.

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