Okay, Okay, so it's not exactly somewhere that you could go once a month, or even once a year! But Raymond Blanc's Michelin starred, Les Manoir aux Quat'Saisons near Oxford, is superb, and worth every, of the very many, pennies.
I did let them know in advance about me being a coeliac, as it is only fair when there is a tasting menu that will have to be tailored. But boy did they tailor it!
Situated in the countryside, Le Manoir is a beautiful building with amazing gardens.
While the rest of the group shared their canapes out on the terrace, I had a whole plate of gluten free canapes just for me. It's the only time I think that having a gluten allergy has been a bonus! Little spoons with crab and infused jelly, gf toast with foie gras on top; so many exquisite little things with complex and sensational flavours. I really could live just off canapes like that for the rest of my life.
The five course tasting menu was astonishing. Every dish was perfect. The asparagus with duck egg and parmasan, the red mullet with its own little soup, the poached chicken (I know, chicken?! But it was the best, most flavourful chicken I've ever had) with morel mushrooms, and the most amazing strawberry dessert. I've never had anything that tasted so much of strawberries; pure, sweet, intense strawberries. Certainly the best gf dessert I've ever had.
They had warmed gluten free bread for me throughout the meal, which was a nice touch.
And with the coffees afterwards came the chocolate petit fours, and it was a repeat of the canape situation. Score! My delicious gf selection included the world's smallest pavlova, some sort of sweet lemon ball and miniature chocolates filled with ice cream. Yum.
Totally amazing, one of the finest meals you will ever have, gluten free or not. I couldn't recommend it enough. Now, all that's left to figure out is how am I going to make my millions so that I can buy a helicopter and pop to Les Manoirs for lunch every day? Any ideas, let me know!