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A FESTIVE GETAWAY

Article

Once Upon A Time,
a magical place

As cold weather beckons and your long-awaited winter break approaches, wrap up the year in style and be caught up in the midst of jolly times. At Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, discover the most enchanting ways to create endless nights of magic with your friends and family during the festive season.




Brought in by soothing whispers or revealed in between roaring laughter, extraordinary tales are told all year round at Le Manoir, our cosy retreat in the heart of Oxfordshire. Come winter, these legendary stories resonate against the walls of our warm, honey-hued manor, creating their own symphony of magic and delighting guests at the heart of the English countryside. Pass through the gates of our bucolic dwelling and you can almost hear them murmuring: Come on in, this is how your festive story begins.

Winter Magic

Whether it is your first time at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, or you are now well-acquainted with our legendary hotel, the end of the year is the best time of year to sojourn at this 15th-century residence. The first stop of your getaway? The gardens of the property, where you get your first taste of that festive feeling. There, the twinkling Winter Dome awaits — nestled under the trees, it provides the warmest of welcomes with cosy blankets, plush cushy sofas, and a selection of Champagne to sip in good company. When the sun sets, the garden Dome becomes a fairy-lit safe shelter, glistening in the dark.

But those who prefer embracing magic moments indoors are not to be left out. Le Manoir’s florist Suzanne Bladon is this season’s guide for a creative wreath-making arrangement, teaching you how to assemble fragrant foliage. And if you’re wondering how to bring finishing touches to your Christmas table dinner — after all, only you can decide which elements will refine your decor — follow Simon Lycett and Merrie Haig. There, the flamboyant florist and the skilled calligrapher invite you to their workshop for a delightful afternoon of fun, regaling you with all the secrets behind the making of a joyous season in style.

After an afternoon of channelling your festive creativity, the time for exquisite music has arrived Luckily, a festive season at Le Manoir is synonymous with magical melodies. Take a seat in St Mary’s Church, just a stone’s throw from the hotel, for one delightful concert. There, the Christmas Choir will enchant you with soothing carols, featuring the angelic voices of the Trinity Boys Choir or the Royal Holloway chorale.

Sparkling Moments

There are many ways to spend a Christmas sojourn at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. There’s the gentle getaway, calling for all things cosy and quiet. It’s the indulgent festive lunch, a six-course culinary story carefully designed by Chef Patron Raymond Blanc OBE — followed by Chef Pâtissier Benoît Blin’s soft cardamom meringue, delicately served with a hot coffee at the end of the dining experience. It’s a serene walk through the Le Manoir’s gardens, the pleasing noise of heavy snow under each step. The sigh of satisfaction when relaxing in the cosy conservatory after a day of exploration through the Oxfordshire countryside.

And there’s the other Le Manoir, bright and decadent during the festive season. Hours spent in the sparkling company of your dearest friends, catching the last few hours of daylight in the garden’s Winter Dome by the orchard. Endless conversations and celebrations around the gloriously decorated Christmas tree in the lounge. Rip-roaring celebrations with a glass in hand, dancing the night away at the New Year’s Masquerade Ball. A final, triumphant display of fireworks at the strike of midnight — the clou du spectacle of the festive season.

When the time comes, your winter stay at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons will have to end. But, just like any heavenly fairytale, you will not leave without a head full of anecdotes, each as incredible as the last. Who knows — you can even write these memories down in a personal journal, or in a letter to a friend as you gaze out of your sumptuous suite’s window. But what will you say, you ask? Perhaps, start with Once Upon a Time, at Le Manoir.

Extend your stay

And uncover the secrets behind Raymond Blanc’s remarkable recipes

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