Anyway, Rob and I managed to find a day in our very busy schedules where we could actually enjoy this treat and today was the day...
This is me after one gin and tonic, mis behaving. I think I was chewing an olive at the time of the photo being taken, just in case you wondered! Either that or I was stifling a giggle at the man braying with laughter in the next room.
Above is delicious smoked salmon which was 'With compliments from zee head chef' so that's nice. Very tasty, and I had to laugh at the small boy on the next table who had an espresso cup of 'zee crab bisque' as his 'special' poor boy, I am convinced he would rather have been tucking into a Happy Meal.
I was VERY excited about this, below. It was the 'Soupe au pistou du Manoir' which roughly translates as Garden vegetable soup with Parmesan Croutons. They brought the bowl out with prettily arranged vegetables in the bottom, such as broad beans, peas, carrots etc. and then poured the soup over the top from a silver jug! Good eh?! I had to hide my 'I'm incredibly impressed' face and just pretend I ate in places like that all the time whilst adopting a lofty expression. Inside I was squealing with excitment at the loveliness of it all though.
Next up was 'Truite, sauce epicee au concombre et wasabi beurre blanc' but for those of us who aren't fluent in french and only just scraped a GCSE ..Shetland sea-trout, samphire, cucumber and wasabi beurre blanc.
This was actually Robs desert, which was 'Fondant au chocolat "Alpaco" glace the jasmin "au Tibet" which roughly translates as chocolate fondant and ice cream! I had Exotic fruit 'Raviole' with kaffir lime leaf and coconut. Yum. The photo of mine didn't come out very well though.
Coffee and petit fours in the gardens...aren't they exquisite? I deliberately zoomed in so you can appreciate the work that has one into them. They didn't last long though. The top left one was a pavlova with basil cream and red currant jelly...it was as light as a feather and melted in your mouth. Well not your mouth, actually, mine!
The gardens are so beautiful. They do their best to provide all of the vegetables from the gardens for the hotel and restaurant. I was really looking forward to wandering around them as have seen them on television on various gardening programmes and they did not disappoint. I could have spent hours wandering around taking photographs.
The well manicured croquet lawn.... Scattered around the gardens are bronze sculptures by artists Lloyd Le Blanc and Judith Holmes Drewry.
These are the Dancing Cranes, by Lloyd Le Blanc.
And this one is aptly named 'The Reader', sitting quietly under her tree.
'Sarah with her basket' keeping an eye on the vegetable and herb gardens.
There is also a fabulous bronze sculpture of a Scarecrow, but I couldn't get a very good photo of it 'up close' unfortunately.
I think he was my favourite.
We had a lovely time, and hopefully will get to go back again one day. It was a lovely way to remember my 21st (ok, 30th!) birthday, thankyou so much Dave and Nic for a lovely treat. Coffee and waffles on me when you're back in the UK!