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“Half way there.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Manor

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The Manor
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Northampton Road, Weston on the Green OX25 3QL, England (Formerly Weston Manor)   |  
Hotel amenities
Bicester, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Half way there.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

For the 3rd consecutive year, our workplace dined here on 20th December for our Christmas celebrations.

On previous visits, the food has been merely satisfactory and only secondary to the overall experience. The reason for our return, year on year has simply been for the fabulous, festive atmosphere, the historical ambiance and the fact that we were always made to feel very special. With recent changes to the hotel and the addition of a new chef, we were especially excited about our visit this year.

On arrival, we were greeted with a hello but sadly, not the warm welcome we had experienced in previous years. We found our way to the bar to take an aperitif before we dined. A member of staff arrived and took the drinks order for all but 2 of our party of 5. This order consisted of 2 bottles of beer and a glass of cider. I’m not sure this is a complicated process but unfortunately, it took almost 10 minutes for this part of the order to arrive in hand. We then ordered the 2 remaining drinks-Champagne cocktails. After 5 minutes of what we thought was preparation, the barman advised us that he would have to go and seek out the wine waiter for instruction on how to prepare the cocktails. By this time, 2 of the party had been waiting almost 15 minutes for refreshment. (The bar was otherwise completely empty). I confess to being a little ruffled about this and faced with further delay, asked if we could have a complimentary drink whilst the wine waiter was sought and the cocktail prepared. This request was (somewhat unwillingly) fulfilled and he returned behind the bar to split 1 bottle of lager between 2 glasses? Finally though, we were able to at least raise a toast. After preparation by 2 bar staff, the simple Champagne cocktails eventually arrived a full 10 minutes later.
At length, we ordered a few bottles of wine which also took far too long to appear. A taster of wine was poured into each glass by the waiter and the bottles then left on the bar. This would’ve been perfectly acceptable had he then been alert to our subsequent needs but ultimately, we had to retrieve the bottles from the bar to fill our own glasses.
This unusual approach was also mirrored whilst we dined. The degree of attentiveness in an otherwise completely empty dining room was sadly lacking and we had to remove from the table in order to retrieve our bottles from the sideboard. All the wine we ordered was of very good quality and at the right temperature. Unfortunately though, the reds were never decanted and as a result, we experienced unpleasant thrown sediment in the bottom of every glass. With the least expensive bottle being £35, it is disappointing that the fundamental act of decanting was lost on the wine waiter/s.

We had been looking forward to a Gin & Tonic but the charge of £11 for the Gin and then an additional £3 for the tonic rendered the notion rather unpalatable. It should never be a surprise that a hotel has a high drinks tariff but I’m afraid we found the bar prices a little too excessive, especially given the poor level of service thus far. This finding is also compounded by £50+ ‘service’ charge we paid on settlement of the bill.
The total bill at the end of the afternoon was not itemised and was simply shown as, ‘Bar - £ Lounge - £ Restaurant-£.’ We would've preferred more detail but when I requested it, I was advised, ‘This the way we do it here’.

The baron’s hall had been decked with carefully chosen, traditional decorations and looked wonderful as usual. The table had been laid with great care and the glasses/ cutlery were sparkling, the linen was crisp and white.
We didn’t have to wait long for the meals to arrive and the food service was excellent throughout.
The dishes were simply stupendous. The passion and preparation which had clearly gone into every dish was fully evident. Even the simplest of components had an extra special depth of flavour which only comes with a high degree of expertise and attention to detail. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we felt we had eaten something really rather special. We were fully content with the cost of this excellent meal and service.
We removed to the sofa in the lounge area (where there was coffee ready and waiting) and commenced with our parlour games and gift opening.

To summarise: A truly wonderful, historic hotel which had been elegantly decorated for Christmas. Luxurious surroundings and most excellent food was relished and savoured by all concerned.
However, the portrayals of a seamless, professional, refined experience reflected in representations of the hotel were unfortunately not evident on this occasion.
Rather sadly, we have to say that too many open opportunities for enhancement to the service and finer details have left us unlikely to return next year.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Following your Christmas celebratory dinner at The Manor on 20th December, we were pleased to learn that you found the food presented by our Executive Chef, Larry, to be excellent and enjoyed by all your party. We note from your feedback above, however, that we failed to deliver our high standards of bar and wine service for which we offer our sincere apologies. I have discussed the issues you experienced with our Restaurant Manager, so that these may be addressed without delay.

I do take a very keen interest in all feedback and would be pleased to discuss the above further with you at your convenience. My contact details are brian.garside@themanorweston.co.uk

Regards
Brian Garside
General Manager
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364 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

We visited this property recently for the first time to visit their restaurant since we heard that they had acquired a new chef recently. The welcome was extremely warm and we were shown around the hotel too. After a drink in their small but cosy bar area we went into the Baron's Hall for dinner. We had the tasting menu which was really excellent and Larry the chef is clearly heading for a michelin star. We started with an extra complementary dish of blowtorched mackerel which was succulent, and beautifully cooked. Then onto the open raviolo of game, followed by confit of salmon. The balancing of flavours and elements in the dish was excellent. The quail that followed was accompanied by pumpkin, red cabbage and blackcurrant and encompassed an essence of winter delights. The mango, passion fruit and lime granita was superb - surprisingly good. And finally the dark chocolate cream with praline and confit lemon was rich but not cloyingly so. All in all an excellent meal and for a tasting menu it was not too expensive. This is cooking of the first order and so you expect to pay accordingly. It was definitly worth a return visit especially as the new kitchen should be up and running soon. The staff are all friendly and helpful and the property is quite charming. We can't wait to return.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear Yolanda W

Your restaurant review is very much appreciated, and I am so pleased that you enjoyed the tastes and textures of Larry’s dishes.

It was my pleasure to welcome you to The Manor, and I sincerely look forward to seeing you again before too long.

With best wishes for 2014.

Brian Garside
General Manager
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Banbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Very nice setting and nice tea and lovely sandwiches. Scones were ok but cakes were not that nice. A nice roaring fire to sit by once finished in the hotel entrance. It was very quiet and just us, in the room, which was nice.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Dear monkeyeve32

Thank you for your feedback and I was pleased to learn that you enjoyed the tea, sandwiches and the cosy surroundings. Our cakes are all home baked, and have proven to be very popular with our guests but I note that these were not to your taste. It would be most helpful if you could please contact me directly via email at brian.garside@themanorweston.co.uk so that we may learn a little more in this regard.

Thank you again for your review and I look forward to hearing further from you.

Brian Garside
General Manager
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Ascot, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Our usual NYE was swotted to one side to do something last minute. I must confess that everyone at the Manor pulled out all the stops to make it a night to remember with a great food menu and wine list to match. Considering the time of year I thought it was great value with all the staff being extremely helpful and friendly. Would definitely go back when the weather is more pallatable. Well done to all the team and thanks for a lovely if only brief stay. Oh and by the way you will receive a VIP book for Bicester Village which will get you discount at all the major outlets. Saved us a fortune so thanks again The Manor at Weston on The Green :-)

Room Tip: If you like a four poster and under 6 foot then room 4 was lovely and in the main house.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Thank you for your very kind comments and it was our pleasure to welcome you to The Manor for the New Years Eve celebrations. We have a lovely team and I know they will very much appreciate your feedback which provides a great morale boost.

With our best wishes for 2014 and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Brian Garside
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

A year ago we had a really nice experience, today we felt robbed by the over priced food. Yes the manor is nice but they are over charging at an astonishing level. Shame as a good location but £10 for an average soup with no bread is a disgrace. I would avoid unless you want to remortgage your house!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Our Bar Lounge prices are clearly promoted within our menus and we are sorry that you felt them to be higher than you expected.

Since your last visit to The Manor one year ago, we have been very fortunate to secure the talents of Larry Jayasekara as our Executive Chef. Larry has a wealth of experience in one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants in London and the South East. He has been trained under the watchful eyes of Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Michel Roux Snr and held positions at The Waterside Inn, The Savoy Grill and most recently, was Sous Chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
.
Larry takes pride in creating exceptional seasonal menus inspired by local produce. Our homemade Roasted Fennel Soup with warm Ham Hock is £9.90, and does include bread as per the menu. We are sincerely sorry if this was not forthcoming when you visited us recently, and if you would kindly contact me directly, then I will arrange for you to recompensed for this ommission.

For information, we are currently refurbishing our local pub in the village, The Ben Jonson which is soon to be renamed The Black Sheep, and Larry has been busy preparing delicious pub menus giving our guests greater choice.

Brian Garside
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

Lovely hotel in great position- stopped here for a light lunch after shopping at Bicester - the bar menu was extremely overpriced - £16.90 for a club sandwich and £9.90 for a bowl of soup ! ( even no bread included) such a shame as won't be returning due to the over priced food.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
I suspect you may have accompanied the reviewer, Ben A, since your comments are similar. As confirmed in my response to Ben A, bread is normally offered with our wholesome homemade soup.

We are not clear from your comments whether you ordered The Manor Club Sandwich which is prepared with freshly cooked chicken, bacon, lettuce, mayonnaise, fried egg, tomatoes and served with French fries. Whilst the price is £16.50, the majority of our guests recognise that this is a delicious and very filling dish for which we have received many compliments.

We are sorry that you have chosen not to return to The Manor in the future but should you change your mind, please do contact me so that I may personally meet with you and discuss your comments in more detail.

Brian Garside
General Manager
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Salisbury
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

We booked a two day break at the Manor based on an internet offer and the great reviews we had read on TripAdvisor. Impressive as you drive in off the road and park on the gravel courtyard but when you step inside it is truly lovely. The reception staff were charming and helpful and gave us a brief tour of the main reception rooms and the beautiful Baron's Hall. We thought we were staying in the adjacent Coach House but had been upgraded so imagine our surprise at being shown into an oak panelled room in the main house. Not just any room but Room 7 which is supposedly haunted by "Mad Maude". Great surprise although it left my wife a little unnerved at the thought of a ghost joining us at some point during the stay! The room oozed history and character and the four poster bed coupled with the squeaky floor boards made it for us. Thankfully Maude decided not to grace us with a visit so from a room perspective all good.

We were booked on our deal to eat at their nearby pub but chose to upgrade and eat in the Baron's Hall. What a fabulous room !!! The food was out of this world. We are not regular visitors to the best restaurants in the world but we do like nice food and know when we are eating something special. If you do come here on an internet deal then do the upgrade and go with the Taster Menu. I would be staggered if you regret it. Read one negative review on this menu and frankly I am as surprised as the manager who drafted a robust response. Chef came out and chatted with us over our coffee, nice guy who clearly loved his job. He will be utilising a brand new kitchen very shortly and he thinks that he will be able to do even better!

Service at a hotel is always important. This place had service that was faultless. Polite, helpful, attentive and with an eye ever on the detail. We had a 1230 check out and there are a couple of nice lounge areas you can sit around in if you don't want to leave the hotel at that time.

Great job guys look forward to our next visit after your mini refurbishment in January.

Room Tip: Stay in the main house and eat in the Baron's Hall.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrianGarside2013, General Manager at The Manor, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Thank you for your kind comments and we were delighted to learn that you enjoyed your recent two day stay at The Manor. Our Executive Chef, Larry Jayasekara, is very talented and passionate about producing wonderful dishes utilising the best available seasonal produce, and your positive feedback is truly appreciated, thank you.

The refurbishment of our remaining bedrooms is scheduled to be completed by early April, and I do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to The Manor, when it would be my pleasure to show you the upgraded bedrooms.

Brian Garside
General Manager
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Additional Information about The Manor

Address: Northampton Road, Weston on the Green OX25 3QL, England (Formerly Weston Manor)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Weston on the Green
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Weston on the Green
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Manor 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 12 tranquil acres of Oxfordshire countryside on the edge of the Cotswolds, offering the perfect environment for a variety of events, leisure breaks, celebrations, weddings, private parties, residential meetings/conference or team building. Country house with award-winning cuisine situated in the Manor Restaurant. Located just 2 miles from Junction 9 of the M40 off the A34, with 25 comfortable bedrooms and attentive service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Weston Manor Hotel Weston On The Green
Weston Manor Oxford
Weston Manor Hotel Oxford
The Manor Weston On The Green, Oxfordshire, UK

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