Alison Jane Harley

- botanical and floral artist -

Belmont Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

With autumn fully established, it seemed like the perfect time to visit our last garden of the year. I love autumn gardens as much as I love spring gardens and where would be the best place to spend a couple of decadent days? Belmont Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire fits the bill perfectly. We couldn’t just wander in and feast our eyes unfortunately, we had to be guests at the hotel. But really, this was no hardship as the accommodation was equally beautiful. To justify this indulgence we combined anniversary and birthday celebrations for the foreseeable future.

The pond at le manoir aux quat’saisons

The hotel brochure describes it as a postcard-perfect setting. It does not lie or exaggerate. The gardens are exquisite. It was a dream to walk through the vast expanses of green lawns and even at the end of October there was so much colour – from the pumpkins and marrows in the vegetable gardens, to the red berries on the pristinely pruned yews. There were still roses and Japanese anemones. Everything glowed in the golden sun of autumn adding that magical and luxurious touch. It was quite breathtakingly beautiful and the manoir itself sat elegantly within this glorious setting.

pumpkins for the soup

There is a mushroom garden, a wild flower garden, extensive fruit and vegetable gardens. All beautifully maintained with evocative statues statues strategically placed throughout.

It was lovely to discover that what was growing in the vegetable gardens, was on your plate at lunch and dinner.

From the vast array of beautiful flowers and vegetables, I must have taken enough photographs worthy of helping me to complete at least a couple of illustrations ..It was a perfect long weekend.

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