disclosure: we were offered accommodation and meals in exchange for an honest review
With my last 40 something birthday around the corner I was in need of a bit of a treat recently, and spending a weekend relaxing at The Manor Country House Hotel, Weston on the Green provided just that. Located close to Bicester, and within easy reach of Oxford, the building dates back to the 15th/16th century and provides a perfect country escape.
With 27 en-suite rooms, including a selection of suites and family rooms it’s rather easy to spend time relaxing at The Manor Country House Hotel. We were booked into one of the suites and would be enjoying an Afternoon Tea, Dinner and Breakfast during our stay.
When staying away from home with our 7-year-old son, ensuring that he feels comfortable in his environment is key to a successful family break. If he’s happy, I can really relax and enjoy myself too. Everyone made us feel most welcome, especially my son, and he really loved every minute of our stay.
We couldn’t have picked a better weekend weather-wise, the sun shone which meant we could enjoy exploring the grounds. There are terraces and outside eating areas dotted all around the grounds, so it’s quite easy to enjoy the outdoors away from other guests if you so wish.
Our suite was a delight, and my son decided that the main bedroom was fit for a princess, but Mummy would be ok there too. As you entered the suite, there’s an area set up as a bedroom for my son, with a pull out bed, table and comfy armchair. He made himself right at home and bedtime was so much easier when he could sleep in a room away from the tv and feel more like being at home.
From his room, the marble bathroom was next along the corridor, another bonus when travelling with children I’ve found. The bathroom has a bath, overhead shower, toilet and storage space. Our bathroom door could only be kept shut with a bolt that was at adult height.
Along the corridor and into the lounge area, with ample seating area and a flat-screen tv with Freeview. It makes such a difference to have an area to sit in once my son is asleep, that isn’t a bedroom. It really did help to ensure we were relaxing at The Manor Country House Hotel during our stay.
From the lounge, you walk into the main bedroom, which was simply divine. With the sun streaming through the leaded windows, I could have laid in bed for a long time. We were only staying overnight so didn’t make use of the fluffy bathrobes and slippers. It would be a nice touch if children’s robes were available too. Refreshments are in the room, although only 2 cups and glasses were provided for the 3 of us. There was also an iron and ironing board and a fan available.
There was more than ample storage available and plenty of seating areas throughout the suite. My son was so comfortable, that it really felt like home from home. There was some noise in the living room area from downstairs in the kitchen in the evening, but by the time we went to bed it was totally quiet, and my son slept soundly in his room all night.
We enjoyed our Afternoon Tea and Breakfast meals in the Drawing Room. Again, the sun was streaming in from the gardens, making the room feel light and airy.
As we were staying just before my birthday we opted for the Champagne Afternoon Tea which comes with a glass of champagne, numerous tea/herbal tea options, a selection of sandwiches, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and jam and a selection of cakes. There’s also a children’s version available with finger sandwiches, fruit juice, manor cake and biscuits although we didn’t sample this option.
The champagne was most welcome and my son toasted us with apple juice. Everyone was happy.
Daddy P opted for The Manor Morning Blend tea whilst I decided on Rosehip and Hibiscus herbal tea which was really refreshing.
I was a little surprised to see stainless steel teapots instead of china ones if I’m honest. They didn’t really seem in keeping with the setting. But that’s nitpicking really, and personal taste.
Daddy P wasn’t so keen on the grilled aubergine and red pepper options, but he’s a confirmed carnivore. But I quite happily munched my way through the selection, my favourite being the Salmon and Dill Créme Fraiche.
Halfway through our lovely afternoon tea, I got a little surprise, and rather tasty it was too. A lovely little touch I thought.
The mix of scones went down well with all of us, are you a cream and then jam or a jam and then cream sort of person?
The selection of miniature cakes was the perfect size to balance our Afternoon Tea, the lemon meringue being my particular favourite. My 7-year-old son got to try a macaron for the first time, which got his seal of approval too.
Everything really did taste divine and a stroll around the grounds afterwards was a great way to walk off our little treats. You could enjoy a game of croquet, tennis, or enjoy the outdoor pool in warmer weather.
Dinner was served in The Baron’s Hall with its panelled walls and gallery. We’d opted for a 7 pm dinner as my son is normally getting ready for bed by that time.
I’m also conscious that other diners might not welcome the dulcet tones of my young son amusing us whilst they are trying to enjoy a quiet meal!
I have a rather fussy son when it comes to food. I live for the day he eats anything on the menu, but that’s clearly not happening aged 7. Thankfully The Manor Country House Hotel are used to dealing with children and has a kiddie-friendly menu which includes vegetarian options as well as the Table d’hôte menu for the adults.
All went very quiet when each of my son’s course options arrived so I took it that he enjoyed them, he even tried the rocket!
Daddy P is rather predictable with his meal choices, so it came as no surprise that he opted for the Broccoli soup with Flaked Almonds and Truffle Oil, with a main of 10oz rib-eye steak, with grilled tomato and mushroom, espargado and hand-cut chips (my out of focus photo really doesn’t do the dish justice), followed by an Iced Apple Parfait with carrot sorbet, yoghurt crumbs and an apple crisp.
I was reliably informed that all three dishes were full of flavour and got full marks. Fancy not sharing a bit of that pudding with his wife!
I settled on the Raw Rainbow Pad Thai Salad with radish, carrot, fennel, bamboo sprouts sesame and peanut dressing, a main of Slow Roast Pork Belly with black pudding, crushed potatoes, leeks and apple jus, and the Sticky Toffee Pudding with toffee sauce and caramel ice cream, had my name written all over it.
You know when you start eating something and you just don’t want the course to end? That’s how I felt about the Pad Thai Salad, it was so full of flavour, and just so good. The Pork Belly just melted in the mouth, not at all chewy, perfectly cooked and again the meal was full of flavour. The pudding just topped off a really good meal, it’s my favourite dessert and this version of it, got a big thumbs up from me. Three happy diners.
After a restful night’s sleep, there is nothing quite like being treated to a cooked breakfast. It’s not something we have very often at home, so is always a must when we’re away. Relaxing at The Manor Country House Hotel you can also enjoy a buffet offering cereals, fruit salads as well as pastries. For those like us, who like a cooked breakfast, there are a number of options available, and even my ‘I’ll only eat sausages for breakfast’ son was accommodated easily.
Everything was well presented and tasted great, and the staff were attentive but not in an obtrusive way at all. The perfect start to any day.
The joy of staying in period property such as The Manor Country House Hotel is that it has such character, there are nooks to be discovered, and stairs to explore, and it just feels so much nicer than staying in something resembling a box.
I’ve not considered staying away so close to home before, but it honestly felt as if we were a world away. We left feeling refreshed and relaxed and realising that you don’t always need distance to guarantee a good break.
If you’re thinking of visiting North Oxfordshire then why not pin this post for future reference.