Lords of the Manor
“Intimate, refined dining in a splendidly historic setting” - AA Inspector
UPPER SLAUGHTER, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Our Inspector's view
Upper Slaughter might not sound terribly charming but take it from us, it most definitely is. Set between the equally delightful Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-World, this is a heart-stoppingly beautiful area, and if you’re looking for honey-coloured Cotswold stone and all the charm of the English countryside you won’t go far wrong in heading to Lords of the Manor, a 17th-century former rectory of immense charm. There are mullioned windows, acres of manicured lawn, and plenty of period details like beams and plaster moulding. Decorated throughout with a cool and relaxingly tasteful elegance, there are fresh flowers everywhere and it looks as delightfully romantic in the snows of winter as when it basks in midsummer heat. The Atrium is the fine dining restaurant, a refined, intimate (just 14 covers, make sure you book ahead) and elegant space with a dramatic roof light and chairs upholstered in silvery velvet. Dinner is served in one sitting, at 6.45, and is a theatrical experience that might begin with a tour of the lovely gardens. The seven-course tasting menu (plus a vegetarian alternative) changes with the seasons and what’s available, with head chef Charles Smith admitting he’s ‘obsessed’ with sourcing the very best ingredients. His cooking is ambitious and precise, reflecting that obsession in the confident choices made for every dish. You might begin with a fresh and vibrant dish of Isle of Wight heritage tomatoes, burrata and pickled celery, before another perfectly matched flavour combination in the form of tourchon of foie gras with peaches, sauternes and fresh almonds. Scottish langoustine soup with scallop dumplings and Australian black winter truffle is a real highlight with great depth of flavour. A delicate piece of steamed Cornish turbot might come with Wye Valley asparagus, seaweed butter sauce, while top-quality Belted Galloway beef is accompanied by hen of the wood mushroom and artichoke. Aged Cornish gouda with cured pork collar, preserved green tomatoes is up next, packed full of flavour and followed by ‘quite simply delicious’ verbena tea jelly with lime granita and caramelised honey. Summer berries with vanilla cream is a well judged, light and refreshing end to the meal.
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 50
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Assist dogs welcome
- Open all year
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 2
- Dinner served from: 6.45
- Dinner served until: 9.30
- Wines under £30: 95
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 15
- Cuisine style: Modern British
Also in the area
About the area
Gloucestershire is home to a variety of landscapes. The Cotswolds, a region of gentle hills, valleys and gem-like villages, roll through the county. To their west is the Severn Plain, watered by Britain’s longest river, and characterised by orchards and farms marked out by hedgerows that blaze with mayflower in the spring, and beyond the Severn are the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley.
Throughout the county you are never far away from the past. Neolithic burial chambers are widespread, and so too are the remains of Roman villas, many of which retain the fine mosaic work produced by Cirencester workshops. There are several examples of Saxon building, while in the Stroud valleys abandoned mills and canals are the mark left by the Industrial Revolution. Gloucestershire has always been known for its abbeys, but most of them have disappeared or lie in ruins. However, few counties can equal the churches that remain here. These are many and diverse, from the ‘wool’ churches in Chipping Campden and Northleach, to the cathedral at Gloucester, the abbey church at Tewkesbury or remote St Mary’s, standing alone near Dymock.
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