A Summer of Luxury | Holiday with… Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
As Chef Patron of the magnificent Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Raymond Blanc OBE needs no introduction. In today’s ‘Holiday with’, we journey with Raymond to Provence for the perfect lunch at La p’tite Cour; to Home House for a rose petal martini in the gardens; and to Japan, which provided inspiration for Le Manoir’s beautiful water garden…
Where will you be holidaying this year – and why?
I have actually just returned from Australia for the inaugural Curated Plate Festival for work – it was a truly incredible week on the Sunshine Coast. This year, Belmond Le Manoir is celebrating 35 years and maintaining two Michelin Star status for that time; a fantastic achievement and I am so proud as it still sits as one of the ‘must visit’ places on peoples wish lists. It’s been a wonderful year but very busy! I am looking forward to a holiday, and the South of France is where I love to visit. I love early summer in Provence and, when I go, I enjoy a relaxed long lunch with family and friends at La p’tite Cour. It is on my list of top recommendations. It has a lovely shaded patio that’s perfect and they do marvellous things like locally caught rouget and baby cuttlefish with saffron risotto, or catch of the day with a flan of seasonal vegetables and of course a fantastic simple tomato salad! An afternoon spent here is my idea of perfection.
What is your ‘must-have’ item to pack in your suitcase?
A phone charger and spare reading glasses! I always lose them!
Where is your favourite al fresco drinking or dining spot?
It would have to be either a rose petal martini at Home House, in the gardens of course. I also love Scotts outside on Mount Street – I love to watch the world go by as I sip a perfect negroni.
What is your holiday read this year?
I loved Normal People by Sally Rooney – her writing is so effortless yet beautiful – in my eyes, that is true talent.
Have you ever had a ‘lightbulb’ moment related to your business or career while taking some downtime?
Always! I have been lucky enough to travel to some wonderful places in the world and I always get ideas from others. My team perhaps aren’t so excited when I return with all these ideas! When I was travelling in Japan many years ago I had the idea to then re-create a Japanese water garden here at Belmond Le Manoir. My wonderful head gardener Anne-Marie Owens and I worked with Robert Ketchell to create our beautiful garden.