When is a Millefeuille not…

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, so well-known that to simply say “Le Manoir” we all know it, love it, wish we could be there more often. Le Manoir’s creator, Raymond Blanc, now a national treasure, a prolific writer and master of the TV screen, known to those who have had the good fortune to work with him as RB. A Millefeuille, a classic French dessert, leaves of puff pastry, with pastry cream and fruit, most classically raspberries or strawberries; but not if you are RB or an alumnus.

Why I am telling you this? The truth is Google relevance, but also, I love a good story. I joined Le Manoir in 1986 at the age of 20 – when this photo was taken I was 24 and assistant restaurant manager; another two years before I was to leave to open Pied à Terre.

I mentioned in passing the sound and crunch of the gravel, but it is much more; it is the sound of arriving, passing through the gates of Le Manoir, the point is, it is a layer in the Millifeuille, in the sub-conscious experience, the sound under tyre or under foot.  It is something that has been thought about, tested and retested and then in 1988 we had “Gravel Gate’. The wrong size gravel had been delivered and Madame Blanc was furious;  it was too quiet, had no ommff, no presence or character…..now remember we are talking about gravel! But it is this enormous attention to detail that creates a restaurant or hotel of excellence.  It means the simple things probably have been over thought, but better over thought than not thought at all…

You’ll notice the gravel next time you visit Le Manoir.

Tip Top.

Image credits:
Group shot — Le Manoir
Mille-feuille image — Enjo Media


We ask our suppliers to use recyclable or reusable packaging, and we recycle everything we possibly can – cardboard, paper, bottles, batteries, electrical items, and of course, food. Careful planning and ordering ensures that our food waste is minimal, and we work with the waste management company First Mile to ensure that unavoidable food waste is used to make renewable energy. When food waste goes to landfill, it decomposes under uncontrolled conditions and releases methane, which is 23 times more dangerous to the planet than carbon dioxide.

We have a zero-tolerance policy on single-use plastic for storing food in the kitchen.

All oils and fats used in the kitchen are collected and recycled into biofuel.


Fresh, excellent produce is at the heart of what we do. We only work with suppliers who share our ethos. We collaborate to help minimise our impact and identify local, smaller and sustainable food and wine suppliers across our industry. All our suppliers provide us with full traceability; we know exactly where our produce comes from, how it is sourced, and visits to our suppliers are a highlight in the restaurant calendar. Only sustainable fish from the UK is used at the restaurant, and 100% of this is from day boats. We are very mindful of food miles and constantly working to minimise and reduce them. We are also involved in a number of deforestation initiatives e.g., for every litre sold of our Sapling vodka a tree is planted in the UK.

Our Pelegrims grape bathroom lotions are rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins as they are made using waste products from the wine making process from local vineyard Westwell in Kent. Our toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap is 100% bamboo fibres. Bamboo is grass and grows incredibly quickly, making it very sustainable. 50% of Who Gives a Crap profits help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. All our bathrooms products are ethical, sustainable and also vegan.

We endeavour to decorate the restaurant with plants as opposed to fresh flowers. Where fresh flowers are used, they are sourced from sustainable florists/markets.