Today I am feeling particularly nostalgic; I have been tidying up some paperwork and found a menu I kept from a visit a Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, the fabulous restaurant/hotel of Raymond Blanc in Oxfordshire.
Le Manoir offers the ultimate blissful dining experience in delightful surroundings and incredible luxury rooms.
If you are planning a trip here, make sure you allow time to visit the gardens.
When he first founded the hotel and restaurant over 30 years ago he was at the vanguard of Britain's food revolutions introducing flavours and techniques of classic French cooking. Today he also embraces world flavours to enrich his food.
The garden is the heart of his gastronomy, the first restaurant gardening school in the UK, with a seasonal menu.
The Blanc kitchen philosophy is "complicated simplicity" with each and every dish featuring the same characteristics: top ingredients whose quality are enhanced by sophisticated cooking techniques .
I was lucky enough to visit and dine there a few years ago, as part of an offer with The Times newspaper " An Evening with Raymond Blanc OBE and Times"; well it was heaven on earth
The Hotel is lavish without being stuffy, the service is 1st class without being intrusive.
I also had the incredible pleasure of meeting Monsieur Blanc and he's certainly a character and charmant as only a French man can, divine.
I must confess that at some point in my life I was dreaming of becoming Mrs Blanc although I quickly gave that up (I would be as big as whale with his cooking).
I still remember the Risotto aux legumes du jardin, asperges et creme de cerfeuil, without doubt the best risotto I have ever eaten in my life, and I don't even like rice.
It is a definitely a place for one-in-a-lifetime-celebrations; well I'm planning to have many things to celebrate ;-p
Monsieur Blanc mes remerciements les plus sincères pour l'une des experienes les plus mémorables de ma vie.