I'm going to nominate the 'Manoir' for an award. They may have a windowsill in the reception (a very large window sill) that's already groaning with the weight of silverware, but I'm sure they wouldn't sniff at another one... best hotel breakfast... There... said it.
It's just the most delectable and broad and fresh and inch-perfect breakfast I've encountered.
The Muesli's were there for a treat (mais oui) and were probably the only guests who were more excited about the breakfast than the supper... and lordy it didn't disappoint.
Surroundings: The Manoir is an elegant Cotswold stone manor, draped in tumbling greenery and surrounded by magical gardens, trees and the neatest veggie patch you'll ever come across. It has 32 bedrooms in the main house and courtyard and has two Michelin stars, which makes it a place for special occasions for couples, families and the odd business person(s).
Buffet: Extensive! Exquisitely chopped and labelled fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, freshly squeezed orange, grapefruit and pomegranate juices, homemade granola bars, bircher muesli, yoghurt, cereals, freshly baked bread, pastries billowing out of baskets, and little lines of thin-cut ham and cheese. With eyes bulging bigger than stomachs, it's hard to know where to start.
Hot stuff: The menu was unusual in its simplicity - fry-up, kippers, eggs Benedict... very little Michelin innovation aside from a smoked halibut with spinach, poached egg and a mustard sauce. At first ML was a little disappointed, wanting foams and fuss and breakfast couture... but then, the Manoir isn't about that, even at supper. The food is fresh, wholesome and colourful, with perfect cooking and exquisite assembly, and all of those things were true of the breakfast dishes. I just hope the Muesli's can think of another occasion special enough to pop back...