Le Manoir, Part II

This week, Philip Newman-Hall picked up the Manager of the Year award at The Cateys. As mentioned below, this doesn't come as a big blooming surprise: the service at Le Manoir... is as good as anything I've experienced and, over the last couple of years, I've been privileged to stay in some of the world's best hotels. I promised an example though so here's one that maybe illustrates why Mr. Newman-Hall is so celebrated...

In an industry that's all too often obsessed about mini-bars and Kit Kats that cost about the same as a secondhand car, it's always lovely when you find a hotel that understands the bigger picture. The room at Le Manoir had a little bottle of champagne chilling down, a box of beautiful chocolates and the above decanter of Madeira. The champagne we left. The chocolates made it home - well, about half of them. The Madeira though took a pretty decent hammering. I'm not always the biggest fan of Madeira but this was a cracker, and a fine way to chill out during the afternoon. I took a photo on the phone, uploaded it to Twitter and made some comment about how I'd like every room I now go into to have a bottle of Madeira.

The room had a little patio-like area outside, which opened up into a lovely quiet garden. I had a couple of calls to make, it was a pleasant afternoon, so I went outside, with my glass, to make them. A few minutes after I'd finished my drink, Philip was walking past the other end of the garden.. I waved, he waved back, I carried on with my call and he disappeared into a room.

Logging back onto Twitter a few minutes later, I noticed that Philip had responded to my message about the wine. "Yes, but your Madeira glass is empty" he'd joked. He was right. But he'd clocked that from about 40 yards while moving at reasonable speed. Now that, my friends, is attention to detail...


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