A Martell Very Special Night at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

On Friday 25th July we held the last of this summer’s Martell Very Special Nights at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Raymond Blanc's idyllic hotel, restaurant and cookery school in Oxfordshire.

The evening began in the newly opened La Belle Époque conservatory and walled garden with an intimate live performance by mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins. The highlight of the evening was a surprise duet between our hosts, as Raymond joined Katherine on the stage to sing the French classic La Vie En Rose. Katherine said “He taught me to cook, I encouraged him to sing.”

The night’s entertainment was followed by a sumptuous five-course meal by Raymond Blanc’s team of chefs and a cognac masterclass by Martell Cognac Global Ambassador, Thierry Giraud. The menu included a beetroot terrine to start; followed by Cornish crab with garden courgette flowers and ginger; salmon with cauliflower, horseradish and cucumber; Oxfordshire lamb with tender baby artichokes and olive scented jus; and to finish a theme on strawberry for the dessert course.

Cocktails served throughout the evening included the world famous Martell Summit, a refreshing mix of Martell VSOP, lime, ginger, cucumber and Lemonade among others and the classic Martell Sidecar.

We spoke to Katherine Jenkins after the event: “Le Manoir is such a magical place it’s the perfect setting for a Martell Very Special Nights event. Performing to just 50 guests is an unbelievable experience and the walled garden provided a beautiful backdrop.”

Raymond Blanc added: “To host this glorious Martell Very Special Night at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons was a great honour and to enjoy the voice of Katherine was the most exquisite appetiser one could wish for. I only hope that my food matched the glamour of the evening... and of course, the Martell Cognac masterclass was la pièce de résistance!”

I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Martell evening on Friday. Thank you all so very much. To win a prize where the hosts have thought of everything and at Le Manoir, is exceptional. It was like a fairytale, which I thoroughly enjoyed from arriving through the gates and eventually leaving on Saturday. Thierry and Claire made us all feel so very welcome at the table. Le Manoir was perfect and like a taste of Heaven. Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful treat. I will toast you all and Martell with every glass of Cognac in the future.

Joanna, Telegraph Winner