DINING TABLE FOR 4 PERSONS

The magus has been at work on Buckland Manor: magic and centuries of sun, wind and rain have burnished its complexion to surreal hues – which become chimerical at dusk when the floodlighting is turned on. The hall flagstones glow ruddily, like old men’s cheeks; and staff cross these flagstones on lissom, printless toe which awaken no one dozing before the log fire. Nothing shall disturb you. Indeed, there is a multiplicity of negatives: no music or entertainment, no room keys, no mini-bars, no signs. I do believe that you are quite severely fined for whistling or humming in the corridors. On the edge of the Cotswolds, Buckland Manor glances towards the Malvern Hills We were shown to the â˜Vaulted Room’, facing west, from where, on a clear day, you could just about see the coast of Newfoundland. Below us were acres and acres of lawn, which have been rolled every day for the last 400 years. The heat of our room was slightly excessive, but Gilbert, sartorially correct in butler’s apron, addressed the matter with Archimedean wisdom, retiring in order that we could change for dinner. DINING OUT FOR LIFE 2014 MINNEAPOLIS hand; medallions of Brecon venison, with claret sauce and braised savoy cabbage flavoured with bacon and kidney, on the other. We drank a St Joseph Reserve Per-sonelle 1986, chosen for its light touch. Wfe were summoned to dinner by bells, for Monday is campanology night at St Michael’s when bell-ringers of Buckland make joyous peals – delightful to our ears, though possibly alarming if you come from Centuries of sun, wind and rain have burnished Buckland Manor’s complexion to surreal hues

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