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No 46 to Le Manoir: Raymond Blanc funds local bus service to restaurant

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theguardian.com

With rural buses in long-term decline and a funding crisis putting more routes in peril, a surprising service has appeared on the English transport menu: the No 46 bus to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.Raymond Blanc’s celebrated restaurant and hotel in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside may not appear classic bus territory.

The Michelin-starred establishment’s seven-course dinner with matching wines starts at £350 a head, rising to just over £1,000 if you want to drink the good stuff.The last bus back to town at 1am could, however, save a couple a further £1,000 on an overnight stay – or at least prevent an argument over who is the designated driver, after washing down the Cornish lobster and new season lamb with a last glass of premier cru.While the hotel advises that some customers do indeed get onboard, particularly if coming first by train, the bus service is primarily for staff.

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