I was about to start my gourmet experience. The waitress brought the bread basket which was truly something to behold boasting a staggering array of home-baked treats from bacon, beer, pecan and raisin bread to rye, baguette and wholemeal.

My first course was a tiny expresso coffee cup of the most potent watercress soup with truffle oil. It tasted like liquid vitamins and woke up the tastebuds ready for the delights ahead.

Next came a terrine of foie gras and quince with an aged balsamic vinegar gelee. The marriage of flavours was perfect and the texture smooth and comforting.

The next dish presented to me -for at Le Manoir they present, they do not serve -was pan-fried scallops and langoustines with lemon confit dressing and truffled fennel.

Next came roasted wild partridge with black pudding, redcurrants and juniper jus.

Of course this was cooked to perfection and although I'm not a black pudding fan I could understand the concept of presenting these flavours together -and this was freshly made in the Manoir's kitchen.

A chance to cool down next with Le Manoir's version of a sorbet: bitter grapefuit ice shaped into little shredded mounds on top of thin slices so the whole effect was floral.

Then came the piece de resistance. I'm not normally one for desserts but the pineapple sunflower dish which was laid before me was not only as pretty as a picture, but totally scrumptious as well.

This was a creation of Chef Patissier Benoit Blin and quite honestly what this man does with pastry and sugar is a sight to behold. Homemade chocolates completed the incredible meal.

Dining at Le Manoir is a unique experience. You don't go there for a good meal, you go there for your senses to be entertained.

Yet Gary was keen to point out that if someone wants a simple well-done steak then they will get one. Only it will have to be the best well-done steak.