Table talk: Where Will Chase eats..

Le Manoir is oozing with very sharp, relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere. It's not just the food, it's the experience: it's how it is run and how they react to you - a very interesting place.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I first went there with someone who wanted me to buy shares in a company. I wasn't really interested, but I did buy in eventually, because they were very charismatic. Their choice of restaurant sold it to me.

Le Manoir does a discovery (decouverte) menu of 10 courses, where you try lots of bits and pieces and different wines. I'm not a big lunch eater, but it's nice to get a good taste experience. And if you want to sell something, the meeting has to be interesting. I'll only buy something if there's charisma and character there.

The menu includes everything from quail eggs to freshly made Bellinis and salmon mousse, and they send delicious light things like foie gras and toast between courses. Each course gives you something fresh to talk about.

It's also interesting having the sommelier telling you what's what with wines and why each matches the particular course.

I also like to meet at Le Manoir when I'm recruiting. If I'm paying north of £70k a year, it's good to get an idea of the person's tastes - ask what their favourite food is and they may say foie gras or fish and chips. See how they manage it. If they get into the place and sell themselves to me, they'll be able to sell themselves and the product to other people.

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Church Road, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD, 01844 278881, www.manoir.com

Menu decouverte £116, Saturday and Sunday lunch, dinner any day; available for the whole table only.

Will Chase is founder of Chase Distillery.

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