Michael Caines’ Lympstone manor in Devon doesn’t do the things by halves. The contemporary country house hotel is home to an elegant Michelin-starred restaurant, a serious wine room and cellar, 28 acres of grounds an even a 10.8-acre vineyard that is home to 17,500 vines. It’s all the more impressive considering that Caines has created all this from what was once a dilapidated mansion that had long been forgotten about.
Caines is no stranger to this part of the world or indeed running a high-end dining room such as that at Lympstone. Back in 2015 he left Gidleigh Park after 21 years at the Devon restaurant, which gained and retained two Michelin stars with him at the helm, to realise his dream of Lympstone Manor and six years on the results have been spectacular.
There’s a confidence to Lympstone’s food that comes with having cooked at such a high level for such a long time. The restaurant offers numerous menus – a la carte, estuary tasting, signature tasting, lunch, and vegetarian tasting – with dishes such as butter poached turbot; terrine of duck liver; lobster ravioli; and raspberry souffle unashamedly classic in design and style. Caines is happy to let his ingredients do the talking, but his skill behind the stove undoubtedly amplifies anything they have to say.
As you’d expect from even with its own vineyard, wine is given an equal billing with Lympstone’s cellar housing more than 600 bins, including mature vintages from the great European wine regions and the New World. For serious oenophiles the wine room is a must visit, with guests able to have a wine tasting tutorial and taste up to 24 wines by the glass.