We knew Michael Caines could cook – as in, multiple-Michelin-stars, MBE-honours-list kind of cooking. Happily, his first foray as a hotelier shows his excellence doesn’t stop at the kitchen pass. Lympstone Manor, admittedly, already had the raw ingredients: a majestic Georgian manor, 28 acres of gardens spilling down to the River Exe estuary. But Caines has pulled off that notoriously tricky move: modernising a country estate without losing its character.
Devon, down in south-west England, has always excelled at wholesome buckets-and-spades holidays (cream teas, countryside rambles, pristine sandy beaches; repeat). But lately it’s been seriously upping its hospitality game with stylish, food-forward boltholes. Lympstone has a prime position overlooking the River Exe estuary, and it’s a short pedal along the cycle track to the smartened-up seaside town of Exmouth.
London city-breaking gourmands and couples staying the night after a once-in-a-lifetime meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant.
A lavish-yet-light palette of Champagne, duck egg and oyster shell for Lympstone Manor’s 21 guest rooms. Gilded (and a little bit bling) roll top baths and silver trays of gin-and-tonic ingredients add grown-up glamour upstairs. Wake to views of rolling lawns and starling murmurations.
The eight-course Taste of the Estuary menu triumphs in the dining room and has heralded rave reviews from critics the length and breadth of the country. Grab the free bicycles or wellies to work off those totally-worth-it calories tomorrow. Lympstone has only been open two years and they’ve already installed a fire pit and contemporary sculpture trail, planted the UK’s first hotel vineyard (the inaugural harvest will be ready in 2020) and enlisted the help of 18 resident artists to decorate the hotel – they even host art exhibitions at the property several times a year.
A plush heaven in Devon. Come for the Michelin-starred menu and stay for the estuary views.