SquareMeal Review of
This Michael Caines project is a hotel conversion of a Georgian mansion, resulting in 21 bedrooms and a 60-cover Michelin-starred restaurant (awarded just six months after opening). The grand country pile is set within 28 acres of landscaped grounds, with vineyards sloping down to the Exe estuary. For Exeter-born Caines, this is heralded as a culmination of everything he has achieved so far in one ambitious vision, which is sure to make gastro fanatics sit up and pay attention across the UK. The restaurant includes three dining rooms (called Haldon, Mamhead, and Powderham), each overlooking the estuary and styled individually. The modern British menu majors in seasonal originality and spoils of the Exe, via both à la carte and tasting menu offerings. Our pick is the signature eight-courser – on our visit, we sampled Caines classics such as salt cod with crab, chorizo and samphire; followed by melt-in-the-mouth Dart Farm beef fillet with red wine jus. As for wines, the list makes room for an exploration of UK vineyards, while a wine-tasting room on the ground floor houses a sommeliers’ table, where small groups can book tasting sessions.