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Lympstone Manor, Courtlands Lane
Since departing Gidleigh Park in 2015, Michael Caines has reinvented himself as patron chef at this most ambitious of projects. Welcome to Lympstone Manor – a grand Georgian pile set seductively in 28 acres of landscaped grounds, with vineyards sloping down to the Exe estuary in Devon. The restaurant itself comprises three light and airy dining rooms, each looking towards the estuary and individually embellished with modern artworks.
As ever, Caines’ food is defined by seasonal supplies of West Country produce, and in terms of ambition, execution and technical complexity, he is certainly cooking at the level that previously won him two Michelin stars: braised Brixham turbot might appear with wild mushrooms, spinach and truffle butter sauce, while Cornish duckling is partnered with chicory braised in orange, anise and orange-scented jus. Elsewhere, a deliciously guinea fowl drizzled with a lemon thyme sauce and served with fondant potato and summer vegetables is as good as it gets, while a lemon polenta cake with tangy lemon curd, tart lemon sorbet and an exquisitely light vanilla foam is an exercise in culinary harmony, which rivals the much loved hot pistachio soufflé.
You can plump for the à la carte but, if it’s a one-off visit, we suggest diving into the delights of the ‘signature’ menu. Either way, expect “exquisite dining” and a Michelin-starred “assault on the senses” enhanced by perfectly matched wines from a list which champions English vineyards alongside classy global names. From the cocktails, try the beautifully elegant ‘Arabella’ gin and tonic, a super-premium collaboration between Michael Caines and Salcombe Gin.
SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2018 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2018. Thousands of readers took part and the results were moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The UK survey does not include any restaurants in London. Click here for the full list of SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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Lympstone Manor, Courtlands Lane
Lympstone Village Station 1km
Exmouth Station 2km
A La Ronde 876m
University of Plymouth (Exmouth Campus) 3km
Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 7-9.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
My wife and I attended one of the "pre-opening" evening meals in advance of the official opening early in April. In spite of being local to the area and checking the map before leaving we were unable to find the entrance as the signs had not yet been erected and I must admit some frustration that there had been no effort to erect even a temporary notice at the drive. We took a chance and drove through the stone gateway and down a long drive taking encouragement when we noted signs such as overflow and guest parking but we had no sight of the house at that point so continued on until we reached the turning circle in front of the house which once again left us in confusion as there was no exterior lighting or any indication that we had not arrived at a private residence.
Thankfully on stepping out of my car to investigate two enthusiastic and comforting staff members quickly approached my car and offered to park it for us while we warmed ourselves over pre-dinner drinks. The luxurious and comfortable décor gradually calmed my temper as we enjoyed an excellent Vodka martini and a glass of Mr. Caines wonderful own label champagne. We opted for Michael Caines signature taster menu with an accompaniment of carefully selected wines with every course which the Sommelier proudly announced would be dispensed from the state of the art single glass equipment capable of storing and serving 20 fine wines by the glass. An innovation that Michael had insisted on including in his new venture.
After serving canapés our hostess then escorted us to our table in the dining room, a circular booth which is quite uncommon in restaurants in this country and although it fostered a comfortable and relaxed ambiance the velour covers do make access tricky as you try to "slide" in to your seat. There then followed an assault on our senses through seven courses, each accompanied by interesting and sometimes unexpected but perfectly matched whites and reds with every seafood, meat and dessert course. The food was often complex, always interesting and the sheer variety of ingredients defies my describing it in these few lines but it all worked amazingly with the possible exception of one course which matched braised chicory with duck and chorizo accompanied with a white desert wine. The duck was heavenly but we had an uneasiness with the combination of the other flavours and I cant imagine the challenge of matching a wine to this.
Dining at his level is not easily achieved and it soon became clear that there had been a master at work when I met Michael Caines himself as he emerged from the kitchen in his chef's whites asking if I had enjoyed my evening. The cost for this exquisite dining experience in luxurious surroundings takes it well outside of anything but special occasions or the demands of the leisure classes but for those who are discerning enough it is well worth it.
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If you would like to book an offer, make your choice below.
New Year's Eve Gala Dinner with an Eight Course Tasting Menu, Matching Wines and Fireworks to see in the New Year!
Champagne Afternoon Tea - Indulge in a glass of champagne and a Full Afternoon Tea £58 per person
A La Carte at Dinner - 3-Course £125 per person
Michael Signature Eight Course Tasting Menu at Dinner for £145 per person
Afternoon Tea £45 per person
Michael Signature Eight Course Tasting Menu at Lunch for £145 per person
Taste of the Estuary - 7-Course Seafood Tasting Menu £135
A La Carte at Lunch - 3-Course £125 per person
Celebrate Christmas with us on Boxing Day - Special 3 Course Festive Menu £70 per person
Christmas with Caines Gala Dinner £240 per person
4-Course Lunch £60 per person
4-Course Lunch & a Cocktail or Mocktail £49 per person
3-Course Lunch & a Cocktail or Mocktail £39 per person
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