Michael Caines, one of Britain’s most celebrated and best known chefs, is set to open the luxury country retreat Lympstone Manor in Devon in spring 2017. Located on the southern edge of Lympstone village, between Exeter and Exmouth, the Grade II listed Georgian mansion is set in 28 acres with unrivalled views overlooking the Exe Estuary. In the process of being fully restored and renovated by Michael and his team of talented architectural and interior design specialists, the former private home will be transformed into a 21 bedroom hotel featuring contemporary interiors that still retain a sense of place and a 60-seat fine dining restaurant.
“The opening of Lympstone Manor is the realisation of a dream,” says the two-Michelin star chef, who is from nearby Exeter. “Everything that I have achieved in my long career has brought me to this point where I can fully express my vision of contemporary country house hospitality for the 21st century. I can’t wait to welcome old and new friends to my new home!”
Exceptional cuisine and wine
With Michael at the helm of Lympstone Manor, it is no surprise that exceptional cuisine and wine will lie at the heart of the experience. After achieving two-Michelin stars and then holding them for 18 consecutive years, Michael has built his reputation on a visionary style of cuisine that celebrates the seasonal bounty of Devon and the southwest. Having taken a year out to develop Lympstone Manor Michael has had time to work on some new dishes and concepts as well as looking forward to recreating his signature dishes with local and seasonal ingredients. Three beautiful dining rooms overlooking the Exe Estuary, each with their own decor and identity — Haldon, Mamhead, and Powderham — are stunning venues to experience Michael’s exciting cuisine.
With plans to plant a vineyard on the slope leading down to the Exe estuary, the appreciation of wines including local wines from Devon and the UK as well as the finest from around the world — is a central element to the Lympstone Manor experience. Wine is very much a shared passion for both Michael and co-director Steve Edwards who has developed an impressive wine list for the hotel. There are two basement cellars as well as a wine tasting and dispense room opposite Lympstone Manor’s three dining rooms located on the ground floor. The tasting room will be used to house wine storage cabinets alongside a bank of Wine Emotion dispense machines for the service of wines by the glass as well as a sommeliers table where small groups can enjoy a bespoke wine tasting experience.
Once a private home, the grounds of the hotel, which skirt the edge of the estuary, are being developed into a landscape that puts the house at the heart of the estate with terraces and planting that matches the splendour of the setting, allowing guests to enjoy the magnificent view of the Exe Estuary.
Interiors and Design
Interiors at Lympstone Manor have been created by Meraki, a dynamic design duo whose sophisticated interiors bring warmth and character to the property. The brief for Meraki was to create a sense of escapism while reflecting the poetic beauty of the Devon countryside and keeping the aesthetic contemporary.
Guestrooms and Living Areas
The stylish guestrooms at Lympstone Manor are all named after birds that live in and around the estuary, making each room individual with a true sense of place. Every room reflects its namesake, from the blue jewel tones used in The Kingfisher room to elegant soft grey textures found in The Heron suite. The Heron is one of two luxurious Superior Estuary Suites complete with two side by side bath tubs and a spacious lounge allowing the guest to take full advantage of the views out over the estuary. Many of the guestrooms at Lympstone Manor come with their own terraces or balconies to maximize on the hotel’s superb vistas. Three Grand Estuary Suites and three ground floor Master Estuary Suites have the added luxury touch of an outdoor fire table and soak tub, perfect to luxuriate in all year round.
The polished interiors of the guestrooms are mirrored in the public areas on the ground floor. The lounge has a light and airy feel with soft beige and cream details and floor to ceiling French windows opening onto the garden and that spectacular view. The walls are adorned with nautical maps which reference the areas strategic vantage point for trade and exploration during the medieval times. Complementing the cream tones of the lounge is the hotel’s uniquely designed copper bar, found at the end of the room. Here, guests can enjoy the hotel’s signature cocktails or one of the hotel’s many wines by the glass.
Local Area and Things to Do
In addition to enjoying the exquisite fine dining at Lympstone Manor, the property is able to arrange wine tasting and vineyard visits for guests wanting to know more about local wine. For those looking for a leisurely stroll, the ‘Lady’s Walk’, created in 1760 when the property was in its main development as a private home, is a 30 minute circular route along the boundary of the hotel, taking in the shingle of the estuary. The Exe Estuary is an SSSI – a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest – due to being a haven for birds with nearly 20,000 wading birds and wildfowl found in the area. For guests wanting to discover the area, bicycles are available from the hotel free of charge to discover The Exe Estuary Trail that runs past the bottom of the hotel grounds, connecting Exmouth with Lympstone, Topsham and Exeter. Also nearby is the Jurassic Coast, a 95 mile long World Heritage site that celebrates 185 million years of earth’s pre-history and history. Exeter is a great choice for a day out with the Cathedral, Woollen Trail and Underground Passages to explore or nearby Powderham Castle, built in 1391 and now in its 28th generation.
Lympstone Manor is only a short distance from Exeter, easily reachable by train, car or air, making it the perfect rural escape. Located between the small farming and maritime village of Lympstone, complete with over 70 listed buildings, and the neighbouring town of Exmouth, Lympstone Manor is surrounded by un-spoilt countryside and an abundance of wildlife.
Nightly rates at Lympstone Manor will start from £245 per night including breakfast.