The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

The long-awaited opening of Lympstone Manor, Michael Caines’ contemporary country house hotel, has been wowing reviewers and diners since it launched a few weeks ago. Jo Rees visited to ‘experience the exceptional’ for herself

From the moment you step through the portico, Lympstone’s confident interior design – which walks the line between elegant, contemporary and luxe – is a fresh take on the traditional country house hotel.

While thoroughly glamorous inside, outside the panoramic views of the estuary, lush meadows and a soon-to-be-planted vineyard add a sense of place that has always been integral to Caines’ cooking.

VISIT FOR a taste of the high life. Let the Lympstone Manor golf buggy take you to the door, imbibe a cocktail on the terrace and revel in exquisite cooking from the state-of-the-art kitchen, now home to some of the best young chefs who have worked with Michael at Gidleigh and elsewhere.

DON’T VISIT FOR culinary gimmicks. The elegant dishes are thoroughly rooted in the classics, and executed with precision and thrilling skill while eschewing cheffy nonsense of the smoking dome and popping candy variety. With cooking this good, tricks aren’t required.

WE LIKED the smart but friendly service, ‘posh booths’ for an intimate dinner with friends, Caines’ killer bread and beautifully crafted drinks at the copper bar. This is somewhere to relax and have a good time without pretension.

Insider's tip

This kind of experience doesn’t come cheap but it's possible to visit for lunch and enjoy the grounds and the terrace along with exceptional food for £45 for two courses, which is fabulous value. If you’ve got the means, however, stay the night and luxuriate in an outdoor marble soak tub, fire pit and personal gin tray.

Churchill Recreate
Indy Cafe Cookbook Volume 2
South West 660
More reviews

Most read

Churchill Recreate
Churchill Recreate

Don't miss a thing

Get the lowdown on our latest finds – from boutique hotels and special places to stay to events, restaurant openings and more – delivered direct to your inbox via the Food Lifestyle email newsletter.