Michael Caines' Motive For Creating Lympstone Manor

What happens when a downhome, upscale British restauranteur gets a vision? If it happens to be chef Michael Caines, there's a good chance that vision will morph into reality. The celebrity Michelin-star chef has dished it out for Britain's Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and routinely pops up on shows such as "Saturday Kitchen," "The Great British Menu," "Sunday Brunch," and "MasterChef," per Michael Caines Collection. The proud Exeter homeboy is no stranger to new ventures, but Lympstone Manor is way more than a business investment — it's his dream.

After working 18 years at the acclaimed Gidleigh Park restaurant in Exeter, where his culinary skills garnered two Michelin stars, Caines gave two years' notice and started dreaming big. Real big. As he explained to Food and Travel, Caines set his sights on a historic Grade II-listed Georgian mansion and estate in Devon, one he described as "run down." Gathering a trusted service crew who shared his food philosophy and enthusiasm for the estate, the intrepid chef leaped into the vision.

Inspiration is no problem for the dream-maker entrepreneur who launched three water-view restaurants in 2020 and 2021 alone: The Cove Restaurant & Bar overlooking Falmouth Bay, The Harbourside Refuge Restaurant & Bar at Porthleven, and Mickeys Beach in Exmouth, Devon, according to Michael Caines Collection. But it's Lympstone Manor that pulled at his heartstrings, and the motivation still digs deep.

The dream comes true

From the beginning, Caines had motivating goals for Lympstone Manor. The visionary chef told Food and Travel that the once-shabby estate would launch as one of the world's best country-house hotels. Even as the project moved forward, his vision leaned backward, haunting a bygone era when country houses were places for genteel entertaining. His "new breed" manor house, now featuring 21 guestrooms and suites with luxurious touches such as marble tubs on private terraces, embodies a personal vision of modern country-house hospitality, explains Michael Caines Collection.

Naturally, the chef's renowned culinary skills would define the three elegant dining rooms of Lympstone Manor ­— and perhaps add another layer to his motivating drive. With two Michelin stars from Gidleigh Park, did he crave a third star birthed from his own signature vision? He certainly didn't deny that to Food and Travel, stating it was definitely in his realm of awareness and desire. And that's exactly what he got — a new Michelin star for his estate restaurant, which features fresh, seasonal, local southwest England ingredients, explains the Lympstone Manor dining page. Diners choose from an eight-course signature menu, an à la carte menu, or an estuary tasting menu.

And then there's the vineyard: dream-layer number three. Tucked within the 28-acre grounds of Lympstone Manor is a 10.8-acre vineyard with 17,500 vines planted in 2018. When reaching maturity, the vineyard will supply grapes for classic champagne-style estate sparkling wines, potentially gracing dining tables by 2023, reveals Vanity Fair.