Steve Edwards is leaving his job as restaurant manager at the two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park hotel after 15 years.

Edwards joined the 15-bedroom hotel in Chagford, Devon, in February 1987. He is leaving at the end of May to travel the world with his wife, Tracy.

They will spend a year visiting Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Australia and California.

Edwards, who acts as a sommelier in his role as restaurant manager, said he wanted to use his time abroad to develop his understanding of wine. He will be touring vineyards and sampling wines in each country.

He said: “I have always wanted to develop my knowledge of wine, but to do that I need time and, because I work full-time, that is something I have never had.”

Edwards said it had been a tough decision to leave, but he felt it was time to do something different.

When he joined Gidleigh, its 40-seat restaurant had one Michelin star and Shaun Hill, now owner of the Michelin-starred Merchant House in Ludlow, Shropshire, was head chef.

Hill left in June 1994 and was replaced by Michael Caines, who earned the hotel a second star in 1999.

Edwards said: “I have done as much as I can at Gidleigh and have taken myself as far forward as I can.”

His successor is due to be appointed by the end of March.

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