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Michael Caines plans Devon hotel opening

11 December 2014 by

Two-Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines has revealed plans to open his own hotel in Devon.

The chef has struck a deal to acquire Courtlands House in Lympstone, which currently functions as a wedding venue.

Caines, who is backed by private investors, has already exchanged contracts for the property, which sits in 28 acres.

However, the deal is subject to the Grade II listed Georgian mansion achieving full planning permission to convert it into a 21-bedroom country house.

It is also not yet fully funded, and Caines hopes to win the support of additional local investors.

Details about the chef's plans emerged earlier this month at a public consultation held in the Lympstone Methodist Church, attended by about 70 people.

The move would ultimately see Caines leave Gidleigh Park where he has worked for over 20 years, with Courtlands aiming to open in October 2016. However, Caines said he would remain at Gidleigh Park for the "foreseeable future".

The chef said: "I am very excited. This is the earliest phase in the realisation of a long-standing dream.

"The renovation of Courtlands into a luxury country house hotel and restaurant in a fabulous East Devon setting on the Exe estuary will enable me most fully to express my vision of hospitality in all its aspects.

"My passion for food and wine is at the heart of everything we will be working to achieve, with the intention to cook at the very highest standard and to achieve two Michelin stars here - with the aspiration to gain a third.

"The 60-cover restaurant will feature my signature, award-winning modern European cuisine that champions the fabulous produce of East Devon, the wider county of Devon and the South West."

Speaking about his time at Gidleigh Park, Caines added: "I have been at Gidleigh Park for more than 20 years now, and over this period we have achieved a huge amount, winning numerous awards, including two Michelin stars. Gidleigh Park has been my home and the team and I will continue to work tirelessly to keep it at the very highest pinnacle."

Andrew Brownsword, owner of Gidleigh Park, added: "The high standards set and maintained by Michael over the last twenty years at Gidleigh Park will no doubt set him in good stead as he begins this new endeavour.

"My family and I have immensely enjoyed the journey we have taken together with Michael at Gidleigh Park, attracting accolades and awards through our exceptional standards as both a restaurant and hotel, and we look forward to supporting Michael as he looks to create another reason to visit the beautiful county of Devon."

Michael Caines sets sights on London restaurant >>

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