President of the Restaurant Association of Great Britain Robert Walton and his wife, fashion designer Donna Ida Thornton, have bought Langdon Court in Plymouth with plans to restore the building to a destination hotel.
The pair plan to restore the hotel into a "top level venue". Langdon Court stands in 10 acres of ground including gardens, a vineyard, lakes and two former outbuildings in addition to the bedrooms in the main property.
Walton, who is also chairman of the World Young Chef Young Waiter competition, said: "When Donna and I first saw Langdon we were completely blown away by the beauty of the building and the grounds and immediately agreed that this was the one we had been looking for. It's something that we had been wanting to do for some time – to create a venue that offers the best in food and accommodation, supporting up and coming chefs in stylish surroundings."
Thornton added: "Whilst Langdon Court is a major project, we've been inspired by the beauty of the historic building and stunning coastal location. We both like to be surrounded by beautiful things so we started planning the renovations immediately so we can inject our signature style into Langdon Court. The look will be clean country, with a big nod to the Devon countryside. We want to bring elements of the outside in but without cluttering the space. Imagine lots of natural clean fresh fabrics and textures in a neutral colour palette…
"There's so much history attached to Langdon Court. Much of the original Renaissance garden still exists and it has been visited by royalty including Edward Vll. The house was a home for hundreds of years before being turned into a hotel in the 1960s. We really cannot wait to get started."
Mike Easton, head of hotels and hospitality at property consultancy Vickery Holman, said: "The sale process of Langdon Court demonstrates the continued interest in the South West country house hotel market right now where, in this instant, we received considerable interest and numerous offers.
"This is despite considerable challenges on the ground with a property in need of protection and repair. We are absolutely delighted that Robert and Donna are the successful purchaser and they have fully engaged with the history and charm of Langdon. They are showing a real focus on getting the building back into good repair so it will become a venue known not just locally but internationally."