Lympstone Manor - Exmouth
After settling into the calm oasis of Hotel Endleigh,* Scott and I felt fully restored, relaxed and holiday ready! But, now arrived the time to bid farewell to our stay at Olga Polizzi's rural countryside retreat and venture to a new location in the South West...
*You may wish to visit my prior post if you are staring blankly back at your screen!
To a beautiful country house hotel that is the vision and creation of Michael Caines MBE. Holder of two-Michelin stars for 18 consecutive years at five-star Gidleigh Park, and, one of our country's greatest and most celebrated chef's. New to his 'Michael Caines Collection', is a luxurious 21 bedroom hotel and 60 seat fine dining restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star after only just six months of opening.
It's name? Lympstone Manor - a magnificent Grade II listed mansion, set in 28 acres of tumbling grounds that overlook Devon's Exe Estuary. Opening its doors last Spring, this former private home has been entirely refurbished and transformed, and, is nothing short of luxury, every which way you turn. From its plush, elegant interiors and soothing colour palettes throughout, to its exquisite, jaw-droppingly delicious food!
Check-in time couldn't come soon enough!
All of the rooms are individually named after local birds that live in and around the Exe Estuary. Every room therefore "reflects its namesake, from the blue jewel tones used in 'The Kingfisher' room to elegant soft grey textures found in 'The Heron' suite".
We booked a stay in The Avocet Grand Estuary Suite, and an entirely unique experience awaited us.
You may know the drill by now... Out came our camera before the suitcases were unpacked and the kettle had been switched on!
With a south facing private terrace enjoying unspoilt views of the Exe Estuary, and, a pretty sexy outdoor tub and fire pit hinting at cosy evenings in, to luxuriate and de-stress, it's safe to say, you needn't venture far from the comforts of your room.
A welcome 'Gin' tray is waiting for you on arrival.
A bowl of fresh fruits, as well as teas, coffees and biscuits in the cupboard are all to be enjoyed too. I can't deny, those homemade, complementary cookies didn't sit looking pretty for long!
If you fancy a slice of homemade cake, just pop on over to the main house where you will find a 'guest's pantry' waiting for you on the first floor. Sweet cravings? No more!
Avocet is decorated in powdery blue, royal navy and soft grey hues with honey gold accents throughout.
From gold roll top baths, gold Victorian taps and spellbinding gold globe bedside lamps...
... to handmade beds created by local craftsmen in Devon.
Adjacent to the Estuary suites are a handful of sun loungers free for guests to use.
With those uninterrupted views of the Exe Estuary, and the option of table service too, you can easily while away the hours with a good book, paper or podcast.
However, for those who do not wish to sit still, or, for those who fancy a change of scenery after an enjoyable rest on the loungers, then why not stretch your legs with a game of croquet :)
As well as a croquet lawn, Lympstone Manor also have a number of Pashley bicycles available for guests to use to explore the local area. I would suggest doing this as a way to work up an appetite before dinner! Scott and I had a really lovely bike ride along the Exe Estuary Trail all the way to Exeter. Just ask at reception for directions, and they will happily help you.
After several hours at the pedal, a bath al fresco should be just the ticket to soothe limbs and relax those tired muscles!
After an exquisite feast at the Michael Caines Restaurant, (sorry, no photos on this occasion but a delicious four hours+ nonetheless!!) then a stroll through the grounds as dusk falls is an experience I would readily recommend.
There you will find the hotel's vineyard, which was recently planted and is not expected to produce its first significant harvest until 2021. A further two years is required for the wines to develop and mature, but, even more reason then to re-visit in the future to sample the planned classic Champagne-method sparkling wines!
But in the meantime, these spectacular golden sunsets will have to do! ;)
If you're looking for a tonic (and I don't just mean the delicious G&T offering!) for the mind, body, soul and appetite, then look no further than Lympstone Manor.
I just want to add that Michael Caines was ever present throughout our stay and we felt it was a great personal touch that he paused for brief conversations with ourselves and other guests. Many thanks for a really memorable visit!