A Sense of Taste
“Devon and the West Country has the best larder not just in Britain but in all of Europe,” Michael Caines.
At Lympstone Manor Michael continues to build his world-acclaimed reputation on his exceptional and refined modern European cuisine that makes full use of the bounty of seasonal ingredients, much found almost literally on the doorstep.
Michael and his team have nurtured and developed important relationships with key suppliers who consistently are able to provide the very best seasonal ingredients and outstanding products. Freshness, seasonality and quality are always the key.
A ‘sense of taste’ prevails in all that we do at Lympstone Manor and our ingredients are key to this. Whether ensuring our fish reach ‘Boat to Plate in 48’ hours or carefully selecting which cuts of meat to use from the native Devon Red Ruby to ensure that nothing goes to waste, Michael and his team use their passion to ensure that every meal is a guilt-free experience to savour.
We partner with the finest local suppliers including Darts Farm (4 miles away) and Greendale Farm Shop (6 miles away) because we like to know exactly where every ingredient that goes into our dishes comes from. Darts Farm provide our beef from their own herd of Red Ruby cattle which can be seen grazing on the salt marshes of the Clyst River which, as Michael states, are “some of the best that he has ever worked with, tasted and used”. Dart Farm’s Master Butchers, Alastair and Phillip David work closely with our kitchen team to ensure that the meat supplied is precisely hung, cut and prepared to our exacting requirements and standards.
Meanwhile, Greendale Farm Shop lovingly catch and prepare their freshly caught fish each day and have a fleet of around 15 vessels. As a like-minded local establishment, they also realise that the bounty which comes from the cold waters of Lyme Bay that laps our doorstep is one of the glories of the West Country larder. Caring so deeply about our land and seas, they fish with great love and care and adhere to the Seafood Responsible Fishing Scheme. If they notice certain stocks start to run low, they switch their attention to lesser known fish in order to conserve each breed and ensure bountiful supplies year round.
Michael works with our suppliers and with what is in season to craft each menu to reflect our guest’s requirements, while ensuring that the land remains both respected and nourished. Our lunch menu changes weekly on a Thursday, while our Dinner Menus (including À La Carte, Signature, and Estuary) change monthly, also on a Thursday. As we use produce that is both reflective of the environment and season, these can be subject to change more frequently, but this will be conveyed to guests prior to their arrival.
Our À La Carte menu consists of a wonderful array of dishes, starting with canapés, a selection of breads, a chefs choice appetiser, followed by your choice of starter, main and dessert with the option to then indulge in an after meal coffee and petit fours.
The Estuary menu is a 7 course tasting menu, which showcases all that is great from our immediate surroundings, the Exe Estuary and Lyme Bay, and allows our guests to sample seafood which excites the senses.
Michael’s Signature menu is an 8 course tasting menu where he combines his signature style of cooking with the wonderful West Country larder and provides guests with a variety of dishes, each prepared to the highest of standards so that they leave having sampled the true delights of Devon. With both our Estuary and Signature menus, following their meal, guests are then invited for coffees and petit fours while they watch the sun slowly set basking the land in a beautiful golden glow.
Greendale Farm Shop and Flying Fish, our seafood suppliers, follow a policy of ‘Boat to Plate in 48’ whereby they aim to supply their catch so our chefs can prepare and serve their dish for guests to enjoy within 48 hours. Not only does this ensure the freshest of catches, but it allows Greendale to fish according to demand and prevent waste.
At Lympstone Manor, we are also a keen advocate of ‘Carcass Balance’ where we ensure that as much as possible of the carcass is used to further prevent waste. For example, we use any remaining offcuts and bones from our wonderful meat and fish in order to create stock for dishes.
These two policies allow us to be sure that we’re doing the right thing for the environment as well as our surrounding areas. However, we understand that some products and produce simply aren’t produced in the West Country, and in such instances, the team sources from the best suppliers elsewhere in England and Europe. Our olive oil, for example, comes from Greece, supplied by the family of Junior Sous Chef Yiannis Georgakakis.
You can view Michael on the Becky of Ladram here.
Each year, the Manor takes part in World Ocean’s Day and the Slow Food initiatives which are run on both a national and global scale.
At Lympstone Manor, we understand that a healthy world ocean is critical to our survival and so every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honour, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean. The ocean is important because it generates most of the oxygen we breathe, helps to feed us, regulates our climate, cleans the water we drink, offers a pharmacopoeia of medicines and provides limitless inspiration. Indeed being based so close to our planet’s greatest feature, our dining rooms and bedrooms each draw their inspiration from the sea, along with our incredibly special Estuary menu. In 2019, Michael chose to highlight a lesser known fish called the Gurnard which has a meaty profile and is very similar to Red Mullet. The Gurnard was caught around the waters of Brixham, the most important fishing port in the British Isles when measured in terms of catch and sustainability.
Slow Food are a global, grassroots organisation, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. They work around the world to protect food biodiversity, build links between producers and consumers, and raise awareness of some of the most pressing topics affecting our food system.
We instil this ethos in all of our apprentices and Michael advocates this to the trainee chefs at the Michael Caines Academy to ensure that they either bring this mindset with them to the Manor or to wherever their careers take them.