Review on Gidleigh Park
To find Gidleigh Park, you need to negotiate a seemingly never-ending and fearsomely narrow lane: 'keep heart, you're almost there', says the sign. Eventually you will spy the lauded vistas of this most genteel of country house hotels, a handsome black-and-white building with majestic gardens and 107 acres of Devon woodland and parkland as a backdrop.
You may well be greeted even before you cross the threshold: from then on, it's an effortless, impeccably paced experience, perfectly orchestrated from start to finish. Sit in one of the capacious lounges and await copious platters of exemplary nibbles while you peruse the a la carte and tasting menus.
The kitchen is still Michael Caines' two Michelin starred domain: he has been cooking here for more than a decade and has a honed a style that is highly elaborate, with textbook flourishes and trademark mirepoix everywhere. A complex terrine of foie gras is adorned with rhubarb compote, rhubarb and lemon grass jelly pickled rhubarb and girolle mushrooms, while passion fruit mousse comes with exotic fruit, rice pudding ice cream and a coconut tuile.
Global influences show up strongly in – say – Cornish sea bass with Thai purée, stir-fried shitake mushrooms, mange-tout and fresh noodles with a lemon grass foam or Dartmoor lamb with Boulangère potato and confit shoulder, fennel purée and a tapenade jus, while desserts are world-class creations like hot pistachio soufflé with pistachio ice cream. The wine list is encyclopaedic, ranging from breathtaking French classics to California's finest; prices are never cheap, but there are some seriously tempting options by the glass.
The restaurant is open to non-residents for lunch and dinner. Lunch at Gidleigh Park, followed by a stroll in the grounds, is one of life's most civilised pleasures.
Gidleigh Park is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide, AA GuideRate this Restaurant
Michael Caines MBE
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 2.30pm
Dinner: 7.00 - 9.30pm
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express