It has long been an open secret in the village of Chagford that Michael Caines is to leave Gidleigh Park. After twenty years at the helm of the Brownsword flagship property Caines is to move on. The exact timeframe isn’t exactly known, but as many will recognise that he has been edging closer to the door over the past twelve months.
Firstly there was the announcement in July that he was to step down as Food & Beverage Director at Brownsword Hotels and to move to a consultancy role for the culinary offerings at Abode hotels. Then there was the expansion of the consultancy for the Caines brand; already supplying services to the Williams Formula One team, Caines then expanded into boutique hotels market, supplying services to The Townhouse in Oswestry & Kentisbury Grange. In early November it was announce that Caines had his eye on the Capital, rumoured to be a hotel close to Hyde Park & to replace an already starred eaterie, but negotiations fell through.
Now the biggest sign yet that Caines is to leave Gidleigh Park. Backed by a group of yet to be named investors, he has purchased the 21bedroom Courtlands in Lympstone near Exeter. Speaking to a local paper, Caines 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.
After renovation, Courtlands will be relaunched in October 2016 with the reputed aim of achieving the elusive third Michelin star.
I’d like to wish Micheal Caines all the best for the future with his new project & look forward to dining at Courtlands after the re-launch. Having dined at Gidleigh Park over the past five years, I’ve seen it grow, refine and serve some of the best food in the UK.