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Gidleigh Park

CHAGFORD, Newton Abbot, TQ13 8HH

5 rosettes

Round the corner on the long, winding drive on the edge of Dartmoor and the sprawling half-timbered mansion heaves in sight against a backdrop of trees, with the River Teign flowing past the front. The shipping magnate who built the property in the Arts and Crafts style (seen in the oak staircase and some specially commissioned hand-made furniture) in the late 1920s obviously intended it to impress his guests, and it still gets jaws dropping today. It's a charming and stylish place of impressively high standards, with the sort of decor entirely appropriate for a luxury country-house hotel. Helpful staff add to a sense of occasion in a series of panelled interconnecting dining rooms with generously spaced, beautifully appointed tables. Michael Caines' cooking is both classical and inspirational, focused on the modern European style, founded on the finest local produce backed up by vegetables, fruit and salad leaves from the hotel's kitchen garden. His dishes never fail to delight for their palate-pleasing compositions, whether langoustine cannelloni with braised fennel, sauce vièrge and shellfish sauce, or another, more classically orientated starter of foie gras terrine with cubes of Sauternes jelly, quince and raisin purée - a remarkably successful marriage of flavours and textures. Technique is flawless, and clever combinations bring out the best of both contrasting and complementary flavours, held together by exemplary sauces. Rump of local beef, for instance, is accompanied by cheek with a red wine sauce, celeriac purée and wild mushrooms, and veal cutlet with purée of black truffles and celeriac, served with braised baby gem, tomato fondue and sherry sauce. Interesting ways with fish are seen in a full-flavoured but unshowy main course of fillet of sea bass, spankingly fresh and timed to the second, roasted with star anise, served with langoustine and bouillabaisse sauce. Amuse-bouche - perhaps lobster in jelly with caviar and tarragon mayonnaise - are well up to par, as are all other incidentals, while puddings, head-turningly attractive like everything else, are often at the fruitier end of the taste spectrum. Examples include a plate of orange, say (confit, tartlet, mousse and sorbet), or passionfruit mousse with spiced pineapple, mango and lime sorbet and coconut foam. The wine list is enormous, of over 1,300 bins, with over 13,000 bottles in the cellars, but help is on hand from a sommelier.

Further information

Tel: 01647 432367
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Open/closed

Open all year.

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern European
Chef: Michael Caines MBE
Number of seats: 52
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children's portions.
No children under 8 yrs D.
Parking available.

 
 
Gidleigh Park, Chagford

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Directions

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From Chagford Sq turn right at Lloyds TSB into Mill St, after 150yds right fork, across x-rds into Holy St. Restaurant 1.5m
Nearest station: Exeter St Davids

Local information for TQ13 8HH

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