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Summary

“Obviously everyone was nervous about the departure of Michael Caines, but fear not!”“Michael Wignall is off to a fine start” at this famous Tudorbethan manor house discovered “after a terrifying drive up a narrow lane” on the fringes of Dartmoor. Once ensconced, there’s the chance to “relax in the beautiful lounge and enjoy a warm welcome” amidst a setting of “country sophistication”, before moving onto the main event in the dining room. The new kitchen’s output is “utterly amazing – so quirky and gorgeous” and backed up by an “exceptional wine list”.

£157
Exceptional
Exceptional
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“I don’t think as a package it can be bettered in the UK!” – this “luxurious yet understated” Tudorbethan manor set amidst “wonderful garden and grounds” in a fairly remote corner of Dartmoor is a culinary Xanadu that’s long been a mainstay of the survey’s Top-10 UK Restaurants (No. 6 this year). Michael Caines's “sumptuous” cuisine – “traditional yet tweaked with a modern edge” – is a “pure indulgence” (“like a team of magicians have been at work in the kitchen!”) and backed up by a particularly impressive cellar. In mid-2015 he announced that he would start stepping gradually back from the kitchen here to open his own hotel in Lympstone in early-2017 – The Latymer's Michael Wignall will succeed him.

£154
Exceptional
Exceptional
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

It’s very hard to fault any facet of this “luxurious yet understated” Tudorbethan manor, “beautifully situated” down “a magical mystery tour” of windy lanes on the edge of Dartmoor; despite his many commitments, Michael Caines’s cuisine is absolutely “terrific”, and service is “flawless” too.

£139
Exceptional
Exceptional
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“An extraordinary experience in all respects!”; this culinary Shangri-La – again, the UK’s foodie No. 1 – occupies a plush Tudorbethan mansion, set in “glorious” scenery (and gardens), on a remote fringe of Dartmoor; Michael Caines’s “beautifully crafted” cuisine is “unbelievably excellent”, and matched with a “vast selection” of unusual wines.

£135
Exceptional
Exceptional
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Have you eaten at Gidleigh Park?

Owner's description

The elegant and intimate two Michelin-starred restaurant provides a sophisticated backdrop to Executive Chef, Michael Wignall's decadent tasting and à la carte menus. 


One of the most respected chefs in the UK, Michael Wignall has won Michelin stars in every kitchen he has headed since being awarded his first star in 1993. Michael is famed for his respect for food and an ever evolving style which creates unique dishes full of flavour and underpinned by a contemporary, less formal approach to fine cuisine. Describing his food as ‘modern, technical and meaningful’, each element features to add flavour or texture, enticing diners to experience new combinations and ingredients complemented by vegetables and herbs picked from Gidleigh Park’s own kitchen garden.


Matching the high standards in the kitchen, Gidleigh Park’s internationally renowned wine cellar accommodates over 1,300 bins and 13,000 bottles from around the world. Home to a selection of European, New World and Bio Dynamic wines, the cellar offers one of the most impressive wine lists in the British Isles.


 

Restaurant details

Menu, Portions,
No
No jeans

The chef

Classically trained, but with an inquisitive mind that is very much open to developments in modern cooking, Michael Wignall's food is distinctively self-styled - highly technical and carefully crafted, with every detail refined and perfected. Recent travels to the Far East and Japan have become hugely influential in determining the direction of his menus; the clean flavours, pared back presentation and simple elegance encapsulated in this approach to cuisine now defining many of his dishes.


Michael's attention to detail, utmost respect for quality produce and drive to ensure ingredients are kept true to their own flavours and identities characterises every dish. Each a masterpiece in its own right, most begin with a sketch, travel through the trial and error process and will only appear fully formed on the menu in their final iteration following exhaustive testing and trialling.


But the evolution does not stop there; daily experimentation and development happens behind the scenes, with inspiration drawn from all walks of life, Michael consistently strives to build upon and develop dishes – be it the technique, flavour combination, presentation – there is always scope for improvement. A close relationship with suppliers to inform the rearing or growing processes also allows him to directly influence the produce he works with, encouraging experimentation literally in the field to develop his dishes with exacting precision.


The final results are dishes made up of multiple ingredients, with multiple techniques – each offering huge amounts of flavour, but with everything placed on the plate for a reason, no individual flavour is allowed to dominate – elements shine individually, yet work together in seamless harmony. His innovative and imaginative combinations are sophisticated and unusual, allowing distinct textures, flavours and ingredients to both complement and enhance the other components.

Gidleigh Park Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Gidleigh Park Restaurant in TQ13, Chagford by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Gidleigh Park restaurant.
Joe S
Quite an achievement for Michael Wignall to...
Reviewed 15 days ago

"Quite an achievement for Michael Wignall to make the transition seamless (and hold on to the two Michelin Stars) but he has done it while making his own mark and establishing his own style. Faultless, original, stunning to look at and to eat (and backed up by a deep and fascinating wine list) all in a gorgeous setting on the edge of Dartmoor."

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terry c
Beautiful all round food fine delicate flav...
Reviewed 1 months, 21 days ago

"Beautiful all round food fine delicate flavoursome in a gorgeous setting."

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Paul A
We had experienced Michael Wignall’s...
Reviewed 9 months, 23 days ago

"We had experienced Michael Wignall’s cooking at Pennyhill Park as well as that of Michael Caines here, both two stars but rather different styles. Our impression of the former had been somewhat coloured by the unfortunate dining room and the substandard front of house staff, which we felt let the chef down, especially when the majority of the dishes in our ten-course tasting menu had been of an outstanding finesse, expertly balancing tastes and textures and beautifully presented on the plate, and employing ingredients, some familiar and some not, in adventurous combinations, so it was that we approached this dinner in these luxurious surroundings with great expectations. It was immediately clear that the staff were a cut above those at Pennyhill Park and, in a welcome break from most restaurants, it was possible to have a wine flight with 75ml glasses to accompany the tasting menu. There were no nibbles, but the amuses-bouche set the standard for the rest of the meal with a collective of treats comprising trout roe, cubes of mild cucumber and salmon, and then three crackers, all different, each one supporting a selection of delicate individual yet texturally interactive elements, all beautifully presented and carefully balanced. The 10 course Taste of Gidleigh menu looked on the face of it to be unbalanced, but as the meal went on it was clear that, as with everything that evening, a great deal of thought, more than a sprinkling of skill and a splash of imagination had produced a masterpiece of top-class cuisine. A startling mix of sea bass with finger lime, a nori cracker, a perfect amount of yuzu and gentle oyster was followed by some superbly juicy hare with just the right quantity of chocolate crumbs to produce the perfect match and accompanied by parsley, artichoke cream, lightly cooked parsnip, another notable taste element, ceps and a hint of pine. Venison before trout, with venison main on the menu? The puzzle was solved with appearance of a slice of home-cured beautifully tasty and tender venison “bresaola” as an integral part of a real picture of a dish with heritage carrots, baked and smoked, a background of trendy woodruff, beetroot, wonderful organic goat’s curd, carrot cream and parsley. One could almost be persuaded to become a vegetarian with a stand-out dish like this, and our judgement of the meat was that, after all, you wouldn’t find it that odd to have a slice of ham early on in the meal with pork as the main if it played a proper role in the composition of the starter. Back to fish - cured sea trout, perfectly lightly cooked and just marvellous with a surprising roast celery and beetroot cream and yet intensified with glazed octopus and an historic chicken and squid broth. Once again all the levels of taste and the textures were impeccably balanced. Cornish mussels served in and counterpointed with mild braised onion and elevated by coal powder with cabbage and especially a terrific sardine dressing. There was a choice of mains. It had to be the venison for me, and my wife chose the eternal favourite, turbot. We were now expecting perfection from every dish, and chef did not disappoint. The admirable fish was supported by some fresh, barely cooked, taste of the sea Mylor prawns along with Gidleigh Park Jerusalem artichokes, an umami boost from shiitake mushrooms in a seaweed tea, as well as English truffles and local greens. The venison was exemplary, an authentic taste of the game season with a special extra of brilliant sweetbreads and white truffles, girolles, baby watercress adding a touch of pepperiness and a savoury parsley and fermented garlic mix. Another competitor for dish of the evening! Before we tackled the desserts there was a semi-cheese course of variations of pumpkin with its seeds, Colston Basset mousse, and a striking pear and wet walnut duo. The look of the first dessert brought a smile to our faces the way it was amusingly put together on the plate - a blackberry ice ball, a superlative buttermilk rod, torched Gidleigh Park sweetcorn kernels, blackberries and blackberry panna cotta, and we were still smiling after devouring it. Next we had a pistachio micro-sponge with a lemon and bergamot set cream, the taste of which grew on the palate and fused with the liquorice ice cream. Finally, another runner in the top dish stakes - a bitter chocolate bomb filled with praliné parfait, some frozen yoghurt and caramel. Simple sounding, but at this level not easily achieved. We reckoned that this was well up with any of the best dining experiences we’ve had this year, and Gidleigh Park with Michael Wignall in the kitchen must now rank alongside any of the three-star venues. Chef was still in the kitchen right to the end of service, yet another example of the dedication a top chef should have."

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Chagford, TQ13 8HH
Opening hours

Monday - Sunday Lunch 12.00pm - 2.00pm Dinner 7.00pm - 9.00pm Afternoon Tea 3.30pm - 5.00pm

The 2017 Harden's Guide

2016 Hardens Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

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