Michael Caines MBE

by on January 30, 2015

Michael Caines MBE

MichaelCainesBorn in Exeter in 1969, he was adopted into a family where his mother nurtured his love
of cooking. He attended Exeter Catering College, earning him the accolade ‘Student of the Year’ in 1987. His first job as a chef was at the Michelin starred Grosvenor House Hotel in Exeter. He subsequently spent an influential three years under mentor Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons inOxfordshire, before moving to France to learn under Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu and Joël Robuchon in Paris.

He became the Head Chef at Gidleigh Park in 1994, but he lost his right arm in a car accident soon afterwards. In 1999, Gidleigh Park was awarded
a second Michelin Star, and in 2001 Caines won Chef of the Year at The Catey Awards.

Michael Caines Restaurants Ltd was founded in 1999, and the Michael Caines Restaurant opened at the Bristol Marriott Royal in July 2003. However, meeting with Andrew Brownsword in early 2000 resulted in a partnership and the purchase of the Royal Clarence, Exeterin October 2000. Together, they have developed the Abode hotel concept.

Michael was created a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in June 2006.


Michael Caines reveals plans for new multimillion-pound country house hotel in Lympstone

‘Courtlands design by Rud Sawers Architects’.

  • TWO-STAR Michelin chef Michael Caines has revealed plans for his own multimillion-pound country house hotel.

Exeter-born Mr Caines, together with a consortium of investors, has exchanged contracts for the purchase of 28 acres Courtlands in Lympstone.

The purchase is subject to the Grade II listed Georgian mansion achieving full planning permission to convert it into a 21-bedroom country house hotel and 60-cover restaurant.

His aim is to convert it into an internationally-acclaimed travel and food destination and obtain a third Michelin Star.

Mr Caines is one of the best-known chefs in the country and has won countless awards over the past 20 years at Gidleigh Park.

It’s hoped that if given the green light, the country house hotel would be transformed into ‘the jewel of the South West’.

Mr Caines: “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.

“My passion for food and wine is at the heart of everything we will be working to achieve, with the intention to cook at the very highest standard and to achieve two Michelin stars here — with the aspiration to gain a third.

“The 60-cover restaurant will feature my signature, award-winning modern European cuisine that champions the fabulous produce of East Devon, the wider county of Devon and the South West.”

Mr Caines outlined his vision at a public consultation at Lympstone Methodist Church which was attended by about 70 residents.

Along with the move being welcomed, some residents expressed concern about increased traffic as well as possible noise from the proposed hotel.

Mr Caines suggested a discreet 21-bedroom hotel catering to a select clientele would prove to be less disruptive than the building’s current use as an events, conference and wedding venue.

He also pledged that the green wedge between Exmouth and Lympstone would be preserved.

Mr Caines said that he will remain at Gidleigh Park for the ‘foreseeable future’ until his dream becomes a reality.

“I have been at Gidleigh Park for more than 20 years now, and over this period we have achieved a huge amount, including two Michelin stars,” he said.

“Gidleigh has been my home and the team and I will continue to work tirelessly to keep it at the very highest pinnacle. In my business, you are only ever as good as your last meal.”

The scheme is not yet fully funded and it’s hoped that additional local investors will back the project.