Opening on the 3rd April as a luxury country house hotel for the 21st century, the Grade II listed Georgian mansion Lympstone Manor has been restored and renovated by Michael Caines MBE, one of Britain’s most celebrated chefs and now visionary hotelier.
Once a private home, the property is set in 28 acres of Devon countryside with unrivalled views of the Exe Estuary. To create Lympstone Manor, Michael worked with Meraki, a dynamic London-based design duo, whose sophisticated interiors bring warmth and sense of place to the hotel. While reflecting the poetic beauty of the surrounding area, Meraki bring a contemporary aesthetic to the 21-bedroom hotel which invokes a sense of escapism. Michael also commissioned local artist Rachel Toll to provide artwork for the individual bedrooms, the public spaces and wallpaper designs.
Speaking about the brief for Lympstone Manor, Meraki commented: “Michael has always had a clear vision of what he saw for the hotel in terms of look and feel. With his close ties to Devon we worked closely with Michael’s team to create interiors that celebrated this beautiful area of the world as well as bringing them right up to date with contemporary touches throughout. The soft muted colours of Lympstone Manor bring a gentle elegance to the property but there is also an edge to it, created by the use of different materials and textures which is a signature of our style.”
One of the first projects Meraki undertook at Lympstone Manor was to design two bespoke wallpapers which were then commissioned to local artist Rachel Toll to bring to life. Inspired by scenes of the estuary, the wallpapers portray evocative patterns and colours to reflect the changing tide at different times of the day and adorn the wall around the staircase leading up to the guest rooms. Rachel has depicted beautiful local birds of the estuary, an inspiration found also in the bedrooms. Oak wooden floors and bookcases lining the walls lend a warm feel to the arrival, and birdcage seats are positioned inside the hotel’s entrance with a sense of the playful. The curved wooden reception desk is accompanied by brushed linen sofas in soft charcoal grey around the fireplace.
Where possible Michael has used local artisans for the transformation of the building, including in the bar and lounge which has a rose ceiling mould created by Lee Vanstone based in Plymouth. The lounge itself is lined with nautical maps which Meraki sourced from the British Maritime Museum. Deeply comfortable sofas and a roaring fire complete the room in soft beige and cream tones with vintage leather trunks used as coffee tables. The curved copper bar, opposite the fire place, is detailed with antique studs and a hanging glass rail above. Tall leather bar stools complete the polished and sophisticated look of the room.
Lympstone Manor is home to three dining rooms serving Michael Caines’ signature dishes inspired by the sea and the land. Named after the nearby castle, the first dining room Powderham consists of six banquette tables in muted gold tones. The room’s wallpaper shows a more abstract vision of the Lympstone grounds and views of the estuary, and carefully restored Victorian panels surround the room which looks out onto the delightful garden. The hotel’s private dining room Mamhead seats fourteen and is painted in terra ombra with dusty taupe chairs in velvet. The largest of the dining rooms is Berry Head which has eight tables, floor to ceiling bay windows and walls adorned with works by artists including Kurt Jackson. Painted in off-white, the space is complimented by the blue jewel tones of the chairs and light blue curtains framing the view. In the centre of the room hangs a stunning chandelier which is positioned directly above a rounded service table, topped with Estremoz marble. The floor tiles below are made of Nero Marquina and Estremoz marble.
The 21 stylish guestrooms and suites at Lympstone Manor are all individually designed and inspired by the birds that live in and around the estuary, making each room unique with a true sense of place. The largest suite in the hotel is Heron which reflects its namesake colour. The suite is split into three parts, the first is the sitting room with a fireplace, coffee table and a sofa made from a brushed cotton and linen mix in deep stone. The bed faces large floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the estuary. Moving into the bedroom area, three small pendant chandeliers hang at different heights on each side of the bed and the headboard is covered in a plush cream velvet. Meraki plays with textures in the room, with different tones of soft grey from velvets and sheer linens to sturdier cottons used for the curtains. The suite has a spacious bathroom, tiled in Estremoz marble, complete with his and hers bathtubs in aged brass from St James Collection, who have provided all the showers and sinks for the hotel.
The interiors in the Kingfisher suite are inspired by the vibrancy of the bird’s feathers and have a new England feel. The focal point of the room is the stunning blue bed which sits opposite a fireplace tiled in similar hues. Walls are painted in a light walnut colour and the oak floors are partially covered by a carpet with grey, blue and cream threads. The in-room bath sits next to the window and has views of the exquisite garden with its rolling lawns and flowerbeds. Mirrored cupboards line the walls as well as a painting of a Kingfisher by Rachel Toll, split into six pieces, which was commissioned for the room.
There are six suites located on the ground floor of the hotel which have estuary facing views and private terraces complete with their own fire table and outdoor soak tub. Lined with hedges for privacy these terraces are the perfect place to while away the hours in the beautiful Devon countryside. The Magpie suite is painted a shade of indigo to reflect the varied colours of the bird’s feathers, with black and white accents. The floor of the suite is in a darker oak than in the previous rooms, complementing the blues of the headboard and dressing table chair. A white sofa, with a loose linen cover sits at the end of the bed, facing the French windows onto the terrace. The bathroom is tiled in Travertine marble with a wall of gilded mirrors to bring even more light into the room.