Although acquired by Andrew Brownsword (who also owns the Bath Priory [q.v.]) in the spring of 2005, Gidleigh only reopened its doors late in 2006, after extensive refurbishment. The style is still country house, with oak panelling and sumptuous sofas, plus dining rooms (2) with stunning views over the gardens. Michael Wignall heads the excellent kitchen team.
The food on offer allows the excellent individual ingredients used to stand out, which is becoming more of a rarity in these days of 'menus that read well' but tastes become amalgamated. So, depending on the seasons, expect the likes of 'Wild Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan'; 'Pan-fried Red Mullet with Thai Purée and Tempura Vegetables' and 'Bresaola (home-cured beef) with marinated Provençal Vegetables' to begin.
Perhaps to be followed by 'Roast Sea Bass and Courgette Flowers stuffed with Scallop Mousse; Gazpacho Sauce'; 'Roast Breast of Guinea Fowl with Bay Vegetables and White Wine Sauce' or 'Local Sirloin Steak with Truffled Potato Purée and Madeira Sauce.
Desserts look like works of art - 'Strawberry Mousse and marinated Strawberries with Strawberry Sorbet' or 'Hot Rhubarb Soufflé with Rhubarb Sorbet' might tempt you - as might their excellent selection of cheeses.
A light lunch menu is also offered.
- Food Style: Modern European
- Lunch: all week 12.00-14.00; set L from £50 (3 courses)
- Dinner: all week; 19.00-21.00; Tasting Menu £110 (7 courses), £130 (10 course Tasting Menu)
- Seats: 52
- Wine: a truly impressive wine list, kicks off at around the £40 mark, and you'll need deep pockets thereafter
- Children's portions: When possible, but no children of under 8 years of age
- Wheelchair access: Yes, including gentleman's lavatory
- Directions: See the map on this page - or from Chagford Square turn right into Mill Street, after 140m take the right fork, cross junction into Holy Street - continue for 2km up the cul-de-sac.
- Parking: Yes
- Closed: enquire about Christmas openings; 2 weeks in January
- Rooms available