Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon
Tel: 44 1647 432 367 or 44 1647 432 225
Concierge.com's insider take:
After being closed for most of 2006 due to a room expansion, this country house hotel on 40 acres is again offering the grandest, most refined dining in Devon. The restaurant is all about chef Michael Caines, who is also co-owner of Abode Exeter. An alum of the kitchens of Raymond Blanc, Bernard Loiseau, and Joël Robuchon, he's consistently lauded as one of the greats. While keeping up with trends (nobody can lag in this country of food fiends), he cooks in the classical French tradition, with a twist of wit: langoustine cannelloni with braised fennel; roasted Dartmoor lamb accompanied by potato fondant, onion and thyme purée, and tomato fondue. Although unusual for a Michelin-two-star place with all the bells and whistles and complexity, he changes the menus every day. Lunch is a relative bargain, and about the only way to eat here without investing in a (very glorious, very expensive) room so you don't have to trek home—Chagford is a tiny village surrounded by the endless wilds of Dartmoor.