‘I believe it is more important than ever to back local businesses’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 October 2020

Locally sourced produce Picture: Getty Images

Locally sourced produce Picture: Getty Images

Archant

In his latest column, Michael Caones highlights the Devon-based suppliers he uses

Readers of this newspaper may be aware of my passion for local produce, whether that be fish landed at our local docks or meat farmed a few miles away.

That’s why I am delighted to be supporting the Herald’s/Journal’s Shop Local campaign.

In the current climate, I believe it is more important than ever to back local businesses.

You only have to glance at our menu and you’ll find Exmouth crab, Powderham venison and a bounty of seasonal ingredients found literally on our doorstep.

However, look a little more closely and you will see our obsession with ‘keeping it local’ everywhere.

Lympstone Manor is decorated with specially-commissioned artwork by talented local artist Rachel Toll.

Rachel is a watercolour artist who gains inspiration from the wildlife, landscapes and coasts of Devon and Cornwall.

For Lympstone Manor, she has painted a series of beautiful watercolours illustrating the birds of the Exe Estuary and her work adorns each of our respective guestrooms.

Throughout the entire hotel, our walls are hung with artwork from highly regarded, local artists in collaboration with FineArt@. Their collections allow us to merge breathtaking art with fine dining for a unique evening experience.

Our bedrooms rooms and suites have been designed sourcing what we need from as close to the hotel as possible.

We use Devon Duvets, made in Plympton, which are not only luxurious but also naturally temperature-regulating, ensuring each of our guests enjoys the perfect ‘sleep experience’ throughout the year.

Working with Devon Duvets has helped us to reduce our carbon footprint, support our community and minimise our mark on the landscape. We pride ourselves on giving each of our guests a guilt-free stay while still indulging in luxury.

A recent addition to our range is Swiss Heritage watch brand Oliver Meylan which are designed right here in Devon by a friend of mine.

And I am working on a range of plastic-free bathroom toiletries which, again, will be produced locally.

It goes without saying that my raw ingredients are local including outstanding and rich dairy products, including artisan cheeses, cream, clotted cream, and milk and meat from native breeds such as Red Ruby cattle, lambs raised on upland farms, and free-range pork.

Our vegetables thrive in the rich and fertile soil of Devon and foods foraged for free on moorland, heath and cliffside. All of these and more form part of a unique West Country larder that is simply outstanding.

I have developed strong relationships with suppliers like Darts Farm, Greendale, Flying Fish, Lyme Bay Winery, Salcombe Gin, Quickes Traditional, Sharpham Cheeses, which go beyond business and which are based on mutual understanding, respect, and personal friendship.

This passion for the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds us here in Devon and my mission to protect the landscape by working with partners who share our ethos will also be a feature of my new Exmouth restaurant.

I’ve formed similar relationships at my restaurants in Cornwall, The Cove in Maenporth Beach and the Harbourside at Porthleven.

So here’s a plea: Why not see what you can do to buy local? Just a couple of hundred pounds a year could make all the difference.

Speaking of Cornwall, this week I’ve been up and down the A30, much of it in the rain visiting my businesses ‘across the border’.

It’s important, especially in this current climate, that I spend time with my whole team and make sure that they are happy and healthy.

It’s been a gruelling year for the hospitality business and so a lot of what I do doesn’t involve cooking.

Speaking of which...

One of the highlights since my last column has been a photoshoot for GQ magazine in association with Michelin which will appear in the December issue focussing on chefs and their cars.

It was great fun and a nice distraction however, the kitchen is still where I feel most at home.


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