I’ve become really fond of visiting Devon for a peaceful escape, its gorgeous scenery and fresh countryside air. On a recent trip I was staying at Kentisbury Grange, a gorgeous luxury boutique hotel near Barnstaple, and whose grounds are home to The Coach House, by Michael Caines. The renowned two michelin starred chef was actually born in Devon.
As part of my stay at Kentisbury Grange, I had dinner booked at The Coach House, which specialises in fine dining and experienced the six course tasting menu there. They offer an A La Carte menu too as well as lunch and Afternoon Tea.
The Coach House prides itself on sourcing and using fresh seasonal produce and all the chefs at the restaurant were hand picked by Michael Caines MBE. I was excited to see what the food would be like as it was my first time experiencing a restaurant by Michael Caines.
I adored the elegant dark interiors and cosy feel to the restaurant, which used to be a former 17th century coaching house. Feeling totally relaxed we decided to have a glass of red wine each whilst we waited for our first course to arrive.
We had a fabulous bread basket filled with home made breads to enjoy too whilst we waited and I tried not to eat too much as we had a lot of dishes to come, but the bread was divine, especially as it was warm.
The first dish to arrive was the Mushroom Espuma with Cocoa powder sprinkled on top and served in a coffee cup. It was light and foamy true to its name, and the combination was sublime. It was a fabulous dish to kick off with and we both were pleasantly surprised with it as we were interested to see how the mushroom flavours would fare.
Next up was the Quail Ravioli with Sweetcorn purée, truffle and pumpkin seeds. I love dishes with truffle as an ingredient in them and so was excited about this and it was fantastic.
I always find that the dish that I am most unsure about on the menu ends up being the highlight and for me this was the Lemon Sole Boudin with Seaweed buerré blanc and fennel. I am not usually a massive fish fan and so for me to love a fish dish over and above everything is a true praise of a dish and it was fantastic.
I also loved the presentation which was like elements of the sea on a plate! Amit also really enjoyed this dish and the fish was really well cooked.
My second main dish was the Exmoor Beef Sirloin with Watercress purée, wild mushrooms, smoked marrow and madeira jus. In lieu of this Amit had a lamb option, which he really rated as well.
The meat was tender and all the accompanying aspects were a great compliment to an already flavoursome dish.
Done with the main savoury dishes, we were now on to the dessert course. We weren’t too full in terms of being unable to move out of the restaurant, but we were a happy full and well fed, and excited to see what was to come.
It is worth mentioning that the staff at The Coach House were so lovely and spaced out the time between the dishes really well. I really rated the service here and felt so welcomed and really enjoyed my meal. They were always close enough if you needed something but never interfered during the meal and I really felt it was excellent service.
The first of the sweet course was a Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream with Beetroot granita and a dark chocolate sponge. The flavour of the ice cream had massively intrigued me and I am pleased to say the combination worked extremely well!
The second and final course, was a Rice Pudding with Poached plum and plum sorbet. This was a bowl of comfort food – the type that brings a smile to your face after a tough day and was just dreamy. I loved the autumnal vibes it had and it was just the perfect sweet end to an exquisite meal.
If you are looking for a nice countryside escape, a gourmet break at Kentisbury Grange is ideal as the food is spectacular. If you happen to find yourself near Devon, a detour to the restaurant is highly recommended too.
We had breakfast at The Coach House the next day and it was really good – as well as having a continental selection, they had a fabulous selection of menu items of hot food that you could order too.
It was one of those places I would definitely come back to as it was such a memorable meal and highly recommend it. I know they do a vegetarian version of the tasting menu too so it does cater for everyone!
For more information about the restaurant and for menus visit their website here.
The prices for the Tasting Menu are: £70.00 per person for six course tasting menu £40.00 per person for the wine pairing.
For more information about Kentisbury Grange visit their website here.
Disclaimer: I was hosted by The Coach House but all views and photos are my own.