LYMP­STONE MANOR DI­ARY Re­mem­ber, re­mem­ber...

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Devon Life - - Edmond Davari -

Re­mem­ber, re­mem­ber, the first of Novem­ber. I know that isn’t quite how the say­ing goes, but it’s ap­pro­pri­ate this year here at Lymp­stone Manor be­cause that’s the night we’re cel­e­brat­ing our Bordeaux evening.

Our guests will ex­pe­ri­ence a se­lec­tion of el­e­gant wines from the finest chateaux, as part of a month-long cel­e­bra­tion of this renowned French re­gion. Then there’s the food, of course - a five-course tast­ing menu I’ve de­vel­oped to com­ple­ment these ex­cel­lent vin­tages.

For me, it’s the per­fect way to em­brace the penul­ti­mate month of the year, as we ap­proach win­ter and nat­u­rally veer to­wards more ro­bust flavours in both food and drink.

Our own vine­yard, planted ear­lier this year, has been flour­ish­ing in the full sun of an ex­cep­tional sum­mer, which has forced the vines to send down deep roots in search of mois­ture. Look­ing back, it’s been a year of con­trasts - from the early on­slaught of the Beast of the East, through to a hot, dry sum­mer and mild au­tumn.

As the tem­per­a­ture cools, we’re turn­ing our at­ten­tion to pre­par­ing our vine­yard for win­ter fol­low­ing its first sea­son of growth. We’re also look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing with the restora­tion of our ponds, putting in new paths and do­ing the ma­jor­ity of the ground­works.

Of course, win­ter brings shorter days. In our down­time, it’s im­por­tant to get out and make the most of day­light hours with walks by the es­tu­ary, along the coast or on the moors. My fam­ily loves to come home to a warm­ing soup (see my recipe for Cur­ried Car­rot Soup here – tinyurl.com/ y7qm2skz) or hun­ker down in a cosy pub for lunch.

We no­tice that same shift of pat­tern in our cus­tomer base too. A lot of our din­ers pre­fer to take lunch at this time of year, so that they can travel in day­light. We have win­ter lunch of­fers through­out the month.

In Novem­ber, our view of the es­tu­ary sub­tly changes as the trees start to give up their au­tumn leaves, boats are stored away and re­placed by the ar­rival of mi­grat­ing birds. Nearby, we are treated to the colour­ful spec­ta­cle of kite surfers, brav­ing both the wind and the weather.

It’s time to re­flect back on Lymp­stone Manor’s first full year of op­er­a­tion…and what a re­mark­able year it’s been! It’s also time to plan ahead for Christ­mas (sorry, couldn’t avoid men­tion­ing it) and New Year, as we start to put up our fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions and look ahead to 2019, when we’ll be de­vel­op­ing a Sculp­ture Park in the grounds.

The girls on my team love get­ting Lymp­stone Manor dec­o­rated for Christ­mas, deck­ing the halls with boughs of holly and other sea­sonal green­ery. The house lends it­self to tra­di­tional dec­o­ra­tions with nu­mer­ous Christ­mas trees, gar­lands and lots of green­ery.

We use Trugs in Ex­eter for our dec­o­ra­tions. They do us proud, as they did for many years at the Royal Clarence. More about Christ­mas and the New Year in my next col­umn.

In the mean­time, en­joy Bon­fire Night and keep safe. If you’ve never been along to Ot­tery Tar Bar­rels be­fore, it’s a fan­tas­tic spec­ta­cle that’s unique to Devon and not to be missed. lymp­stone­manor.co.uk; trugs. co.uk

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