Devon is renowned for its exceptional culinary gems. People travel from all over the country, and further afield, to taste some of the county’s outstanding offerings. There’s a new force to be reckoned with on the national food map, Devon’s Deer Park Country House Hotel has just announced that Hadleigh Barrett has come on board as the new head chef.
Hadleigh, a classically trained chef in French cuisine, has a vast wealth of experience having previously worked at the luxury five-star hotel, Pennyhill Park and L'Ortolan, a gourmet restaurant run by John Burton Race. Returning to his roots in Devon, Hadleigh was head chef at the Combe House Hotel for 14 years before joining the Deer Park Country House Hotel.
Mark Godfrey, managing director at the Deer Park Country House Hotel, says: “We’re thrilled to welcome Hadleigh to the Deer Park. We have been creating something here that’s truly outstanding and now we’ve just put the icing on the cake. Hadleigh is extremely highly regarded and, having now sampled lots of his cooking, it’s easy to see why.”
Commenting on his new role at the Deer Park Country House Hotel, Hadleigh says: “The team here is full of passion and enthusiasm. I’m delighted to be working with them to get the Deer Park Country House Hotel on every must visit food destination list. There is a wealth of both produce available and inspiration from the setting to allow us to lead the way, creating the best food using the finest, fresh ingredients.” Hadleigh’s signature dish is steamed courgette flower and crab mousse, roasted John Dory with a crab butter sauce.
Hadleigh has stepped in to a chef’s wonderland. The fabulous hotel, which oozes style, has every element someone could need to make the freshest, most delicious dishes. Beyond all the usual features one would expect to find in a leading hotel, there is much much more.
Step outside and into the two-acre walled kitchen garden to find every vegetable, fruit and herb possible to grow on British soils. Once the main source of produce for the Squire’s family back in the 13th Century, the Deer Park Country House Hotel is proud to be repeating history! The passionate gardening team is headed up by estate manager, Olly Forster, who excels in his knowledge of plants and how to get the most out of the space. Olly and Hadleigh work closely together to design the menus and maximise the production of seasonal ingredients to ensure the dishes served are at their absolute freshest, as well as being colourfully and creatively presented. Commenting on this, Mark says: “Our vision at the hotel is to have something from the walled garden on every starter, main course and dessert, served in a beautiful way which will see our guests booking in again and again.”
Ahead of the latest trend of having an outdoor kitchen, the Deer Park Country House hotel has one of the country’s most impressive wood fired ovens, designed and built by Dingley Dell. This ever evolving hotel calls on wood fired cooking expert David Jones from Manna from Devon Cooking School to run courses on site. There’s another handmade wood fired oven in the walled kitchen and a smoker too, creating a whole new level of possibilities for the chefs inside.
And there’s more… it really needs to be visited to grasp the extent of its beauty and design. Stunning new glasshouses, built in a traditional way, bees buzzing merrily making honey and a heritage apple orchard planted with 18 century varieties! It’s no surprise that Taste of the West recently awarded this country house hotel with a Gold Award and that they have been chosen by Food & Drink Devon to host their prestigious awards’ ceremony this October in the newly designed Orangery. These awards will be hosted by the wonderful Nigel Barden of BBC Radio 2’s foodie Thursdays fame.
Hadleigh will be responsible not only for catering for the weddings, corporate and private events at the Deer Park, but also the food offering in the Deer Park’s double AA rosette award-winning Loxton’s restaurant. With marvelous views, inspiring art commissioned by Margaret Loxton and delicious food, Loxton’s is perfect for an indulgent afternoon tea, top notch dinner or traditional Sunday lunch.
Inspired by the best of British, and celebrating the joys of country living, the Deer Park Country House Hotel is set in 80 acres of magnificent grounds. The stunning four-star boutique hotel can now accommodate up to 170 guests in their new Orangery, ideal for all occasions from weddings and corporate events to all other hospitality. It is guaranteed to create an impact and wow all attending guests with its floor to ceiling palatial arched windows and decadent chandeliers, not forgetting the distinctive mosaic flooring and dapper decor throughout. They also have a magical treehouse perched between two majestic trees in their enchanting grounds.