Winslade Manor Restaurant and Bar, at Winslade Park, Nr Exeter will open its doors in time for Valentine’s Day 2021 with head chef Matt Mason at the helm. Matt Mason, formerly of Jack in the Green, joins the new Vida Spaces team after 28 years at the East Devon gastropub.
The operations company Vida, which means life, is behind Exeter’s newest dining and wellbeing experience at Winslade Park, Clyst St Mary, and is headed up by co-founders, Joe Hammond (formerly of Woodbury Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club) and Tom Johnson (former England and Exeter Chief professional rugby player) with the support of Mark Edworthy and Paul Scantlebury of Burrington Estates.
Winslade Manor has undergone a dramatic transformation with no expense spared on its restoration, decor, and offering. The ground floor is home to Tom Johnson’s new personal coaching studio, Number 6, whilst the brand new restaurant, lounge and bar are located on the first floor. Decorative high ceilings with original period features effortlessly frame the luxurious dining room where an equally divine menu will be served. The lounge bar boasts the most spectacular view across a perfectly manicured lawn, where guests may even catch a game of cricket on a warm summer afternoon, whilst sipping a cocktail on the veranda.
The highly decorated new head chef, Matt, is no stranger when it comes to building a legacy in the restaurant business. After 28 years at one of East Devon’s most loved restaurants, he joins the Vida Spaces team together with his wife Jo Mason (restaurant manager), to take on one of the most exciting roles of his career.
Born and raised in Mid Devon, Matt’s fascination with food came from growing up in a rural farming community, where many of his friends and neighbours farmed the land in which he spent most of his time. If not on the farm, Matt could be found at his parent’s allotment, growing and cultivating seasonal produce. Matt’s philosophy when it comes to cooking stems from these childhood experiences and can be seen throughout all his menus today.
After serving his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Shaun Hill at Gidleigh Park, Matt took the next step to running his own kitchen and donned his chef whites at the Jack in the Green in 1995. After just one year, Matt’s culinary expertise saw the pub achieve 2 AA rosettes – and was one of the first pubs to do so. From South West Chef of the Year to being invited to join the distinguished few into the Master Chefs of Great Britain, it’s not hard to see why Joe and Tom were keen for Matt to join their winning team.
How does Matt feel about taking such a big leap into this brand new venture? “Joining the Vida team and being asked to lead the entire food offering at Winslade Park is a huge honour. Jo and I are immensely proud to have left a legacy at The Jack, and we bring our passion for creating memorable experiences for guests to Winslade Manor Restaurant. Starting with a complete blank canvas is every chef’s dream. From the design of the kitchen to the creation of the menus and hand-selecting everything from the crockery, linens, and staff, we’ve had complete carte blanche throughout the entire process, with unprecedented support from the Vida team”, Matt explains.
When it comes to selecting the perfect ingredients, Matt’s little black book of local suppliers is firmly staying with him. A loyal customer for almost three decades, the head chef will continue to support local businesses, such as Creedy Carver, Darts Farm, Flying Fish Seafood and Country Farm to name but a few, where quality, freshness and consistency are guaranteed.
The dining experience at Winslade Manor Restaurant has been described as ‘casual elegant’ and will be nothing short of fabulous. Guests can expect wholesome local cuisine, bursting with seasonal flavours, that are not only pleasing to the palate but offer a visual reward, complementing the whole dining experience.
The launch of the Manor House Restaurant and Bar is the first of many new and exciting developments from the wider Vida Spaces team. Joe Hammond, co-founder of the business tells us more: “Our vision is to revolutionise the working environment by providing flexible working spaces, together with a unique wellbeing offering. Upon final completion, Winslade Park will be home to a boutique health club, subterranean day spa, onsite childcare facilities, and first class catering. The 85-acre site lends itself perfectly to hosting wellbeing and food festivals and open air music concerts. We’re also thrilled to be working with the beautiful Clyst St Mary parish church, in providing wedding receptions at the stunning Manor House and utilising our open spaces. We’re really looking forward to revealing our events plan in 2021, but for now, we’re keeping that under wraps”.
Winslade Manor Restaurant and Bar is set in the iconic Grade II* listed building in the heart of the stunning parkland of Winslade Park. The sensitive redevelopment of the site will include quality homes and apartments from Burrington Estates New Homes, alongside superbly appointed offices and lifestyle facilities.
Bookings for Winslade Manor Restaurant and Bar launch events are now open via winsladepark.com/restaurant-and-bar and guests can also sign up for all the latest news, developments and future events happening at this stunning new venue. For those interested in being part of the Vida hospitality team, simply get in touch via the website or email, [email protected].