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Michael Caines closes restaurant for winter

Chef Michael Caines, who also owns the Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor in Devon, has been forced to close one of his Cornish restaurants over the winter months due to soaring costs and staff shortages.

The Harbourside Refuge, in Cornwall’s Porthleven, was opened by Caines two years ago after he acquired the site from Rick Stein. Serving dishes such as Cornish mackerel with heritage tomato, Bloody Mary sorbet, tomato and basil consommé, or tartare of lamb, the bold menu garnered praise, as did the views of the harbour.

However, after a brutal couple of years for hospitality businesses, Caines has had to look at how sustainable running a restaurant over the winter could be, especially in light of reduced consumer spending power reducing footfall. In a statement, he cited some of these “challenging circumstances”: “We have had to deal with a rollercoaster of events from after-effects of Brexit to Covid and now the cost of living crisis – challenges that I know many others are facing too, both locally and nationally.”

“We have tried immensely hard to deal with these challenges, but I’m sorry to say that we have not be able to fully recover from the ongoing impact in regards to both supply and staff shortages, allied now with the soaring fuel and cost increases.”

With a “heavy heart”, Caines announced that the restaurant would be shutting from 6 November “for the foreseeable future”. Caines’ other Cornish restaurant, The Cove, by Maenporth Beach, is expected to remain open. He concluded by thanking the team for all they had done.

To read about Wine List Confidential writer Douglas Blyde’s visit to Caines’ Lympstone Manor, click here.

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