Steve Edwards, Operations Director

Steve has worked closely with Michael for over 20 years.

Originally from Sydney Australia, Steve Edwards emigrated with his family to the UK when he was a teenager. He studied food preparation and food service at Newton College of Further Education before joining the RAF’s catering squadron, serving in England, Central America and on two tours with the mobile catering support unit on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. After leaving the armed forces he came to Devon in 1987 to join the team at Gidleigh Park.

“Michael and I have worked together since 1994 on a vast number of different projects but nothing quite as exciting as Lympstone Manor.”

Steve worked closely with Michael at Gidleigh Park to achieve and maintain 2 Michelin stars, helping to deliver service and hospitality of the highest calibre, and developing his knowledge and passion for wine, working and maintaining one of the best cellars in the UK. In 2002, Steve took some time away from work to further his knowledge of wine, travelling extensively and visiting wineries and producers in France, Spain, Australia and the United States, working a full vintage at Chateau Routas in Provence.

On his return to the UK in 2003, he joined up again with Michael as the Food and Beverage Manager for the Michael Caines Restaurant at the Royal Clarence. When ABode Hotels was formed by Michael and Andrew Brownsword, Steve was an instrumental member of the management team as Head of Group Service, responsible for general service standards within the ABode hotel group and for ensuring that Michael’s unique ‘service with style’ was delivered in all of his numerous outlets. From 2012 – 2014 Steve was Group Operations Manager for Andrew Brownswords Hotels.

David Kirk, Finance Director

David is an Exeter based Chartered Accountant and the senior partner of the firm Kirk Hills Chartered Accountants, a four partner firm based in Exeter. David has worked with Michael since 1998 and has assisted Michael with a number of business ventures, most recently the creation of Lympstone Manor.


Marc Millon, Editorial Director

Marc is a food, wine and travel writer and the author of numerous books as well as magazine articles published on both sides of the Atlantic. He has worked closely with Michael Caines for the past 20 years, helping Michael to communicate his vision, philosophy, professional and personal interests and enthusiasms. He also edits A Passion for Wine, the on-line publication about all wine happenings at Lympstone Manor, including news of the Lympstone Manor Vineyard.

“My professional relationship with Michael goes back many years and was born out of a friendship based around our shared love of food, wine and the value and joy of shared moments and memories around the table.”

Along with Michael, Marc is a patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective, the centre for food, drink and culture studies. In addition to writing, Marc lectures and leads gastronomic cultural tours. He also has his own wine company and consultancy business, importing wines direct from small, quality, artisan wine estates such as Cascine Fontana in the Barolo wine hills.

Elena Page, Group Financial Controller

Russian born and bred with Masters degree in Engineering, Elena moved to the UK after Graduating on a foreign postgraduate exchange programme before settling in Devon in 2005.

After finding passion for ‘numbers and people’ and obtaining accountancy qualification back in 2015, Elena has worked for various hospitality businesses developing her knowledge for numbers within a people focused business before finding her current role at Michael Canes Collection Group.

Fluent in English and Russian, Elena enjoys raising her two children in the beautiful hills of Devon and exploring her passion for food and hospitality with family and friends.

Jeroen Verhoven, Assistant Group Financial Controller

Originally from Belgium, Jeroen moved to the UK in 2013. He started his career in hospitality in the UK as the Food & Beverage Controller at the Royal Albert Hall in London. After several years of working at the Albert Hall, he decided to leave London for Devon  and was excited at finding a new  career challenge.

Once settled in the area, the opportunity to work with Michael on his new projects came along and he could not resist and was very keen to join the team. Jeroen’s now delighted to be part of a successful team striving to bring the best hospitality experience in Devon & Cornwall and beyond.


Alena Rippon, Group HR Administrator

Originally from Dartmoor in Devon and after completing a GNVQ in Hospitality Management at Exeter College, Alena spent a few years gaining experience in the industry working at a number of different prestigious hotels here in the UK.

Having enjoyed moving to different areas of the country, Alena decided to move further afield, and took a year out working in Canada for the hotel group Fairmont. When not on duty as a restaurant host at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler situated north of Vancouver, Alena enjoyed time on the slopes improving her ski skills.

Returning, back to the UK Alena moved to Bath to work for Sue Williams at The Bath Priory. Sue, knowing that Alena was from Devon suggested a position at The Bath Priory’s sister hotel, the famous Gidleigh Park located on the edge of Dartmoor national park. Having completed several years front of house working in Reception at Gidleigh Park, Alena decided to move into the administrative side of hospitality.

Nearly a year after Michael opened the wonderful Lympstone Manor on the Exe estuary Alena joined the team as a part time administrator for the kitchen department. As the needs of the business grew, Alena was delighted to accept the full-time role of Group HR Administrator for The Michael Caines collection.

“It is a pleasure to be working with Michael once more and I am excited to be a part of a new and expanding group.”