An award-winning chef from Bovey Tracey is moving his much-loved restaurant Creeping Thyme to Seale Hayne.

The 28-year-old rising star will be taking over the premises of the famed Hannah's restaurant, in the Grade 2 listed old agricultural building.

(Louis Bennett)

'I love the place we're in now,' said Louis Bennett, who had run Creeping Thyme from Bovey Tracey's high street since September 2021.

'But we can only sit 20 people maximum. It was always going to be a sort of stepping stone.

'I saw the venue at Seale Hayne as an amazing opportunity in an obviously beautiful setting.'

Born and bred in Devon, Louis began his culinary career at the Ilsington Hotel 11 years ago.

'It was my grandmother who got me into cooking, but I started my career at the Ilsington Hotel.

'I used to work Friday nights at Ilsington. They knew I wanted to be a chef, so they put me on an apprenticeship.

'It wasn't always easy, but it was a really important experience and it's where I found my niche sort of, for keeping everything as local as possible.'

Launching Creeping Thyme in September 2021, Louis entered an uncertain time for the catering industry. However, the restaurant proved to be a hit with Bovonians and visitors alike.

Louis said: 'We won our first award after six months of being open, then we got the silver award for Taste of the West, and gold a year later. We managed to get a gold Devon food and drink award last month as well. I'm proud of what we've achieved here in Bovey and now I'm ready to take the next step.'

Louis hopes that the launch of Creeping Thyme up in Seale Hayne could start the process of restoring the site to its former glory.

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'It's a very beautiful place and a good spot to be in really. I think it's a perfect setting for a restaurant so I think that Creeping Thyme could really breathe some life into the area.'

Creeping Thyme will be launched on New Year's Eve with a bang. Louis added: 'We decided to go big with the New Year's Eve party. We're going to sort of extravaganza to launch the new Restaurant.

'We've got a big seven-piece band, two solo acts, fire performers, fireworks.

We're going to go big with the party, so people know where we are and that we're to stay.'