Ok this is our first post, so where to start? Well a couple of weeks ago we were in Exeter and stayed at St Olaves Hotel and tried out a number of places to eat and drink.
First the hotel. It was in the centre of Exeter and had off street parking, which is a definite plus. It was relatively easy to find, we had a satnav! Upon arrival, we had to go looking for someone to check us in, we were an hour early, we found someone in the bar, they checked us in and took us to the room, which was on the top floor. The room was quite large with a ski bed and built in wardrobe, in which strangely was the brew stuff! We did notice that the curtain was missing hooks and hanging down, we reported this and it was fixed. We also found that the TV wasn’t working and this could not be fixed, we did however get a £15 per night refund for this.
The breakfast on the first morning was eggs Royale for Alison and a full english with poached egg for me. None of the poached eggs were runny, so basically a peeled hard boiled egg. The second day was pancakes for Alison and full english with fried egg for me, the service was very slow, I think we may have been forgotten and when the breakfast did come my egg was not cooked properly, even the white was runny! So in conclusion, the hotel was ok, but we would probably not stay there again.
When we arrived at St Olaves, we noticed that next door there was a tapas bar called Forn, it turns out that this is owned and run by the wife of the man who booked us in and that she is from Spain, so we thought that we would give it a whirl. We had a drink each, rose wine for Alison and an Estrella for me. We had Pan de Cristal, served with fresh, grated Tomato, Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Chorizos, baked chorizos with roasted red peppers and Higaditos de Pollo Encebollados chicken livers with onions, garlic & parsley on toasted sourdough, the food and the service were good, the waitress was a Spanish girl and she didn’t laugh too much when I tried to order the dishes in Spanish! It was quite as there were only about four other people in.
Later in the evening we want to Starz, which is under the Iron Bridge, this means something if you know Exeter. Starz is on two floors, upstairs is an American style dinner, we didn’t try this, but it was busy. Downstairs was a cocktail bar, which we did try! The decor was 70’s with a few booths and 70’s furniture in the rest of the bar, there was 70’s film posters and album cover on the wall. They were doing a two for one on certain , you were supposed to both have the same, but because it was quite and we were rocking the cool older couple thing we managed to get two different ones can’t remember what they were but they were good, we than had another two which again were good. We both liked the place but it was quiet, although we were there quite early 20:00 to 21:00. We then went to Bill’s where we have been before, Alison had Bill’s fish pie and I had duck pie, we shared the treacle tart with honeycomb ice cream and caramel sauce and a bottle of the house red. All of which was very good.
Day two, after visiting relatives and friends, we went to Oddfellows on North Road, a nice looking gastro pub, I had a beer and Alison a prosecco, it was a nice looking place and the menu looked good, it was a completely open kitchen and we could watch the brigade preping for dinner. We then moved on to Circa 1924, where we had cocktails. I had a Navigation (Plymouth Navy Strength, Maraschino, Violet Liquour, Citric Acid, Navy Bitters, Sugar Syrup & Egg White), Alison had a Muay Thai (Chairmans Reserve Rum, Doorly’s 3 Year White Rum, Triple Sec, Thai Syrup & Pineapple Juice) and booked for a meal that evening.
After going back to the hotel to wash and change we went back to Oddfellows and went up stairs to the SpeakEasy Cocktail Lounge, the bar was busy but we found a table and a waitress came and took our order, Alison had a Smokey Joe, (Evan Williams, Angostura Bitters, maple syrup, & bourbon infused with oak smoke), this came in its own bottle I can’t remember what I had! The cocktails were very good and the ambiance was good too. The look was a bit of a 30’s front room feel. Would recommend the Speakeasy Cocktail Lounge.
We then went back to Circa 1924, we were shown upstairs and after looking at the menu we ordered Chateaubriand which came with béarnaise sauce and triple cooked chips, added a side of asian slaw, we had a bottle of red wine to drink. For dessert we shared a Lemon & Cream Cheese Tart served upside down & topped with gingerbread crumble. We then went back down stairs for more cocktails before finishing the evening with an espresso martini each. Even though the bar and restaurant were very busy the service food and drinks were very good, we thought the staff were very friendly.