We have been on a trip to Exeter, visiting relatives and friends, we left early Friday morning made good time and when we arrived we went straight to our first visit. From there it was on to the hotel, The White Hart. This is a pub in the centre of town with free parking so two plusses already, there are rooms in the old part of the pub and more rooms at the back in the “modern” part, built in the 1970s is my guess. We got there about 12 and check in is at 2pm but they let us leave the car in the car park and so went for a walk along Exeter Quay, nipping into the little shops in the old warehouses and then along the river. After our walk we went for lunch at The Prospect Inn, an independent pub that prides itself on using local ingredients. To eat we both had paninis, a blue cheese and mushroom for Alison and a Serrano ham, goats cheese and fig jam for me, both came with sweet potato chips, to drink we had a white wine spritzer and a pint of Legend, from Dartmoor brewery, whilst at the bar I noticed a gin called Wicked Wolf which is distilled in Exmoor, so we thought we would give it a try, it would be rude not too! All of the above were very nice and we would recommend giving the Prospect a try if you are ever in Exeter. From there it was back to the hotel, a good five minute walk, to check in. The hotel is a little bit dated front of house and there is a knack to using the lift, but the room was warm and comfortable and as I said earlier it is central with free parking.
For our evening meal we thought we would try the Fat Pig, sister pub to the Rusty Bike where we had been on a earlier visit to Exeter, the Fat Pig is a pub / restaurant / brewery / smoke house / distillery! We arrived at 19:30 with out booking and the place was heaving put they managed to find us a small table for two, which was fine. Having tried their beer before at the Rusty Bike, I thought this time it would be good to try their gin, they distille three types, a sipping gin, oak gin and chestnut gin, the later two referring to the barrels it is matured in, the gin is called Bad Fagin’s, they also distille a vodka, a whisky and an “Apple Pie Moonshine”.Out of the three gins the oak was our favourite. Whist trying the first gin, the sipping, we had a look at the menu and after much umming and arring we went for olives and smoked bread and garlic butter to share as a starter followed by polenta, butter nut squash, roast onion and parsley dressing for Alison and smoked and glazed shoulder of pork, with bbq haricot beans form me, both were very nice, mine also had slices of smoked sausage in. For desert we had smoked banana parfait and chocolate which again was lovely. The Fat Pig is another place that try to use local seasonal ingredients and is another place worth a visit if in the area. From there it was back to the hotel for an early(ish) night, well we had been up since 05:30!
The next morning it was up for breakfast which is held downstairs in one of the bars, breakfast was “interesting” as well as the hotel guests it is also open for none residents to get breakfast, so it was busy. It was self service for tea, coffee, juice , cereals etc, with a menu for the hot breakfast with the order taken by one waitress. The coffee was from one of those big filter machines so was a little stewed, but still drinkable, there was not a great choice for fruit, mellon slices, apple and very under ripe bananas! but there was some nice Greek yogurt and plenty of choice of cereals, for the cooked Alison ordered the sausage sandwich and I went for the “Breakfast Stack” this caused some confusion as the waitress taking the order didn’t know what it was, so I pointed it out to her on the menu, she still didn’t know about it! I went for the full english with fried egg! After finishing breakfast it was off on more visits, the second of these was in Exmouth, so we decided to get there early and have a walk along the front and round the town, while going round the town we came across The Oddfellows another pub with a sister pub in Exeter, as it was a bit chilly we decided to nip in for something warming, this was a coffee with some dark rum in! Alison wasn’t hungry but I was, so I had Devonshire Rarebit, like Welsh but using a local Devon cheese and vey nice it was too. From there it was off to visit friend then back to the hotel to change before going out on another visit, this time to have a curry and watch the rugby. Breakfast the next day was every bit as chaotic as the first day only this time they ran out of tea pots!
On the way home we visited Knightshayes a National Trust property, where we went round the house and gardens and had a little snack in the tearoom, potato skins with cheese and bacon.