Happy Sunday friends! Are you feeling festive yet? With less than two weeks to Christmas I feel like I should be but I am not. I am excited for Christmas but I certainly don’t have that festive warm feeling yet. It may be because we don’t have our tree or it maybe because I don’t have any festive drinks and dinners in the diary. Or perhaps it’s because it’s just different this year.
New Restaurant Opening – No5
I did however have a little murmur of festive feels when I had a privileged preview of No5 on Cathedral Green. Exeter’s newest fine dining restaurant and cocktail bar.
Linda and Charles Horner, the owners of No3 in Topsham and Crocketts on Gandy Street, Exeter have taken over the most beautiful building on Cathedral Close, previously occupied by the Italian food chain, ASK. It officially opened last Tuesday but I had sneak peek on Monday before the doors opened.
For those that know the building you will agree that it was wasted on ASK. It’s one of the prettiest venues in town with cathedral views, a beautiful courtyard garden and original features. The original building dates back to 1729 and has been a gentleman’s townhouse, a tailor and habit makers workshop, an antiques dealer and now a restaurant.
The owners are particularly proud of the heritage and have largely tried to recreate the feelings of times gone by with the interiors. Don’t get me wrong it’s far from fusty and fuddy duddy, it’s cosy with soft furnishings but light and bright at the same time. If you know the building from its previous incarnations you will understand that it’s stunning in its own right with inglenook fireplaces, heavy wood panelling and original heavy wooden doors. It’s simply gorgeous and you can feel snd see the history. From the front fine dining restaurant you have amazing cathedral views which really do make the dining experience complete.
For those wanting an outdoor dining experience No5 have constructed two domes that seat six that can be hired at no extra charge although you do have to pay a refundable deposit of £10 per person to book.
My lunch was exquisite and presented by head chef Sam Billson. He couldn’t have been more charming when I at last minute informed him I was vegetarian as he served me one of his signature dishes of beef cheek with cauliflower purée. He said “no problem” and came back a few minutes later with the crispiest on the outside and gooey on the inside butternut and leek arancini. Hands down, one of my favourite dishes. I quite often make arancini at home if I have leftover risotto.
Bookings have opened and the team are ready to greet you for breakfast, lunch or supper.
Outdoors Tea And Cake
I have managed to catch up sensibly outdoors with a few friends this week. Some I haven’t seen since pre lockdown 1.0 so you can imagine that we had so much to catch up on.
The key to a good outdoor date with friends is a good coffee or hot chocolate and something sweet to eat. May I recommend for my Exeter friends a trip to The Boatyard Bakery that nestled next to the canal, Quayside, Exeter. They make wonderful bread and baked goods and serve takeaway coffee for your waterside walks.
Or, maybe try Chandos Deli in Princesshay for an outdoor seating experience. They even have a few tables undercover yet still outdoors for when it rains. Luckily for me, when I met my friend Emma in the week and it was raining we bagged one of the last tables. The weather is the only downside in all this outdoor socialising! You have to think on your feet when the weather changes!
Emma and I even managed to snap a few images for her Etsy store The Whimsy Thrift.
So, there you have it! That’s been my week in pictures for you. Each business mentioned above are independent and would love to see you in person or online so feel free to check them out. For more day to day activity head on over to my Instagram account and give me a follow. I am always hunting out new places when I can and love sharing with you all.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains gifted items from No5. Additional photographs provided by Attention Marketing.