Places To Eat – Saveur, Exmouth

Places To Eat - Saveur, Exmouth

The seaside town of Exmouth has been having a bit of a foodie resurgence of late. Cafes, bars and restaurants seem to be opening their doors left, right and centre which certainly has given the slightly old fashioned town a well-needed boost. I tend to save my trips to Exmouth for bank holiday beach walks and fish and chips but last week was different. I had a reservation at the double AA rosette award winning Saveur on Tower Street.

This slightly off the beaten track, independent restaurant prides itself on local, in-season produce cooked beautifully. Ticking all the right boxes, I thought I would pop along to see what Saveur had to offer.

For those of you that don’t know Exmouth, it is a large seaside town on the East Devon Coast with a thriving tourism industry going back to the 18th Century. It is regarded as one of the oldest holiday resorts in Great Britain and is still very popular with tourists to this day. I headed down to the coast via the short train ride from Exeter as many of the aforementioned tourists and day-trippers would have done since the track was built in 1861. Exmouth is regarded as a great holiday destination with its beautiful sandy beaches, the city of Exeter nearby and Dartmoor a little further on still. It’s well catered for by trains and a local bus service for those wanting a day out like myself or for those holidaying a little longer.

My friend Angel and I arrived just before 1pm for lunch after a satisfying stroll along the promenade. Building up an appetite we were certainly ready to see what was on the menu. Greeted by Kerry Dow, general manager, we were shown to our table. First impressions were good. A few early diners already enjoying the soft background music, catching up on news and devouring what was on their plates.

As soon as Angel and I were seated I knew I was going to like Saveur. I know it seems cliché but there is something about the atmosphere there. The restaurant itself is light and bright with white linen table cloths, exposed brick walls and plenty of natural light flowing in. The soft jazz playing in the background created just enough background noise to muffle the other diners but not to impose on our own conversation.

Menus offered we took our time to peruse them. Alongside the a la carte menu, Saveur offers a 2 or 3-course lunch menu at £16 or £19.50 respectively. Angel and I decided to order from the special lunch menu. Saveur’s lunch menu showcases the best local produce that head chef Nigel Wright has sourced that day. Meat from Powderham Estate, fish from Brixham and fruit and vegetables from their local greengrocers. Nigel and Kerry even get out and about foraging to add that seasonal touch to the menu. How wonderful!

We ordered drinks from the extensive wine list. I did notice there weren’t any English wines on there, however. I always like to see a local wine on the list, especially when we have a wealth of marvellous vineyards nearby. Not holding this against them, (although food for thought Nigel and Kerry?) we both ordered a glass of Chardonnay to compliment our menu choices.

Kerry returned with our drinks and took our order. To start, Angel and I both opted for the soup of the day which happened to be leek and potato. What was unusual but very welcome was the offer of two versions of the recipe. One made with chicken stock and one made with vegetable stock to cater for all. We both opted for the vegetarian version which can be made vegan also.

Our first course arrived and was visually enticing. Sometimes leek and potato soup can look a tad grey but not here. The colour was vibrant and fresh. A swirl of olive oil and the addition of crispy golden croutons made my mouth water, I couldn’t wait to dive in. On first taste, I wasn’t disappointed. The texture was smooth and the flavour was good. I enjoyed the crunch of the croutons alongside the silkiness of the soup.

Course two followed. I had selected the catch of the day which was gurnard served with sauté potatoes, tender stem broccoli and bois boudran, a tomato-based sauce come dressing. Angel opted for the vegetarian choice which was a roasted squash tart with a Jerusalem artichoke, watercress and fennel salad.

My fish was cooked simply but beautifully and the bois boudran complimented the gurnard perfectly. It wasn’t overpowering at all as I thought it might be. Angels butternut tart was crisp on the outside with slivers of squash on the top. It looked reminiscent of a savoury tarte tatin.

Course three offered a choice of two sweet choices or a selection of local cheeses. I couldn’t resist the cheese with one of my all-time favourite local cheeses shouting out at me. If you have never tried Sharpham’s Cremet may I urge you to do so! Angel’s choice was the warm chocolate brownie with Chantilly cream and berries.

My cheese from the cheese trolley was served at the perfect temperature and had the gooeyness I craved from the Cremet.

Angel raved about the texture of the brownie. I have to say it did look startlingly good. I wish I had asked for a taste but it was demolished before I had the chance!

Our trip to Saveur was a memorable one and certainly a place I would return to. It was a perfect venue for our girlie lunch but would be equally enticing for a romantic supper for two or a group booking.

If you have had your taste buds tickled, then visit Saveur at 9, Tower Street, Exmouth, Devon. To make a reservation call 01395 269459. They are closed Sunday and Monday.

Disclaimer: I was invited to visit Saveur to review my experience. I wasn’t paid for the post and all views my own as always.

Photo credit Angel Wade Photography

Leave a Reply