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In Focus – Exeter

With indie shops, trendy restaurants and plenty of sites to see – not to mention close proximity to beautiful Dartmoor – it’s time to visit Exeter


Berlin, Detroit, Exeter – ok, we’re kidding, the Devon city isn’t exactly famous for its nightlife, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places where you can wet your whistle and stick your knees up.

Start your evening with a tipple on the waterfront at, er, On The Waterfront – a converted 19th-century warehouse on the quayside that’s full to the gunwales with real ale and craft gin.

For something a little more curious, try The Hourglass, a dimly-lit backstreet pub up the hill at the opposite end of the quay – its walls are lined with plants, prints and experiments in taxidermy. It also stocks more than two dozen wines in a cupboard under the stairs and celebrate regional beers by selling four-pint jugs at mates’ rates. They also sell lager, reluctantly.

On the other side of town – wedged between the castle and John Lewis – you’ll find the upmarket Oddfellows, a speakeasy cocktail bar with a gastro edge. Expect carefully thought-out concoctions, not just standard coladas and caipirinhas.

The Old Firehouse

Just opposite on New North Road is The Old Firehouse, a scene stalwart for music lovers. Head down late and you can soak up all that booze with a healthy slice of pizza, which they serve until 2.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

If the demon drink’s not your vice (or you’re just a wee bit hungover), make the pilgrimage to the east of town to micro roastery-cum-café Exe Coffee Roasters and meet Steve and Lewis – they’ll churn out unique blends of the hot black stuff and pop it in a cup before you can say “Wake me up now!”

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