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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Homes ISSUE 207 / MARCH 2017 / £3

















CA K E A D O O D L E D O @ Q U I C K E S / R U BY @ T H E G R A PE V I N E / S PI N A L H E A LT H





















CHOW FACTOR Eating for less in the city’s most bargainous venues

#CAKENEWS Don’t you love it when the bill at the end of a meal comes as a pleasant surprise, rather than a gut-wrenching one? Ingest our round-up of 10 of the best value eateries in/around Exeter (page 38) and this experience should become a rather more common one. It’s not comprehensive, by any means, but we think we’ve included something for all palates, whether you seek a fry-up or a fish supper. Did we miss out your favourite spot? Let us know (but only if, of course, you wouldn’t rather keep it all to yourself). Still on the subject of frugal living, we’ve got the lowdown on the financial support available, in the form of scholarships and bursaries, from some of the area’s top independent schools. One thing you really mustn’t skimp on, however – well, not if you want that lift into town later/ to borrow some money/to remain in their will – is a gift for the most important woman in your life on Mothering Sunday (26 March). See page 62 for bits and bobs so cool she’ll want to give birth to you all over again. Maybe. . . Anna Britten, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @ExeterLiving

Bang & Olufsen of Exeter 30/31 Gandy Street | EX4 3LS 01392 424600 | Wires Removed. Inspiration Added. Experience Beoplay H5 in store.




9 Spotlight

Editor Anna Britten

The latest news and cultural goings-on in Exeter

Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Editor’s photo Emma Solley Contributors Tess Read, Jonathan Taylor, Chris Gower, Roxanne Duris, Kitty Kane, Chris Bentley

15 Tess Read

No Equity card required...

17 Jonathan Taylor Our resident dad struggles to maintain calm and order

Advertising manager Joss Phillips Account manager Paula Miller Account manager Jason Coward Commercial director Steve Hawkins

19 My Desk Andy Botterill, general manager at Exeter Picturehouse

ARTS 21 Arts intro You’d never guess this lot were murderers...


28 What’s On This month’s must-see arts, theatre and more

32 A Hard Day’s Bite Watch out, Count Dracula is coming to the Northcott Theatre

34 Alien Sightings Photographer Julie Reid’s playful, tongue-in-cheek images of Sidmouth life

FOOD & DRINK 38 Great Nosh, Less Dosh Fill your boots with Exeter’s best cheap eats

48 Restaurant Much-loved burger joint Ruby @ The Grapevine finds a new seaside home

EDUCATION 52 And The Award Goes To The lowdown on private school scholarships and bursaries



61 Shopping Intro

75 Business Insider

Blankets made from plastic, natch

Exeter Living Awards update and other good news biz stories

62 Ed’s Choice Mother’s Day is coming – forget at your peril


64 Special Shop

Kitty Kane finds a lovely Regency country abode in Poltimore

Cakeadoodledo – one slice is never enough



Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Exeter Living, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

About MediaClash We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs. (, @CrumbsMag) and wedding title Vow (@VowMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact:

70 Seen!

69 Watch Your Back

Are you in this month?

A primer on spinal health from Rock Chiropractic – no slouching at the back!

98 Exeter Lives



84 Property Showcase

Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Christina West Production designer Kirstie Howe

Crealy’s Metallica-loving ‘deputy animal manager’ Ali O’Field

On the cover Cakeadoodledo’s cupcakes as shot by Emma Solley


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PRINCESSHAY’S NEW ARTWORK A stunning, life-size sculpture of a mother and child holding onto each other while in freefall is to be exhibited on a plinth in Princesshay for three weeks from 31 March Look out this Easter for another breathtaking artwork in the centre of Princesshay. Described by Exeter-based artist Simon Ruscoe as “the most important and significant sculpture in my oeuvre to date”, Heaven Sent is intended to represent hope, and open up positive conversations about our children’s future. Ruscoe has been making sculptures for over 20 years, inspired by the likes of Michelangelo and Caravaggio yet often exploring modern, controversial themes. One of his earlier works, the striking 20-feet steel sculpture Only Hope Remains, which

“The antidote to despondency and despair”

showed a head and arms seemingly reaching upwards out of the ground, was on display in Princesshay during March 2013, and his sculpture of two hands clasping a globe, In Our Hands, stands outside The Business School at The University of Exeter. He has also organised a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough funds to sculpt two additional life-size figures to join the mother and baby, eventually forming a complete work which will stand 14ft in height. Viewers will also be encouraged to donate money to the NSPCC.

Says Ruscoe: “I’m very grateful to the team at Princesshay for their continuing support in displaying my work, supporting the NSPCC and promoting the Kickstarter campaign. “The idea of how to best depict a symbol of hope has been growing in the back of my mind for several years. I came to realise the mother and child could best depict the antidote to despondency and despair. Children have a great sense of optimism for the future – we want the best for them.”



Exeter: sickeningly beautiful and cultured

Ha ha, London, Bristol and even Hull. New research to determine the UK’s most cultured cities has awarded second place to Exeter. Durham nabbed the top spot, and Norwich, Oxford and Brighton & Hove the third, fourth and fifth respectively. The new visual guide from comparison site TotallyMoney. com used respected resources such as VisitBritain, the Michelin Guide and TripAdvisor to identify the 30 cities in England with the highest number of tourism visits, theatres, museums, art galleries, concert halls, World Heritage Sites and Michelin star restaurants within easy distance, then assigned different values to different metrics, eventually giving each city an overall score out of 10. The report singled out RAMM and the Northcott Theatre as among the city’s attraction, and estimated the yearly spend from holidaymakers at £27million. I EXETER LIVING I 9


“I can go faster than that on my scooter!”


GIDDY UP! The popular Family Day at Exeter Racecourse is back on Wednesday 11 April, offering free entry for children, and plenty to keep them out of mischief in the middle of the Easter holidays. Families can enjoy the usual racing action, including two pony races, characters from Ice Age, a tour of the racecourse with former jockey Ollie McPhail, autograph sessions with jockeys, children’s running races down the home straight, Dartmoor ponies to make a fuss of, the opportunity to try out an equiciser (that’s an imitation racehorse), dress up in jockeys’ brightly coloured silks and meet Dexter, the racecourse’s mascot horse. What’s more, the first 200 children through the gate will also receive a free children’s race pack. New this year also sees the launch of kids’ membership club Junior Jumpers.

which is great as it generates thoughts and ideas. I hate the insular society that the mobile phone obsession is creating.


GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? Butter. I cook with it a lot and cannot pass up on toast or crumpet and butter. I get a lot of comedy from being slightly fat and my company is called that, too. However, I am in danger of becoming more than slightly fat…

In our regular mini Q&A with visiting and local performers, GORONWY THOM of physical comedy troupe Slightly Fat Fingers bares his wicked soul.

SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now? I should be putting my back into sorting my back. I had a really bad posture which has caused loads of issues. My core strength is there, it’s just hidden under loads of butter!

LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today? Sleep. I have two young kids and sleep is at a premium. I’d love a proper long sleep. I never have those epic sleeps I used to! GREED: What should you be cutting down on (non-food and drink!) Facebook and mobiles in general. I hate myself for it; it’s like a nervous tic. I used to spend much more time thinking and getting bored, letting my mind wander,


WRATH: What/who makes you angry? Negativity. If people are down on something that’s OK, but just don’t drag me down with it. ENVY: Who are you jealous of? I find this one the hardest. I really don’t think I am jealous very often. I would like a bigger house and more money, so

people with those things, I guess, but those things won’t make me any happier. PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement? That’s easy. For me, it’s having two wonderful children with my partner. They give such unfiltered happiness and optimism. I am also proud to have been able to live all my life so far doing shows and making a living that way. Goronwy Thom has launched The Exeter Cabaret Show on 2 April at Exeter Phoenix;

Local folk share their photos This issue: Food writer, gardener, cook and photographer Mark Diacono –

A few tasters from our charcuterie course yesterday

Ale and @hodmedods fantastic horseradish peas. At least something is going very right on footie night

Snowing on the kitchen garden

Italian alder, growing tall and straight, taking nitrogen out of the air and making it available to feed the fruit trees around it. Natural nourishment for the plants and in turn, us

Devon, springish

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A RIGHT SONG AND DANCE Who needs an Equity card anyway? Not Tess. . .


went to stage school as a child. No-one who meets me can ever believe this because I am such a shy, retiring sort without a hint of tits and teeth about me, nor any propensity to jazz hands. And yet, it is true. I went to stage school because my parents let me choose my education from age 11 onwards – something I thought was perfectly normal at the time, and only when at university did I discover was, instead, highly unusual. So what were the choices I made? Well, first off, stage school for a few years, which was terrific fun. But I opted to leave when I noticed that no-one so much ‘graduated’ from stage school as left at age 16, a washed-up teenager with no qualifications and no longer able to play the roles of cute child – I later discovered that the school had the worst exam results of any in London.

“In yer face, Rachel...”

After a couple of years of jolly hockey sticks and literal straw boaters in a local private school, I decided that, for my A-levels, I didn’t fancy the local sixth form with good results, but preferred the less local FE college with fairly dreadful results. Many of my friends left there with three ‘U’ grades at A-level, but I thrived under the liberal atmosphere and the tutelage of simply excellent teachers and wound up at Cambridge. And there my quest was... Cambridge Footlights, of course! And so it was with huge pleasure that in my first term I was in a Footlights pantomime with other ne’er-do-wells, some of whom you might even have heard of – Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, for example. Everyone wanted to ‘make it’, and there were knocking around when I was at Cambridge some people who have gone on to have almost successful careers, although I’m sure you won’t have heard of them: Rachel Weisz, Sacha Baron-Cohen, Alexander Armstrong, to name but all of them. For some people, their first love was comedy, and that they have managed to spend their careers doing that is testament to their commitment and talent. For others, it was acting, and so, again, good for them for achieving that. For me, and many others, it was always singing and dancing. But that’s hard to keep up through a professional career – I did have friends who starred in West End shows, but now they’ve settled down to a life of directing, or writing. I, however, have decided that growing old(er!) disgracefully is much more fun and that the professional stage is not the only one to aspire to. And so it is with great pleasure, much fanfare and needless excitement that I can let you know that I am to be in the Exeter Musical Society’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Northcott Theatre from 10-15 April. I am playing the part of a glamorous New York millionaire and singer, of course – who else? – and it’s great fun. At least for those of us in it – come and see us to find out if being in the audience is anything like as enjoyable... And if it isn’t, next time come and join us on the boards – you know you want to! Tess Read is an Exeter-based author. Her new book The Contented Little Husband is out now on Michael O’Mara books Twitter: @TessRead I EXETER LIVING I 15

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Jonathan wishes his kids would give peace a chance man’s got to know his limitations,” said Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force. Well, some of us do – and it’s fair to say my nose has been hard-pressed against the ceiling of tolerance these past few days. I am currently in the bathroom. It’s been quite the hullabaloo in our house, Holly and Huck out-doing even our student neighbours. I can manage the endless grind of pick-up, clear-up, I accept there is no rest, but there’s always a threshold where the multi-layers of noise conflate to paralyse my thought and movement. I try to cling to the wistful notion that I am in charge. I am, in the main, not a ‘shouty’ parent, and look for alternatives to restore calm and order. I had some success a year or so ago; I’d

kneel down while remaining slightly taller than my two treasures, circle my displeased, serious face with my finger and enquire, “Does this face look happy?”. Like children with their hand caught in the cookie jar, eyes wide like dinner plates, filled with remorse, they’d shake their heads. Nowadays, they mimic my finger-circling against their tilted head and parody with a raised eyebrow, “Does this face look happy?”. This is no question – it means ‘Daddy, you’ve got to raise your game, we are four and five now.’ A few years ago, in the dying days of the British Empire, I was a young police inspector based in Hong Kong, where a particular privilege was to be assigned your very own local Chinese ‘attendant’, who was tasked with keeping your uniform creases sharp and a high shine on your boots, holster and Sam Browne belt. Confucius he was not, but my attendant, Ah-Ming – a life of labour etched in his face – would utter Chinese proverbs in cheery ‘Chinglish’, like “Ah, Dai Lo (boss), if one is none then two are ten!” In my cultural naivety, I didn’t readily heed all Ah-Ming’s wisdom, but he knew how to cope with his family’s unmelodious, discordant mixture of noise – filial piety is important to traditional Chinese families, so they really know about layers of noise when a family of 12 across four generations occupies 500 square feet of living space. “Ear defenders?” I said when the subject arose, cupping my ears, hoping semaphore would add clarity where my Cantonese failed. “Ah, Dai Lo,” Ah-Ming corrected me, shaking his head and grinning knowingly, “Da Ma Jeuk” (playing Mahjong – a universal remedy for all life’s woes). Right now, the unabated pneumatic drill of noise from my pair seems trivial by comparison with what Ah-Ming endured, and my Mahjong set is in a battered trunk in the attic, covered in worn shipping stickers and dust, and fast becoming my own time capsule. Notwithstanding the prescience of Ah-Ming, I leave the last word to Einstein, who in 1905 announced that ‘there is no such thing as absolute rest’. My children, Holly in particular, are expert in sensing mood and can switch from chaos to calm (with a nod to Einstein) at the speed of light. “Daddy, did you know that God was very cross with Adam and Eve?” Oh, for heaven’s sake – I’m looking at a new loo roll saturating in the toilet bowl. “Really?” I’m frantically recalling The Book of Genesis and The Creation… “Yes!” she adds “and there was a really sneaky snake!” I pause. “Never mind the forbidden apple!” I fire back. “You are forbidden from using toilet rolls that are not in the holder!” I EXETER LIVING I 17

Antique & Modern Furniture Repairs French Polishing Staircases and Handrails Upholstery Piano Restoration

Unit 8, Bakers Yard, Alphinbrook Road, Exeter EX2 8RG 01392 275338 |

PEOPLE Nothing mysterious. This contains spare stamps for our coffee rewards cards


These two big red switches are for outside and car park lights

This contains some cinema business contacts accumulated from the last 20 years

New Exeter Picturehouse brochures – we produce a new one around every six weeks

Yes, two mobile phones – one work, one personal!

I like the companionship of the staff best at the Picturehouse. This is an induction form for a new member of staff

Next time you settle down for a quality movie at the wonderful Exeter Picturehouse, spare a thought for the stalwart at the control desk, Andy Botterill, who’s worked there for 20 years and is today general manager. Impressively, Andy’s also a poet, novelist and musician with eight solo albums to his name (plus many more with bands) and his new album Coming Home is now available on Bandcamp. His top tip for filmlovers this March? “I can’t do better than recommend La La Land.” Exeter_Picturehouse

Water or tea are my drinks of choice when at work I EXETER LIVING I 19




Do this lot look like murderers to you? Things are definitely not what they seem in the new solo show by British artist Eleanor Moreton, who studied sculpture and painting at Exeter College of Art in the 1970s before going onto Chelsea College of Art. Take The Murderers, seen here, a group of young people idling by a creek – it’s based on images of the murdering Manson Family in California in the late 1960s, brainwashed and destined to be part of killing sprees that shocked the world. While the South West isn’t a direct influence on her shimmering, delicate landscapes, Eleanor tells us: “I probably began to walk for pleasure and bird-watch whilst in Exeter. I got my first pair of binoculars. My boyfriend lived in Topsham and I loved going out at night to listen to the birdcalls over the river. That was magical.” Eleanor Moreton: A Cold Wind From The Mountains is at Exeter Phoenix from 17 March – 30 April; Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 01392 667080; I EXETER LIVING I 21

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10 March – 10 April

Rarely-seen Bowie images at Westerley Mini on 21 March; RAMM welcomes Catrin Finch on 22 March; Concert pianist Saleem Ashkar joins the BSO on 16 March


PATRICK JONES: NO PASARAN Abstract works preoccupied with human rights and civil liberties by the local artist. 45 Preston Street, Exeter;

by Queen Victoria to mark her 1855 trip to Paris. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; 13 MARCH-3 APRIL

ARTISANS OF DARTMOOR Photographs by Suzy Bennett of local artists and makers at work. Devon Guild, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey;


HIROSHIGE’S JAPAN 21 landscape prints from the series that made Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige’s name in the 19th century. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;




QUEEN VICTORIA IN PARIS 44 watercolours commissioned

Bowie by his official tour photographer, Denis O’Regan. Westerley Mini, Matford Park Road, Exeter;

POUR ME A celebration of the humble jug, with exquisite examples by some of the finest makers. Devon Guild, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey; DAVID AND I 40 candid photographs of David



EXETER ILLUSTRATORS: BE INSPIRED Wonderful works by professional, award-wining local illustrators. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

show about the nature of truth. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 14-15 MARCH

RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY SPRING TOUR Five pieces by the top UK contemporary dance company. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Rd, Exeter; 15-18 MARCH

Theatre, Comedy & Dance

LEAVING Real-life stories of young people leaving the care system. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter;

14-15 MARCH


HISTORY HISTORY HISTORY Film and live performance combine in this warmly funny

NIGEL AND LOUISE A collection of recent work by performance collective Shunt.

W H AT ’ S O N


Hot young indie pop things Blossoms arrive in town on 21 March as part of the NME Awards Show Tour

Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter;

Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter;



WHY NOT? WHAT IF?! A night of dramatic, poetic, musical and artistic enquiry. St Sidwell’s Community Centre, Sidwell St, Exeter; 22-25 MARCH & 29 MARCH-1 APRIL

MEASURE FOR MEASURE New ensemble production of Shakespeare’s provocative dark comedy about morality and duty. Cygnet Theatre, Friars Gate, Exeter;

INCOGNITO Authentic flamenco with guitar, by husband-and-wife duo Uri and Ester Tal, aka Mi Flamenco. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

4-15 APRIL

TANK Breach Theatre’s new play, based on the true tale of a US scientist and the dolphin he tried to teach to speak, won a Fringe First Award last year.


SHAWN CUDDY Much-loved Irish entertainer. Heathcoat Club, 14 Wellbrook St, Tiverton;


MURRAY LACHLAN YOUNG Two shows from BBC6 Music’s resident poet; Modern Cautionary Tales For Children at 2.30pm and An Evening With... – for grown-ups – at 7.30pm. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter;


EXETER CABARET SHOW A feast of live performance, including a world recordholding ping pong ball juggler... See also page 10. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

from Bournemouth’s finest, with pianist Saleem Ashkar. The Great Hall, University of Exeter, Streatham Drive, Exeter;

St German’s Rd, Exeter; 22 MARCH

CATRIN FINCH The brilliant Welsh harpist plays Bach, Debussy, Salzedo and more as part of the alwaysexcellent Rathbones Spring Concert Series. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;


VERDI’S REQUIEM Exeter Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir join forces for the choral blockbuster. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter;


DEVON SPROULE Wry, freewheeling indie/folk/ jazz songs from the Canadian/ American musician. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


Music & Opera 13 MARCH

BEN HAENOW The 2014 X Factor winner’s back to mend Exeter hearts after having to pull out of the Christmas lights switch-on. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 16 MARCH

BSO: RUSSIAN FIRE Beethoven and Rachmaninov

EXETER CHAMBER CHOIR Allegri’s Miserere mei Deus, Bach’s motet Jesu, Meine Freude and more. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter;


SPENCER DAVIS Legendary ’60s singer/guitarist of Spencer Davis Group fame, in rare live appearance. Victory Hall, School Hill, Whimple;


NME AWARDS SHOW TOUR Indie pop darlings Blossoms headline this showcase of next big things, with support from Cabbage and Rory Wynne. Lemon Grove,


EMG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Celebrating their 50th anniversary with a concert of Gershwin, Bernstein, Marquez w I EXETER LIVING I 29


W H AT ’ S O N

Pour Me at Devon Guild starts on 18 March

and new conductor Leo Geyer. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter; 8 APRIL

EXETER BACH SOCIETY Vivaldi, Duruflé, Bach, Zelenda and Fauré, with the choir and orchestra joined by professional soprano Aimee Presswood. St Thomas Methodist Church, Cowick Street, Exeter; 10 MARCH

LAETITIA SADIER SOURCE ENSEMBLE Ethereal synth-pop from the Stereolab singer and new band. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

Other Events 12 MARCH

ASH DYKES: SURVIVING MADAGASCAR The acclaimed young explorer talks about his expedition up the 1,800 mile length of Madagascar. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Rd, Exeter; 15 MARCH

NIGHT WALK AT TRINITY HILL Experience the owls and stars of the heathland. 7.30-9.30pm. Trinity Hill Nature Reserve; 17-19 MARCH

CHAGWORD 2017 Impressive literary festival, playing host to Patrick Gale, Michael Morpurgo, Max Porter, Sophie Hannah and more.

Various venues, Chagford; 18 MARCH

EXMOUTH MUD WALK Explore, dig for worms and fish for shrimp with the Education Rangers. 1-3pm. Opposite toilets at Imperial Road Rec, Exmouth; 23 MARCH

FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN INFORMATION SESSION Learn more about adopting a child. 2-4pm. Darts Farm, Topsham; 30 MARCH

SPRING SPREE Evening of shopping, music, discounts and lots of treats like style consultations, beauty treatments; 6-9pm. Princesshay, Exeter; 8 APRIL

MARIPOSA TRUST SAYING GOODBYE SERVICE Remembrance service for anyone who has lost a baby during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter; 8-9 APRIL

BUDLEIGH SALTERTON FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL Local produce, family events, live music and cookery demos. Various venues, Budleigh Salterton;


WANT MORE? Sign up now for the Exeter Living newsletter... Love to keep up-todate with the city’s best cultural offerings? Then why not start receiving the popular Exeter Living Friday email newsletter? If you haven’t yet signed up, please do, and you’ll get my personal choice of the weekend’s best outings from music to theatre to markets, some moneysaving special offers, the week’s most amusing Exeter-based tweets and a hot property pick. . . Rest assured we won’t share your data with third parties – that’s not our style! So if you’d like a friendly distraction

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“Not more temporary traffic lights in Honiton”

there will be blood; hopefully none of it real

A HARD DAY’S BITE Count Dracula is prowling around Exeter Northcott Theatre, courtesy of Le Navet Bete. ANNA BRITTEN puts her neck on the line to find out more




un isn’t usually a word associated with vampires. Think the po-faced teens of the Twilight series, or the stony faces of Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee. But one Transylvanian bloodsucker definitely playing it for laughs is the one just spawned by brilliant, Exeterbased physical comedy theatre company Le Navet Bete, who mark a decade in the biz with new show Dracula: The Bloody Truth. Still, you can’t be too careful, so we held a garlic bulb in front of our face as we asked them what audiences could expect... Happy 10th anniversary! Can you sum up the last 10 years? It seems like yesterday that we were first meeting in a church hall in Exmouth trying to make our first show, and now we have a huge repertoire of work that has seen us touring all over the world. We all met at Plymouth University and realised quickly that we shared a similar sense of humour and were interested in making the same type of work. After graduating we decided to take a punt and make a show together with no idea of what the future would hold. Fortunately, people seemed to like what we do. It was definitely hard to start with, the first few years saw us trying to balance different jobs alongside trying to tour and promote Le Navet Bete, but the struggle was worth it. The company has gone from strength to strength, with highlights including touring Mexico, six sell-out Christmas shows at the Barbican Theatre Plymouth, performing at world-renowned festivals and getting paid to wear dresses. Why Dracula? There have been so many different versions of Dracula, which means there is loads of source material for us to be inspired by. Having made a Western, a detective show and a series of fairy-tales, we thought it was about time we took on a horror! Can you explain your adaptation to us? It’s a sort of play-within-a-play, set in 1900 and presented by Professor Van Helsing, who has written, produced and directed the show to warn people of the real dangers of vampires. If you weren’t already aware, the events portrayed in Bram Stoker’s novel were actual true events that were sensationalised by Stoker just so he could sell more books. Van Helsing is on a mission to set the record straight, and will go to extreme lengths to get his point heard. Will there be lots of blood? There will be blood; hopefully none of it real! But don’t worry if you’re squeamish – we won’t go over the top with it and it will be presented in very good taste. You’re working again with John Nicholson of award-winning theatre company Peepolykus. . . John Nicholson is one of the best comedy directors in the country. This is now our third feature-length show with John, and the process is great. When making/writing comedy, it is so important that the people you’re working with share the same ideas, views and understanding. Just like us, John wants to make work that is funny, surprising, clever, entertaining and stupid – we are a strong team! What can you tell us about top theatre designer Phil Eddolls’s set? This is our second time working with Phil, following the success of Dick Tracy and the amazing set he designed for us. We didn’t hesitate in commissioning him again for Dracula. As the show is set in 1900, the design is inspired by Victorian theatre. As always when working with Phil, the set is truly interactive. We don’t want to give anything away, but the set might not look the same at the end as it did at the beginning. . .

“Run! It’s the Dartmoor lynx!”

What does it mean to you, becoming an Associate Artist at the Exeter Northcott Theatre? It’s great! As a company that really sees Exeter as our home, we have always relied on building key partnerships with other organisations in the city. We have always worked closely with the Bike Shed Theatre and the Exeter Phoenix, but this new relationship with the Northcott is helping us develop from a smallscale to a mid-scale touring company. We are absolutely focused on continued growth, and the Northcott are focused on helping us achieve that growth. Who are your physical comedy heroes? Charlie Chaplin, Grock, John Cleese, Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Jim Carey and Rowan Atkinson have to be at the top of the list. However, we are inspired by anyone who puts physicality at the centre of their comedy. Having worked in comedy theatre for some time now, you realise how hard it is to be great. Sustained any injuries during rehearsal? No, not yet – but we haven’t sharpened the fangs yet. If you could be any TV/movie vampire besides Count Dracula, who would you be and why? Any of the Lost Boys, because they wore double denim and had cool ’80s haircuts. Dracula: The Bloody Truth is suitable for ages 8+ and is at Exeter Northcott Theatre from Thursday 30 March - Saturday 1 April; I EXETER LIVING I 33




“Some people come from the cities to the countryside for a change of scene, to experience the beautiful views and take in the fresh sea air. They come to enjoy the sandy beaches and clean seas, take in the sounds of the waves and taste the local cuisine. They arrive with bags full of plastic toys and sun cream, listen to loud music, then buy fast food and take nice deep breaths of nicotine. When they go, they leave everything they don’t want, cluttering the sandy beach, and polluting the sea. There seems to be a gap between intention and reality.”


What happened when rock chick JULIE REID swapped the Big Smoke for East Devon? She started a playful Instagram account, of course. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Soho anymore…


hotographer Julie Reid’s images present a tongue-in-cheek view of what it’s like to go from being a single city girl to living in Sidmouth, married with kids. Once a photo editor in the music industry – she met husband Jim Reid, singer with rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain, at 17 – Julie has switched from organising show business parties and elbowing her way through Ikea, to a gentler country life of extreme recycling and sweeping up autumn leaves. Here she talks us through some of the photographs she shares as @londondevongirl on Instagram... 34 I EXETER LIVING I


“Before I had kids, my finger was on the cultural pulse. Now I am a cultural vacuum. My best friend lives in LA, she knows all the cool things a couple of years ahead of me and her family is being used in films or adverts every week. I was thinking about this happening here, so I mocked up my own version of Hitchcock’s Marnie, at Whimple Station. I hope the village is ready for the master of suspense’s sophisticated, psychopathic femme fatale. I think not.”


“I used to go to Ikea every Saturday to get hit in the ankle by trolleys crammed with flat-packed plywood, then queue for an hour to eat meatballs and tarta mandel in a heaving café. It was like a tradition. But my thought here is that Saturdays could instead be spent wandering empty green fields, writing poetry and pretending to be in a Thomas Hardy novel. So, I’ve brought my Ikea bag out of the city to a much more tranquil setting. This Saturday, I’m in Tipton St John, to revel in the sequestered calm, avoid bodily mutilation, and feel the open spaces, far from the madding Ikea crowd.”


“No matter how much time I spend sweeping the leaves, they always seem to be everywhere again the following day. Not sure I can see the point of it; it’s like a neverending penance. There are definitely more trees around here than people, so we’re outnumbered to start with. It’s totally unfair. I know that some trees manage to not lose their leaves; can’t all trees be genetically modified like that? Then we wouldn’t have this hassle every autumn. One consolation however: they match my outfit!”



“I cannot go to the recycling centre and see the huge ‘Metal’ sign without thinking ‘Black Sabbath’. I never visited a recycling centre before coming to Devon; in London, Amazon packaging, last night’s tikka masala, and broken bras can all go in the same trash can and nobody tells you off. In Devon, there’s a 10-minute decision every time you want to throw something out over which of your 15 bins it needs to go into. It’s a big commitment.”


“In summer, a lot of weekend surfers come down to try out surfing with the bravado of the city slicker, thinking: ‘It can’t be that hard, I’ll just get on a board and I’ll be surfing’. But, of course, it takes vigilance and caution, especially as a novice – something that can be lacking if you’ve only got a couple of hours before you have to get back to the city. Here, I haven’t even been bothered to get changed into suitable clothing, just jumped on the board with my heels and briefcase. I’m trying to show the rashness of this pattern of thought, and how you have to get out of the office mentally as well as physically.”


“In the weeks leading up to Sidmouth Folk Festival at the end of July, the folkies start their pilgrimage to the seaside town, arriving with distressed patchwork bags, vegan sheepskin boots and eco-friendly, locally-sourced wooden beads. My kids love it. I send them off to the seafront every morning with a harmonica and tin cup and don’t let them come back to the house until they’ve made at least £20. Of course, my favourite element is the huge Hollywood-style sign they place up on the hill. I always have the urge to get my red carpet dress out and sparkle.”

“A lot of people want a status symbol car, whether it’s a huge fourwheel drive or a smart sporty thing – it’s a personality extension. When you have kids it’s difficult to carry on with pretences, however much you try. Cars get full of chocolate wrappers and kids write rude words on the windows, things get covered in juice, and parts fall off. Here I have given up altogether and just decided to go out in my kid’s plastic one.” For more: I EXETER LIVING I 35

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LESS DOSH Eating well doesn’t have to mean eating expensively. Here are 10 of the best places to fill your boots on a budget in and around Exeter – from the best butties to ludicrous lunch deals By a n na br i t t e n





xeter may well be the best city to eat out in the South West, but with ever-increasing demands on our spare cash, slap-up blowouts in fine dining establishments tend to be special treats. And for the rest of the time? Well, our selection of 10 of the city’s very best bargain eateries should keep you going for a while. We’re looking at where to eat well (and, crucially, feel full) for around £10 a head, preferably less, and you can expect everything from chintzy roadside diners to artisanal sandwich shops to Turkish brasseries, all serving outstanding food at wallet-friendly prices. So gather your loose change and seek out Exeter’s most frugal foodie thrills... w

Bargain lunches to run across town for at The Sandwich Shop I EXETER LIVING I 39


The venue: Tiny, packed lunchtime hotspot, all trendy grey paint and exposed brick, and a magnet for famished local workers – many of whom hoof it right across town for their fix. The deal: Killer sandwiches, fat and fresh and filled with interesting combos, plus coffee, cakes, you get the idea. Make the £4 meal deal – six-inch sub, crisps and a drink – your go-to. Can we get the… Bestselling Philly cheese steak sarnie, cheers! When to go: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm; Saturday: 9.30am-5pm 23 Paris Street, Exeter;


The venue: Dave Kerley’s deceptively modest little wooden shack tucked into a nook at Darts Farm. Their wide range of fish/seafood is plucked fresh from Lyme Bay that day, and you can order it grilled or deep-fried in beer batter. Frankly, nobody does Britain’s national dish better – well, certainly not at these prices. It’s a wet fishmongers too, and there’s a small covered area, otherwise you’ll have to brave the elements. The deal: Cod/hake and chips £8.50, small fish and chips for £5.50, just chips £3. Can we get the… Lobster and chips, if it’s on the board today. . . When to go: Tuesday-Saturday: 11.30am-7.30pm; Sunday: 9am-3.30pm. Darts Farm Shopping Village, Topsham;


KuPP’s lunch deal will certainly see you right till dinnertime. . .


The venue: Urban, contemporary, slightly New York-y bistro in an enviable city centre location that’s got the quick, affordable weekday lunch down to a fine art. The deal: Lunchtimes are about freshly-made sandwiches, salads, and Brit stalwarts like fish and chips. The two-course set lunch menu is £10.95 (three courses are £12.95). “Our mission statement is ‘To continually deliver great food, great service and great value for money’,” says owner Lloyd. “And our set lunch menu is a prime example.” Can we get the... Deep-fried brie then the pork belly, and, oh go on then, the Eton mess. When to go: Monday-Thursday: 7.30am-3pm; Friday-Saturday: 7.30am-3.30pm, 7-10pm; Sunday: 10am-3pm. 6 Catherine Street, Exeter;


The Glorious Art House


The venue: Buzzy boho gastropub and cocktail lounge, a stone’s throw from John Lewis, and popular with hipsters and suits alike. The deal: “We’ve got the best offering available Monday to Saturday!” trumpets owner Yvan Williams. “We do a set lunch alongside our regular menu, meaning you can have two courses for

Drop anchor at The Fish Shed

£10, three for £12. All freshly cooked and made in house.” Book a table to avoid disappointment. Can we get the… Chicken liver parfait, tomato chutney and crostinis, followed by the pulled pork burger with triple-cooked (in beef dripping) chips, thanks. When to go: Monday-Friday: noon-3pm & 5.309pm (10pm Thursday/Friday); Sunday: noon-5pm (9pm bank hols) 60 New North Road, Exeter;


The venue: Chintzy roadside canteen next to Exeter Racecourse, on the Devon Expressway, south of the city. The deal: Exeter’s best-kept foodie secret, this cheap, cheerful spot has been dishing up enormous portions of good value home cooking – all-day breakfasts, jacket potatoes, toasties, cream teas, you name it – to race-goers, motorists, campers, cyclists, walkers and loads of regulars who will be furious that we’re going to make the place even more popular. Steak and chips, for example, just £8.50. Can we get the… Cup of tea and a sausage bap. When to go: Every day: 7am-6pm. Devon Expressway, Kennford, Exeter (no website) w I EXETER LIVING I 41


A Full English at Quickes Farm


The Exeter Twitterati share their top haunts for a bargain feed Tom Johnson @tomaj82 I’m a big fan of @HubBoxExeter – great quality and size. Abi Bramhall @SheWhoLives1 I absolutely love the @sandwichshopexe Best sarnies in the city! Go for their Turkey, Cranberry and Brie ;) Clio@DiaryofDevonMum @cliofitz We’ve enjoyed the kids eat free offer a few times @UrbanBurgerExe. My boys love their super simple Macaroni Cheese #cheapeats

Emily Macaulay @emilyjmacaulay @_TheStable are good. I enjoy Sidwell Fish & Chips, though – AND they deliver! :o) Tara Smith @taraskitchen75 Probably the @oldfirehouseexe... really good portions, friendly staff & a meal and drink is normally under £10 Will Foxwell @FoxwellFilms Dinosaur Cafe. A hidden gem IMO Emma Cottle @EmmaJCottle Taco Macho on Fore Street is amazing super-filling and delicious burritos! Simon Hall @SimonHallNews I love the food markets, particularly on the quayside. Great flavours and real value.


The venue: Safari-style tent at Quickes Farm, in Newton St Cyres, with country views, and al fresco terrace and play area. The deal: Head chef Lauren and team serve up gourmet, local, seasonal dishes whose equivalents would cost you considerably more in a linen-andcrystal joint. Sausages and mash, egg and chips, bagels and chips etc – all will leave you enough change from a tenner for some of owner Kate’s famous cake. Massively popular Sunday lunches. See also feature on page 64. Can we get the… Macaroni and Quicke’s mature cheddar cheese, with herby breadcrumbs and Mary Quicke’s ever-so-hashtaggable salad. When to go: Every day: 9.30am-4pm Cakeadoodledo, Home Farm, Newton St Cyres, Exeter; w I EXETER LIVING I 43



The venue: Clean, minimalist noodle bar trading in authentic Chinese and Japanese dishes and rightly popular with the young crowd, especially students, by dint of its reasonable prices and being about 400 times cooler than Yo! Sushi. The deal: Bargain noodles, curries, ramen, etc. Best of all is the lunch menu served between 12pm and 2.50pm, offering all dishes at £6.30 with a free drink. Can we get the… Tyepyedong stir fry with udon noodles. When to go: Monday-Friday: noon-3pm, 5-11pm; Saturday: noon-11pm 175 Sidwell St, Exeter;


The venue: Friendly Turkish restaurant with natty lanterns and a big window overlooking the Sacred Heart church on South Street – and a rapidly-growing number of local fans. The deal: The competitive lunchtime menu, from noon-5pm every day, offers one course for £7.90, two courses for £10.90, and three for £13.90. Can we get the… Adana kofte – skewers of minced lamb with tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cumin, mint, oregano and pomegranate molasses, grilled over charcoal and served with a side salad, roasted veg, and chips or rice. When to go: Every day: noon-late 80 South Street, Exeter; 44 I EXETER LIVING I


The venue: Hip, hangar-like, new Scandinavianinspired Queen Street Dining eatery. The deal: The impressive £10 lunch deal involves eye-poppingly substantial open sandwiches – choose from sourdough or rye, then generous toppings of, for example, bacon and avocado, or smoked ham and melted Västerbotten cheese – but also a fistful of seriously crunchy fries, or potato salad, and a freshlysqueezed juice. Can we get the… Gravadlax, pickled cucumber, heirloom tomatoes and KuPP dressing on rye. When to go: Monday-Thursday: 8am-11.30pm; Friday: 8am-1am; Saturday: 9am-1am; Sunday: 10am-10.30pm (food served until 10pm Mon-Sat, 9pm Sun) KuPP Exeter, Guildhall, Queen Street, Exeter;


The venue: Brightly coloured, quirky Fore Street fave that’s a refuge from the city hubbub. The deal: Superior baguettes with side salad and veg crisps come in at a very wallet-friendly £5.45/£5.95, bagels (also with side salad) from £4.95, salads at £7.45, and a few heartier dishes like tagine or Thai green curry. Can we get the… Organic soup of the day, with warm mini tin loaves (as cute as they sound). When to go: Monday-Saturday: 8am-5.30pm; Sunday: 10am-4pm. 120 Fore Street, Exeter;

Above: Fork it up at The Fish Shed Below: “Who ordered the BBQ pulled pork with apple and fennel slaw?” asks The Sandwich Shop guv’nor Dan

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Ruby @ The Grapevine CHRIS GOWER visits the much-loved burger joint in its new seaside home


urger fans in Exeter lost one of the best patty joints in town when Ruby Modern Diner closed the doors on its restaurant at 74 Queen Street last year. But it wasn’t the end – in fact, when it relaunched in October last year as kitchen-in-residence at The Grapevine Brewhouse in Exmouth, it was just the beginning of a new chapter in Ruby’s story. The original Ruby Modern Diner won Taste Of The West Gold for three years running along with a host of other awards; so what made owners Dicky and Erin Harrison want to move operations to Exmouth? Explains Erin: “The opportunity came up at the Grapevine and was too good to miss! It is a fantastic pub and as Exmouth has such a great vibe and plenty of independent restaurants and bars, we thought Ruby would be a great fit. Also, we were unsure of the impact of the Guildhall and other new developments in the centre of Exeter and felt that Exmouth would be a better home for us.” The Grapevine Brewhouse is a fantastic independent establishment owned by Oliver and Demelza Bainbridge. It is also home to Ollie’s brewing operation, Crossed Anchors, which brews its products on-site. The addition of Ruby Kitchen is the perfect combination – local beer and local burgers. Erin adds: “The pub hosts great bands every week and is really busy and buzzy – and Crossed Anchors are creating some awesome craft beer and ales.” Ruby remains inspired by the classic American diner, but has slightly changed its menu to adapt to its new environment. All burgers now come complete with fries, home-made ’slaw and a pickle. Luckily for Erin and Dicky, the two head chefs who steered the boat (excuse the pun) in Exeter are still at the helm (and that one). “We’re lucky and proud to say Rob and Mark made the move with us,” says Erin, “and are really happy in their new home. They’ve worked really





hard to bring Ruby to the Grapevine and we think our burgers are better than ever.” Other things you loved about the original also remain the same. Ruby is still using local suppliers and its local ethos is still at the heart of everything it does. Roger The Farmer from Copplestone provides their beef, Exploding Bakery in Exeter makes the brownies, the vegetables hail from Darts Fresh, and Hawkridge from Crediton still delivers the cheese. When myself and Mrs G visited, I went for the The Blue: 7oz beef patty, chestnut mushrooms, caramelised onions and Devon Blue cheese, and it was a delight to eat. Chestnut mushrooms and the tang of the blue cheese made the burger feel more steak-like; and it contrasted well with the sweetness of the caramelised onions. The fries were, naturally, fresh and hot and it was all presented on that much-loved, familiar Ruby logo paper. Mrs G opted for The Piggy: 7oz beef patty, homesmoked pulled pork, smoked Applewood cheddar, smoked streaky bacon, and Ruby sauce. It was quite a beast to behold, generously packed with pulled pork and bacon. And as burgers go, it was a charming and delightful example, with a sweet smokiness throughout, and the home-smoked pulled pork a winning combination in tandem with the tasteful Devon Ruby beef. Storming salads also feature on the menu: the grilled halloumi and avocado looks particularly succulent and generous, as does the blackened chicken fillet version. The beers and ales at The Grapevine Brewhouse are extensive in choice. One of the region’s best selections of international varieties, coupled with Crossed Anchors’ own delectable in-house brewed products, make it an absolute mecca for local beer lovers. As we sipped our pints of CSH (it stands for Cascading Smash Hopburst!), a spritely hoppy blonde ale at 3.8%ABV, I blissfully imagined future afternoons cycling down to Exmouth and having a few pints and a burger at The Grapevine before hopping back on a train feeling slightly merry and full. There is something quite wonderful about the combination of a beautifully crafted local beer and a burger made from ingredients from this wonderful county. And although we’ve lost a fantastic name from the Exeter restaurant scene, we have given it to our friends in Exmouth – and they love it.

DINING DETAILS Ruby @ The Grapevine, 2 Victoria Road, Exmouth EX8 1DL; 01395 222208; Opening hours Mon-Thur 4pm-11pm (food served from 5pm); Fri-Sun noon-midnight (food served until 9pm) Prices From £9, all burgers served with French fries and ’slaw. Desserts from £5 Veggie/vegan choice Yes! The Beany or Faloumi burger, mac ’n’ cheese, plenty of sides and salads Disabled access Good, including a sunny outside courtyard with plenty of seating Drinks Great UK and international beers and ales, including several from on-site brewery Crossed Anchors. Interesting spirits and good wine list, too Service/atmosphere Relaxed and fun by day; or soak up the busy Fri/Sat night atmosphere and enjoy a live band I EXETER LIVING I 49

Gastro Pub & Speakeasy Cocktail Bar

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High Street | Exmouth | EX8 1NP Tel: 01395 27 70 30 60 New North Road | Exeter Devon | EX4 4EP Tel: 01392 20 90 50

Exeter Living

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And the award goes to… Rearing a child prodigy? ROXANNE DURIS brings you the lowdown on scholarships and bursaries at some of the finest fee-paying schools in and around Exeter

Toot sweet: a young maestro at St Peter’s Prep 52 I EXETER LIVING I


Smiles ahead: pupils at Exeter School




round a third of all pupils in UK independent schools receive some level of financial assistance towards their fees, through scholarships and bursaries. Don’t know the difference between the two? Don’t worry, few parents do. In a nutshell: scholarships are awarded purely on academic, sporting or creative merit at certain fixed points – for example, 11+, 13+ and 16+ – irrespective of parental wealth; bursaries, however, are meanstested and awarded according to financial need (and are essential to schools maintaining their charitable status) and they can be applied for at any entry level. The two often merge, with many schools prepared give bursary funding to scholarships.


The Tiverton co-ed’s top scholarship award is in the region of 30% off fees, and there are several on offer across different age groups: 11+, 13+ and 16+. The main categories are academic, music, art, drama and sport, and entrance is by exam, interview and tests/auditions (depending on which scholarship the student is applying for). The closing date for 11+ and 13+ scholarships

will be December 2017, with exams in January 2018; for 16+, closing date for application is October 2017 with the exam in November 2017. Blundell’s also offers Foundation Bursaries at 11+, 13+ and 16+ to successful scholars whose parents need financial assistance to afford a place at the school for their son or daughter. Assessment is through the scholarship examination, as well as a means test form. At 13+, the AV Hill Academic Scholarship (named after an Old Blundellian who won the Nobel Prize) is made to an individual who is outstanding in any of the scientific disciplines. Visits from prospective pupils/parents are welcome at any time. Open morning at Blundell’s nursery (for ages 2.5-4) is on 17 March.


Actor Matthew Goode’s alma mater offers Music Scholarships and Awards, for Years 9 and 12, to both internal and external candidates with the requisite musical talent and achievements. These give a 10% discount – except for the Sammy Sargent Music Scholarship, which has a value of 25%-50% discount off tuition fees. Bursaries are means-tested and available to external candidates who meet the school’s academic entry requirement and whose parents could not afford to send their child to Exeter w I EXETER LIVING I 53


School without financial assistance. “As a general guide, gross parental income will need to be below £60,000 p.a.,” they say. In addition, eight free places are up for grabs for “bright children from families in modest circumstances” (who will be means-tested) – three for pupils entering Year 7, and five for Sixth Form – as a result of alumni generosity and grants from a local charity. NB: ‘Entrance Scholarships’ and ‘Exhibitions’, for top performers in the entrance assessments and examinations, take the form of prizes at Speech Day in the September of entry, but do not involve a fee discount. Summer Open Evening is on 11 July. Or call to arrange a private visit.


The prestigious girls’ school offers 10% off fees for recipients of academic, sport, music and creative arts scholarships. These are for 11+ and 13+ entry and Sixth Form, at which stage scholars can also apply for extra funding of up to £150 a year. In addition, launched in September 2016, is new bursary-style initiative The Maynard Awards, which offer 19 gifted girls, at any stage from Year 7 to Lower Sixth, up to a 45% reduction in fees “although a family with a combined income of over £50,000 is unlikely to be considered.” Assessment days are in January, but can be arranged for other times of the year at the head teacher’s discretion. Upcoming events include ‘The Great Education Debate’ on 15 March, at which current parents will share their views on how and why they chose The Maynard; The Maynard Pre-Prep Princess Party on 27 April, for all girls aged 3-6; and a Whole School Open Evening on 27 June. Above: A Blundell’s art scholar at work Opposite page: Join the ranks at St Peter’s Prep, for ages 3-13

EXETER COLLEGE IS OXBRIDGE-BOUND A whopping 13 Exeter College students are celebrating after being offered places at Oxford and Cambridge, to study a range of subjects including biochemistry, maths, engineering sciences, history, law, philosophy, Spanish and Arabic, and architecture. “In the year that Oxford University has been rated as the number one university in the world, it is a truly exceptional achievement,” says John Laramy, principal and chief executive of the statefunded, OFSTED ‘Outstanding’-rated, non-selective provider. “We have great students and great staff, but our dedicated specialist support for university applicants, alongside our extensive enrichment programme, is clearly helping our students to stand out from the crowd.” 54 I EXETER LIVING I




Scholarship Awards are available in a number of different categories at the hilltop day and boarding school in Sidmouth – academic, music or sport, each getting you a 25% discount on fees. There’s also a Headmaster’s Award to the best performing student/s in the Year Group which can be up to 50% off fees and is available at all years from Reception upwards. Good news for local children: as of September 2017, all those living within 15 miles of the school postcode (EX10 8RG), will be eligible to apply for the reduced ‘Local Fee’ rate. There’s ‘Amaze Me’ Day on Saturday 20 May, 10am-2pm, for pupils and parents interested in finding out a little more about life at St John’s.

ROLL CALL Independent schools in the area B LUN D E L L S

Blundell’s School, Tiverton EX16 4DN 01884 252543; E XE T E R C AT H EDR A L SCH O O L

The Chantry Palace Gate, Exeter EX1 1HX 01392 255298; E XE T E R S C H O O L

Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NS 01392 258712; KI N G ’ S C O L L E G E TAUNT O N

South Road, Taunton TA1 3LA 01823 328204; KI N G ’ S H AL L TAUNT O N

Kingston Rd, Taunton TA2 8AA 01823 285921;


Shebbear, Beaworthy, Devon EX21 5HJ 01409 282000; ST J OHNS INTERNATIONAL

Broadway, Sidmouth EX10 8RG 01395 513984; ST P ETER’S SCHOOL

Harefield, Lympstone EX8 5AU; 01395 272148; ST WILF RID’S SCHOOL

25-29 St David’s Hill, Exeter EX4 4DA 01392 276171; ST OV ER S CHOOL

Stover, Newton Abbot TQ12 6QG 01626 354505; TAUNTON S CHOOL

Denmark Road, Exeter EX1 1SJ; 01392 273417;

Staplegrove Rd, Taunton TA2 6AD 01823 703303 (ages 0-13), 01823 703700 (ages 13-18);



Parkwood Road, Tavistock PL19 0HZ 01822 813100;

Buckeridge Road, Teignmouth TQ14 8LY 01626 774138;



Trull Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4QS 01823 272559;

South Street, Wellington TA21 8NT 01823 668800;



The Lympstone prep school offers scholarships for internal and external candidates (the latter must send in a registration form and cheque for £100) in Years 7 and 8 who “have the potential to achieve a similar award as entry to their next senior school.” These are applied for in the January of Year 6. They also carry a fee discount, typically up to 30%, although “in exceptional circumstances and for exceptional ability”, the head may award higher awards. It’s too late for September 2017, but you’ve until 15 January 2018 to apply for the following year. Means-tested bursaries are available in any year – ask for an application form – as well as Harefield Awards in other year groups for promise in a particular area. The next open day is on Saturday 13 May, from 10am-1pm.


Academic, sport, music and performing arts scholarships are available at the co-ed boarding school in Teignmouth, which has a Christian ethos, as well as the Notre-Dame all-round scholarship. Applicants complete various assessments and attend an interview. Scholarships are available for Year 6 pupils transitioning to Year 7, Year 8 pupils heading into Year 9, and Year 11 pupils into Year 12. Awards can range from 5% to a maximum of 50% of fees, dependent on performance, and are at the discretion of the Headmaster. Bursaries of up to 100% of fees may be available to parents/guardians of children entering any year-group of Trinity School, who should complete an application form and submit it to the Bursar no later than the date of the Entrance Assessment in any year. NB: “The School considers that the following would not be consistent with the receipt of a bursary: Frequent or expensive holidays. New or luxury cars. Investment in significant home improvements. A second property/land holdings.” All bursary awards are subject to repeat testing of parental means each year. Next open morning: Saturday 10th June 2017. I EXETER LIVING I 55

Schools and Individuals

Business Training

Could your school or child benefit from building their confidence or developing their communication skills? Articulacy specialise in training with qualifications for primary school pupils right through to university students.

We offer CPD training packages for groups within your company or individuals based on the following titles. We tailor these workshops so that they are bespoke to your needs:

• Confidence building one week workshops for all Key stages with qualifications • Qualifications for A level students that earn UCAS points • Oral skills for interviews as a preparation for university, job applications and life! • We teach ESB, LAMDA and ASDAN qualifications for all key stages

• Train the trainer • Communicating with confidence • Emotional Intelligence • Personal presentation and impact • Being an effective mentor • Time management • Resilience • Managing difficult conversations and expectations • A proactive approach to problem solving • Embracing change • Collaborate: Working as a team • Assertiveness for women

Contact Leanne: Email: | Telephone: 07 545219856 | Website:

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter

Casa Magnolia CHAGFORD


Large selection of colourful Spanish and Italian smart and casual shoes, pumps and sandals. WINTER STOCK SALE CONTINUES for a limited time only

Sizes 2 (35) to 8 (41) available and various fittings


Plus Summer Sandals & a great selection of Accessories!

3 Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ Telephone: 01392 252876

38 The Square, Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8AB 01647 433905 / Its all on our website:



Now here’s something every fan of the Devon coast can get on board with. They look like wool. They feel like wool. But these soft blankets from Salcombe-based Weaver Green are made of yarn spun entirely from 100% recycled plastic bottles. “With over 30 billion plastic bottles finding their way into our seas each year and over 90% of all marine birds having plastic deposits in their stomachs,” they say, “we felt it important to look at creative and useful ways of recycling plastic bottles and making them into valuable and beautiful additions to our homes.” Blankets from £45, from Darts Farm, Topsham; / I EXETER LIVING I 61

1 2







2. ’SUP?




Primavera screenprint by Jeremy Speck, £120 Springtime by the sea, captured by one of Exeter’s finest printmakers From

Mutha Cuppa mug, £14 Absolutely no Ribena allowed in this baby – just the finest, strongest joe. Especially if it’s a Monday From Claire Close;; claireclose

Strong Is The New Pretty by Kate T Parker, £13.99 The Atlanta-based photographer uses her artist’s eye and perspective as a mother to subvert little girl stereotypes. A pink tutu-free zone From Waterstones, 48-49 High Street, Exeter;

Wicker tote, £29.95 Handmade in Morocco from 100% palm leaf From Boka, 3 High St, Crediton;

Make up purse, £9.90 Not that she needs make-up, obviously From Claire Close;; claireclose














Mother’s Day selection boxes: large, £19.95 for 25 chocs/medium, £14.95 for 16 Because she deserves more than a half-eaten KitKat today, guys From Chococo, 22 Gandy St, Exeter;

Salt and pepper set, £18 Zebra stripes: usurping leopard print for SS17. We love these from a new, Exeter-based online store specialising in imported African crafts From

Cactus LED light, £12.95 No, we have not reached ‘peak cactus’ yet. Jump on the trend, and brighten a dark corner in the process From Hyde & Seek, 15 Paris St, Exeter;

Salcombe Gin, £37.99 Add a four pack of FeverTree and you might just be her favourite child forever From Darts Farm, Topsham;

Handmade glass vase, £32 Beautifully simple, and begging for a big bunch of something bright ’n’ quirky From The Orange Tree, Darts Farm Village, Topsham; LIVING IEXETER CLIFTON LIFE II 63 69

there is an outcry if we run OUT of our lemon



ANNA BRITTEN finds out more about the legendary Exeter cake emporium’s unexpected new outpost Photo s by E M M A SOL L E Y



Opposite: One slice probably won’t be enough. . . Above: Kate Shirazi with her team, Lauren, Jenna and Emily Below: Currant affairs Below right: The play area


ne Cakeadoodledo was never going to be enough, let’s face it. Cakes this good, and a personality as charismatic as their creator Kate Shirazi, need to be shared with the world at large. Or at least, for now, people just beyond Exeter’s city limits. As fans of the original, much-loved Deanery Place café/bakery will know, there’s now a Cakeadoodledo based at the famous Quickes Farm in Newton St Cyres. And rather than being the latest step in a precision-engineered business plan, it all happened, well, sort of by accident. “I had a chance meeting with Tom Chatfield, head of sales,” says Kate. “He mentioned that the Quickes Field Kitchen had closed. I just mentioned we needed more space… Before I knew it I was sitting in a meeting with Mary Quicke, farm manager Adam Reeves, and Tom. I have now taken over the whole space that was known as The Farm Kitchen and we are now Cakeadoodledo at Quickes.” It’s a lot to think about, she says: “I am confused quite a lot of the time.” Based in Quicke’s welcoming, safari-style tent and open seven days a week, the business offers a full, licensed menu – from the full English to popular Sunday roasts (see also page 38) – along with cakes, sandwiches and lunches to take home.


Cake-wise, Kate’s runaway bestseller is the Victoria sponge, and “there is an outcry if we run out of our lemon drizzle – it’s gluten-free, but everyone eats it – and our brownies have their own fan club.” Her personal favourite is “The Rosie Bar: hazelnuts, oats, caramel, dark chocolate, and just glorious. It was an idea given to me by my lovely colleague Rosie, hence the name. “Whenever I can, I wangle my way in and start experimenting. Matcha cake with raspberry frosting was the latest hit. Really pretty to look at w I EXETER LIVING I 65



Kate’s cake repertoire can be eaten in situ or, if you prefer delayed gratification, taken home

and completely delicious. I like to keep the cakes changing, but we have to keep the stalwarts there or my customers get most upset.” What impact has the increased call for ‘freefrom’ had on the business? “Well, it’s a double-edged sword, to be honest,” says Kate. “It keeps us on our toes. We now always have two gluten-free cakes and generally one vegan. Sugar-free is a challenge I am not particularly interested in. Our fruit cake doesn’t have any added sugar, but it contains loads of dried fruit and molasses so it’s all sugar by a different name. We are a cake shop! “We will always offer ‘free-from’ options, but there may not be loads of choice. Having said that, I do believe that everyone deserves cake. I am more than happy to bake any sort of ‘freefrom’ cake for a private order. From a business point of view that makes far more sense for me. “In the summer, we probably bake 10 to 15 whole cakes a day (that’s 30 to 45 sponges). Can be more though, once you count the tray bakes and wedding cakes, the scones (three sorts), the loaf cakes…” And the new rural setting has triggered yet more plans: “When the bird-flu travel-ban is over, we are getting rescue battery hens for the children’s area and I am in ‘negotiations’ with the farm manager to get these two rescue pigs that are at the RSPCA looking for a new home. I have fallen in love with them. They are called Brian and Trotter and are the tamest pigs I have ever met. I still have a bit of convincing to do… “But I am getting a rescue dog which I will take to work at Quickes and I am hoping he/she will become the ‘face’ of Cakeadoodledo. “‘Not all cake’ needs to be our new motto, I think…” Cakeadoodledo, Home Farm, Newton St Cyres, Exeter EX5 5AY; 0844 879 7811; 66 I EXETER LIVING I



“A hilarious guide to turning your slovenly spouse into the perfect partner”

18 High Street, Crediton EX17 3AH. Tel. 01363 776677 Brands Include: Sandwich, Latte, Marble, Peruzzi, Pomodoro, Paz Torras, White Vanilla, Tina Taylor. And many more....



We also stock beautiful leather handbags, jewellery and accessories.



Above right: Sari at work

Suffering from ‘text neck’? Having trouble walking? We head to Exeter Quay for a primer on spinal health


re you sitting comfortably? With back and neck pain the leading cause of disability worldwide and, in the UK, behind a third of all long-term sickness absence from work, it’s likely you aren’t. You can’t overstate the role of the spine. “Your brain controls everything; and the extension of the brain is the spinal chord,” says Exeter chiropractor Sari Botros from Rock Chiropractic. “Then the nerves go out to every single organ, every cell, every tissue – it’s all controlled by the brain. The spine is like a moveable suit of armour to protect the spinal chord. “And if a segment isn’t moving as it should, that’s when we have issues.” What might cause that, we wonder? “Modern life,” states Sari, whose clients range in age from two days to 99 years. “We’re not moving and we’re not functioning as we’re designed to. We were cavemen, hunter-gatherers, now we’re sitting down and standing still a lot; we have a lot of poor posture. Also, trauma; and birth – we see a lot of children here as the birth process can be traumatic.” While we can’t do much about car

accidents and labour, our level of physical activity and our posture are both things we can change. But it’s not quite as simple as your granny’s advice to stick your chest out and your shoulders back. “A lot of people say, ‘I’ve always had good posture’ – but their head is jutted forward,” says Sari. “I always say, ‘Ears over shoulders, nose in line with belly button. And make sure the legs are in balance; many people

EARS OVER SHOULDERS, NOSE IN LINE WITH BELLY BUTTON are heaver on one side than the other.” Adds centre manager and physiotherapist Wida, who’s also Sari’s wife: “The most common thing we see is ‘text neck’” – turns out that constantly gazing down at our phones and tablets is causing a lot of pain for a lot of people.” Housed in a beautiful 500 year-old former boat house (until Rock’s arrival last year, it was the Exeter Tourist Information

Centre), Rock Chiropractic specialises in spine and postural correction through longterm chiropractic care – it’s a swish environment, the ground floor given over to a welcoming, open-plan waiting area with beds on which clients can get adjusted by Sari, a private consultation room, and lots of state-of-the-art kit, including a digital, low-radiation X-ray machine (common in the US but Rock’s is the first of its kind in the UK), and a digital check-in system with bespoke software. Facilities upstairs offer traction, sports massage and seminars, talks, and workshops. Even the drinking water has gone through six stages of filtration. Sari and Wida are aware that, like all alternative medicine, chiropractic is not without its naysayers. “I never make any claim,” says Sari, pointing out that scientific research is ongoing. “I adjust the spine and let the body do what it does.” And judging by the glowing testimonials from clients on Rock’s Facebook page, the body then does what it does pretty darn effectively. Rock Chiropractic Health Centre, 45 The Quay, Exeter EX2 4AN; 01392 790499; I EXETER LIVING I 69

Were you there?

Harry Wild, Nick Hook and Lauren Heath




Sam Taylor, Heather Kightley, Dan Taylor, Claire Eustace and Russ Eustace

Lederhosen, dirndls and après-ski clobber were everywhere at the BierKeller Exeter launch party. The invite-only bash saw hundreds of Exeter locals come together at the city’s first Bavarian-themed bar for halfpriced steins of beer and live oompah band the Bavarian Strollers. Prost!

Tara Smith, Bethan Spencer and Zac Spencer

Duncan Bryan, Sarah Jepson and Nic Ponticakis

Dan Regan, Joe Green and John Poxton


Mark Forsey, Mark Johnstone and Christelle Johnstone



Katey Korzenietz, Darrell Willcocks and Tracy Andrews

Amos Lighting celebrated the opening of its Topsham showroom, Amos Lighting & Home, with a host of invited guests including architects, interior designers and local business people. The showroom, located opposite Darts Farm, sparkled with designer lighting from Tom Dixon, Vita, Dar, Foscarini and more. Guests admired the new, extended range of furniture from Cattelan Italia and Content by Conran furniture. Canapés for the event were provided by Peter’s Pan. Photos by Jay Gater

Jonathan Rhind and Philip Domville-Musters

Lucy and Jim Fisher

Ashton Hargreaves

Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark with Louise Crossman

Damian Cook, Nigel Bishop and David Amos

Christina Cook, Judy Langdon, Wendy Parsons and Nicola Amos

Sarah Cox, Roxan Burley and Tara Fletcher

Dave Back and Paul Myers I EXETER LIVING I 71


OTTERLY MAD Otter Nurseries recently held its annual staff awards event and celebration ‘The Otters’, which this year had an Indian theme. More than 120 staff congregated in the garden centre’s restaurant in Ottery St Mary to enjoy a three-course dinner cooked by the management team and tongue-in-cheek awards handed out by ‘Elton John’. Photos by Sue Cade

Sonia Davidson and Claire Lynch

Kevin Clarke, Vicky Johns and Roger Clarke

Lucy Cave, Emily Peck and Melissa Tipping

Sarah Wright and Emma Snell

MEAT UP Dean Forge and Pipers Farm recently hosted an evening full of meat and fire in the rustic event space at Pipers Farm. Guests gathered around the fire pit to watch Pipers Farm owner, Peter Grieg, cook chicken wings, pancetta, beef and a tray of root vegetables over the hot coals, then, after dinner, heard about the new Dartmoor Baker – a woodburner with an oven – from Simon Chew of Dean Forge.

Simon Chew, Peter Greig, Michael Chew and Pat Ranger Barbecue brilliance

Stephanie Darkes, Tara Smith, Harry Wild and Nick Hook


George Hancock

Henry Rising

John Crowley

Michael Balch

Your Local Investment Team in Exeter Do you feel that: ✔ Once personal advice has somehow become impersonal? ✔ Your investments are not performing as they should be? ✔ Your investment manager is too busy for you these days?

If so, Hawksmoor can help by offering you:

• Personally designed and managed investment portfolios crafted to suit your individual needs and preferences. As they change, so should your portfolio. • A highly qualified, approachable team of investment managers. • An award winning service.

For further details please contact Jill Gill on Tel: 01392 410180. The Senate, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter EX1 1UG. Email: | Web: | a @hawksmoorim Hawksmoor Investment Management Limited is authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market and currency fluctuations. You may not get back the amount you originally invested. Registered Address: 2nd Floor Stratus House, Emperor Way, Exeter Business Park, Exeter EX1 3QS. Company Number 6307442.



Connor Myers and Mitch Tonks




PLAIN SAILING Rockfish sponsors young Tokyo 2020 Olympics hopeful Connor Myers


hen it comes to sponsorship, Devon businesses and ambitious sailors have long been natural bedfellows. Now chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks, whose Rockfish opened in Exmouth last year, has provided a boat and sponsorship funding for aspiring young sailor Connor Myers from Brixham Sailing club. This isn’t the first time Tonks and Rockfish have supported successful young sailors financially – Henry Bomby undertook a solo sail around Britain with their help in 2009, as well as his Solitaire de Figaro offshore challenges, and now competes at the highest level of world offshore racing. Rockfish also supported Julia Barnes and Lauren Paton from Royal Torbay Yacht Club, who won the Feva world championships in Santander last year, and have confirmed their support of the two girls for 2017. It was with this knowledge that Connor, who regularly sails in the laser class, approached his new sponsor when the boat he was using – originally salvaged from someone’s garden where it had been

rotting away – developed holes and leaks. Shortly after Rockfish agreed to support Connor and buy him a boat, the John Merricks Sailing Trust also pledged funding for one-to-one training. Mitch says: “Connor’s story and his commitment and drive were compelling – I just thought, ‘This is where dreams start, let’s just do it.’ “As a business located by the water and having already worked with local sailing clubs, this seemed like an ideal opportunity to try and help Connor pursue his dreams in a really practical way. Anyone wanting to be inspired should follow his story; he is just 15 years old but has all it takes to get to the top. “It’s a real pleasure for us to help him and his family and we’re going to be with him every step of the way. I would love to think of the whole Bay behind him on his journey from Brixham to Tokyo, and I’m planning to be there to watch him win.” Connor now aims to compete for Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. For more:

Whose tickets are selling like hot cakes? Find out on page 77. . .



Charities that have benefited from fundraising by The Exeter Foundation Find out more on page 77 I EXETER LIVING I 75


TRIPLE WHAMMY Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing or important local business stories right now


Tom Murphy and Shaun Rudden of Aptus Recruitment

A new survey has revealed that employees with digital skills are in high demand across South West companies. The report, from Exeter-based Aptus Recruitment, uses data collated from businesses in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall, and shows a shortage of suitable candidates for roles such as back-end developers, graphic designers and social media executives. It also found that there are good opportunities to progress within companies, and that entry-level staff can typically expect to earn around £18,000, rising to £30,000 for mid-level management, on average. Says Tom Murphy, MD at Aptus: “Lifestyle continues to be a major factor for people choosing to live and work here, but we think there’s so much more to the area than that. The survey strongly suggests that there are good opportunities and people with the right skills are in demand. “We hope to encourage more

Cathy White, Malcolm and Marilyn White and Jacqui Taylor


candidates to further their career in the South West, rather than automatically heading to a larger city.” Adds Chris Shadrick of local creative agency AB and co-founder of Digital Exeter: “Good people are snapped up quickly, but also there are regularly digital and creative jobs being advertised for months on end. “We need to show confidence that you can develop a thriving career in the South West and make as much noise as possible about the great things we do.” The survey can be downloaded for free from the Aptus website. For more:

One of the region’s oldest and most popular garden centres has rebranded to reflect its changing offer. Otter Nurseries will now be called Otter Garden Centres after working with Exeter marketing experts Wall to Wall Sunshine to achieve a new brand that better reflects the company’s wider lifestyle retail offer. A new logo sees the otter that’s been associated with the company since it was founded in 1964 remain central, as a stylised profile within a bright green leaf. In addition, a new strapline: ‘Your garden, your home’ is intended to establish Otter not only as a garden centre, but a retailer selling superior brands such as Joules, Animal, Rieker, Kettler and Regency. Otter remains very much a family affair with three generations involved in the day-to-day running of the business. The company now employs well over 500 people at five sites across the South West. The rebrand is due to start at Otter’s Wincanton garden centre before being rolled out to the other four branches in Ottery St Mary, Plymouth, Torbay and Lymington. For more:

MOVERS, SHAKERS, ETC Mark Hunt has left the Met Office for Exeter software company Oneserve where he will serve as chief technology officer... Claire Bryson (née Bryden) joins Spacex as a member of the Board and will advise on digital marketing and audience development. . . Software Solved have hired John Donoghue as business development manager… Agata Domarecka (pictured) joins the Rusty Pig in Ottery St Mary as restaurant manager. . . 76 I EXETER LIVING I


Nothing beats being there!

By the time you read this, our stellar panel of judges will have chosen the winners of the Exeter Living Awards 2017. And the tickets for Awards night are now in very short supply. This year, the decisions were tougher than ever, with more companies nominating, more finalists shortlisted and a greater awareness of the benefits of winning an Exeter Living Award. The scene is now set for the big night itself on 6 April at the Great Hall, University of Exeter. This year also saw our first Finalists’ and Sponsors’ Reception at Exeter Castle. Many tickets have been snapped up already, with sales tracking ahead of this time last year. Says event manager Steph Dodd: “It looks set for another sell-out. The demand was so strong last time that we had to operate a waiting list and just

couldn’t include all who wished to be there. While we have some increased capacity, we cannot guarantee to be able to get everyone in.” Sponsors so far are Wilkinson Grant, Princesshay, Otter Brewery, Lexus Exeter, Energy Hair, Cathedral Appointments and Dana Mulligan Consulting. Latest Silver-Level Associates include Exeter Golf & Country Club, and JHP Recruitment, who join Glen King, Mercure, Aquamarine Media and Exeter Street Food. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact joss.phillips@ Or to be involved on the night, it’s stephanie.dodd@ Full details are on the site:, with updates on Twitter: @ExeterLivingAwd



Jack Maunder about to put in to the scrum

EXETER CHIEFS NEWS Chris Bentley brings you the latest from inside Sandy Park At time of writing, there are only six Aviva Premiership games left to play and the Exeter Chiefs are gearing up for an assault of the summit from second place. In their previous three games, Rob Baxter’s charges have scored three try bonuses that started in the nailbiting 35-35 draw with league leaders Wasps at a packed Sandy Park. This was followed up with a come-from-behind win at Sixways to vanquish a valiant Worcester 32-48, and rounded off with a 36-14 scoreline sending a resurgent Newcastle back up the M5 with their tails between their legs! After last season’s second place finish, and agonising loss in the Premiership final, whispers are already starting that the Chiefs may just be able to go one better!

Astley, David Bird, Keiron Northcott, Alan Quantick and celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE, they have helped to oversee the fundraising exploits of countless people locally. With over 75 charities benefitting over its short life to date, it is amazing to see the Chiefs charity has now raised over £1million, an achievement acknowledged at the Newcastle game.

• Six years ago the Exeter Foundation was put together. As a charity, its focus was for the greater good of Exeter and the surrounding area. Headed up by chairman Tony Rowe OBE and fellow trustees Marc

• And finally, with the season still in full flow, it’s great to report nine contract extensions from the current group. In the front row, Ben Moon (three years), Carl Rimmer (two) and Shaun Malton (one) have all signed on

the dotted line, and they have been followed by back five forwards Julian Salvi (one), Kai Horstmann (one) and Olly Atkins (two). In the backline, the trend has continued with the re-signing of talismanic Phil Dollman (two), Michele Campagnaro (one) and Olly Woodburn (two). To see such strong retention augurs well for the years to come.... Next up for the Chiefs at Sandy Park: 25 March – Sale Sharks 9 April – Bristol For more: I EXETER LIVING I 77



VICTORIA MATTHEWS Senior lawyer at Cartridges Law What was your first ever paid job? Sales assistant at a shoe shop. The role involved serving customers with sometimes questionablesmelling feet! It was a great learning experience for customer service and meeting customer needs. My boss was very welcoming and created a good working environment. How did you find your way to Cartridges, and what is your role there? I moved to Exeter in 2007 with my husband who was relocated with his work. Prior to moving, I contacted Cartridges who offered me a position within the litigation department. I am currently in the process of diversifying from a general litigation and personal injury position to a more commercial-focused role.

Victoria: loves a chat but is never, ever late!

Who have been your biggest influences and role models throughout your career? My father, who was a Lieutenant Commander MBE in the Royal Navy, taught me valuable lessons in dealing with people and circumstances that might arise within a working and social environment.

And its weaknesses? Its infrastructure – for a city of its size, it is not sufficient. Exeter becomes very congested, especially during school holidays, and it can often take me 30 minutes to drive across the city.

What’s the best bit of career advice you’ve ever been given? To listen to all advice offered to you and always try to see things from different perspectives. What do you enjoy most about your work? I work within a very close and supportive firm that allows me to thrive. I enjoy working for my clients and I will always endeavour to facilitate the best outcome for them. What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? I had the lead role within a very challenging case, which tested all my limits and legal knowledge to ensure a very successful outcome for my client. It involved a two-day trial and subsequent application that involved Human Rights breaches. What are some of the oddest matters you’ve ever had to resolve at work? I recently settled a claim that involved my client being bitten inside her mouth by a spider whilst eating a grape. Prior to the incident, my client did not have fear of spiders, however she developed one. Within the case, I ensured that cognitive behavioural therapy was offered for her to overcome this fear. I am pleased to say that my client made a full recovery from the bite! 78 I EXETER LIVING I

What are Exeter’s strengths as a place to work? Exeter offers a blend of traditional and contemporary working and living environments. It provides my family with everything needed to have a great worklife balance. We enjoy the benefits of city centre living but we’re within easy reach of some of the most scenic parts of the country, which are there to freely enjoy.


What are your favourite stress-busting strategies? Talking – I love to talk! If that fails, then I enjoy running and playing netball. What’s the one item in your workplace you can’t live without (not including computer or phone)? I’m a very organised person and I couldn’t live without my desk drawers. At the end of the day, my desk needs to be clear, with everything in the right place. What’s the best bit of advice you’d give a young person wondering what to do with their life? Have a go at all that is on offer to you; don’t shy away from any job or role which is available. It is not until you have tried a variety of jobs and roles that you will know in which direction you would like to go, and even then, it’s never too late to change course. What’s your motto? Don’t be late. Five minutes early is on time. You can tell that my dad was in the military! For more:

advertising f eat u re H O M E S

Photography - © Matt Heritage Interior Photography


The award-winning, Exeter-based creatives introduce their stunning recent project, a ‘Coastal’-themed holiday home in Shaldon


e are a multi-award winning team of interior designers, 3D visualisers, procurement management and installation team who can take any project of any scale from early concept stage, through to on-site management and installation. We pride ourselves on supporting our clients throughout the whole design process, guiding them every step of the way to completion. What was your involvement in the Ness Dene House project? We were approached by our lovely clients to transform the very tired house they had just bought into a desirable holiday home destination situated in Shaldon.

The whole property required re-configuring; including knocking down walls, creating an extension to the kitchen diner and relocating the staircase to maximise the space; catering for larger parties to stay. We took the project from early concept space planning and 3D visualisations through to on-site installation and procurement; where we purchased everything within the property on our client’s behalf. Working alongside Alliance Build Company – – the property is finished to a high standard that has totally transformed it into a beautiful holiday home.

well, we are super proud! There are so many elements we like from the décor – the wave-like bathroom tiles, to the beachy-themed accessories – but for us, the best part of the scheme is the spacious kitchen diner. It’s an ideal space for socialising in a large group, with lovely views through the huge doors and out across the garden with the sea in the background… Perfect!

What was the design brief? The design brief was to create something that related to its unique Devon surroundings; the house boasts stunning views across the Teign Estuary and out to sea… so ‘Coastal’ it was! With this, we created a light, fresh interior with a subtle palate with more contrasting, ‘punchy’ accent colours through accessories and soft furnishings. What influenced the design decisions on this scheme? A dude called Alan… He’s awesome! What is your favourite element on the scheme? We really loved working on this project! This house is somewhere that all of us would be happy to live in and it all came together so

Ness Dene House is available to rent through Discovery Holiday Homes | 01803 213814 | I EXETER LIVING I 83



KITTY KANE enjoys the understated charms of a Regency country house in Poltimore







s Regency villas go, The Old Rectory – which was built in 1835 and is Grade II-listed – is agreeably lowkey. Beautiful proportions, pitched slate roof, white painted stucco façade, multi-paned sash windows, flat frontage – all of these features of the era are present and correct, but there’s no showy excess of neoclassical fluted columns or decorative stonework. The current owners have taken a similarly sensible approach in their modernisation and upkeep of the property, their home for 12 years. Original features such as window shutters and cornicing have been preserved, along with the general feel of elegance and good taste, while the spaces have been carefully modified for family life in the 21st century. Approach via the grand, tree-lined driveway and gravel drive, step inside the high-ceilinged entrance hall, with its wooden floor and a sweeping staircase, and the sense of space and calm is impressive. From here, you’ll find a light-filled, dual aspect drawing room complete with wood-burning stove; a big dining room with a fireplace; a cosy family room, also with a wood-burner; a gleaming, farmhouse kitchen/breakfast room with what might be the biggest Aga we’ve ever seen (and an electric companion); plus a garden room, study, boot room and utility room. A door under the stairs leads to a cobbled wine cellar, so you’ll never have to do a wine run to the corner shop. 86 I EXETER LIVING I

Clockwise from top left: Enjoy the views from your garden room; generous bedrooms; that elegant hallway; the stylish studio Opposite from top: the gardens have plenty of mature trees; your kitchen





three-bedroom annexe

£1.5M price



3.8 acres

Upstairs, you’ll find the five bedrooms – the master and two others have en-suites – and a family bathroom. And there’s more. The West Wing, to be precise – no, the vendors aren’t leaving you a DVD box set, but a whopping, self-contained three-bedroom annexe with living room, kitchen/ breakfast room, family room, three bathrooms, store rooms, and a gym (this can also be accessed from the garden). Once used as a bed-andbreakfast, it could again provide additional income if you don’t need it for family members. You’re surrounded by your own, heavenly 3.8 acres that include a charming courtyard and huge sun terrace bordering the property; large, level lawns dotted with mature trees and a patch of woodland; and a walled border providing privacy. A slew of outbuildings will also help you keep a busy family life in order: a double and a single garage, a bin store housing the oil tanks, a lean-to garden store and The Coach House, a further double garage with a studio above that’s currently used as a playroom and entertaining space but would make a fantastic office/ studio space, for yourself or a tenant. All this and Poltimore too, a small but lively hamlet, full of traditional thatch and Devon red-stone, a church, village hall and farm shop, and just five miles from Exeter city centre. And that’s The Old Rectory: textbook English elegance that doesn’t need to shout. Strutt & Parker, 24 Southernhay West, Exeter EX1 1PR 01392 215631; I EXETER LIVING I 87

“Compared to this time last year Knight Frank Exeter have seen a 46% increase of new buyer enquiries for properties in EX1, EX2, EX3 and EX4. If you’re considering selling in or around Exeter don’t hesitate to contact us. We have a number of buyers ready and waiting.”

Edward Khodabandehloo Head of City Sales 01392 976178


St Leonards, Exeter






Topsham, Exeter





Our understanding of the everchanging market enables us to price your property accurately. Call us now for a free market appraisal 19 Southernhay East Exeter, Devon EX1 1QD 01392 976178  @KFExeter

Bartholomew Terrace, Exeter

Streatham Rise, Exeter

St Leonards, Exeter

Pennsylvania, Exeter







Pennsylvania, Exeter




Streatham Rise, Exeter





St Leonards, Exeter

Pennsylvania, Exeter

COWLEY OIRO £499,950


This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a wonderful and superbly presented five bedroom family home in a popular residential area on the outskirts of Exeter within close proximity to the university and easy access to the city centre. Situated on a large plot with lovely gardens and open country views. EPC=D REF:DWE05627

We are delighted to offer this beautifully presented Grade II Listed first floor apartment with high ceilings and period features throughout. The property has three double bedrooms, a large living room, kitchen breakfast room and family bathroom with a private lawned rear garden. The property benefits from a garage and off street parking. REF:DWE05630



An impressive ground floor apartment in a fine Grade II Listed building enjoying a most accessible location overlooking parkland like grounds. Own entrance, spacious sitting room, fitted kitchen, bedroom with en suite bathroom, separate WC, allocated parking, gas central heating. REF:DWE05492

A truly delightful individual detached house with annexe potential, enjoying a fabulous quiet yet accessible location and breathtaking far reaching southerly views. Includes a sun room entrance, entrance hall, sitting room, wonderful kitchen/dining room, utility room, ground floor shower room and bedroom 4, 3 first floor bedrooms, bathroom, garage and gardens. EPC=D REF:DWE05502

01392 259395 Sales / Lettings / Block Management / Chartered Surveying / Auctions

20 Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3SN

Residential Sales, Lettings & Property Management

Half Moon Village - £315,000 4 Bed – 2 Bath A charming 18th Century character cottage retaining a wealth of original features and having undergone considerable improvement by the current owners. The property has a large two storey extension to the rear which complements the original house and now offers spacious accommodation throughout. The accommodation comprises a good size living room with impressive fireplace, separate dining room, modern fitted kitchen, ground floor shower/utility room, four bedrooms, first floor bathroom, gas central heating and double glazing. The property takes in superb views to the rear over the surrounding countryside. Outside is a delightful enclosed rear garden and immediately to the side is a private driveway providing off road parking in front of the detached single garage. Early internal viewing is highly recommended.

For more information please call: 01392 215283 or visit

Rockbeare - £520,000 5 Bed – 3 Bath A superb opportunity to purchase the last remaining detached five bedroom house on this small gated development of just six executive properties. Built by a local builders Milton Property Developments who have a wealth of experience in the construction of new homes, the houses have been built sympathetically in relation to the local surrounding area. This last remaining house boasts an impressive 35’9” (10.91m) wide open plan Kitchen/Dining/Family Room with direct access out to the rear garden. The accommodation comprises entrance hall, living room with bay window, ground floor cloakroom, five good sized bedrooms to the first floor, two ensuite shower rooms, family bathroom, double glazing, central heating and a centralised hoover system to the ground and first floor. Outside the property has a delightful enclosed rear garden, laid mostly to lawn with paved patio providing a pleasant seating area. To the front a driveway provides additional off road parking in front of the integral double garage.

Visit: 23 Southernhay West, Exeter EX1 1PR or email:

20 % OF F


estate agents ★★★★★

RUNNING OUT OF TIME FOR CLEANING? WE CAN HELP! • General House Cleaning • Office Cleaning • End of tenancy • One off Cleans • Ironing

Stand Out Service If that was not enough we can also help you with: External Works and Repairs, Painting and Decorating, General Gardening, Ground Maintenance... And so much more!

Please contact us on: 01392 256766 or 07723093133 Email: or

Sales, Letting & Property Management 01392 493113.




or almost 19 years, Ali O’Field has tended to the animal residents – that’s everything from goats and guinea pigs to monkeys and meerkats – of Crealy Adventure Park & Resort. Far from being your usual nine-to-five, hers is a long, hard working day with frequent unsocial hours – in fact, Ali has only spent one Christmas Day at home in all her time at Crealy. Fortunately, this rabbit, right, loosened its grip long enough for Ali to address our questions… Where do you call home and what makes it special? I was born and bred in Exeter and have always lived in or around the outskirts of it. I guess I am a bit of a ‘home bird’ and will never move away. If you had to take one animal species home for the weekend, which would it be and why? I think I would like to take one of the marmoset monkeys home, as it would be fun. They are quite intelligent and, maybe, by the end of the weekend, I could have taught him to do the housework for me! What are your favourite animals, and why? Cats, of which I have five, with three being rescues/strays, badgers and foxes. The reason I love cats is their attitude; it is just all about them, what they want and when they want it. In fact, I think I have met some people like that in my life! I love the British wildlife, especially badgers and foxes, as I find them fascinating and so secretive. I have been lucky enough to watch a family of badger cubs grow up and have to say it was the best summer of my life. What piece of music would you put on at the end of a trying day? Definitely Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters – at full volume! What’s your karaoke song of choice? Back in the day, it was either Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi or December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) by The Four Seasons. When did you last cry? I cry all the time. I cry when I am happy or sad, I cry watching TV programmes. The Supervet gets me every time – it’s a miracle if I get 10 minutes into it without crying. I cry when I’m on Facebook, I cry when I’m at the vets and other people’s animals are ill. In fact, you name it and I will cry!


ALI O’FIELD Meet Crealy’s cake-and-Metallica-loving deputy animal manager What issue, more than any other, makes you want to get up on a soapbox? Animal cruelty of any sort – it’s the one thing that really gets me going, as I can’t believe how humans can be so cruel to another living being. I will never understand a person that actually seems to get enjoyment out of watching animals suffer. What’s your most treasured possession? My dad’s sledge. It only has sentimental value, but after my dad died and we were clearing his house out it was the one thing I chose to keep. Nothing else could remind me more of him, as he used to get so excited when it snowed so he could go sledging – he was still doing this well into his 70s! If you had a time machine, which era would you return to and why? I probably wouldn’t go back far. I am a sucker for ’80s music, so maybe returning to this era would be good. I was fairly young when I lived through it so I would like to do it again slightly older. Not sure I’d want to relive the haircuts, though.

Who was your last text from and what was it about? My manager, Kate. She had left a wonderful chocolate cake at work for me as a belated birthday gift; she said she hoped I would like it and that she had checked it was vegetarian. My reply was simply: “If it’s chocolate, then I will love it”! If you had a superpower, what would it be? To be able to fly. Flying would give me more time at home instead of sitting in traffic jams – it would free up so much wasted time. We’d better let you get on… What are you doing right after this? Well, it’s almost time to feed the goats, so I’m going to prepare for that now.

52 Southside St, The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LB | 01752 228 451 |

Exeter Living - Issue 207  
Exeter Living - Issue 207