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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Homes ISSUE 220 / DECEMBER 2017 / £3











’Sup, Exeter?


A BIT OF A MOUTHFUL Drink* your way round Exeter’s most salubrious bars this Christmas (*responsibly)

It’s officially let-your-hair-down time! Christmas trees are twinkling in the city’s windows, the office parties are in full swing and on these pages, you’ll find the coolest (and sometimes craziest) bars in and around Exeter to toast the end of one year and the start of a shiny new one. These watering holes don’t just offer a warm and welcoming space to down a margarita or a merlot (or a nice, non-booze alternative), they all have a very special USP. Can’t get out of the house? Easy: turn this very magazine into a drinking game, just by taking a swig every time you see the words ‘Christmas’, ‘festive’, ‘holidays’ or ‘Yuletide’. All of us at Exeter Living wish you the merriest Christmas imaginable – we’ll see you on the other side! Anna Britten, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @ExeterLiving

Bang & Olufsen of Exeter 30/31 Gandy Street | EX4 3LS 01392 424600 |



UPFRONT 9 Spotlight

Looking back at 2017 in Exeter

15 Tess Read

Family Christmas traditions – why it’s never too late for a new one

17 Jonathan Taylor Jonathan has a slight meltdown over the school nativity play

19 My Desk Nicholas Carn of the Mercure Southgate Hotel

23 Arts intro Peter Randall-Page’s ginormous stone sculptures Make the most of the Christmas break with our essential guide

Exeter Living, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash

28 Just The Ticket What’s happening in theatre, music, art and comedy in early 2018? Funny you should ask...

© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.


FOOD 48 Restaurant Tess Read lunches at The Five Bells Inn

51 Recipes Get your pinnies on – Exeter Cookery School present the ultimate comfort food feast

Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Editor’s photo Matt Round Contributors Tess Read, Jonathan Taylor, Julian Owen, Roxanne Duris Advertising manager Joss Phillips Account manager Paula Miller Senior sales executive Craig Wallberg

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

24 What’s On

Part two – come straight here for all those last minute pressies

Editor Anna Britten

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


33 Christmas Gift Guide


BUSINESS 67 Business Insider

News from Exeter Science Park, Hawksmoor, Scanstrut, Exeter Living Awards and more!

70 Meet The Winners

The Filo Project and Viva Hair reflect on their triumphs at this year’s Exeter Living Awards

PROPERT Y 75 Property intro

A Regency country house in Broadclyst

76 Property Showcase A house called Humblebee

REGUL ARS 61 Seen!

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:

Glitz and glamour at Exeter Northcott’s 50th anniversary gala; plus Princesshay’s big switch-on

90 Exeter Lives

It’s Exeter’s panto dame, Steve Bennett

On the cover Matt Austin took these incredible images for Doctor Ink’s Curiosities on Exeter Quay www.

CHRISTMAS begins with otter

For the most stylish Christmas decorations and extensive range of decorative festive lighting, you will need to look no further than Otter Garden Centres. Each year, we take great delight in welcoming you to our centres to unveil the very latest in Christmas colour themes that will bring a touch of festive glamour to your homes.

Let our displays inspire you, and our gift ideas fill you with glee. We are open until 9pm every Wednesday at our Ottery St Mary and Plymouth garden centres from 15th November to 20th December, giving you a little extra time to browse and indulge in the Christmas experience.

Gosford Road, Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1LZ.




Looking back on a year of innovation and celebration in Exeter Customary though it is, at the tail end of a year, to ‘wonder where the time went’, we know exactly where it went in Exeter. It went into achievements, projects and enterprises that made the city an even better place to be than it was 12 months ago. See, the best cities are not the biggest, the most beautiful, or the most famous – they’re the ones containing people that have the vision and the sheer bloody mindedness to make things happen. In Exeter in 2017 – for example – it was the efforts of about 85 people up at Sandy Park (around 60 players plus a further 25 staff ) that propelled Exeter Chiefs to the very pinnacle of English rugby in June. Legions more local people, from top floor strategists to Saturday boys and girls, drove Princesshay towards its tenth anniversary, keeping consumer cash in the city, supporting the local creative and charitable communities,

and looking pretty swish in the process. In another significant anniversary, the tireless Exeter Northcott Theatre team marked the venue’s 50 anniversary, and, among other great things, signed up one of the most talked-about emerging actors of the year (Tom Strike Burke) for a homegrown production next year (see page 28). Hunched over laptops, yet more people who care about Exeter set it abuzz by organising two major new events: the multivenue, multi-strand, technology-inspired festival that was Lost Weekend in October, closely followed by the mammoth WOW (Women of the World) Festival and its roster of smart thinkers. Meanwhile, up at The Lemmy someone booked Idris Elba! Those ingenious folks at the Bike Shed Theatre transformed Exeter Quay this summer with ambitious pop-up The Boat Shed, bringing live performance and killer

cocktails to the waterside as part of an inspired longer term project. Exeter’s food and drink professionals have been slaving round the clock to open a slew of next-level new places to eat and drink, ranging from small, intimate ventures like The Flat and The Canopy to large-scale luxury hangouts Lympstone Manor and Paschoe House. And an army of entrepreneurs took a leap of faith in opening independent shops and myriad other businesses, bringing fresh tech, fashion, food, interiors and way more to the city’s discerning customers. Finally, loads of people moved to Exeter from elsewhere in 2017. More people who’ll make even more good stuff happen in 2018. Welcome to them. Congratulations, everybody. We can’t wait to write about what you do next. For more: I EXETER LIVING I 9


THE CITY THAT NEVER SLOUCHES “Bridges are for wimps”

Exeter is the most physically active city in the South West – fact. Aptly, it’s positively sprinted to secure this accolade. Exeter City Council had aimed to achieve it by the end of 2018, but a 2017 report has already put the city at the top of the list a whole year ahead of schedule. Sport England’s Active People survey and Active Lives survey showed 44% of adults in Exeter take part in sport for 30 minutes at least once per week, and 28.3% for 30 minutes three times per week; the highest attained percentages across the South West. In the UK, Exeter is currently third behind Oxford and Cambridge with the highest percentage of adults (aged 16+) participating in sport and physical activity for 150 minutes or more per week.

What’s more, Exeter now plans to become the most active city in the whole of the UK by 2020. Says Exeter City Council’s Philip Bialyk: “We’re committed to sustaining participation amongst people who are already active, as well as encouraging groups where activity is generally lower to find a sport or exercise activity that suits them. “We have a host of outstanding facilities in the city, leading sports teams and schools committed to offering regular sports sessions, so there is no reason why we can’t top the table for the UK.” Now then, citizens: if that’s not motivation enough to get off the sofa and work up a sweat in the New Year, we don’t know what is. For more:

SEVEN DEADLY SINS In our regular mini Q&A with visiting and local performers, actor BEN KERNOW bares his wicked soul LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today? Right now I could really do with some pad Thai noodles. GREED: What should you really be cutting down on? Nothing! Life is too short to cut back on what you like. GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? Choco Leibniz. SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now? Learning lines. WRATH: What/who makes you angry? Products which are excessively wrapped. Save the planet! Also, Trump makes me fairly angry. ENVY: Who are you jealous of? The financially secure... God knows why! I wouldn’t want an office job anyway.


PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement? Getting through this list of questions. Quirk Theatre Company’s children’s show Lucy and the Lost Ones is at Exeter Phoenix until 28 December;

Local folk share their photos This issue: Andrzej Pawelczyk

RAMM’s modern extension is even more striking in black and white

Cathedral Green in moody monochrome

Morning in the harbour, seen in shades of grey

Through a glass darkly. A veiled view of the High Street

Gull power down at the riverside













CUSTOM MADE When it comes to Christmas traditions, Tess reckons it’s never to late to start a new one



hat does the perfect Christmas tree look like? Silly question. Every Christmas tree is perfect. Whether it has ancient baubles handed down through the generations gracing its branches, or children’s badly drawn angels and snowpeople, or deliciously shiny new specimens, it is a truism that, like the perfect garden, nothing beats your own. Is it also the case with the celebrations of Christmas itself? What family traditions do you have for Christmas? Is your Christmas Day the same every year because you/your children/ partner/parents insist ‘But we can’t change the time of lunch/dinner/ present opening – it’s our tradition’? When I was growing up, we had very strict rules which we enforced on our parents as to the exact time presents could be

opened. The order, as well – strict rotation, with children’s best presents at the end. And everyone had to show full concentration when anyone else was opening a present. The present was then noted down in a book with sender and recipient also noted so that a thank-you card could be sent. It was only when I began to spend Christmasses with boyfriends ( just one at a time, I hasten to add) I discovered that this really wasn’t normal at all. But were boyfriends’ Christmas traditions – everyone fighting over a mass of paper in the middle of the room and some people not even present for the present-opening, having a lie-in instead, which I hope you agree is deeply shocking – normal, either? Who is to say what is right and wrong when it comes to Christmas? Whatever your family traditions of Christmas, they can’t be as nuts as that of one of the writers of Seinfeld, the American TV series of the 1990s, who wrote a script around his own family Christmas traditions, celebrating non-commercial Christmas spirit. He called it ‘Festivus – the festival for the rest of us’. The home Tess and family, was decorated with an entirely unadorned aluminium pole, Christmas 1993 there were feats of strength, ordinary events were declared to be ‘Festivus miracles’, and the crowning glory: instead of a present-opening ceremony, there was The Airing of Grievances. Now that could really shake things up in my house – I’m in favour! But not finding anyone else who wants to join me in the true spirit of Festivus, my family has some traditions. The full concentration on opening each present has survived, although Him Outdoors can’t bear it and so absents himself in the kitchen with a hot oven, a large bird, and a substantial quantity of beer. The tree is a mix of ancient, handed-down baubles and one new decoration per child per Christmas – that’s the idea anyway, but sometimes shiny delights from Hyde & Seek or Toot Garook are just too appealing... And in the true spirit of innovation we have invented some new traditions of our own. So we have the Bottle of Vintage Champagne on Christmas Day tradition, and the Time to Crack Open the Baileys I Bought In Duty Free tradition and, best of all, the Let’s Go Out and Sample the Best Cocktails Exeter Has To Offer In A Pre-Christmas Frenzy at The Oddfellows, and at Crockett’s Bar and at Doctor Ink’s And... tradition. Definitely my new favourite. 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




MAN ON A MISSION A hunt for nativity costumes sends Jonathan to some dark places…


n occasions, husbands set out to prove their wives wrong – yet find out, as husbands often do, that the wife is quite right. While the children’s mother and I never quite managed to tie the knot, it is a salutary lesson I’d do well to grasp. She arrives with Holly, Huck, a bag of handover items and a few instructions. I take a moment to be thankful for recently discouraging the children’s desire for a pet. On that day, Mum telephoned me from a pet shop and asked if a guinea pig could accompany each handover. I heard the beseeching cries of Holly and Huck in the background, to which mum then said: “Children, would you like a guinea pig?” I briefly lost vision as my eyes rolled to the top of my head in despair. I waited for a pause in their deafening excitement, the children’s utter delight (and now, expectation) unequivocal as they suggested names for their favourite. “I think that’s a tentative ‘yes’ from the children,” I offered. “But I don’t think it’s a very…” I got no further. Mum waxed pithy about the positive influence pets have upon children and that it was almost heretical for me to

suggest otherwise. “A guinea pig is for life, not just for Christmas,” I explained, before adding, “What’s more, the happiness the children have from buying a pet is unlikely to last as long as the pet itself.” I felt I had counselled wisely. “Daddy says no.” But, I digress. Today’s handover completes with a reminder from Mum to buy outfits for the children’s school nativity play and that the children are with her this Christmas Day. A wave of sadness catches me briefly off-guard. I force a smile and nod. “Go to Primark,” she casually suggests. “The nativity information is in Holly’s book-bag.” I wince, for my one and only Primark experience didn’t end well and I vowed ‘never again’. The general layout is confusing; things are in a weird order; it is so busy you feel you’re in everyone’s way and those same people deliver a withering stare that says ‘you are doing everything wrong’. “Don’t be a snob.” “Hey, I’m man-of-the-people enough to go to Primark!” I exclaim. The nativity list, concertina-ed in the bottom of the book-bag, outlines the clothing suggestions for an innkeeper and a star. How hard can this be? It’s not as though I need to find a festive octopus outfit, à la Love Actually. Holly, Huck and I start with a few favourite shops. By the time we get to John Lewis, I’m starting to lose the will, and sit down heavily, not quite knowing what lesson to draw from this. A text from Mum: ‘How are you getting on?’ I ignore it. A persistent text soon follows: ‘You didn’t go, did you?’ It’s getting easier to ignore the messages. It is less easy to ignore the impatient children. So we enter Primark. Immediately, I feel as if I’m shopping upstream against the natural run of things… so it comes as a shock to find that everything we need is here. A swift text to Mum: ‘Sorted’. The exhilaration of accomplishing something outside my comfort-zone dwarfs the comically large shopping bag I now carry. We meet Mum, who looks at the bag, then at me, her face full with the satisfaction of a woman who knows the answer (which is, in fact, the same look I get when she’s withholding an answer). She raises her eyebrow. “In retrospect,” I concede, “Yes. We should’ve gone to Primark first, but hindsight is 20/20.” Jonathan Taylor is a single dad-of-two based in St Leonards, Exeter. For more, Facebook: @aol3t I EXETER LIVING I 17


Extensions - Refurbishments - New Builds FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION

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My cockpit: all the info I need, from emergency guidelines to first aiders

MY DESK My stress relief. I use it against the wall for a bad shoulder

Tom Cruise stayed in one of my old hotels in Peterborough when he was filming Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – he took a whole floor, and sent the rest of the cast and crew elsewhere. This is how the local paper reported it

We Are All Heartists pamphlet – this is a customer service initiative. It’s about putting your own personality in and not being robotic

Sparkling water. I have been making a concerted effort to take care of myself

My three children are soon-to-be-15, soonto-be 13 and soonto-be 10

The chair is new; it cost a fortune but it’s worth it as I have poor back muscle issues

All the financial business I have to check and approve


Hotels are in Nicholas Carn’s bones. Starting off as a luggage porter aged 17 in his native Herts, he has served as general manager of the Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel city centre since June. As we scrutinise his desk deep behind the hotel’s glamorous reception area, we badger him for celebrity anecdotes: in one of Nicholas’s old hotels, he says, Liam Gallagher once booked a room purely to be able to buy a drink at the residents’ bar! And Jimmy Carr is a regular here at the Southgate. “I am a bit obsessivecompulsive, yes,” says Nicholas when we point out how spick and span everything is. We also notice two “emergency ties” hanging on the back of his door for when the occasion requires. “You’re always on call,” he says. “You’re never off.” I EXETER LIVING I 19

3 Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ | Tel: 01392 252876 |

Come to us this festive season...

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter





If you go walking in the grounds of the National Trust’s Castle Drogo on Dartmoor this winter, don’t stub your toe on these three spectacular sculptures by Peter Randall-Page, a Dartmoor-based artist and Royal Academician of international repute. Hewn from Kilkenny limestone – a fossil-packed sedimentary stone formed over millions of years in coastal areas – they represent Randall-Page’s main artistic obsession: the mathematic principles inherent in nature, from the wrinkles of the brain to the structure of pine cones. See if you can work out which of these sculptures is Fructus (Latin for fruit), Corpus (body) and Phyllotaxus (the arrangement of leaves on a stem). See them until August 2018– by which time Peter’s chosen removal firm might have got their breath back... I EXETER LIVING I 23

8 December – 8 January

Rhian Lois joins the BSO for a New Year gala; Belshazzar’s Feast are at Exeter Phoenix on 19 Dec; Yes, it’s Roland ‘Fine Young Cannibals’ Gift!


ANITA CORBIN: VISIBLE GIRLS REVISITED Superb study of female subcultures, in which photographs of 56 young women of the 1980s, captured at pivotal ‘coming of age’ moments, sit next to portraits of them as they are today. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

Celebrity-studded works from the well-known printmaker who also founded the famous Coriander Studio in 1972. Brook Gallery, 30 Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton;

works by the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and prominent British Pop Art artist Brian Rice, who has two pieces on show here for the first time. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;


MAKE 2017 Annual Christmas selling exhibition where you can buy the work of over 50 designermakers. Devon Guild, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey;


PRESENT MAKERS 2017 Selling exhibition of contemporary craft from the South West. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street, Honiton;





WONDERWORKS Contemporary craft fair showcasing of the work of 30 top makers. Jubilee Hall, Chagford;



NAOMI HART: SOME FAR-OFF MAGIC LAND Works inspired by the local artist’s travels. RAMM Café, Queen Street, Exeter; www. MODERN Collection of 20th century


DARTMOOR: A WILD AND WONDROUS REGION Artists’ portrayals of Dartmoor, including works by JMW Turner and Samuel Palmer. Look out too for new works by Exeter’s Double Elephant Print Workshop. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; www.

Theatre, Comedy & Dance UNTIL 28 DECEMBER

LUCY AND THE LOST ONES If you enjoyed last Christmas’s Ernie and the Sea of Ice here, don’t miss this equally magical show from locals Quirk Theatre, who promise “a hilarious, touching and thought-provoking rollercoaster ride through the space-time continuum.” See also page 10. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; UNTIL 6 JANUARY

JOURNEY TO THE IMPOSSIBLE Following a series of Christmas show hits at the small subterranean venue, including Beneath the Blizzard and Eloise and the Curse of the Golden Whisk, this takes inspiration from the novels of Jules Verne and ’80s

W H AT ’ S O N


sci-fi films. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter; UNTIL 7 JANUARY

DICK WHITTINGTON The Northcott makes a spectacular return to producing its own pantomimes with a timeless yarn packed with audience participation, live music and magic. Steve Bennett is back as the Dame (see page 90). Northcott Theatre, Stocker Rd, Exeter; 9 DECEMBER-1 JANUARY

CINDERELLA The team behind last year’s Beauty & The Beast return with a classic, big-budget professional panto packed with West End talent. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; 10 DECEMBER

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Lincoln’s Chapterhouse Theatre Company return with the Dickens classic. Exmouth Pavilion, Esplanade, Exmouth; www.ledleisure. 13-14 DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS PAST & PRESENT Family festive treat, with songs around the tree and a present from Father Christmas for every child. Other dates across Devon, too (see website). Crediton Library, Belle Parade, Crediton (13 Dec); Honiton Library, 50 New St, Honiton; 14-24 DECEMBER

HUMBUG! Charlie Coldfield is Scrooge, in Wandering Tiger’s reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story, with live music, video projections and “plenty of surprises” in the historic venue. St Nicholas Priory, The Mint, off Fore Street, Exeter;

Music & Opera 9 & 14 DECEMBER


Moorland Scene by Frederick Widgery is part of Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region, which opens at RAMM on 22 December

Exeter Cathedral Choir are joined by Timothy Parsons and Ed Jones on organ, and conductor Timothy Noon. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter;


THE BLOCKHEADS Ian Dury’s old muckers are back with a 40th anniversary tour. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


EXETER PHILHARMONIC CHOIR Carols in the Cathedral with Exeter Brass and Devon County Junior Choir joining the Exeter Phil Choir and conductor Howard Ionascu. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter;


HEIR Leeds five-piece as heard on BBC Introducing and across the festival circuit. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


EXETER CHAMBER CHOIR & ORCHESTRA Bach’s Magnificat and other seasonal classics. Mulled wine and mince pies in the interval. Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter;


MARDI GRAS NEW YEAR’S EVE Live music from Camo Clave, The New Orleans Jazz Trio and DJs at this carnival-themed NYE bash. Boat Shed, the Quay, Exeter;


BOYZLIFE Brian McFadden (Westlife) and Keith Duffy (Boyzone) team up to tour the hits of their former band, and much more. See also page 12. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 14 DECEMBER

EXETER CABARET SHOW International cabaret acts. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

ROLAND GIFT The Fine Young Cannibals frontman returns with self-titled new solo album. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


PARTY IN THE COSMOS Intergalactic NYE fun with live bands, DJs, photobooth, Ziggy Stardust tribute and more! Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST Humour and festive folky fare from Paul Sartin of Bellowhead, and accordion-player Paul Hutchinson. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: NEW YEAR JOHANN STRAUSS GALA Celebrate like the Viennese with this traditional New Year w I EXETER LIVING I 25


W H AT ’ S O N

concert, featuring favourite Strauss waltzes and Puccini arias sung by Rhian Lois. The Great Hall, University of Exeter, Streatham Drive, Exeter;

Other Events UNTIL 17 DECEMBER

EXETER CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS MARKET Now managed by Exeter Cathedral, the new-look annual event features even more local traders and food and drink producers. An essential part of your festivities. Cathedral Green, Exeter;

colour-changing illuminations. Trail greatly extended for this year; hot drinks and snacks available. Every Thurs, Fri and Sat, 4-8.30pm. RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington; 8-9 DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING Make your own wreath for the front door. Also, mince pies, festive drinks and carols. Seaton Wetlands, Colyford Road, EX12 2SP (8 Dec); Younghayes Community Centre, Cranbrook, Exeter (9 Dec); 9 DECEMBER


CHRISTMAS AT KILLERTON: THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS Wander through rooms that have been transformed into scenes from Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale. Timed ticket entry to be booked in advance. NT Killerton, Killerton House, Exeter; www. UNTIL 6 JANUARY

RHS GARDEN ROSEMOOR WINTER ILLUMINATIONS See the stunning gardens lit up for Christmas by hi-tech,

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS WREATHES Two-hour workshop with expert Sarah Pepper; make a modern wreath for your door using willow and dogwood. NT Killerton, Killerton House, Exeter; www. 12 DECEMBER

CHAGFORD CHRISTMAS LATE NIGHT SHOPPING Festive food, Santa’s grotto, fashion, arts and crafts, Christmas market in Jubilee Hall and live entertainment,

Who believes in unicorns?


EMILY MACAULEY shares the latest from Exeter Library I always thought my most amusing animal anecdote from working in a library would be when I was called on the radio by a bemused member of staff who simply reported, “Erm, Emily… there’s a chicken walking through the foyer”. But I was wrong. Exeter Library is currently the temporary home for Theatre Alibi’s beautiful unicorn, originally built for their production of I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo. OK, so it isn’t a real live unicorn. But it is as big as one! Sitting in the children’s library it is a lovely spot where children, with their adults, can explore the wondrous world opened up to them by books – just as it was in Morpurgo’s story. This joy of stories will also be evident at our story time on Friday 15 December at 2pm when local children’s author Loreley Amiti will be with us reading her book The Solstice Fairy. Loreley has shared her stories a couple of times recently and draws quite a crowd. The staff at Exeter Library and Libraries Unlimited wish all our users, and users-to-be many seasons greetings. As the festive period draws nearer, don’t forget we are open until 7pm on Tuesday and Thursday offering a tranquil alternative to late night shopping. For more:


from 5-8pm. Chagford town centre;

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Our popular Exeter Living Friday afternoon email newsletter picks out the best events and outings for the coming weekend – from theatre to gigs to family fun days and more – along with a property pick of the week, moneysaving offers, and the week’s most amusing, locally-sourced tweets. (Don’t worry, we don’t share your data with third parties – ever.) Like the sound of it? Then sign up now at www. and you’ll hear from us soon.

THE DECIDEDLY DIFFERENT WINTER WEDDING SHOW Meet over 60 inspiring wedding specialists from bridal designers, exquisite food creatives. Exeter Castle, Castle St, Exeter; 14 DECEMBER

COLETON FISHACRE AND THE D’OYLY CARTE FAMILY A talk on how the light opera dynasty, inextricably linked with Gilbert & Sullivan, made their fortune, and built their seaside home at Kingswear. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; 18 DECEMBER

REINDEER TRAIL Follow the clues around the Wetlands to help Father C track 26 I EXETER LIVING I

down his missing reindeer. Plus Christmas crafts and hot drinks. No booking required, suggested donation £3 per person. Reed Base at Seaton Wetlands; 18-19 DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS MINI FILM SCHOOL Festive-themed two-day filmmaking workshop event featuring ghostly projections, ectoplasmic explosions and all manner of lo-fi special effects. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 6 JANUARY

WASSAILING WALK Bring a noisy instrument with you to help scare away the evil spirits from the nearby orchard and ensure a good harvest for the following year. Younghayes Community Centre, Cranbrook;


JUST the TICKET ROXANNE DURIS rounds up red letter days for your 2018 cultural calendar – from thrilling theatre to vintage pop and other treats to lift your soul

Let yourself be swept away by The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk 28 I EXETER LIVING I



s your wall calendar/Filofax/iCal looking rather blank for 2018? Here’s a banquet of delights for you to start writing/ typing in. Bear in mind, these are just the ones that have been announced as we go to press. For all the brilliant stuff yet to come, you’ll just have to read Exeter Living’s What’s On section religiously, won’t you?


Here’s one for the romantics, art lovers and historians. Russian-French artist Marc Chagall’s paintings of himself and wife Bella flying through the air are the inspiration behind the delightful The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, from esteemed Cornish theatre company Kneehigh. Written by Daniel Jamieson and directed by Emma Rice, the show follows the couple’s lives against a backdrop of the Russian Revolution and other 20th century events, and alights at the Northcott from 10-14 April as part of a UK and US tour. “This is a show that feels deeply personal and deeply felt...,” said one critic when it premiered last year. “A paean to the idea that even when you find your soulmate you are seeing the same things through different eyes.” Two great shows for kids are on their way, too: local troupe Theatre Alibi’s The Boy Who Climbed Into The Moon, 14-17 February (half term). An adaptation of the picture book by award-winning writer David Almond, it’s a gorgeous piece, featuring original live music and puppetry. w Above: Are you ready to be heartbroken? Lloyd Cole’s coming to town; right: The Rude Screen (crop) by George Shaw 2015-2016 Enamel on canvas, 178.5x198cm © Courtesy The Artist and Wilkinson Gallery London



ARTS PREVIEW David Walliams is now as famous a children’s author as he is comedian. After Gangsta Granny was turned into a smash hit stage show, now it’s the turn of Awful Auntie, reckoned by many to be his best novel yet, about a young orphan’s battle with her monstrous aunt. The world premiere tour stops off at the Northcott from 14-18 March. The Bike Shed boasts its usual panoply of theatrical treats, including Chloe Whipple’s Life On Water (22-23 January), in which the local performer obsesses about her year-long study of her own water consumption. We’ll also be keeping an eye out for Willy Hudson’s coming-of-age tale Bottom (25-26 Jan), “about bums, Beyoncé and burnt fishfingers” – or, more specifically, Willy’s attempts to find love in 2017. “I’m pitching it as a queer Chewing Gum or Fleabag,” he says.


With hits like Perfect Skin and Lost Weekend, Lloyd Cole was the poster boy for brainy, introverted 1980s indie. Fans will beat a path to Exeter Corn Exchange on 7 March, when he’ll deliver a retrospective of flawless hits from his 1983-1996 heyday. Also deep into middle age but back on the circuit is Jason Donovan, at the same venue on 16 May, with an autobiographical show in honour of the Neighbours star and singer’s looming 50th birthday. Expect hits like Too Many Broken Hearts and stories from his life. What else? Paul Young lays his hat at Exeter Phoenix on 1 Feb, and – representing the 21st century – alt country duo The Handsome Family check in on 7 March, followed by those masters of melodic intimacy, Turin Brakes, on 29 March.


The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s usual residency at the Great Hall in Exeter contains too many gems to whittle down, but we’ll stick our necks out and urge you to consider Heroes & Monsters on 15 Feb, and Elgar’s Cello Concerto on 21 February, with charismatic cellist Leonard Elschenbroich (aka Mr Nicola Benedetti). Meanwhile, at Exeter Cathedral, there’s Inherit The Truth on 1 February, an evening of words and music reflecting the events of the Holocaust, with world-renowned cellist Raphael Wallfisch Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter; Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter; Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; The Great Hall, University of Exeter, Streatham Drive, Exeter; RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; 30 I EXETER LIVING I

John Robins pauses to wet his whistle

and his mother, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, one of the few surviving members of the Women’s Orchestra in Auschwitz. And, on 10 March, Exeter Philharmonic Choir conducted by Howard Ionascu offer up a fantastic double bill of Mozart’s Requiem and Clarinet Concerto.


We’re looking forward to a new exhibition by one of the UK’s greatest contemporary painters, George Shaw, at RAMM from 27 January to 8 April. Robbed of the Turner Prize in 2011 (“an artist of real emotional depth who breaks out of contemporary art’s style games,” lamented The Guardian at the time), Shaw’s work concerns itself with woodland landscapes, religion and the clash of cultures and his acclaimed show, George Shaw: My Back To Nature – on tour from the National Gallery, where he’s been artist-in-residence – includes around 50 unmissable new works. Later, also at RAMM, and completely different in look and feel, there’s Pop Art in Print (12 May-26 August). Andy Warhol, Allen Jones, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Patrick Caulfield, Richard Hamilton, Gavin Turk and Julian Opie are among the over 30 big deal artists featured in an exhibition sent direct from London’s V&A.


If you crave an endorphin hit to push you through to spring (and who doesn’t?), you’re in luck – there’s a slew of big, and oughta-be-big comedy names heading Exeter’s way. Exeter Corn Exchange plays host to Milton Jones (7 February), Griff Rhys Jones (23 March) and Mark Steel (15 April). The LOLs will also be streaming from the Northcott as Stewart Lee (5-6 March), Count Arthur Strong (19 May) and David Baddiel (13 June) check in for duty. Two breakout stars take to the Bike Shed Theatre stage in spring: Sophie Willan on 25 February and Samantha Baines on 4 March. And Exeter Phoenix welcomes Andy Zaltzman on 18 Feb, Double Chortle Award winner John Robins on 6 Mar and Robin Ince on 18 April. Book now, and send the January blues packing.

MAJOR TOM Roll on autumn! Fresh from his role in BBC detective series Strike, Tom Burke has signed up to play the lead role in Exeter Northcott’s major new revival of Friedrich Schiller’s Don Carlos in October. The actor, who will also be familiar to audiences through his roles in BBC One’s The Three Musketeers and War and Peace, plays the idealistic Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa in the rarely staged tale of passion and politics in 16th century Spain. Co-produced with Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Rose Theatre Kingston, Don Carlos opens in Exeter on 16 Oct (with previews from 11 Oct) and runs at the venue until 20 October. Says the Northcott’s artistic and executive director Paul Jepson: “I first met Tom when I directed him at RADA, and it’s wonderful to reunite for our major new revival of Schiller’s masterpiece Don Carlos. It is an incredibly resonant play given the intolerance in the contemporary world.” Adds Tom himself: “Don Carlos is a play that speaks for today.”

Michele Just White Monari Passioni Olivier Phillips Orientique Capri Anna Montana stretch Lucia Le Comte Taifun Irelands Eye Shoes/boots: Riva Capollini Van Dal Haflinger

12 High Street, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6LQ Tel: 01395 443117. Open Mon to Sat, 10am - 4.30pm.


GIVE and TAKE Gasp! You’ve left your Christmas shopping till now? Chill. Here’s part two of Exeter Living’s 100% local, 100% indie Christmas gift guide

18ct gold O2 bubble necklace with champagne briolette drops, £855 Dear readers. If someone you love has left this magazine open at this page, they’re trying to tell you something... From Erin Cox Jewellery, 14 Castle St, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 33


Folk combination bomber jacket, £150 Cotton/linen throw-on from the cool, London-based label – will just get better with age (like all of us) From Always In Colour, 2a The Crescent, Queen Street, Exeter;

Otter Brewery gift set, about £9 (depending on stockist) Three bottles of quality local ale (or two and a glass) From Darts Farm, Topsham;; Greendale Farm Shop, Sidmouth Rd, Nr Farringdon, Exeter; www.; Christopher Piper Wines, 1 Silver St, Ottery Saint Mary;

Solar silhouette owl, £24.99 This will look an absolute hoot in your garden From Otter Garden Centre, Gosford Road, Ottery St Mary;

Blackcap sunglasses, £139 Bamboo, beech and sandalwood beauties created right here in Exeter. Every pair sold brings the gift of clean and safe light to a family in central Africa From Bird Sunglasses; 34 I EXETER LIVING I


Firestorm, by Lucy Hounsom (Pan), £7.99 Thrilling and beautifully written conclusion to the local fantasy author’s epic Worldmaker Trilogy – out 14 Dec From Crediton Community Bookshop, 100 High Street, Crediton;

Infinity scarf kit, £10 An excellent way to keep back-seatcooks out of the kitchen on Christmas morning From Bunyip Craft, 111 - 113 Fore St, Exeter;

Moshulu ‘Leigh’ slipper, £32 Comfy as hell, and doubly local, because Moshulu HQ is in Honiton – yay! From Bernaville Nurseries, 3 Horse Shoes, Exeter;

Exeter Quay mounted giclee print, 14x18 inches, £28.95 An homage to your favourite waterfront, by Seaton artist Bob Bradshaw From Art of the Jurassic Coast;

‘Wisley’ satchel, £120 Don’t let Cruella de Vil get her talons on this – handmade in Topsham out of Italian hair-on-hide and English bridle leather From Rare Pear, Topsham;

Tapas dishes, from £1.50 We’re thinking spicy turkey meatballs on Boxing Day… From The Spanish Shop, 44 Fore St, Heavitree, Exeter; Facebook:

Orla Kiely wooden desk pot set, £31.95 Warning: give somebody this and they might just disappear into their study for the rest of the day... From Leaf Street, 53 Magdalen Rd, Exeter;

Japanese bowl set (large), £26 For the Japanophile in your life – or anyone who appreciates fine ceramics From The Shop at RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 35


Nike Pocket Knife DM shoes, £99 Hard-to-find new Nike reboot of a ’90s design; as functional as they’re fashionable From Always In Colour, 2a The Crescent, Queen Street, Exeter;

Volcom men’s jeans, from £54.99 “I’ve never thrown a pair away in 20 years,” states Salt City proprietor Rich From Salt City, 134 Fore St, Exeter;

Soap, candle and facecloth gift set, £21.50 Clean up your act with something handcrafted, vegan, 100% natural, palm oil-free and made right here in Exeter From Soapdaze;

Magnetic dartboard, £10 Because you mustn’t play normal darts after too much advocaat and lemonade From St Bridget Nurseries, Old Rydon Lane, Exeter & Sidmouth Road, Clyst St. Mary, Exeter;

Rocked Up Mermaid necklace, £79 Yes, we love the name too. Crystal quartz pieces on a chunky chain, handcrafted by ace Devon designer Sadie Hawker From Shh By Sadie; 36 I EXETER LIVING I

18ct white gold, diamond and ruby dress ring, £6,450 Exclusively for people on Santa’s ‘nice’ list From Mortimers, 87 Queen St, Exeter;

Cresta Glass bone china ‘Doodle’ vessels, £65 Exeter artist Cresta Browning has something special to fill that space on your mantelpiece From Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell St, Honiton;

Yellow Owl Workshop gold-plated hypoallergenic earrings, £14.99 Witty little earrings presented in dinky glass vials – straight outta San Francisco From The Shop at RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

Choccie Bar Chocolatiers, 29 Gandy Street, Exeter EX4 3LS | Tel 01392 423003 |

Above the cobbles of Gandy Street, up the rickety stairs, the Choccie Bar minions have been creating all manner of delectable festive delights to see you through the festive season.

All made by our own fair hands, you can find Christmas pressies for everyone. Tins of outrageously scrummy Hot Chocolate in 10 scrummy flavours, Hanging Star Caramel Baubles a must for every tree, Winter Bon-bons, Chocolate Mince Pies, chocolate wines and festive liqueurs, our signature chocolate boxes and, introducing our new range of Chocolate Gourmet Pates.

And what do you get the person who has everything? Something to do!

e us at Come and se ral Exeter Cathed ket ar M as Christm From 9 -17th December

We have a whole range of chocolate experiences to choose from. The adults experiences include, Fun Chocolate Truffle Making sessions, Chocolate Masterclasses AND for the more experienced chocolate enthusiast, the New Chocolate Masterclass Plus.

White Inspired Home Products selected just for you.

Love Caroline Victoria x / 01805 625000

Premier Clock, Watch & Barometer Sales, Repairs, Restoration & Jewellery Repairs. We have a wide selection of Antique & Modern Clocks, Watches & Barometers for sale. Left: German, 'Winterhalder & Hoffmeier' Ting Tang quarter striking bracket clock. Of 8 day duration. Housed in a carved oak case, complete with a compatible carved wall bracket. Circa 1890/1900

Edwardian, French Timepiece. Of 8 day duration. Housed in a mahogany &Satin wood in-laid case. Circa 1900/1910.

Edwardian, French Timepiece. 'Duverdry & Bloquel' Of 8 day duration. Housed in Mother-of-Pearl inlaid mahogany case. Circa 1910.

27 Magdalen Road, St Leonards, Exeter, Devon EX2 4TA Tel: 01392 207707. Email:

the perfect gift for foodies this Christmas Exeter Cookery School gift vouchers are available for all our one and half day cookery courses at our beautiful converted warehouse venue on Exeter quayside.

gift vouchers

The lucky recipient can choose from a range of tempting courses: • • • • • •

A divine chocolate workshop Bread making Children's cookery Fish prep & cookery Shellfish & seafood courses Butchery & meat cookery classes

• • • • •

Authentic Indian cookery Cheesemaking French bistro mains cookery Vegetarian cooking Seasonal cookery classes and many more!

Purchase your gift vouchers online or call us on 07843 282371 for further information.

Exeter’s first craft beer bar

12 ever changing beers on tap and dozens of speciality bottled beers, plus a range of local ciders, wines and spirits

Visit us for weird, wild, and wonderful beers! Sour beers  Hard hitting IPAs packed with hops  Strong Imperial Stouts and Porters  and more 2 South St, Exeter EX1 1DZ 01392 757570  @BeerCellarExe

Exeter’s first gin bar Crocketts is an elegant bar situated in the bustling cultural quarter of the beautiful and historic city of Exeter. Two-floors styled as an elegant and comfortable manor house with a stunning handmade copper bar specializing in artisan gins from across the south west, the UK and the world. Indulge yourself in our expertly made cocktails made using the freshest ingredients & the finest spirits. From the saucy, sweetness of a Pornstar Martini to the fruity tang of a classic gin Bramble, we’ve got it covered! Why not drop in for Pre- Christmas Party Cocktails? Something for every one… We also serve spirits, Champagne, prosecco, premium lagers, ales, beers & ciders.

2 Upper Paul Street, Exeter, EX4 3NB | Phone: 01392 332222 | E-mail:



Let’s have a bar crawl, it’s Christmas! On the itinerary: some of the most exciting establishments and delicious drinks in Exeter By A N NA BR I T T E N






nce upon a time, when you wanted to go out for a Yuletide snifter, it was a toss up between the pub and the wine bar – or perhaps that secret, slightly scuzzy spot your cool friend knew about. But, lo! Check out Exeter at the back end of 2017! On almost every corner some intriguing den of iniquity beckons. Be in no doubt, these aren’t places they’ll pour you a nasty lager and go back to watching Sky Sports. Oh no, these joints make you feel like a million dollars before you’ve taken your first sip. Why not get your best bib and tucker on and find out for yourself? THE ONE WITH THE STORYLINES


The vibe: As close to an interactive theatrical experience as drinking out gets – this place in the Custom House has only been open 18 months, but its unflagging cocktail geekery has already bagged it an Exeter Living Award for Best Bar and, recently, a very serious industry gong for its themed drinks list. Decked out like an eccentric Victorian parlour, it’s got an in-depth fictional backstory (Doctor Ink, real name Daedalus, being the rogueish bastard son of Queen Victoria, obviously) and publishes lavish, hardback drinks journals every six months or so, showcasing concoctions inspired by true characters and events in history. They say: “A night out with Daedalus will offer curious drinks from all corners of the empire.” Mine’s a… Cat’s Whiskers, which is vanilla, vodka, milk bottle-infused vermouth, crème de cacao blanc and tonic bitters.


Patrick whips up another historic wonder at Doctor Ink’s I EXETER LIVING I 43


At The Oddfellows, everyone will wish they’d ordered an Emerald Flush like you…



The vibe: Exeter’s first dedicated gin bar enjoys a beauteous location on the corner of Gandy Street in a pretty, Grade II-listed building. Gins from across the South West (including local ones including Exeter Gin and Tarquins), the UK and the world can be sipped at the glamorous handmade copper bar downstairs or the elegant, quieter Library upstairs. It’s like the private bar of the stately pile of your dreams. Look out for new gin cocktails The Corgi and The Crocketts Spritz, freshly invented by resident mixologist Cane Valentine Barratt. They say: “Crocketts is more than just a gin bar; it is the new elegant manor house hang out, where you can either chill out out for the evening or just pop in for pre- and post-dinner drinks!” Mine’s a… classic gin Bramble, please.

The vibe: Exeter’s original cocktail bar (The Speakeasy, upstairs) and a great gastropub to boot (downstairs), The Oddfellows on New North Road is still hard to beat when it comes to quality libations in a fun-charged ambience. Rather cleverly, it manages to feel equally welcoming whether you are a stoked-up millennial on the lash or a middle-aged suit doing a spot of relaxed networking. Owners Faye and Yvan would rather lose a limb than serve you a bog-standard B-52 – they use local ingredients, freshly squeezed juices, and premium spirits (they have 26 regional gins, and counting). At time of going to print, the new 2017/18 list is imminent *rubs hands with glee*. They say: “The Speakeasy is the oldest cocktail bar in town and specialises in authentic classic and original drinks”. Mine’s an… Emerald Flush –Grey Goose pear vodka, St Germain and basil.








The vibe: Cosy, romantically lit, stone-walled nook in a Southernhay basement that’s aimed at the civilised oenophile. If the extensive and always interesting list of over 60 wines triggers procrastination, just order a large glass of whatever owner Jemma is enjoying at the time. Seriously, the woman knows her onions. That is, her grapes. Expect a grown-up but notremotely-stuffy ambience and do look out for live music on Friday nights (oh, and don’t forget it’s a blummin’ brilliant restaurant, too). They say: “We have yummy wines, a warm welcome, and a cosy atmosphere! It’s the perfect spot for whiling away the wintry evenings with friends, fuelled by a delicious spicy bottle of red, propping up the bar or tucked away in a cosy corner!” Mine’s a… bottle of the fab new wine of the month for December – a dangerously gluggable Italian primitivo from Oltre Passo winery in Salento.



The vibe: Just like in the Speakeasys of 1920s Prohibition America, entry to this swinging, smart-casual joint is with a secret password – this being 2017, it’s shared each week not by cigar-waggling gangsters in back alleys but on social media. Once whispered at the door, you can access a fabulously decadent cocktail bar disguised (in case the Feds arrive) as an old fashioned book shop. Recherché beverages and a tasty tapas menu, live music and close-up magic every Friday, and two-for-ones before 8pm (though not on Saturdays). Sounds like a bestseller to us. They say: “Thanks to the allure of secrecy, some jazzy live music and master mixologists bringing revellers the best cocktails around, we quickly became one of the most unique cocktail bars Exeter has ever been home to.” Mine’s a… Blood & Sand – single malt whisky, blood orange marmalade, fresh orange juice, vermouth and cherry liqueur, thought to have been named after a Rudolph Valentino film about a bullfighter.


“Shall we just get a bottle of each?”: a grape night out at Rendezvous Wine Bar I EXETER LIVING I 45



School of Bock: The Bike Shed’s Justine shows how it’s done




The vibe: Friendly, continental-style spot at the top of South Street, on the edge of Cathedral Green, that’s a magnet for all shades of beer fans from from the CAMRA tribe to the new-gen craft beer lovers. Take your pick from 12 everchanging beers on cask and keg sourced from across the country and further afield – try smaller measures like halves and thirds to truly appreciate the variety. Local ciders, spirits, and wines. Huge windows from which to peoplewatch and an off sales licence if you want to carry on the session in the comfort of your own home. Went viral (23.5k retweets) in May with their sign deterring anyone who might think it’s OK to hit on the female bartender. They say: “After four years I think we’ve really hit our stride,” says manager James Hornblower. Mine’s a… selection of the new wave of sour beers. 46 I EXETER LIVING I


You don’t have to be seeing a play to enjoy the Bike Shed Theatre’s atmospheric, underground hangout, winner of the inaugural Exeter Living Award for Best Watering Hole. One of its main draws is bar manager Justine Bock, recognised by industry types as one of the UK’s most exciting new cocktail-makers – her travels across the globe inspire the drinks on offer. Look out for the inventive new Light & Dark cocktail menu, in which “every cocktail will have two versions – a light and a dark – so whatever the mood, there will be an option. Think dark, wintry spices to curl up with on a sofa, or bright citrus to keep you feeling refreshed as you destroy the dance floor.” They say: “Our cellar bar isn’t your usual theatre bar. It’s wonderfully unique, a little bit wonky and profoundly endearing. We like to think we’re a pretty fun and relaxed place.” Mine’s a… rum and cola (dark) – as in, popcorn-infused rum, cherry, Heering, bitters, lime, cola.

Gastro Pub & Speakeasy Cocktail Bar LUNCH - DINNER - EPIC SUNDAY ROAST

The Bowling Green Exeter

A warm welcome from all the staff. The pub features: - Home cooked food along with a great selection of local ales. - Regular live music on Saturdays nights and Sunday afternoons. Other music nights happen with local musicians or university groups.

Proper cocktails upstairs - local ales - dogs and families encouraged - wine - huge Westcountry Gin list - fridayfizz - craft beer list - independent Gastro Pub Exeter living award finalist 2016/17 Taste of the West silver award. NEW YEARS EVE BOOKINGS NOW BEING TAKEN.

- A Sunday night quiz with Frank James. - Comfy seating areas. - A pool table & board games are available or just sit in front of the open log fire.

Should the sun be shining then sit in the large garden within the heart of the city! 29-30 Blackboy Road, Exeter, EX4 6ST Tel: 01392 678962

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




The Five Bells Inn TESS READ heads down country lanes to find a cosy welcome in Clyst Hydon


ountry pubs are famous for their picture postcard appeal, thatched roofs and pleasing gardens overlooking rolling fields and the rumps of cows that inhabit them. Stepping into the postcard, we expect dark wooden beams offset by white washed walls, cosy log fires and a friendly greeting. With The Five Bells Inn you get all this – plus a fresh modern feel, a commitment to local suppliers, the gold standard of allergy care, and exceptional food. It is only 10 miles from Exeter, down Devon’s winding green lanes, but it seems like a world away. We leave the city behind as we walk into a light airy space with clean lines and cloth napkins, and we know we are in for a good lunch. The chalkboard by the bar lists the week’s suppliers, detailing the provenance of all the meat, dairy, vegetables, and even the dry ingredients. My favourite is reading that the venison was shot on the Escot estate; the chalkboard even names the Bambi-killer in person. We sit at our table with a lovely view out to trees in superb autumn colour, enjoying the fresh baked sourdough and spiced soda bread with a bright yellow butter pat sitting on a small square of slate. Then, our friendly, unfussy waitress brings us the first major surprise of the meal. When eating out, I risk discomfort and, genuinely, death, because I am the allergy queen, being seriously allergic to eggs, nuts, mustard etcetera, etcetera. This means that I am always being told there are various items on the menu I can’t eat. But the Five Bells presents me with my own named menu so that I, too, have a full list of options to choose from – an entirely new experience for me. This is a service the head chef, Ian Webber, formerly of Gidleigh Park, is happy to do for customers if they let the restaurant know when they book of any dietary requirements.


And so I begin with the fat, juicy Fowey mussels (sourced that day; sometimes they come from the Exe or Dart), and the cider sauce is extremely flavourful, light and easy on the cream. I often choose mussels as a healthy dish, and then find that I have consumed half a litre of cream which makes it not quite so healthy. No such problem here. Him Outdoors has smoked, pickled red mullet with crab, fennel, apple and artichoke salad and brown crab emulsion from the specials menu. He is very happy with the generous amount of crab on the plate and goes on about the slightly sweet, appley pickle being a perfect match with the red mullet and crunchy apple discs. A lovely glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc for me and a half pint of Otter for him pave our way into the mains. I choose the pork cutlet and pork’s cheek, the chop perfectly grilled and the cheek slowly cooked to tender richness. With accompanying gloopy dollops of pureed butternut squash, rich dark gravy and delicate sprigs of greenery, I am surprised by the home comfort nature of the tastes. And the great attention to textures, with crackling that is almost fluffy. Him Outdoors has the dry aged Dartmoor lamb with shredded lamb on the side mixed with spelt grains, almost like a risotto. He waxes lyrical about the flavours and how well the sharp homepickled vegetables go with the tender lamb, and wonders if it is vulgar to comment that, as well as the food being all gastro and gorgeous, there is also a nice big lot of it. And then comes my killer dessert – caramelised cox’s apples with crunchy clusters of buttermilk, supremely crunchy home-made honeycomb, white chocolate ice cream, drops of sloe ice cream and an astonishing sorrel-flavoured ice cream. Mmmm. Chatting to the owner Gary about the history of the pub, I find that it was saved by local villagers in 2013 when it was threatened with closure, and I think that we can all be happy that it was. Maybe this is partly why there is one table with a sign over it saying it is a ‘Stammtisch’, a Bavarian word for a table reserved for regulars to meet and socialise, even at busy times. Now all we need is an excuse to make ourselves two of those regulars.

DINING DETAILS The Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon, Exeter, Devon EX15 2NT; 01884 277288; Opening hours Food served Tue-Sat 12noon-2pm & 6-9pm Prices A la carte: starters from £5, mains from £12.50, desserts from £5.50 – look out for early lunch and early dinner set menus (2 courses for £16, 3 courses for £21) Veggie/vegan choice Excellent – dedicated vegetarian menu Drinks Very well stocked bar, with local ales and carefully selected wines from Christopher Piper Service/ atmosphere Everything you want from a local gastropub I EXETER LIVING I 49

The freshest seafood in foodie Topsham In the little town with a big foodie reputation, The Galley is a fantastic find for the freshest fish and shellfish, crafted into beautiful dishes, and served with estuary views 01392 876078

You’ll receive a warm community welcome in this newly-built contemporary-style pub with traditional values, located in the heart of the picturesque village of Aylesbeare. Head Chef, David Brown celebrates seasonal and quality local produce, creating delicious, freshly cooked food and a special festive menu for Christmas / T: 01395 232277 / M: 07872 637 587


Dog friendly


Book now before it’s too late!

Church Rd, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5JT Telephone: 01395 222156



OH COMFORT ALL YE FAITHFUL Tired of turkey leftovers? We asked the amazing EXETER COOKERY SCHOOL for the perfect, stuff-yourself-silly, comfort food feast to serve family and friends over the holidays. Carbs, animal fats and sugar? Damn right. There’s even a sleeping bag involved (yes, really)… w Photo s by V E N E T I A NOR R I NGT ON

Here’s a clue as to what’s for pudding... I EXETER LIVING I 51



FRENCH ONION SOUP For the soup: 1kg medium onions 100g unsalted butter 1 glass dry white wine 1.5 litres beef (or chicken) stock 2-3 measures brandy or cognac 1 small French baguette Olive oil for drizzling on the croutons 1 whole clove of garlic, peeled 300g gruyère, coarsely grated For the beurre manié (this is to slightly thicken the soup): 25g unsalted butter and 25g plain flour worked into a soft paste Method: 1. Peel the onions. Top and tail them, then cut in half lengthways. Thinly cut across the grain into 5mm slices. 2. Gently melt the butter in a frying pan, then tip in the onions. Raise the


heat to medium and, tossing or stirring occasionally, fry until they begin to sizzle. At this point turn down the heat to medium/low and cook the onions, tossing or stirring occasionally, until soft and well browned. This can take an hour or two, so be patient – it is the most important stage in making a great onion soup! 3. Transfer the caramelised onions to a roomy saucepan. Deglaze the frying pan with a little water, scraping up the residue. Add to the saucepan. 4. Add the dry white wine, beef stock and brandy, then simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes to evaporate the raw alcohol and infuse the stock with a deep caramelised onion flavour. 5. Turn up the heat to a simmer, then add small lumps of the beurre manié, whisking into the soup until well incorporated. Simmer for ten minutes or so, whisking occasionally until slightly thickened.

(Serves 4-6)

6. Cut eight 1cm slices from the baguette and drizzle a little oil on both sides, rubbing it in with your fingers. Lightly toast on both sides. Rub the garlic clove on both sides. Double them up on a baking sheet with each pair of slices slightly overlapping. Sprinkle heavily with the grated gruyère and place under a hot grill until golden and bubbling. 7. Pour the soup into four French onion soup bowls (for that authentic touch), then place a pair of cheesy croutons on each. Allow five minutes resting, during which the soup will be at a good supping temperature and the baguette will have softened slightly. 8. Serve.

Roast Leg of Lamb (Serves 6-8) The secret of this dish lies in the brief and viciously hot cooking, and in the long, wellinsulated resting. This leaves the joint with a beautifully caramelised outer layer and a pink, meltingly tender inside. As with most meat cookery, it is important to allow the lamb to come to room temperature before cooking: keep the leg, closely wrapped in a clean tea towel, in a corner of the kitchen for four hours prior to cooking. Ingredients: 1 whole 1.8kg-2kg leg of lamb, at room temperature 2 cloves of garlic, peeled Rapeseed oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 250°C. Gather a few old but clean towels, blankets, bed-spreads or sleeping bags – in fact, anything that has good insulating properties. 2. Slice the garlic into thin slivers. Deeply stab the flesh of the lamb with a slim paring knife in about eight places on each side. Push the garlic deep into the cuts. 3. Generously smear the leg with the oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt and ground black pepper. 4. Position the leg in a deep roasting tray and place into the centre of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes until brown and sizzling (there may be some smoke, but be brave!). 5. Turn the lamb and give it just eight minutes more, then remove the tray from the oven onto a couple of towels covered with foil. Tightly cover the lamb with more foil, then pile a good layer of towels, sleeping bag etc, on top, making sure there are no gaps around the roasting tin, and leave for one and a half hours. This resting is essential as it allows the lamb to relax as it continues to gently cook. The meat will be pink, but not bloody. 6. Half an hour before the end of the resting time, make the gravy: pour the juices from the baking tray into a saucepan and carefully remove and discard any fat. Recover the lamb. Add a glass of good quality red wine and a dash of port or sweet sherry and boil to reduce by half. Thicken with a small knob of beurre manié. The gravy shouldn’t need any added salt as there will be enough from the lamb. 7. Strain through a fine sieve and serve over your thickly sliced lamb. 



TARTIFLETTE (Serves 8) This is a truly indulgent dish, which is best appreciated after a brisk winter morning walk. It is important to use a ripe reblochon, preferably bought a few days in advance and left to reach maturity out of the fridge. For this to happen, it should be unpasteurised. If you can’t get hold of reblochon, use a ripe camembert or brie. Ingredients: 3kg medium-sized semi-waxy potatoes, such as maris piper or desirée 4 thick rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons 2 large white onions, peeled and diced 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced 200g butter 500ml double cream salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 ripe reblochon cheeses Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2. Cut the potatoes into large even-sized chunks and place them in a large pan of cold well-salted water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently until cooked but firm. 3. Meanwhile, dry-fry the bacon in a heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat until toasted on the outside. Sweat the onion and garlic in 50g of the butter until translucent. 4. Drain the potatoes and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, slice into thick discs. 5. Choose an ovenproof dish and lavish it with 50g of butter. 6. Layer half the sliced potatoes across the base, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then scatter over the onion, garlic and bacon. Add the remaining potatoes and more seasoning. Dot with the remaining butter. Pour the cream over. 7. Cut the reblochons in half through the ‘equator’ and place, cut side down, on top. 8. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 for a further 20-25 minutes. The reblochon should melt within its skin and the fat drip down while the potatoes crisp. 9. All you need is a healthy appetite and green salad to go with it.


ENJOYING IT SO FAR? UPCOMING COURSES AT EXETER COOKERY SCHOOL 7 JANUARY One Day Bread Making Course Discover the joy of baking a delicious array of breads from scratch, from a classic wholemeal to a show-stopping couronne aux fine herbes. 21 JANUARY Cooking with Cider – Wassail Celebrate the ancient, cider-based custom of wassailing, with a course of techniques and recipes based on the county’s

customary tipple. This full-day course – held in collaboration with CiderSpace – includes a guide to making, selecting, enjoying and using cider. 28 JANUARY One Day Authentic Indian Cookery Course Learn all about cooking authentic Indian dishes from the Gujarat region of India with Nila Ross-Patel. This fascinating course covers cultural aspects of Indian cooking as well as the essentials of spicing.

3 FEBRUARY Dinner Party Desserts Wow your friends and loved ones at your next soirée. The dishes you’ll learn to make on this course can also be created in advance, allowing you to relax with your guests and whip out your show-stopping pud at the appropriate moment. Book now at:




BAKED SYRUP SPONGE PUDDING (Serves 8) Ingredients: 120g self-raising flour, sifted 1/2 tsp salt 120g softened butter 120g caster sugar 2 medium eggs 1 vanilla pod 6 tablespoons golden syrup Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C. 2. Grease and line (with greased baking parchment) a 2 litre roasting tray and pour the syrup into the bottom. Let it spread evenly over the base, coaxing it if necessary with some judicious tilting. 3. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. 4. Beat the flour, salt, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla seeds with an electric hand whisk in a large bowl until everything is well combined. Add a little milk if the mixture is too stiff – you want a ‘dropping consistency’, i.e. the mixture should fall easily from a spoon if given a tap on the side of the bowl. 5. Spoon onto the syrup in the tin, smoothing the top. 6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. To test for done-ness, insert a metal skewer into the centre of the pudding – if it comes out with a little wet mixture on it, give the pudding another 5-10 minutes and test again. The pudding is done when the skewer comes out clean (there will be a little grease evident, but there should be no pudding mix visible). 7. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes or so. 8. Turn out onto a serving plate and peel off the baking parchment. Portion and serve with some extra syrup and plenty of custard! For more:


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Were you there?


Jon Elstone with Alfie


’HAY, IT’S CHRISTMAS! Princesshay’s annual Christmas light switch-on, its 10th in the city, drew crowds from far and wide – among them Exeter Chiefs stars Jack Nowell and Olly Woodburn who were tasked with the big job of illuminating the city centre. Were you there, too? Photos by Nick Hook

Ann Hunter of InExeter and Exeter BID with Helen Scholes of Stagecoach, sponsors of the InExeter Christmas light switch on

Roland and Leanne Gulvin with Ettyenne and Alula

Cast members from Journey to the Impossible at The Bike Shed Theatre

Alice Meslin, Berrak Sanmartin and Bradley Goldsworthy with Elia, Lexie and Denis

Bob Crampton of ITV with Jack Nowell, Olly Woodburn and Big Chief of Exeter Chiefs

Exeter College Taiko drumming I EXETER LIVING I 61


Actor Ruby Bentall, who plays Verity Poldark, talks to the BBC after the show

STARRY, STARRY NIGHT Famous names of stage and screen, and a legion of local dignitaries and theatre lovers, turned out for the Exeter Northcott Theatre’s 50th anniversary gala – an evening of peerless performance and sparkling celebration. Roll on the next half-century! Photos by Mark Dawson

The audience gathers in the bar Dr Foster star Bertie Carvel talks to Northcott trustee Gillian Taylor

Patrick McCaig, Otter Brewery

Even the champagne flutes were on-message


Steve Hindley, chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise partnership, with actor Robert Lindsay


Sir Henry Studholme chats with guests

Geoff Pringle, chair of Hospiscare

AJ Langer, aka the Countess of Devon

Northcott artistic and executive director Paul Jepson Bargain Hunt auctioneer Tim Wonnacott talks to BBC presenter Johnny Rutherford Michele Leach, gala producer; Clarissa Brown, gala director, and chair of ENT Trustees, Lucy, Lady Studholme The audience mingled with actors on stage after the show I EXETER LIVING I 63

We are an independent, family run, small animal veterinary practice with four branches distributed across the city, including our state of the art, 24 hour,Veterinary Hospital in Heavitree.The surgeries are conveniently located in Heavitree, Alphington, St Thomas, and Whipton. All our surgeries are Royal College accredited and all except our Whipton practice are fully equipped for all routine medical and surgical procedures.

Facilities and Services Include: • Medicine and Surgery Certificate holders. • Diagnostic Imaging. • Laparoscopy Surgery. • On Site Specialists Include: Small Mammals and Exotics, Cardiologist, Ophthalmologist and Physiotherapist. • FREE Flea and Worming Checks and Weight Clinics. • Health Care Plan & Puppy Parties.

Please see our website for further details: Tel: 01392 250066 Email:

a d verti s ing f e at u re P E T S

Meet the Dog groomer Your four-legged friend needs a good pampering once in a while – these local experts are ready and waiting with the shampoo and clippers...

Gemma Moffatt

Karla Gregory

Have you got any top tips to help keep our dogs’ fur in good condition? Make sure you use the right combs & brushes for your dogs coat. A good undercoat rake & moulting comb are suitable for most dogs except those with very short coats. I carry a range for you to purchase. Feed your dog a good quality food, you may need to try a few to find the best one.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job? Developing life-long relationships with owners and their pets by providing them with a reliable, professional and personal service that meets their individual needs. I’ve always loved dogs (I have two myself) and it’s particularly rewarding to be recognised and greeted happily by previous ‘customers’ to my salon!

How long have you been a dog groomer? I joined Groomed to Pawfection six years ago and was a part-time/casual dog groomer before.

How long does it take to groom a dog? Only about an hour, depending on the breed

What other services can you offer? I specialise in evening appointments which are more convenient for working dog owners and means dogs aren’t caged all day until collection. I also offer ‘hand stripping’, a grooming technique which helps maintain a healthy, well-textured coat by using a natural pumice stone to remove dead hair without the use of clippers.

ian perrior

Dial A Dog Wash Devon 01837 880275/ 0751 327 1756; www.dialadogwashdevon

How do you deal with anxious dogs? As a mobile groomer I only have one dog in my van at a time so I can react to your pet’s needs. It is a calm environment without other dogs and people around. Are there any particular shampoos or conditioners you use? I only use high quality natural products. I have a range of Wild Wash shampoos for various coats and Secret Weapon conditioner, which is very expensive but gives a fantastic result.

Duffersons Dog Grooming Emporium; 07510 084835

What do your customers say about the salon? “Brilliant friendly service. Woody looked superb. Happy I’ve finally found a dog groomer who takes the time to discuss your requirements. Highly recommended.” Emma and Woody the cockerpoo.

Kelly gayler

KJG Dog Grooming Academy; 01626 854215

Groomed to Pawfection 01363 777113; www.

How do you deal with anxious dogs? I love working with anxious dogs and feel that this stems from my previous career working with people experiencing mental health difficulties. Many of the skills are transferable. My dog’s fur is extremely matted. What can you do? ­Once a coat is matted, the kindest thing to do is to shave it off as it causes sores, restriction in movement, and can harbour visitors such as fleas. We believe in humanity before vanity. Sadly, a shaved dog often upsets an owner but our priority is the dog’s welfare. What other services can you offer? We offer a collection and delivery service. We groom cats and other small animals and offer a range of quality food and treats, with coldpressed and raw being our main lines.

How long have you been a dog groomer? I trained to be a dog groomer in 2001 and have won many awards over the last 16 years. I started teaching four years ago after undergoing a teaching qualification. What is the most enjoyable part of your job? Whether it’s seeing a nervous dog blossom into a confident one, or seeing a hairy hound become beautiful and leave the salon with its tail held high, I love seeing the transformations. I also have a passion for teaching, so seeing my students grow into confident groomers is very rewarding. What are your top tips for keeping our dog’s fur in good condition? Brushing! It has many benefits to you both including, helping you to bond, improving the dog’s circulation, identifying any unusual lumps, skin issues or parasites and, of course, keeping the dog matt-free and comfortable. Is there a particular breed you prefer to groom? I love scissoring, so poodles and poodle crosses are lots of fun to groom! I EXETER LIVING I 65

Men and women’s clothing. Surfboards for beginners to expert.

TESS AND THE D’URBERVILLES A seasonal Christmas concert of festive and popular songs with Tess and the d’Urbervilles and the Big Noise Chorus.

Saturday 16th December 2017 - 7.30pm

at Southernhay URC Church, Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1QD Tickets £5-8 available from or from Southernhay Church. Also featuring on BBC Radio Devon on Saturday morning 16th December at 10:15 AM on the Kerry White show

Stockists of: • Billabong and X-Cel wetsuits • Volcom • Rhythm • Protest • Rip Curl


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Dr Sally Basker and Professor Sir William Wakeham of Exeter Science Park with Brian Rice of Kier and Steve Hellier at NPS



THIS IS OUR TURF Next phase of growth begins at Exeter Science Park


turf-cutting ceremony has marked the beginning of construction work on two new ‘grow-on’ buildings at Exeter Science Park. The two-storey buildings are the first new speculative offices to be built in Exeter since 2008, have been designed by local firm LHC Architecture + Urbanism, working for NPS South West Property Consultants, and are being built by Kier Construction. Together, the new buildings will provide 27,000 square feet of bespoke office and laboratory space designed to attract a number of specialist, fast-growth businesses to the region – thus enhancing Exeter’s economy and job market. So far, a range of pharmaceutical, automotive technology, agritech and fintech-related businesses have expressed an interest in making their home in them – and it is estimated that these could bring over 200 new jobs to the site. The buildings are the first phase of a wider strategy for Exeter Science Park, which sets out a target for over 3,000 people employed in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM)

businesses on the site by 2034. Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, says: “Our Science Park Centre was designed to nurture and support smaller businesses and is now 90% full. Many of our tenants have enjoyed rapid growth in recent years and the new grow-on space is the logical next step for these companies, as well as being the ideal location for businesses looking to relocate to the South West.” Basker and other key figures in the project held a turf-cutting ceremony on Thursday 16 November; and the project is due to be delivered in October 2018. Says Steve Hellier, associate director at NPS: “All aspects of the design and layout are completely adaptable so the building can be divided up in a variety of different configurations and can also accommodate specialist equipment and fit-outs. “We’re thrilled to be working on such an impressive project that will be an asset to Exeter and the wider region, and we are looking forward to seeing the progress on the site in the coming months.”

“I’M JUST SO GLAD I SPLASHED OUT ON A NEW DRESS” Who was ready for their close-up? See page 72...


FUM (Funds Under Management) at Exeter-born Hawksmoor Find out more on page 68 I EXETER LIVING I 67


FANTASTIC FOUR Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing or important local business stories right now

FUND-AMENTAL Founded nine years ago in Exeter, Hawksmoor Investment Management has seen its Funds Under Management (FUM) soar through the £1 billion barrier. Launched by CEO John Crowley in 2008, Hawksmoor specialises in discretionary management services for private clients including trusts, pension schemes and charities. The award-winning fund management team also manages multi-asset “Immensely proud”: John Crowley

funds-of-funds and a series of riskbased ‘model portfolios’ for financial advisers. Says John Crowley: “My colleagues and I are all immensely proud of what we have achieved in growing Hawksmoor’s FUM to this significant figure. We believe that by keeping our clients at the forefront of everything we do, we are able to provide them with a service that is tailored to their unique and specific requirements, and to deliver consistently good performance. “Remaining alert and responsive to our clients’ needs is key to our current and future success, so we continue to innovate with service offerings, such as our ethical and AIM portfolio services, which enable our clients to align their investment choices to their personal values without taking on unnecessary risk.” Since the opening of its first office in Exeter, Hawksmoor has grown to include offices in Bury St Edmunds, Dorchester, Taunton and, most recently, London. For more:

Water victory!


An Exeter-based manufacturer of sailing equipment has scooped a major international award for a device aimed at sailors with disabilities. Scanstrut, which is based at Darts Business Park, won the DAME Design Award – the world’s number one international design competition for new marine equipment and accessories – for its Venture Connect Conversion Kit. The kit, which secured a category award as well as the overall award, retrospectively adapts an RS Venture (a sailing dinghy designed for able-bodied sailors that is already in common use in many training and sailing centres) to be converted for most disabilities, including parasailing. Says Scanstrut MD Tom Reed: “This is a highly prestigious award and I’m delighted for our team, the team at RS and everyone involved that their hard work, creativity and problem-solving endeavours have been recognised. This award is for them. “Innovation is often challenging, frequently inefficient and seldom simple, so to receive such global recognition is just wonderful.” The jury praised Scanstrut for delivering a “welldesigned and fully integrated solution with attention to every detail that will allow a broader range of disabled people to get on the water and enjoy the same benefits as others.” For more:

TAKE ME TO THE RIVIERA Not content with creating awardwinning new homes in and around Exeter, local property developers Burrington Estates have branched out into the French Riviera and launched Burrington Estates International. The acquisition of a villa for redevelopment and rental in the South of France – Villa Le Grand Bleu, in the hills above Cannes on the Cote d’Azur – marks a new era for the company, which was founded less than five years ago by directors Mark Edworthy and Paul Scantlebury and is headquartered

in Dean Clarke House, itself an early Burrington Estates project. Refurbishment on the villa is due to begin in December. Says Mark Edworthy: “Paul Scantlebury and I met in the South of France ten years ago at a global property conference. Individually, we already had a number of successful property developments on the Cote d’Azur under our belts. “Since 2013, we’ve focused on developing together across the South West of England so we are excited to be involved in the French


property market once again. “Cannes is a vibrant business and leisure destination, offering an unrivalled position in the heart of the Riviera. We have identified a strong demand for high-end villas there, finished to modern contemporary design standards and ready to move into. There is clearly an opportunity for a sophisticated developer to establish a brand and reputation, hence the launch of Burrington Estates International.” For more:

Burrington’s new French connection


TICKETS ON SALE AS NOMS BUILD Tickets are now on sale for the prestigious Exeter Living Awards. And with record numbers last time, plus a big step-up from sponsors, 2018 is set to be a sell-out. Nominations have also started flowing in; the Awards are free to enter, for any company based in the Exeter area. Tickets are available via the Awards site on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. A quota will be held back for finalists, who will be revealed in February. “Given the demand, we can’t promise to include everyone who will want to go to the Awards,” said Steph Dodd, events manager at Exeter Living’s publisher MediaClash. “So, if you want to be there on the überglam night of 12 April, please do book your tickets.” For this year’s nominations, there is an additional question on what companies have done for Exeter in terms of charity and partnerships. “So many companies and their teams contribute to charities and are properly civic-minded. So we wanted to give them the opportunity to explain what they do and why,” Steph added. The best nominations go before a panel of independent judges, newly-chosen each year. The 2018 judges will be revealed in the next issue of Exeter Living. To stand the best chance of winning, companies are encouraged to read the ‘12 Top Tips’ on the site. And there will also be a free How to Win an Exeter Living Award seminar in January.

Noms open, tickets on sale, Awards momentum building…

Awards sponsorships are available, which feature an extensive marketing campaign and media coverage. Already benefitting from sponsorship are Wilkinson Grant & Co, Visit Exeter, Otter Brewery, Princesshay, The Terrace, Energy Hair, Cathedral Appointments, The Exeter Dental Centre, Harry’s Restaurant, and Dana Mulligan Consulting. To join the bill of our sponsors and to benefit from the Awards, please contact Joss Phillips: For more:; Twitter: @exeterlivingawd

Thomas Waldrom when he’s not talking about food

EXETER CHIEFS NEWS Christmas is coming and, for Exeter’s Sandy Park, another bumper festive period lies ahead both on and off the field. Having celebrated a record-breaking Christmas 12 months ago, the region’s premier banqueting and conference centre is well on course to serve up another cracking December with over 5,000 diners already booked in for the many lunch and party nights taking place. Offering a wealth of different options in the lead up to the big day, among those who will be tucking into head chef Sam Bilston’s mouth-watering menu will be the Exeter Foundation & Wooden Spoon, Lord’s Taverners and Flybe Christmas lunches. On the pitch, Exeter Chiefs will play host to sell-out crowds for their Aviva Premiership encounters against Bath (2 December) and Leicester Tigers (31 December), while the visit of three-time European champions


MARK STEVENS brings you the latest from inside Sandy Park

Leinster on 16 December is sure to provide an enthralling spectacle with qualification hopes on the cards for both sides. As for the New Year itself, celebrity chef, Michael Caines MBE, helps kick-off Sandy Park’s 2018 calendar in style when he is the star attraction at the latest networking event on Thursday 18 January. The two-time Michelin star chef will be giving an insight into his career, as well as talking in depth about the impressive Lympstone Manor. He will be joined by Exeter Chiefs and England rugby star Thomas Waldrom. A week later (25 January), six of the region’s top sporting stars will be going head-to-head

in the annual Question of Sport night. Chiefs duo Jonny Hill and Jack Maunder will be joined by Exeter City’s Lee Holmes, Somerset cricketer Dom Bess, National Hunt jockey Nick Scholfield and a surprise mystery guest. Both of these events can be booked right now, by visiting: Finally, the Exeter Chiefs Trading Post mobile shop will be located in the Guildhall Shopping Centre up until 23 December and will be stocking the full range of club merchandise for those looking to find some stocking fillers. For more: I EXETER LIVING I 69

BUSINESS INSIDER “Who, us?”: Liz Dennis (left) and Libby Price



THE FILO PROJECT Elizabeth Dennis explains The Filo Project’s innovative approach to dementia care, and how, in April, it beat back bigger names to scoop an Exeter Living Award How did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award? We felt that it was a positive validation of the model of care that we offer and the quality of service we provide. It was also affirming to have our profile raised in the process. Can you tell us in a nutshell what The Filo Project does? We are a not-for-profit organisation providing small group (typically four in number) day-care for people with early to moderate dementia. Clients are collected from their homes by a ‘host’ and are then taken back to the host’s own home where they spend the day (approximately six hours). A home cooked lunch is provided and, at the end of the day, clients are returned home again. We liken a day to ‘a day spent with friends’ and this is no platitude, but an accurate description of what the day becomes for our clients. The small group size supports a gentle and meaningful experience. There may be a crossword, often songs are sung, cards might be played, poetry recited, newspapers flicked through, banter exchanged, no group is the same; it all depends on who is any one group and what their capacities and preferences are. It is a bespoke service. I am always truly moved by the genuine affection and bonhomie existing between hosts and group members. I inevitably leave a group visit feeling joyful.

life for people with dementia. My field work was spent observing my now co-director, Libby Price, as she was, at that time, working with clients with dementia. During this time we became friends and it was apparent that we had a shared vision regarding how this population could and should be served. This ultimately was what drove us to set up The Filo Project. What does it take to become a host and how do people become one? Hosts come from all walks of life and previous care experience isn’t a prerequisite. Hosts do, however, need to be intelligent, genuinely caring, empathetic and have a good understanding of the challenges people with early to moderate dementia face. We are confident in the knowledge that to whomever a client goes, they will be respected, valued and treated as we would wish any member of our own family to be treated. We often advertise when we have a need for hosts in a particular area, but it is always worth getting in touch and expressing an interest as new opportunities are always arising.


Why do you think The Filo Project won? I like to think we won because the judges saw that our service is innovative and highly effective, because it works with the considerable capacities people with dementia have. How did The Filo Project come into existence? I was doing a PhD at Exeter University looking at music in everyday 70 I EXETER LIVING I

Which other local community health projects do you admire? Friendly Faces and West Bank. What plans do you have for 2018 – and beyond? To continue doing what we do and continue expanding within the county and beyond. What do you love most about being in Exeter? Apart from the strong community feel, The Exploding Bakery! For more:

BUSINESS INSIDER Emma-Jane Lineham (left) and Sharon Pope enjoy their victory



VIVA HAIR The fabulous Fore Street salon faced serious competition in its category at the Exeter Living Awards in April but secured the top prize thanks to its team spirit and unflagging drive to develop and grow. Here, owner EmmaJane Lineham reflects on an unforgettable night… So how did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award? It was an amazing feeling and such a shock – we were up against some other big businesses so it just proves that an independent small business can do it with hard work and determination. It has certainly put us on the map. I’m just so glad I splashed out on a new dress for the awards! Why do you think Viva Hair won? Mainly my fabulous team – we are more like a family, and work so well together, professional yet friendly. Keeping your staff happy is very important to me: ‘team work makes the dream work’. We do a lot of wedding hair and can take on big bridal parties sending out three or four stylists. Already this year, we have seen over 1,000 new customers coming through our doors so we are flying. We are also a member of the Good Salon Guide, meaning we are one of the only salons in Exeter awarded five stars. And, of course, Dana Mulligan PR & Marketing who helped me write my nomination for the awards. We also work very closely with TIGI.

We have now just entered Viva’s sixth year. I started off with three members of staff and now have 13. It’s taken a while but this is how I imagined it being, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given? Stick at what you’re good at and what you know.


How did you first get into hairdressing? When I left school it was either hairdressing or horse studies, but my mum suggested I do my hairdressing as a career so I can afford my second love, which is competing my horses up to international level. How did the salon come about? I’ve always wanted to open my own salon but knew I had to set myself apart from the rest and not just be ‘another salon’. We are different, as we are linked with a hair training academy that is based out of Viva Hair, so seeing the next generation of hairdressers fledge is great. Also, education is the key – we are always attending the advanced cutting and colouring courses in the London Academy as well as holding TIGI seminars in salon, so we are at the top of our game. 72 I EXETER LIVING I

Who is your all-time hairdressing hero? Anthony Mascolo, international creative director for TIGI. What advice would you give someone looking to go into this sector? You’ve definitely got to be creative and have a love for what you do. Hairdressing’s one of these jobs where you never stop learning and I believe that ongoing training is the key to success.

What are the most popular looks in women’s hair right now? We have just come back from our annual team training trip to London so have all the knowledge to create the latest looks for this season. We have the ‘Middie’, with a loose drop curl; contouring colour is still big; the Bardot fringe; the ’90s are making a comeback, so glow-in-the-dark colour – and autumn berry ombre! What do you love most about being in Exeter? I am a social butterfly so am loving all the new bars and eateries that are popping up in Exeter. Tell us your favourite bit of hair-related trivia … Did you know that the average person loses between 40-150 hairs per day (unless you are bald!)? For more:

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The white house: this exquisite six-bedroom semi in Broadclyst is on the market for £695k, through Wilkinson Grant & Co, The Old City Library, 1 Castle Street Exeter EX4 3PT 01392 427500; I EXETER LIVING I 75






HUMBLEBEE An immaculate modern house near Newton Abbot impresses JULIAN OWEN 77 II EXETER CLIFTONLIVING LIFE I I 113




o long, Frank Lloyd Wright,” sang Simon & Garfunkel of the man who pioneered ‘organic architecture’, where buildings don’t merely stand in a landscape but both draw from and enhance it. “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature,” he advised. “It will never fail you.” And while the great modernist may no longer be with us, his inspiration lives on. Take the arresting Humblebee (the old name for the bumblebee), for instance. See how the outside is welcomed indoors by way of the substantial veranda, replete with electric blinds, and makes its way deep into the bosom of the home via bi-fold doors extending almost the full length of the combined kitchen/sitting/dining room. Stand with your back to the ground floor master bedroom (augmented by twin dressing and shower rooms, separated by floor-to-ceiling shoji screens), head for the copious entrance hall, and you’ll swiftly realise that you don’t so much walk as flow through the house. Sweeping into vision comes an oak staircase rippling down from upstairs in a manner suggesting it has grown in situ rather than be carefully handcrafted. And again, the space is as daylit as it gets without exposure to the elements. Everyone loves floor-to-ceiling windows – and you’re certainly not lacking them elsewhere in the house – but this is something else: a towering trio of glazing fully two storeys high, running from ground to roofline. Climb the stairs and you’ll find a bathroom and three further bedrooms – one ensuite – and more invitations to enjoy the great outdoors: the bedrooms again blur the boundaries between natural and manmade by opening 78 I EXETER LIVING I

Clockwise from top left: the main living area; an alternative view of the front; the stunning oak staircase in the huge entrance hall; letting the outside in


3,700 square feet



£995K price


storey reception hall


zany name

out through bi-fold doors onto a pair of roof terraces, one at each end of the house to maximise your time in the sun. Lift your gaze beyond your own half-acre of land – including lawn, well-stocked flowerbeds and tropical courtyard – and you can take in far-reaching views towards Dartmoor National Park by day and blanket of stars by night. It all comes courtesy of Exmouth-based Paul Humphries Architects where, to no one’s surprise, we find the boss very much singing from the same drawing board as Mr Lloyd Wright. “Designing with nature is always best,” Paul recently told us. “Landscape first, then buildings second.” Thus, a home that starred in the final of the 2015 Best New Homes in the South West competition and was made flesh by a practice signed up to the Association for the Environment Conscious Building, employing environmentally-friendly materials wherever possible. The tranquillity is scarcely likely to be broken by anything beyond the end of the gravel drive, for the property sits in a gated development in the village of Highweek, itself standing on a ridge overlooking the market town of Newton Abbot. The lake and nature trails of Stover Country Park lie just a couple of miles away, with the bright lights of Exeter but a quick zip along the A38 dual carriageway. Nature one way, built environment the other. Perfect.

Savills, Sterling Court, 17 Dix’s Field Exeter EX1 1QA; 01392 455700; I EXETER LIVING I 79


EXCEPTIONAL PROPERTIES IN EXETER To find out how we can help you please contact us

Guide price: £950,000


A charming 4 bedroom Grade II* listed house in the heart of Topsham. Wonderful views over the Exe Estuary, riverside gardens and off street parking.

19 Southernhay East Exeter, Devon EX1 1QD

Sold 01392 976178

Guide price: £1,350,000  @KF_SouthWest


Situated in a prime position in the centre of the popular Exe Estuary town of Topsham. Gated property with fantastic views, very good living accommodation, 4 double bedrooms, parking, a double garage and garden.

For sale

Guide price: £1,350,000

St Leonards

Situated on a peaceful and sought after road in St Leonards with fantastic accommodation and a generous garden. Kitchen/ dining room/orangery, second reception room and study. Master suite, guest suite and 3 further bedrooms.



Guide price: £1,750,000


To find out how we can help you please contact us

A spacious waterside home with 6 double bedrooms (4316 Sq Ft) and located on one of Devon’s most sought after roads. Direct water access, wonderful views over the Exe Estuary, large rear gardens, riverside gardens, off-road parking and garaging.

19 Southernhay East Exeter, Devon EX1 1QD

Sold 01392 976178

Guide price: £750,000  @KF_SouthWest

Exeter City

An elegant 6 bedroom grade II listed family home within easy reach of the town centre. Charming original features and an enviable position overlooking Bury Meadow Park.

For sale

Guide price: £1,650,000

St Leonards

This Grade II listed significant Regency villa is set over 6000 square feet, provides beautiful accommodation arranged over four floors and has been modernised tastefully throughout. 6 bedrooms. 4 receptions. Excellent city location.




A fantastic example of a superior St Leonard’s residence. This stunning house offers light and spacious accommodation with quality fitted kitchen/breakfast room and utility room. Separate dining room and a wonderful conservatory. Triple aspect sitting room with direct access to the garden. Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, a family bathroom with separate WC plus additional bathroom and store room. The current owners have installed a staircase providing access to three attic rooms, ripe for conversion, subject to the usual consents. The southerly aspect gardens are beautifully maintained and offer a good degree of privacy. The property also benefits from off-road parking for several vehicles and an integral garage.

For further details telephone Giles Hann or Lisa Bainborough on 01392 427500 or email




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xeter born and bred, Steve Bennett trained at RADA and began his professional career at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter – he’s back there again this Christmas to reprise his regular role as the traditional panto dame. We rudely interrupted him while he was pulling on his bloomers to ask him a few questions… Whereabouts in Exeter do you live, and what makes it special? St Thomas. I was born and grew up there, leaving in the late 1970s to go to live in London and attend drama school (RADA). I love it here and it is fantastic to be back.

Tell us about Dick Whittington… Dick Whittington is one of the best three or four pantos, along with Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Mother Goose. I have co-written this year’s show (with Tony Lidington) and have played in it a few times now. I am always looking for new ways of approaching it, finding new elements, new ways of having fun with it. What’s Christmas Day like in your house? Chaos! I am very fortunate to be an old dad with young kids so Christmas is still exciting for me. It was always special as a child and now, with boys aged five and nine, it is a great atmosphere in our house. It is especially wonderful for me having been away from home for so many years. Do you dress up smart or slob around in your PJs? We dress up a bit actually. I wouldn’t go as far as a tie but I will put on a nice Christmas jumper. Looking smart on the day is a tradition that goes back to my childhood. What have you asked Father Christmas for this year? Magic books! I have got loads already and have absolutely loved magic for donkey’s years and am actually thinking about putting on a magic show. My thing is mentalism – mind-reading tricks. I do them with the kids. My son Harry, who is nine, is already a fantastic magician and has won a school talent contest.

STEVE BENNETT It wouldn’t be an Exeter Christmas without this panto legend How would your nearest and dearest describe you? Trying but loveable. The former would be my family’s opinion; the latter mine. When did you last cry? Watching Children in Need about a young girl who lost her life to cancer. There is something heartbreaking about children who don’t get a chance in life. Sorry, you did ask.

If you had a time machine, which era would you return to and why? I would go back to the 1970s when I was a kid. I had an idyllic childhood; we didn’t have to worry about computers, mobile phones and social media. Life was great then and you could go out and play all day without a care in the world.

What piece of music would you put on at the end of a trying day? Elvis; I have loved him forever. Probably something like You Were Always On My Mind.

Who’s your celebrity crush? Victoria Coren Mitchell.

What issue, more than any other, makes you want to get up on a soapbox? I get furious about social injustice in this country. It makes me angry the way the poor are treated. Who would play you in a film about your life? In my dreams it would be a leather-clad young Elvis, but in reality it would be someone short, fat and bald. 90 I EXETER LIVING I

What single thing would make Exeter better? As a local boy I think Exeter is absolutely fine just as it is.

Got any New Year’s Resolutions? Lose weight!

Dick Whittington is at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre until 7 January

Profile for MediaClash

Exeter Living – Issue 220  

Exeter Living – Issue 220