Page 1

Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Homes ISSUE 223/FEBRUARY 2018/£3


What’s her



Watch this



The Nightjar

big spenders Hey,






HOW TO SPEND IT From tailored suits to yachts to a vintage football table – splashing a million in Exeter Photo by Mike Alsford

Pretty pennies Disclaimer: the words on pages 31-36 of this magazine do not constitute serious financial advice. Sure, we thought about asking an expert what a sensible soul should actually do with a spare £1million (paying off mortgage, investing in the stock market etc) then thought: ‘Sod it, it’s early February, let’s daydream about luxury yachts and diamond collars instead’. Though if you do have the means to acquire them, we thoroughly recommend all the gorgeous (and locally available) items featured. Tell them Exeter Living sent you. We’ve also plenty of cheaper, and free, thrills to show you: from violet-hued treats to a fab new village pub, and art that reflects changing perceptions of women through the ages. And with this mag being gratis, too, you’re quids in. Anna Britten, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @ExeterLiving

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Editor Anna Britten

7 Spotlight The Bike Shed, Seven Deadly Sins and more

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

11 Julie Reid

Our new columnist handles halfterm one-upmanship

13 Jonathan Taylor Library fines, tricky V Day questions and unlucky caterpillars

15 My Desk Mike Blakeley of Exeter College shows us his workspace



17 Arts intro This might just make you wish it would snow...

18 What’s On Our unapologetically opinionated pick of how you should spend your free time

22 She’s A Picture Arresting artworks of women to view in and around Exeter

SHOPPING 29 Shopping Intro World Book Day’s back, and there’s a familiar furry face involved

31 How To Spend £1Million A luxury spending spree on your doorstep – real or pretend, it’s so much fun

38 Ed’s Choice Celebrate the new Pantone Colour Of The Year



40 Restaurant

65 Property Intro

Swooping down on the newly opened Nightjar in Aylesbeare

A room with a view in West Hill


This Heavitree home has elegance by the lorryload

51 Business Insider

66 Property Showcase

Movers, shakers, and other inspiring local professionals


56 Set The Agenda

Who got papped at the recent Exeter Living drinks reception?

All the advice you’ll ever need for holding a conference in which nobody will snooze 62 Meet The Winners Not one Exeter Living Award ‘Restaurant’ category champion – but two!

45 Seen!

Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager and production designer Kirstie Howe Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Exeter Living, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

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

49 H&B

Meet Exeter’s ‘League of Extraordinary Stylists’

82 Exeter Lives

Deer Park’s resident petrolhead Stephen Poat

On the cover Andrea Sant in tailor shop Zebel’s, Fore Street, Exeter; shot by Mike Alsford

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ONLY THE BRAVE Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is returning to Exeter for 2018. Stopping off at Exeter Corn Exchange on 9-10 March and 2 May, the tour features two different collections of brand new adventure films, featuring the world’s most intrepid explorers on adrenaline-fuelled journeys in wild and remote parts of the globe. The films are chosen from hundreds submitted to the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival, which takes place every year in the Canadian Rockies. This year’s highlights include The Frozen Road, which follows Yorkshireman Ben Page on a solo bikepacking odyssey through the great emptiness of the Canadian Arctic, and Into Twin Galaxies – A Greenland Epic, in which three adventurers use kite skis to tow their white-water kayaks over the Greenland Ice Cap. Be warned: your comfort zone might not feel so appealing by the end. For more: Finnish freediver Johanna Nordblad, the subject of one of the short films

And so we face the final curtain...


THE BIKE SHED Exeter’s arts scene suffered a heavy blow this week when the Bike Shed Theatre, for eight years a nationally-respected hothouse for groundbreaking new theatre, announced it is to close It’s not just local theatre fans who will mourn its loss. The Guardian credited the venue as “keeping theatre alive in Exeter”, it won a Peter Brook Empty Space Award, another for the UK Theatre’s Most Welcoming Theatre and, most recently, two of the inaugural Exeter Living Awards – for Best Watering Hole and Best Arts Organisation. Explains co-founder and director David Lockwood: “Some of you will know the unusual structure of our organisation. It’s actually two businesses, one supporting the other. Our bar has given its profit to the theatre, which is a charity. “So every time you’ve bought a pint in our bar, you’ve been directly supporting culture in Exeter. Thank you. But for many reasons, largely the fantastic range of drinking establishments in the city, our bar is not turning over the vast profits it needs to keep the theatre at a high standard. “We don’t want to go backwards.

Moreover, we don’t want to sell out our bar to a national chain. And so, with a heavy heart and after a lot of attempts to find a way to keep on going, we’ve decided to close up.” Frankly, it’s awful news. But there are reasons to be cheerful. Because David and the gifted team behind the Bike Shed Theatre will move on and resurface with something exciting, near us, soon – hopefully, The Boat Shed, which will see the transformation of derelict warehouses on Exeter’s quay into a space for music, theatre and start-up businesses – of this we have zero doubt. And, in the meantime, The Bike Shed is going to be the most fun place to be between now and the end of March – whether you’re seeing a show (see What’s On, page 18), throwing a party, or just meeting friends for Martinis. Stop by if you are anywhere near Fore Street. They open every day at 5pm. For more: I EXETER LIVING I 7



OXBRIDGE BOUND No less than 24 Exeter College students have been offered places at Oxford and Cambridge for 2018, in a diverse range of subjects from medicine to law. The successful students are from all corners of Devon and beyond, from a variety of schools. Says John Laramy, principal and CEO of Exeter College: “I would like to congratulate the students who have received offers from Oxbridge, some of the most hotly contested university places in

Look out, dreaming spires!

the country. The 24 student offers include five for medicine which is remarkable. “This is a new record for Exeter College and shows the academic pedigree of the college and the calibre of students who choose to continue their studies at Exeter College from right across the region, with some students travelling up to two hours each way to attend the college. “This exceptional outcome shows the combined impact of great students, working with excellent staff in an outstanding

college. Across the college, students’ progression to university, further study and employment demonstrates the effectiveness of both our dedicated Oxbridge support and wider progression advice. “In the current environment, when social mobility is at the top of the education agenda, I think as a state-funded, nonselective sixth form provider, we can confidently say that Exeter College is doing its best to support student ambition.” For more:

SEVEN DEADLY SINS In our regular mini Q&A with visiting and local performers, actor MOGALI MASUKU, bares her wicked soul – she plays the actual devil in her new play! LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today? Cake, always cake GREED: What should you be cutting down on (non-food and drink)? YouTube. Nah, stress, definitely stress and self doubt. I’m far too urgh about myself as a general rule. GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? Tea. All types of tea. None of that fruity stuff, real tea, and herbs, the more ‘I will fix your digestive tract and clear your brain in one cup’ the better. SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now? I know I should exercise much more regularly, and be working on developing my own personal warm-up routine that will serve me as I develop as an artist. That’s what every true ‘actoh’ (in that really posh voice) does, right? WRATH: What/who makes you angry? Bigots. Not just the usual globally tribal, ‘My team is better than yours, ’cos…’ Or ‘We make the best...’, but the ugly ‘You’re stealing all our (insert ridiculous notion here) because of the colour of your skin, or your faith, or your sexual organs, or your whatever’. 8 I EXETER LIVING I

I can’t handle that level of what my mother used to call stupid. Because that’s what it is. We are one race. We’re many tribes. And we’ll be learning from each other as long as the world turns. Not accepting that, that’s a level of stupid that I just cannot, CANNOT handle. ENVY: Who are you jealous of? The fabulously successful me. I keep wondering how the two of us will finally meet, and exactly what I have to do to help her along. I’ve tried being jealous of other people, but I keep getting happy for them finally reaching their goals, and that just undoes that whole ‘I’m jealous of you and you must die’ thing. It seems kinda extreme to hate someone for finally smiling about ticking one of their life boxes. PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement? Getting that Gogo (Grandma) seal of approval. She sent me a beautiful message thanking me for graduating from drama school for her. Because obviously it’s her degree. And after that it’s the family’s…. And then it’s mine. Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is at the Bike Shed Theatre from 21-24 Feb;

Eyecatching recent Instagram pics from in and around the city #Exeter









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Half term is here, and Julie isn’t missing London one bit


lmost as soon as the kids are back at school after New Year, it’s half term. Sometimes I have completely forgotten that it exists, so when they refuse to get out of bed claiming they don’t have any school that day, or indeed for the whole week, I have to hurriedly text other mums to make sure it’s true. Then I have to find something for them to do. Option number one is always to get out the surrogate mother, ie the iPad, but that has to be monitored to make sure they don’t spend more than the house is worth buying virtual robot coins on iTunes or unknowingly subscribing to 80 years’ worth of £30-a-month fitness apps. After that, the barrage of questions start, always led by: “Can we go to Crealy?”, and closely followed by “What about Splashdown?” even though it’s mid-February and it would be more like an ice palace than a water park.

I GET ‘BUT MILLI-SANDRA IS SPENDING THE WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS SWIMMING WITH MICRO PIGS’ When I’ve made what seem like reasonably good excuses I get “but Milli-Sandra is spending the week in The Bahamas swimming with micro pigs” thrown back at me, and I am made to feel hateful for not forking out thousands of pounds on flights costing five times as much as they would during term time. Sometimes I’ll take them to Escot or Bicton, or even just for a walk in the woods, and then I am reminded how beautiful Devon is. Although London parks are spectacular and romantic, they are so often crowded, especially around the play equipment. Being able to use this often either requires a) queuing for at least 15 minutes, or b) your children being superior at punching the other kids – depending on which borough you’re in. If we decide to drive up to London for a few days, I realise how expensive it now is to have a car there: parking charges, extortionate parking fines, congestion charge, while nearly everywhere is a restricted permit-only zone. On top of that, the drivers have no mercy. In Devon I’ve had to stop and wait behind a car in the middle of a country road while the driver has a quarter-hour chat with one of their neighbours who is out walking the dog. In London, they would have been beaten to death after a couple of minutes. However, it is true that Sidmouth has the worst drivers in the world. They are mainly pensioners over 85 who are either dramatically visually impaired or have shrunk so much they can’t see out of the windscreen, yet they insist on driving round in huge gold Mercedes. If they don’t take off your wing mirror by driving down the centre of the street, in true Mr Magoo-style they drive right through roundabouts, running over bollards then dragging them under their wheels round the town centre. Never expect a thank you if you let them go first; it’s their privilege. Then suddenly half term is over as quickly as it began, and the kids have to start bathing and brushing their hair again. Normal routines pervade and that’s when I realise... I actually miss the complete chaos. Julie Reid is a photographer/writer and London exile who moved to Sidmouth with her two children and rock star husband. Instagram: @londondevongirl I EXETER LIVING I 11

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L’estuaire Bistro and Bar is the perfect place for casual and relaxed dining in Topsham. We have a lovely outside seating area, check out our amazing cocktail selection, perfect for Summer! Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30 till late. Sunday, 10-4pm. 6 The Quay,The Strand Topsham,Exeter EX3 0JB Phone: 01392 876 801 | Email: info@lestuaire.couk 01392 876078





The children, again, turn Jon’s frown upside down


re you sending Mum a Valentine’s card?” Holly asks. “No,” I say. “Flowers?” she urges. “No, we don’t really do that anymore,” I say, not wishing to explain. “What about the chocolates you were going to give her for Christmas, but didn’t?” It’s the start of half-term and, even though our usually tight schedule has quickly unravelled, I am facing up to completing one key task: we are returning Huck’s library books – a task I kept meaning to do, but which always seemed like an errand best incorporated into another, more pressing journey that has never happened. These (very) late returns are making me feel uneasy. “Look out, Daddy!” Holly screeches. Too late, whatever the hazard, the moment has passed. Holly and Huck bend down and tug at my leg. I raise my shoe off the pavement to a chorus of sorrow from the children. “You squashed two caterpillars!” Huck chastises. Peering down, one caterpillar unfortunately looks inseparable

YOU KNOW, DADDY, SOMETIMES EVEN MY LUCKY SPACESHIP UNDERPANTS DONT HELP from the pavement of which it has already begun to form a part. “No, wait, one’s moving!” Holly cheers and, with that, places a leaf ahead of the caterpillar, which dutifully climbs aboard. As this scene of ecological responsibility unfolds at my feet, I notice Huck scowling at me – feeling utterly chastened, I resume my chastened expression. “You killed one of God’s creatures. He is going to be very cross with you!” Huck accuses. I pause for thought. “God, in His wisdom, has given us a contradictory set of rules with which to live by.” I say. “Of course we should not needlessly kill His creatures, but He does teach us to forgive and so I will be forgiven for my lapse in concentration.” Huck, looking forlornly at the flattened caterpillar, sighs. “You know, Daddy, some days even my lucky spaceship underpants don’t help.” The children’s section of the library is typically busy on a Saturday morning – Huck insists on placing his four books on the self-service scanner, the screen flashing up an error message when I scan his library card. I beckon a nearby staff member with a helpless shrug that suggests to her, ‘I cannot operate your machine, but I’m sure it isn’t my fault.’ The librarian glances at the screen, checks the books and tells me what I already know. We are one book down, late returning four and the card has expired. “The good news,” she says. “Books borrowed by under-5s are exempt from a fine.” “That’s great!” I say. She leaves a little pause before speaking, in order to give me time to reflect on the many different reasons why this is the wrong thing to say. “But, there is a fine for the lost book – The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Despite nearly completing this task, it now feels even more incomplete than before. “Why don’t we buy the book in Waterstones and give it to the library?” Huck asks as we leave. “And if you give mum the chocolates for Valentine’s Day, we can eat them too!” Holly adds. At times, children have a way of making life seem incredibly complicated and have no idea when it’s best to stop thinking about things. But, on occasions, their unfiltered naivety adds a little ray of sunshine to the day. Jonathan Taylor is a single dad-of-two based in St Leonards, Exeter. For more, Facebook: @aol3t I EXETER LIVING I 13



We win a lot of awards. We like winning awards!

My 18-month-old Boston terrier, Ralph – half-dog, half-kangaroo. Bought as a ‘gift’ for my wife who was ‘delighted’…

The Cookie Club is for Exeter Chiefs players with a sweet tooth and I am an honorary member

Made by three apprentices and presented last June to mark over 1000 apprenticeships in a year

Exeter Monopoly – my Secret Santa gift from the team. Maybe a tonguein-cheek comment on empire-building?

My nineyear-old triplets

From a colleague who said “I couldn’t afford the china shop, but here’s the bull”

I am a huge rugby fan. This is a signed Six Nations referee’s shirt, a gift from Nigel Owens, and the signed ball is to be auctioned at Steeno’s Celtic Night in March

The day-in-day-out of my life, managing 950 employers

If you’re a young gun starting your working life in or near Exeter, there’s a good chance Mike here is on your list of very favourite people in the world. In his role as – deep breath – director of apprenticeships and employer engagement and head of business solutions and enterprise at Exeter College, Mike runs a phenomenally successful apprenticeship programme, connecting employers ranging from GWR to Exeter City FC with bright and hungry apprentices. What’s more, he also gives careers advice to Exeter Chiefs academy and senior squad players when it’s time to hang up their boots. We just about manage to fight our way through piles of trophies to reach Mike’s desk, on the College’s Hele Road site. It has a view of St David’s Church – “interrupted by copulating pigeons,” he points out, “though we also see peregrine falcons!” I EXETER LIVING I 15

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With frosts and flurries surely still pending before winter’s out, let this striking shot by the late, Exeter-based photographer CR Brownridge (19472010) remind you just how starkly beautiful the countryside can be when the temperature plummets below zero. Brownridge (the CR stands for Carl Richard, but he was known as Dick) created several photographic projects inspired by the landscape of the South West. You can see this image, and other work, in In Extremis Images of Landscape, a new exhibition at small but select Moretonhampstead gallery Green Hill Arts, alongside that of painter Deborah Westmancoat. In Extremis Images of Landscape runs at Green Hill Arts, Moretonhampstead, until Saturday, April 14; I EXETER LIVING I 17

9 February – 9 March

The Handsome Family are in town on 7 March; John Robins bares his soul (and chest) at Exeter Phoenix on 6 March; Gertrude Walrond, Lady Acland (1853-1920) by Wilhelm Heinrich Funk is part of Killerton’s Votes For Women? exhibition


SIMON BAYLISS: KANGAROO BEACH New works by the St Ives-based contemporary artist, spanning video, ceramics and poetry, and playing on the intersections between the local and the international; traditional crafts and contemporary practice; and queer culture and rural identity. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; UNTIL 24 FEBRUARY

SOUTH WEST ACADEMY WINTER EXHIBITION New paintings, sculpture, prints and ceramics from artists across the South West, including Alan Cotton, Ray Balkwill, Karen McEndoo and David Brooke. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street, Honiton;


JERWOOD MAKERS OPEN National tour for the prestigious prize that showcases the work of top emerging makers. Devon Guild, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey;

includes around 50 works, whose subjects include woodland landscapes, religion and the clash of cultures. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; www. UNTIL 14 APRIL


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. UNTIL 8 APRIL

GEORGE SHAW: MY BACK TO NATURE New exhibition by one of the UK’s finest contemporary painters, nominated for the Turner Prize in 2011. On tour from the National Gallery, it


IN EXTREMIS: IMAGES OF LANDSCAPE Artists CR Brownridge and Deborah Westmancoat explore landscape – see also page 17. Green Hill Arts, Moretonhampstead; UNTIL 29 APRIL 2018

MODERN Collection of 20th century works by the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and British Pop Art artist Brian Rice, who has two pieces on show here for the first time. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;


ART AUCTION EXHIBITION Paintings, photographs, prints and sculpture (for auction on 2 March) to raise money for Honiton’s Admiral Nurse campaign and the gallery’s own dementia programme. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street, Honiton; 10 FEBRUARY – 4 NOVEMBER

VOTES FOR WOMEN? & BRANDED: FASHION FEMININITY AND THE RIGHT TO VOTE Two new exhibitions celebrating the centenary of the first women getting the vote. Inspect the letters of Killerton suffragette Eleanor Acland, Nancy Astor’s suit and much more. See also page 25. NT Killerton, Killerton House, Exeter; www.nationaltrust.

W H AT ’ S O N



YOUNG IN HONG: THE MOON’S TRICK Solo exhibition by the South Korean artist. See also page 26. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

Theatre, Comedy & Dance 10-11 FEBRUARY

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS Devon-based Pocketwatch Theatre return with their live music- and puppetry-enhanced take on the Kenneth Grahame children’s classic. Cygnet Theatre, Friars Gate, Exeter (10 Feb); Exeter Central Library, Castle Street, Exeter (11 Feb); www. pocketwatchtheatrecompany. com 10-17 FEBRUARY

EXETER DANCE FESTIVAL Week-long event encouraging and celebrating local young dancers and serving as a heat for the All England Dance competition. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; 13-17 FEBRUARY

CORNERMEN A brilliant young boxer catapults his coaches to success in this well-reviewed show from Smoke & Oakum Theatre. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter; 14-17 FEBRUARY

THE BOY WHO CLIMBED INTO THE MOON Local troupe Theatre Alibi deliver their adaptation of the children’s story by David Almond, with original live music and puppetry. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www. 18 FEBRUARY

JESSICA FOSTEKEW: THE SILENCE OF THE NANS The ace comic takes to the road with her Edinburgh hit of 2017. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter;

The highly acclaimed Cornermen at The Bike Shed Theatre, 13-17 February 21-24 FEBRUARY

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE’S DOCTOR FAUSTUS Theatre company Tangle present their take on the Renaissance masterpiece about a deal with the devil. See also Spotlight, page 8. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter; 22-23 FEBRUARY

SOLDIER ON Hard-hitting but humourous new play from The Soldiers’ Arts Academy, written and performed by army veterans. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www. 25 FEBRUARY

ADAM HESS & GLENN MOORE Two great new stand-ups with Mock The Week and Tonight At The Palladium on their CVs. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;; 26 FEBRUARY

TRANSLUNAR PARADISE Described by The Observer as

”uniquely devastating”, this show about life, death and enduring love has won major awards all over the world. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;; 5-6 MARCH

STEWART LEE: CONTENT PROVIDER Intellectual venom from one of the finest stand-ups of our times. Sold out; returns only. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; www. 6 MARCH

JOHN ROBINS: THE DARKNESS OF ROBINS The gifted stand-up, a regular face on telly, brings his angstridden comedy to town. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;; 7-11 MARCH

POLICE COPS IN SPACE 1980s-inspired comedy from The Pretend Men. Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter;

Music & Opera 15 FEBRUARY

BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: HEROES & MONSTERS Famous film and TV themes from the likes of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Jaws and many more. The Great Hall, University of Exeter, Streatham Drive, Exeter; 28 FEBRUARY

STEVE KNIGHTLEY Highly anticipated 2018 solo tour from the singer-songwriter, Show Of Hands frontman and local gentleman. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; www. 2 MARCH

ANTONIO OYARZABAL: THE INNER CHILD Works for piano, about childhood, by Schumann, Debussy, Ravel and Mompou, performed by the Spanish-born concert pianist. Cygnet Theatre, Friars Gate, Exeter; w I EXETER LIVING I 19


W H AT ’ S O N


EXETER BACH SOCIETY: ST MATTHEW PASSION The local choir and orchestra, joined by Exeter University Singers and the choir of St Peter’s School, and led by Jonathan Lucas Wood, take on the Bach beast. Are you a singer? Join them for a choral workshop on 24 February. Salvation Army Temple, Friars Gate, Exeter; 7 MARCH

THE HANDSOME FAMILY Masterful alternative country and Americana duo. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;;

Other Events

Start/finish: Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre, Exeter; www.



Love weekends? We think you’ll love them a little more if you subscribe to the Exeter Living Friday afternoon email newsletter. Just type in your email address right here: www. and, as the weekend hoves into view, you’ll get a cheery hello from us in your in-box. We’ll suggest some of the best events and outings happening in or near the city across Friday night, Saturday and Sunday – from theatre to gigs to family fun days and more – along with a property pick of the week, money-saving offers, and the week’s most amusing, locally-sourced tweets. (Fear not, we don’t share your data with third parties – ever.)

SUPER SUNDAY Annual racing event with over £100,000 prize money up for grabs, live music and some of racing’s brightest stars. Exeter Racecourse, Kennford, Exeter; www.exeter. 13 FEBRUARY

ANCIENT HOUSES IN EXETER Lecture from medieval archaeologist John Allan on the history of housing in Exeter, from the Normans to Queen Anne. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; www. ramm


EXETER HALF MARATHON 13 miles along the footpaths and cycle tracks around the River Exe and Exeter Canal. Experienced runners going for sub-2 hours on Sat; all levels Sun.


VICTORIAN TIME TRAVELLERS BALL Inspired by all things steampunk, this adult-only night promises not just narrative-driven cabaret

LIBRARY LIFE EMILY MACAULAY shares the latest from Exeter Library Having said in the last issue that libraries aren’t just about books, books are, of course, very important to us. We have over 60,000 items on our main public floors but just below where you stand are around 150,000 more books. Some of these are part of our ‘Special Collections Archive’, many of which are rare or even unique. The oldest item is an Incunable dating from 1480 and one of only 80 copies in existence. The other items range in date from 1480 to c1900 – some survived the Exeter Blitz. Due to the age of these items, some are in desperate need of some TLC and we offer you the opportunity to Adopt A Book. You can find more details about specific books on our website or, until the end of February, we have a display of these items in our foyer. This display also includes items that have been fully funded and are now restored, with some lovely before and after photos. They may not be cuddly animals but, whether buying as a gift for others or contributing yourself, Adopt A Book is a wonderful way to contribute to preserving the heritage of this wonderful collection within Exeter. For more: /web/arena/discover-adoptabook


Sign up now for the Exeter Living newsletter...

from The Mechanisms, two themed bars and snacks, but also loads of interactive fun. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; www. ramm

Join us on the best afternoon of the week, and watch your iCal fill up with good stuff.

incoming Year of the Dog, with traditional dragon and lion dancers from the University of Exeter. 1.45pm. Outside at RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

9-10 MARCH

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL WORLD TOUR See Spotlight, page 7. Back again on 2 May. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter; www. 24 FEBRUARY

NATIONAL GARDENS SCHEME SNOWDROP GARDENS February means snowdrops and this seven-acre garden in Kenn has plenty, as well as other early spring plants to enjoy. Teas, too. 2-5pm. Bickham House, Kenn, Exeter; 3 MARCH

CHINESE DRAGON DANCING Join in celebrations for Chinese New Year, and the

7-28 MARCH

DARTMOOR FILM FESTIVAL Films shot on and inspired by Dartmoor, including War Horse and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Farmer’s Wife. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; & RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; 9 MARCH

AN EVENING WITH ANGELA RIPPON The veteran British broadcaster shares stories and answers questions in aid of Age UK Exeter. Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, Okehampton Street, Exeter;

Pale Sisters by Matilda Harrison, acrylic on aluminium panel

SHE’S A PICTURE With International Women’s Day (8 March) on the horizon, we asked local gallerists to select, and comment on, their favourite artistic representation of the female form By A N NA BR I T T E N


Red Skirt by Janet Sainsbury


rom Ancient Greek goddesses to Renaissance Madonnas, the aristocratic ladies of the 18th century up to Andy Warhol’s movie stars and Lucian Freud’s real-as-real-can-be Benefits Supervisor Sleeping – the representation of women in art throughout history speaks volumes about society’s changing attitudes towards them. It is a subject we felt lent itself to both International Women’s Day and Exeter’s rich and varied visual arts scene. Enjoy our expert’s picks.


by Matilda Harrison The choice of Jacqueline Hollister of Hybrid Gallery in Honiton, who says: “Pale Sisters is a mesmerising painting by Matilda Harrison throwing up conflicts and challenging perceptions. At just 36 by 28 cm in size, the scale and execution of the image, as well as the subject matter, play their part in creating a powerful impact and message about sisterhood. “The central subject of conjoined albino twins






is unusual in itself, but surrounded by giant insects in a garden of succulents, the weirdness is taken to another level. “Disbelief however is undermined by the acute draughtsmanship and meticulous detail. The fine lace of the collars and every strand of pure white hair encourages belief in the scene, whilst Matilda’s subversion of the normal in terms of scale and expectation contradicts this. “What remains is a sense of a bond between the sisters, their solid stance, near perfect symmetry and unwavering gaze tells of a steadfastness. Their union seems to transcend the strangeness about them and their benign demeanour welcomes us to join them in the wider sisterhood of women.” Hybrid Gallery, 51 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PW;


by Janet Sainsbury A vibrant, non-conventional contemporary portrait of a vibrant, non-conventional contemporary woman is the choice of Fiona PageTurner of Thelma Hulbert Gallery. w I EXETER LIVING I 23


“Red Skirt was painted from memory by the artist Janet Sainsbury, an Exeter-based artist working mostly in oil and acrylic paint. It is of her friend, Laurel Coxon, who lives in Exeter, owns the craft business Arrietty, runs workshops at Exeter Phoenix and is a teacher at Exeter college, and an artist. “The artist used acrylic paints that allowed her to work quickly, so this picture could be created spontaneously through bright colours and fluid brushstrokes. She was trying to capture the essence of her friend’s warm and generous personality rather than a likeness.” “The artwork is from our Fundraising Art Auction on 2 March. Many highly respected artists have donated work – including Jessica Cooper, Peter Randall-Page, Alan Cotton and Frances Hatch – in aid of the Admiral Nurse Campaign and THG Learning Programme supporting those with dementia.” Fundraising Art Auction Exhibition (10 February – 2 March 2018), Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell St, Honiton EX14 1LX;

Mrs Rachel Bowditch of Taunton by John Ponsford


by John Ponsford Michele Green, assistant curator at RAMM, chooses this 1821 oil portrait from the RAMM stores. “This unassuming portrait of Rachel Bowditch is painted by the accomplished portrait artist John Ponsford, who was born in 1792 in Modbury, Devon,” says Michele. “Rachel Bowditch was far from representative of women of the period. Following her husband’s death she successfully took over their pawnbroking business. Her involvement in the business is recorded from 1783. She ran the business first with James, their son, combining pawnbroking and drapery. In 1818 they relinquished the pawnbroking business to concentrate fully upon general drapery, haberdashery and hosiery. The business was then split. Her son established a new premises in Fore Street and Rachel continued the business from North Street. This portrait is important as it stands as a pictorial example of the enterprising middle class female trader. “When Ponsford painted this portrait, Rachel would have been 65 years old and still trading. She continued until 1823 when she announced her retirement after 40 years in business. “John Ponsford was described in 1883 as one of the best, if not the best, portrait painter of his day in Devonshire. The choice of Ponsford to paint her portrait is representative of her high social standing, her success in business and wealth.” The Green Beret by Megan Players


Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX; w

Rub A Dub Dub by Paula Rego, etching and aquatint, from the Nursery Rhymes series, 1994



Unless you’ve been trapped in a lift since New Year’s Eve, you’ll be aware that 2018 is the 100th anniversary of UK women (well, some of them) getting the vote. A fascinating new exhibition at the National Trust’s Killerton explodes the myth that all women were united over the suffragette cause. Votes For Women? tells the story of two generations of Acland women on opposing sides: Gertrude, chair of Exeter’s Anti-Suffrage League, who held an anti-suffrage garden party at Killerton in 1910, and her niece Eleanor, who co-founded the Liberal Women’s

Suffrage Union, and exchanged letters with Christabel Pankhurst herself. We’d love to have been a fly on the wall at Sunday lunch round theirs. A parallel exhibition, Branded: Fashion, Femininity and the Right to Vote, presents fashion from the suffragette era.

Votes For Women? and Branded: Fashion, Femininity and the Right to Vote run from 10 February-4 November, and are part of the National Trust’s Women and Power national programme;


by Megan Players From Lantic Gallery in Tiverton, Lizzie Hill chooses this contemporary canvas by local artist Megan Players. Says the artist of her subject: “In 1941, Sandrine, the proprietress of a small dress shop in Paris joined La Résistance and began to ferry intelligence across the city smuggled in bolts of cloth. The French attention to fashion, despite the constraints of wartime rationing, was in itself an act of resistance to the humiliating Nazi occupation, with the ubiquitous black Basque beret worn as a sign of recognition among many of the resistance fighters. Sandrine designed green berets with flowers and sold them to the wives of the Nazi military. The money she earned supported the efforts of her compatriots in the South of France. Women made up 15-20% of the French Resistance movement.” Adds gallerist Lizzie: “Sandrine Dubois is a fictional historical character but the events that surround her are true. Megan’s work is based on the human figure and portraiture, especially amongst women. Megan depicts characters often from life with boldness, expression and a vibrant colour palette. There is always a story behind her subjects which makes the painting all the more intriguing.” Lantic Gallery, 38 Gold St, Tiverton EX16 6PY;


by Paula Rego A provocative choice from Angela Yarwood, director of Brook Gallery in Budleigh Salterton, who says: “Rego’s work is brilliant in my opinion. It is without flattery, in some ways without censorship, and intelligently allows the viewer to really grasp the personality and intent of the subject or character that is being depicted. “We have exhibited Paula’s work extensively over the years, and one of my favourite suites is her 1994 Nursery Rhymes series, where she takes themes from our very British childhood – Baa Baa


Young In Hong’s Sketch (Work Process)

SEE MORE Where to find these works, and others RAMM Queen Street, Exeter; 01392 265858; Exeter Phoenix Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS 01392 667080; Brook Gallery Fore St, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6NH 01395 443003; Lantic Gallery 38 Gold Street, Tiverton EX16 6PY 01884 259888; Thelma Hulbert Gallery Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX 01404 45006; Hybrid Gallery 51 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PW; 01404 43201;


Black Sheep, Three Blind Mice etc – and exposes the alter ego of the rhyme. Rub A Dub Dub is one in that collection, the female carers quite possibly being a representation of the artist’s own experience when nursing, with her female helper, her now long-deceased husband. There are so many more inferences that one might take from this superb piece.” Brook Gallery, 30 Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton; 01395 443003;


by Young In Hong As part of her new exhibition at Exeter Phoenix, South Korean artist Young In Hong presents this intriguing work – the choice of Matt Burrows of Exeter Phoenix. “Her process makes clear reference to the wider politics and economics of women’s labour,” says Matt. “This 2017 black-and-white photocopied image with drawing on tracing paper, is an image of women who came en masse from rural areas to the capital, Seoul, in the ’60s and ’70s, to feed their families by working extremely long hours in factory sweat shops for very little money, creating garments for the international clothing industry. “Rather than having specific meaning, the drawing (one of a series of 40) is part of a process that creates an abstract form from such moments in the country’s political and social history, that is later used as a visual score to create improvised musical compositions.” Young In Hong: The Moon’s Trick (2 March – 22 April), Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS;


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3 High Street, EX17 3AE. Tel: 01363 899509 email: Follow us on F T I

Feel the love for locally sourced fresh food and fine wine at our newly-built pub set in the ‘heart’ of the village... Join us for a relaxed dining experience, whilst enjoying a sumptuous five-course Valentine’s menu, including bubbles & canapés at just £49.50 per head It’s not just a place to drink – it’s a place for friends and families to meet, socialise and make memories. / T: 01395 232277 / M: 07872 637 587


BEAR NECESSITIES World Book Day 2018 falls on 1 March – look out for dozens of little Hermiones and Where’s Wallys dashing to school (and their stressed-out, costume-making parents to the nearest espresso machine). This year, as usual, the nation’s kids can buy themselves a shiny new book for just £1, courtesy of National Book Tokens, publishers and booksellers. Of this year’s list, we think it’s everyone’s favourite bespectacled bear – whose creator Michael Bond died last summer – that deserves a place on every nightstand. Be sure to buy yours from a local, independent bookseller. Or expect one of his famous hard stares. Crediton Community Bookshop, 100 High Street, Crediton; 01363 774740; Winstone Books, 10 High Street, Sidmouth; 01395 579969; Quayside Bookshop, 43 Northumberland Place, Teignmouth; 01626 775436; Facebook: quaysidebookshop I EXETER LIVING I 29 Exeter Office 01392 876896 Martin Mobile 07446 874405

Live for today and plan for the future

Martin Waistell DipPFS Independent Financial Advisor - Pensions and Retirement - Investments - Inheritance Tax Planning - Life Assurance and Protection

Strategic Solutions is a trading style of Strategic Solutions Financial Services which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 525733. Principals: Kevin Forbes: Jefferson Fawcett: Giles Wellington: Allan Cruse. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE



Hey, big spenders! And big dreamers. Here’s the best that money can buy in and around Exeter – warning, it’s not subtle. Adjust your shoulder pads and pour yourself a Veuve Clicquot. It’s about to get expensive



Selfie heaven: living the dream with the help of Sunseeker I EXETER LIVING I 31


Whether you blame the Testarossa from Miami Vice or that 250 GT California young Ferris Bueller ‘borrowed’ from his mate’s dad, we are willing to bet you’ve had a thing for Ferrari since your tender years. Yes, in real life you’re content with your sensible family estate, paint your walls grey and favour a roomy trouser, but in that parallel existence, that one you lead in the twilight between consciousness and sleep, you drive one of these. In heart attack red. With the windows down and the stereo blaring Livin’ On A Prayer. Price tag: from £196,863 Carrs Ferrari, Manaton Close, Matford Park Road, Exeter EX2 8PF 01392 822080; Just a little runaround... 32 I EXETER LIVING I

L U X U RY SPECIAL A SUMMER OF ADVENTURE One of the greatest things about money is how it opens the door to the world. We asked Rob Hitchings at Exeter’s independent travel consultants Nomadic Travel to help us plan a month-long, luxury holiday in South America for a family of four seeking something a bit more interesting than drinking tequila and taking photos of their tanned feet. Rob suggests: business class to Peru, with trips to Machu Picchu and into the Amazon, plus a seven-night Galapagos cruise, and rounding off with a five-star beach stay on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. Price tag: around £50,000 total for a family of four

Here’s one holiday friendship you’ll never forget


“I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant. But nothing. I said nothing can take away these blues,” sang Sinead O’Connor. But then, she wasn’t dining on the Signature Tasting Menu in a private room at East Devon’s most kudos-laden joint, Michael Caines’s Lympstone Manor, with 11 friends. Hello, among other delicacies, slow-cooked partridge with quince purée, raisins, and Gewürztraminer sauce! Dining out regularly at fancy restaurants is one surefire way to burn through your dough. But if you’ve £1million in your back pocket, it can, and should, be white chocolate candles all the way. Price tag: about £1,680 Lympstone Manor, Courtlands Lane, Exmouth EX8 3NZ 01395 200920; w

“How d’you like your eggs?” “With black truffle, I’m a millionaire.” I xxxxx LIFE I xx


Keyvan Nosrati: taping it

Can your clavicles cope with this stunner?


Who said family heirlooms had to have been in your family for generations? If you’ve £1million to spend, why not buy one of someone else’s? We asked Exeter’s antique jewellery specialists Mortimers for something truly breathtaking, in both appearance and price, and they responded with this twinkly new acquisition: a combination of 33-carat, round, brilliant-cut diamonds and baguette-cut diamonds set in 18-carat white-gold, this showstopper necklace comes with a matching bracelet. Imagine applying it to your neck – gives you goosebumps, eh? As with all decent heirlooms, the younger generation really will have to prise this out of your cold, dead hands. Price tag: circa £50k Mortimers, 87 Queen St, Exeter; 01392 279994;


It’s vital to look the part when you’re spending a million. And yes, you could louche about in something off-the-peg but when it comes to swagger, nothing beats the made-to-measure variety. Man or woman, get your bespoke suit from Keyvan at Zebel’s on Fore Street – FYI, his other shop’s on Savile Row, yes, that one. Tired of having some faceless head office design your threads? Take back control: single or double breasted, Italian or British fabric, everything from pocket size to number of buttonholes to lining. Wedding, stock market flotation party or court appearance, you’ll probably end up getting tipped as the next James Bond. Price tag: suits from £399; on average £600. Zebel’s, 119 Fore St, Exeter EX4 3JQ 01392 758742;



What is your physical reaction to this picture? Does your mouth go dry, your pulse race and your blood start to boil with furious envy at the lucky family having the best summer afternoon ever? If so, that’s good, you are a normal human being. This is the new Manhattan 52, available from the Torquay sales office of leading luxury yacht brand Sunseeker. It’s a gorgeous thing. A 52’6” flybridge (as in, you steer and navigate on an elevated deck on top) motoryacht for up to six guests and one crew member, it’s designed to maximise living and entertainment space both inside and out, with super-roomy bow seating and a sunbathing area just some of the spots to relax, entertain and watch the sun set over Starcross, Shaldon or Salcombe. Deserved winner of the 2017 Motor Boat Awards ‘Flybridges up to 55ft’ category. Price tag: from £847,000 (ex tax) Sunseeker Torquay LTD Torquay Marina, Torquay TQ2 5EQ 01803 292239; w

Tilly’s ‘What I Did At Half Term’ essay was going to slay I EXETER LIVING I 35



OK, many of today’s most expensive timepieces can measure how many calories you’ve burned, show you your email, and generally impress Year 7s, but real high rollers still ache for a Rollie. Independent jewellers Michael Spiers sell about 100 different varieties. They’re the shop’s bestseller, and at Christmas it can sell four in one day. We hanker after the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, a gentlemanly piece designed in 1963 and worn by Roger Federer and Leonardo Di Caprio. Apparently, most customers want the stainless steel version but we were drawn to this green-dialed, yellow gold version because if we’re going to wear a Rolex we darn well want to irradiate your retinas with it. Price tag: £25,550 Michael Spiers, 22 Cathedral Yard, Exeter; 01392 495574; Big time...

“Imagine no possessions/ Just a big, white pi-a-nooo...”


The wireless speaker has risen to the role of Chief Music Supervisor in most people’s homes, but there’s nothing quite like a grand piano in the living room. Never tickled the ivories in your life? So what! Place some silver-framed photos and a tray of spirits on it, and inflict piano lessons upon the kids. Then relax and enjoy the kudos. Steinway, Blüthner, Bechstein and Bösendorfer are the names with weaponsgrade cachet, but grand pianos of any type are harder to find than you might think in this neck of the woods. Fear not: we’ve found a beautiful and rare, reconditioned 6ft 6in Bechstein, made in around 1865, at the Devon Pianos workshop in Marsh Barton. You’re so welcome. Price tag: £5,750 Devon Pianos, Exeter Business Centre, 39 Marsh Green Road West, Marsh Barton EX2 8PN; 01392 437736;

TOTAL: £1,177,443

Whoops, we went a little overboard. Can someone chop up this credit card, please? 36 I EXETER LIVING I

STILL GOING? More ways to splash your cash Corporate box at Sandy Park for a season (above). Price tag: from £30k 20 acres on edge of Lympstone village. Price tag: £400k Art Deco French football table, c1930s. Price tag: £6,850 Case (12 bottles) of Château Canon La Gaffelière - 2005, 1er Grand Cru Classe St Emilion. Price tag: £1,196.50

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Ocival long sleeve T-shirt, £80 Purple take on a proper Breton top from the onetime official outfitter of the French Navy From Always In Colour, 2a The Crescent, Queen Street, Exeter; www.

Purple Rain by Prince, 7-inch single, £5 He never meant to cause you any trouble. But if you’ve got a spare fiver... From Rooster Records, 98 Fore St, City Centre, Exeter; www.

Manuscript ML 1856 fountain pen in ‘Purple Mist’, £125 Because this will make even your shopping list look like Tolstoy From Cult Pens, Tiverton;

Velvet court shoe, £75 (sale price) Prince didn’t actually have a song about shoes, but if he had, it would definitely have been called Purple Velvet Stiletto From Elizabeth Ann, 3 Cathedral Close, Exeter www.elizabethannshoes.

Shrieking Violet ‘Purple Haze’ silver earrings, £17.50 Your lobes are crying out for these real flowers encapsulated in resin and set in silver From Bickleigh Mill, Tiverton;














Katie Loxton ‘Fabulous Friend’ pouch, £16.95 For the gal who’s been lending you her shoulder to cry on since Freshers’ Week... From Leaf Street 53 Magdalen Rd, Exeter;

Purple Butterfly by Graham Evernden, lino print, £195 Amethyst, slate and sky blue meet in this chromatic delight From Lantic Gallery, 38 Gold Street, Tiverton;

Lavender in cement pot, £10 You don’t even have to water them – believe it or not, they’re artificial! From The White Collection; www. thewhitecollection

Oculus chair, £3,759 ‘Oculus’ is Latin for eye – we’ve got ours on this classic piece designed by Hans J Wegner in 1960. Other colours/finishes available From Sapphire Spaces, Dart Business Park, Topsham; www.

Children’s whale lamp, £34.56 (sale price) Allow Eglo’s cute, graphic light to swim onto your bedside table From Dusk Lighting, 5 Topsham Units, Dart Business Park, Exeter; LIVING IEXETER CLIFTON LIFE II 39 69




The Nightjar This new Aylesbeare gastropub is named after a bird – but will it fly? ANNA BRITTEN finds out


illage pub falls empty; property developer plans to turn it into housing, and… you know how this story ends, right? Locals up in arms about swanky flats? The end of community spirit and village life as we know it? Not this time. The Nightjar in Aylesbeare has turned that narrative on its head, resulting in a very happy denouement for all concerned. You see, Paul Brinton isn’t one of those developers. He has lived in the village west of Exeter for 14 years, just a hundred yards from the pub. When in 2012 he acquired the former Aylesbeare Inn, which had been closed for three years, true, he originally planned to build new housing on the site. But when villagers spoke up about how important the pub was to their lives, instead of sticking his fingers in his ears and saying ‘la la la’, he listened. And he changed his mind. The old pub being beyond repair, a brand new pub – bookended by a handful of new homes – was born, and named by villagers after a local nocturnal bird (which, aptly enough, nests where mature trees have been cut down and replaced with young ones). Open since last October, The Nightjar sits so nicely within the local vernacular that, as you approach, it’s only the immaculateness of its curved, white render and slate tile facade that hints at its youth. Inside, two bright, airy floors stretch around an atrium hung with statement pendant lights. There’s chunky, mismatched wooden furniture on natural flooring; walls of rich blue bedecked with large, black and white photos of the village; animal skulls, mirrors and other curios; and coloured glassware and potted plants on every table. It’s almost an après-ski vibe. Simon White and Julie Hall of local catering company Posh Nosh have partnered with Simon to take care of the food, along with chef Neil Gibbs, a former Royal Marine who trained under Gary Rhodes and had been running his



own restaurant in Bordeaux for five years (yes, we’d love to hear more about that story, too). The menu is more fine-dining-y that we’d expected – you won’t find Jerusalem artichoke and truffle velouté on many village pub menus. Fish features heavily, and everything is, where possible, sourced from within 15 miles – much of it from the nearby Greendale Farm. Over half a Cornish Best we pick out some of the more recherché quirks: there’s brandy-battered fish ’n’ chips; the Scotch egg comes with a Bloody Mary; the crème brulée with cola biscuit, Pernod and rhubarb. My seabass ceviche starter is impeccably conceived and constructed: thick slivers of tender, perfectly-marinated top grade fish – whose sharp tang is amplified by chunks of grapefruit – sit on a bed of thinly shredded leek in a mild yoghurt dressing, and decorated with crispy matchsticks of potato. I’m dining with Exeter royalty tonight, and her choice of Brixham crab on featherlight brioche, with mouthfuls of avocado and beetroot, is no less impressive. From the specials board, I’m lured by the pan-fried Cornish gurnard: two fat fillets and a handful of mussels in a brown crab sauce, piled upon crunchy samphire and a cushion of caper mash into which everything’s surplus salty juices deliciously soak. The fairly dense sauce makes picking your mussels from their shells by hand impossible but, given it’s flu season, maybe that’s a blessing. Across the table, HRH’s helping of Creedy Carver duck comes as silky pink cuboids with a few crisp parmentier potatoes, leeks, a vibrant swoosh of puréed carrot and a rich, aniseed-tempered sauce. We have to skip dessert due to train times, so instead imagine what the salted caramel mousse with blood orange and pecan is like, and the panna cotta with gin and tonic, lime and lemon. Turns out they’re impeccable. How can we be so sure? Because despite the fact this place is a start-up, in the boondocks, on a cold Wednesday night in January before payday, it’s rammed. And not just with drinkers (although they are, of course, present and welcome), but with people wolfing down the full three courses. With 20 UK pubs every week pulling down the shutters for the final time, The Nightjar really is something to sing about.

DINING DETAILS The Nightjar, Village Way, Aylesbeare, Exeter EX5 2BX; 01395 232277; Opening hours Tue-Sat 12noon-2.30pm then 5.3011pm (11.30pm Sats); 12noon-3pm Sun; closed Mons Prices starters from £6; mains from £13.50; desserts £7 Veggie/vegan choice Limited – one starter, one main Disabled access Good Drinks Regional real ales and fine wines from Christopher Piper, plus all the usual pub faves Service/atmosphere Warm and busy, even on a parky weekday night in January I EXETER LIVING I 41

L O C A L B R E W E R I E S a d verti s ing f e at u re

Meet the BREWER Many of the best beers and ciders in Britain are being created right here in Exeter and Devon. Here are some of the experts behind them.

What is unique about your beer? Our organic ales, brews of distinct character that have developed over 10 years with unique creative branding.


Salcombe Brewery 01548 854888 How is your beer connected to the local area? The finest fish and meat in the world is sourced locally to us. We have created beers which we feel work well with these ingredients. Our logo, the seahorse, is representative of the fact that the Salcombe Ria is home to two of the rarest British seahorses. What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly? We have our own borehole water supply from under the brewhouse. Water is used in great volumes at every stage. We are always looking to minimise this and be as efficient as possible. Our spent grains are collected by local farmers for animal feed, and even our spent hops are used for compost. Do you offer any other services? Our online shop spreads Salcombe beers and merchandise far and wide. We also offer brewery tours and brew days. Being able to drink a beer you helped to brew is very rewarding, trust us! Our Tap Room is also great for hiring for parties, meetings and events.

Alan Collyer Exeter Brewery 01392 259059

How did you get into brewing? I’ve always been an “enthusiastic consumer”, so owning a brewery was a logical step! How long have you been brewing? I started Exeter Brewery in 2017 What do you specialise in? We make real ale of the highest quality, and supply in cask and bottles. Tell us a bit about the terms ‘craft beer’ and ‘real ale’... As a small producer all our ales could be described as ‘craft’, though we do not use the term to describe our ales. There is no real definition of ‘craft’ ales. .All our draught ales are proper, ‘cask conditioned’, ‘real’ ales. The word ‘craft’ has entered the lexicon in the last few years and has confused the market. The only common distinction is that many so-called ‘craft’ brewers make keg products. These are gas-fed products like lagers and are not ‘real’ ales in the sense that they are no longer a living product (still working with live yeast in the cask) which is the definition of a “real” ale.


Is running a brewery different than you thought it would be? I have run businesses for most of my working life. Owning a brewery has been the most satisfying; creating award winning products that are increasingly well-known and popular is a great reward for 10 years of extremely hard work and dedication. Most of my time is spent behind a desk now, and I employ two full-time brewers. What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly? Organic ales, reclaiming heated water to be reused in-process. Local products where possible. Re-use of all our by-products by local farmers and growers. How long does the brewing process take from start to finish? The start of the process takes a whole day, followed by fermentation (a week), followed by conditioning (a week or more) – so, one month minimum to reach the consumer. Do you offer any other services? Retail shop on site, Tap-Room bar on site. We also run outside bars at events such as the Exeter Food Festival, and Devon County Show, as well as supplying them for private hire. Is there a secret to a good brewed beer? Yes, it’s a secret.

Dan Taylor

Hanlons Brewery 01392 851160 How long have you been brewing? We bought the business in December 2013 and before that I had no experience in brewing. Luckily all the staff transferred with us, including the two brewers, who are still with us today and have taught me all I need to know! What do you specialise in? Good quality, passionately crafted, award-winning real ale. We are very proud that all three of our bottled beers – Yellow Hammer, Port Stout and Stormstay have won Gold awards this year with Food and Drink Devon and Taste of the West. Do you offer any other services? Hanlons have an onsite bar, restaurant and shop. The restaurant can also be used for private events and we regularly host events such as music night, comedy night and gin tastings. We have also launched a new website with an online shop. What’s the secret to a well brewed beer? Passion for the product, good ingredients, careful attention to process and a great team to work with results in a delicious beer!

a d verti s ing f e at u re L O C A L B R E W E R I E S

Barny Butterfield

Sandford Orchards 01363 777 822 What is unique about your cider? The quality of our fruit and our no compromise attitude to the provenance of our cider. We source all our fruit locally and only use whole juice – no concentrates, fake flavours or aromas just genuine, top quality cider. How is your cider connected to the local area? All our apples come from a 30-mile radius of our press and we only ever use Devon cider apples. Our home, The Cider Works in Crediton, was originally built in 1935 for the Creedy Valley Cider Company – we’re very proud to have restored the building to its true purpose. How long does the cidermaking process take from start to finish? From the apple harvest, it takes about 12 months before we’re happy that it’s ready to be enjoyed. Once pressed, the juice begins our natural, coldfermentation process. The yeast used in fermentation will turn the natural sugars in the apple juice into alcohol, creating cider. This can take anything up to 16 weeks depending on the juice and the temperature. After fermentation, the juice is racked and left to mature for a minimum of three months to develop the character, depth and complexity that our cider is famed for.


South Hams Brewery 01548 581151

How long have you been brewing? Brewing is in my blood! I have taken over the running of South Hams Brewery from my father and am proud to see the family business going from strength to strength… with numerous awards collected over the past years and the passion we have for producing quality ales, never running out of ‘steam’ or ideas. With 2 of our recent Whisky cask ales being worthy of particular mention - having received Gold Taste of the West accolades. Whats unique about your beer? We strive for consistent quality in our ales and have used the same yeast strain for the last 10 years, using natural on-site spring water and mash the malt by hand with no auger or autohydration inlet - crafted by hand is an ideal description of what we are about! What’s the secret to a good beer? I would say, honestly, that anyone can brew a half decent beer – but doing it time and time again, that’s the art, plus the adherence to strict quality processes. We all raise a glass to this industry for the opportunity to put a smile on the customers’ faces and know that great beer makes great conversation – and cheers to that…

Patrick McCaig

KIERON Aylward

Otter Brewery 01404891285

New Devon Brewing 01395 239900

How did you get started? Rewind five generations down Mum’s line and you’d find my very great grandfather brewing beer sometime in the 19th century. Never did I expect to continue this family trait until I recently looked over my shoulder and realised I too had been in the industry for 23 years.

How did you get into brewing? Got into brewing accidentally; I was intrigued by the variation of flavours out there from new and existing hops.

How is your beer connected to the local area? Local is in our hearts – from employing staff to brewing with water from the head springs of the River Otter. To look after our customers properly, they must be within arm’s reach. Is working at a brewery different than what you thought it would be? Yes – massively. It’s not just about brewing a good pint. I never expected to be a sponsor of the Champions of the Rugby Premiership or supply the world’s most famous music festival with beer and technical support. What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly? We are unbelievably lucky to be located in the beautiful Blackdown Hills. As you drop down to the brewery in the morning, the view always reminds me to replace what we take out. Is there a secret to a good brewed beer? Having a clever Mum and Dad who love brewing!

What is unique about your beer? Nothing really ‘unique’ about our beer – our pale ale is a traditional recipe with an American brew style. We are trying to produce a taste that standard ale drinkers can enjoy without being frightened off with big hop flavours. Our Fistful Of Pale is way more hoppy and full bodied. Which beer was your first craft beer? New Devon Ale (pale ale). What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly? Brewing in general isn’t a bad thing for the environment – ingredients are natural and sustainable. The process requires heat so we are looking at ways to heat more cost-effectively. The waste produced can be for farm feed or compost. Do you offer any other services? We also offer custom taps (free to pubs and bars) and assist with fitting. And we have our own outside bar, The Cow Shed Bar, fully loaded, of course. We can help organise events to suit. I EXETER LIVING I 43

Were you there?

Sue McQueenie and Jill Lammonby


Faye Williams



Brenda Ball, Daisy Otton, Andrea Phillips and Lily Otton

There may have been a few cricked necks after Exeter Living’s winter drinks reception at Exeter Cathedral. The venue’s 14th century stone vaulting (the longest of its kind in the world) proved quite the distraction, though, thankfully, not for so long that guests forgot to partake of The Oddfellows’ mulled cider and Exeter Cookery School’s cracking canapés. Hallowed be their names. Photos by Matt Round Fiona Page-Turner and Anna Aroussi

Dawn Chamberlain, Gemma Rowsell, Julian Tagg and Claire Bazen-Peters

Glen King and David Greensmith Faye Allyn, Bernie Sloane and Chris Bentley


SOCIETY Continued from page 45

Janis Biernis, Karin Bisogno and James Barnfield

David Williams, Miriam Saxl, Joanne Hayes and Paula Miller

Carl Wills, Caroline Shortt, Grace Losasso, Joe Coulter and Penny Heighton Oliver Rose and Nico Miotello

Kathy Hansford and Willa Lucas

Melissa Stewart and Harry Wild


Tess Read and Poppy Davies


going to be very much in. We’ve also started to receive a high number of requests for multi-hued purples! Maybe she’s born with it (though probably not...)

SHOCK of HAIR We talk barnets with Exeter’s cool, most crazily-named new salon


air salon names tend to fall into two categories: either they announce the owner, or they’re cute, hair-related puns. One new Exeter city centre hairdresser has, however, opted for something much more rococo: The LXS at Centre Stage? Er, what? “We discovered that each member of our staff had an amazing story about the challenges, level of commitment and sacrifices made in the name of their craft,” explains salon director Nadia Barlaba. “Something they don’t talk about in public – when you consider the standard of service and skills they provide, despite those challenges, we realised that made them quite extraordinary… and so ‘The League of


Extraordinary Stylists’ (aka ‘The LXS’) was born. And Centre Stage? That’s where we put our clients – always.” Got that? The South Street salon offers a complete range of hair services with a focus, says Nadia, on “your individual beauty”, and was recently awarded a five-star rating from the Good Salon Guide – a big deal. “It’s a truly humbling experience to know that the standard of work in the salon is up there with the best in country.” Who better, we thought, to quiz on all things hair in 2018? Which of 2018’s biggest hair trends are you most looking forward to offering your clients? Curls are definitely coming back in vogue this year. Think ’80s retro, full of body and texture, but chicer – like Jennifer Beals’ in the movie Flashdance but more refined! Bobs and fringes are also becoming more popular and, in keeping with the retro feel, rolledunder or flipped-out ends, ’90s-style. Our Blow-Dry Bar was launched last week just to accommodate these developing trends. Colour-wise? Warmer and softer shades of blond, like peachy rose with gold tones, are

Frizzy, bouffy hair that won’t behave itself. Suggestions, please? If it’s a continuous issue for you, I would suggest a Keratin treatment to smooth the hair down. It’ll also tone down the volume and leave your hair silky soft and shiny. Otherwise, there are a number of exceptional serums, or Redken’s Frizz Dismiss range, you can choose from that will help you control flyaway, frizzy hair. Hair extensions are mainstream nowadays. But is there an age limit? Definitely over-18 but otherwise, it should never be an age issue. It’s about personality, individual expression and what works. You do, however, need to take the condition and texture of your hair into account to make sure that it’s able to respond and support hair extensions over an extended period of time. Which celebrity’s hair would you love to get your hands on, and why? Donald Trump’s – because somebody has to. What makes a great hairdresser? For us, it’s the ability to truly listen to your guest. If you’re genuinely interested in both your craft and your client – their needs and lifestyle – and are prepared to take the journey together with them to help express their individuality and the best of themselves, then you’re a great stylist in my humble opinion. For more: The LXS @ Centre Stage, 83 South Street, Exeter EX1 1EQ 01392 213217; I EXETER LIVING I 49

Reach the best in the west Auent, active and inuential and just a call away

Exeter Living team 01225 475800




Momentum is building – will you be a winner?


With just two months to go until the glamorous night on 12 April, a stellar lineup of judges has been announced, a new sponsor has come on board, nominations have closed and a record number of businesses have entered themselves for this year’s Exeter Living Awards


panel of high profile and impeccably independent judges are to assess the nominations, and discuss in detail the possible winners, for this year’s Exeter Living Awards. Chosen from disparate areas of Exeter’s business world, they reflect the diversity of the Awards themselves. The line-up this year is particularly strong and eclectic, comprising, in alphabetical order: Ollie Allen (Devon County Show), Dr Sally Basker (Exeter Science Park), Deborah Maeve Clark (Southernhay House), Jane Corry (novelist), Patrick Cunningham (Exeter Phoenix), Ben De Cruz (Haines Watts Chartered Accountants), Sam Farmer (founder, Sam Farmer), Jilly Greed (One Voice Media & PR), Julian Tagg (Exeter City FC) and Roger Wilkinson (Wilkinson Grant & Co). “We’re thrilled to welcome our panel of judges to the Exeter Living Awards,” said Steph Dodd, event manager at MediaClash, which publishes Exeter Living. “Choosing the Award winners will be a tough task – but we’re confident that our judges from all parts of the Exeter business

community will make excellent decisions.” Finalists will be announced on Grand Reveal Day, 13 February – on Twitter, email and on the Awards site. Businesses can also get involved with the Awards through sponsorship, which features an extensive marketing campaign and media coverage. The latest sponsor on board is Triangle Network, taking the Technology & Innovation category, alongside Wilkinson Grant & Co, Visit Exeter, Otter Brewery, Princesshay, The Terrace, Energy Hair, Cathedral Appointments, The Exeter Dental Centre, Harry’s Restaurant, Exeter College and Dana Mulligan Consulting. Silver sponsors include Aquamarine Media, The Oddfellows and Foxwell Films. To join the bill of our Sponsors and to benefit from the Awards, please contact Joss Phillips: joss.phillips@; Twitter: @ExeterLivingAwd

“THE WORK DONE NOW CAN HAVE LONG-TERM BENEFITS” Who’s on track for another cracking year? See page 53



Age of Force Cancer Charity (nearly 31!) Find out more on page 52


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

TALKING TRADE MARKS Brexit may leave owners of intellectual property vulnerable to exploitation, Exeter-based leading intellectual property lawyer Ben Travers has warned. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has issued a notice to holders of EU trade marks, stating that unless there is an agreement to the contrary, after Brexit, EU trade marks and designs will no longer cover the UK. Says Ben, partner and head of intellectual property and IT at Stephens Scown LLP: “This is a stark reminder that without an agreement, holders of EU trade marks will be left

unprotected in the UK after Brexit. At the moment, there is no agreement to the contrary. “This means that owners of registered EU trade marks and designs who are worried about protection in the EU should file a UK application as soon as possible or risk their intellectual property being open to exploitation by others. “The reason this matters so much is because trade mark registrations for key products and services are essential for high growth businesses. Securing a trade mark results in one of the most powerful rights a business can buy – a legal monopoly over the badge of origin that separates one business from another. It is a valuable way to protect a business’s hard won reputation. Of course, in due course transitional provisions may be implemented but why take the risk that your control over your reputation could be lost, when taking simple steps now will avoid the issue?”

Protect yourselves, says Ben Travers

For more:

Sarah Finn with Nick Penwell

MOVERS, SHAKERS, ETC Ruth Wells has been appointed as the new chief executive of Headway Devon… Exeter solicitors Dunn & Baker have announced three promotions: Sarah Finn (pictured) becomes partner, Kathy Trist has taken on the role of head of general civil litigation and Alison Whittingham has been made associate solicitor... Paul Hinchy has been promoted to head of transport at Exeter telecommunications service providers WiFi Spark... Exeter-based recruitment agency Girling Jones has just appointed Joe Knowles as an executive consultant…

WITH THE FORCE Princesshay’s Charity of the Year for 2018 will be Force Cancer Charity. For the past 30 years, Force has been funding a local programme of cancer research, has spent more than £1million on equipment to improve patient care at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and runs a support and information centre in Exeter, with weekly services in Tiverton and Okehampton. “We are over the moon to have been chosen and can’t thank Princesshay enough,” says Oly Watts, fundraising development

officer at Force. “This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for us to create awareness about the support we can offer locally to anyone affected by cancer.” Adds Wayne Pearce, Princesshay centre director: “We’re really looking forward to working closely with Force throughout this year to support and generate funds for the incredible service they provide in and around Exeter.” For more:


David Purse, Julia Holford-White, Oly Watts, Symon Webb, Estelle Moore, Wayne Pearce, Hannah Overton and David Rhodes



You can now fly here from Exeter on a Sunday

The UK’s largest holiday brand, TUI (formerly Thomson) has added an additional weekly flight to Dalaman, Turkey out of Exeter Airport. As of May 2018, Exeter holidaymakers will be able to fly to Dalaman on a Sunday, in addition to the existing Thursday flight. Says Karen Switzer, director of aviation planning for TUI UK & Ireland, says: “We are delighted to be adding another flight to our Dalaman programme from Exeter Airport for summer 2018. This additional flight means that customers can now book 10 and 11 night holidays adding even more choice when deciding how long to go away for.” Exeter Airport managing director Matt Roach adds: “We are delighted with TUI’s additional flights to Dalaman. Departing from a local airport is a priority for many travellers in the South West so the extra weekly service to Turkey will be very popular.” For more:

EXETER CHIEFS NEWS With European aspirations over for another season and the Anglo-Welsh Cup set to enter into its latter stages, it will be the Aviva Premiership and the NatWest Six Nations that will occupy the thoughts of many at Exeter Chiefs over these next few weeks. Still top of the tree after 13 rounds of league battle, it won’t be long until Devon’s finest start to enter into the business end of the season – where hopes of a third successive appearance at Twickenham will be firmly on the agenda. So far this term, Exeter’s defence of their maiden title has gone very much to plan. However, director of rugby, Rob Baxter, knows all too well that whilst nothing is effectively won in February, the work done now can have long-term benefits further down the line. And it’s that mind-set that Baxter and his Chiefs squad will have to adopt over the coming weeks against rivals such as Worcester Warriors, Wasps, Northampton Saints and Saracens. Hoping to play their part for the Chiefs during that period will be international duo Dave Dennis and Jack Maunder, both of whom were on top form in the latest


MARK STEVENS brings you the latest from inside Sandy Park

Exeter Chiefs and England forward Sam Simmonds at home in Teignmouth

Question of Sport night held at Sandy Park. The rivalling Chiefs were joined by Exeter City’s Lee Holmes, Somerset cricketer Dom Bess, five-time Olympian Jo Pavey and Exeter-based indoor bowler, Jamie Chestney. The two teams battled it out over eight different rounds, testing their sporting knowledge to the full in a series of funfilled games. In the end, it was Australian international Dennis, who triumphed over his club-mate 41-32. Keeping with the international theme, there will be a number of Chiefs in action during the upcoming 2018 Six Nations Championship. Props Harry Williams and Alec Hepburn, No 8 Sam Simmonds and winger Jack Nowell are all set to feature for Eddie Jones’ England squad during the opening rounds of

the competition, while centre Henry Slade is also expected to be in contention for a place in the squad once he recovers from a shoulder injury. Also set to take to the international stage will be Exeter tight-head prop Tomas Francis, who himself has been named in the Welsh squad for this season’s tournament. More on that next issue! Next up at Sandy Park: 10 Feb – Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors (2pm) 24 Feb – Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints (2pm) 3 Mar – Exeter Chiefs v Saracens (3pm) For more: I EXETER LIVING I 53


Kim’s clients are in it for justice, not money


KIM MCDONALD Partner, civil and commercial mediator at Gilbert Stephens Your field, civil litigation, must give you a great insight into how people tick. What have you learned about human psychology? When people first come to me with their legal problem, it may not always be cost-effective to pursue it, however they still wish to, purely on the principle. The client feels they have been wronged and they want redress, whether that leaves them out of pocket or not. So many clients will say it’s the principle that counts when they want to make a claim, whether that be in a dispute with their neighbour, a loan that has not been repaid to them or they have suffered an injury through no fault of their own. The type of work I do has given me a good insight into human psychology throughout my career and I am humbled that, for most, all they want is to see justice. Very rarely are they in it for the money. The business of personal injury law sometimes gets a bad press. Is it justified? We often get bad press, and mostly it is because people view lawyers as “ambulance chasers” handing out cards at the scene of accidents! However, this is not the case, especially for local law firms such as Gilbert Stephens. We are particularly choosy about the types of cases that we take on, we are careful to ensure those instructing us are authentic and we only take on those with a real prospect of succeeding – we will not dupe a client into thinking they have a claim just to make money. Even a straightforward whiplash can result in a person losing earnings for a week and some people simply cannot afford to lose that money – that’s where we come in. What is the most common issue that you face when it comes to employment law? One of the most common issues is discrimination claims. This is normally due to the fact business owners are not keeping up to date on employment regulations and laws. The law changes frequently, and for people running businesses it is very difficult to keep up-to-date on the constant changes. For more: 54 I EXETER LIVING I


SET the AGENDA Successful business conferences? They’ve got to be more than whiteboards and weak coffee. ROXANNE DURIS is the woman handing out the name badges



o you want to hold a conference in or near Exeter? Or maybe it’s a whizzy new networking event, or the launch of a political party. Where should you go, and how do you make sure your delegates don’t spend all day doodling and Snapchatting each other about how bored they are? In short: it’s never too soon to start planning. “As with any event,” says David Solomides, director of Crediton-based experts Conferences South West, “it is a little like decorating – it’s the amount of preparation which determines the end result.” Get your metaphorical overalls on.

Fast forward to after the event…


– make sure it’s hot and good!

Sounds counterintuitive, yes, but bear with. Says David: “We spend a lot of time with the conference organisers, discussing what they would like their delegates to say to each other as they leave – dynamic speakers, educational, informative, amusing, enjoyable, thoughtprovoking etc. What would they recommend to their peers? Then design your conference accordingly. “The greatest marketing for your conferences and events is from the delegates that have previously experienced them. If you can generate praise and positive social media activity from your delegates, it bodes well for the next event!”

Location, Location, Location

Exeter and the surrounding area is peppered with high quality spaces you can hire, but don’t be so focused on their size and shape that you overlook a more important issue for your attendees: location, location, location. “You learn from experience that the venue has to be easily accessible, with sufficient parking, and either locatable via sat nav or with clear directions,” says David. “Having frazzled delegates or speakers arriving after the journey from hell is not conducive to a good event!” 

Dean Clarke House: designed to do deals in... I EXETER LIVING I 57





for error in the conference timings,” says David. “Implement clear signage and adequate time to move between workshops or sessions, so that delegates can arrive in a timely manner – and via a potentially much-needed comfort break! “Ensure sufficient time is scheduled before the conference starts, at refreshment breaks and lunchtime, to engage with the exhibitors and browse the marketplace. Especially as it’s the exhibitors which help pay for the cost of the venue, lunch and refreshments – in fact it’s worth reminding the delegates of this!”



Who hasn’t arrived at a conference feeling slightly nervous and wishing they were in the familiar surroundings of their day-to-day workplace? Small talk with strangers, when you’ve barely finished breakfast, isn’t easy. “When delegates arrive,” says David, “registration has to be quick and painless and the registration desk has to be staffed by your happy smiling team, who engage with the delegates and address any questions or issues they may have.” And, imperatively: “Coffee – make sure it’s hot and good!”

Above: room to breathe at Reed Hall; Below: David Solomides Opposite page, clockwise from top: check out Deer Park’s breakfast buffet; classy conferencing at Dean Clarke House; the Mercure Exeter Southgate and its perfectly angled pens; Exeter Racecourse is ready


Hosting a marketplace at your event? “Arrange with the venue for your exhibitors to be able to set up either the evening before, or to gain early access, with easily accessible parking for unloading, on the day of the conference,” advises David. “Exhibitors have usually travelled a long way to attend. If they are respected and treated well, they visit many other events and can be one of your greatest advocates.” And again: coffee. The more, the hotter, the tastier, the better.


That feeling when you reach lunchtime and already you’re drowning in leaflets, agendas, floor plans, speakers’ bios and so on. “Where appropriate, create a conference brochure which contains all the static information of the event,” recommends David. “It’s more convenient for delegates, looks professional and also gives an opportunity to generate revenue or make it cost-neutral, by utilising the available space for exhibitor or sponsor advertising.” Tidy, in both senses of the word.


Pay as much attention to the gaps between stuff as you do the stuff itself. That is, “allow a margin

Even if the coffee rocks, the speakers are scintillating and there’s Molton Brown in the loos, no conference is 100% skiving-resistant. It’s human nature. Want your delegates to remain until the end of the event and not parachute out as soon as they spot the opportunity? David knows how: “Consider running a prize draw, with a small number of relatively high value prizes, perhaps donated by the exhibitors or sponsors, and drawn at the closing session.” (Schools with truancy problems, take note).


Ask your delegates for feedback. “This is essential to keep improving your conference model for efficiency and to add greater value to subsequent conferences,” says David. He suggests asking guests what elements of the event you shouldn’t change in the future – venue, food, timetable, for example. And what ideas they have for adding value at the next one – perhaps they’d like spa facilities, more networking opportunities, a longer or shorter event? In case we didn’t make ourselves clear – coffee should never, repeat never, be a cause for complaint… For more:

THOUGHT SHOWER… Recommended conference and meeting spaces for hire near you Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre Northwood Lane, Devon TQ11 0EG 01364 645530; Dean Clarke House Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1AP 03333 445757; Deer Park Country House Hotel Weston, Honiton EX14 3PG 01404 41266; Exeter Library Castle Street, Exeter EX4 3PQ 0845 155 1001;

Exeter Racecourse Kennford, Exeter EX6 7XS 01392 832599; The Lamb Inn The Square, Sandford, Crediton EX17 4LW; 01363 773 676; Reed Hall Streatham Drive, Exeter EX4 4QR 0300 555 0214; Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1QF 01392 412812; Stuart Line Cruises Exmouth Marina, Exmouth, EX8 1DS 01395 222144; I EXETER LIVING I 59




RENDEZVOUS Judges for last year’s Exeter Living Awards were unable to choose just one winner in the prestigious Restaurant category – so they picked two! One of them was much-loved city centre stalwart Rendezvous, run by Jemma Mitchell who explains how they did it (and offers some foolproof winebuying suggestions…) How did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award? It took me completely by surprise! We were chuffed to bits to have this recognition as we never normally win things… we’re always runners-up! And it was so lovely to be able to come back to the team with proof of our success – a massive pat on the back for everyone who’s made Rendezvous the place it is! Why do you think Rendezvous won? I think what we offer is quite unique in Exeter: uncomplicated, unassuming, unpretentious, and consistent. Lovely, interesting food and wine menus; warm friendly staff who really make the place the success it is; a cosy atmosphere inside, which creates a home-fromhome for our regulars; and, of course, our glorious gardens for a bit of al fresco relaxation when the sun shines. When, why and how did you first set up the business? I’d like to say ‘complete stupidity’, frankly! This was all a pipe dream. After studying at uni here in Exeter and struggling to find a decent glass of vino, I wanted to open a place that was like an extension of my living room – where you could get a yummy glass of wine, and perhaps a decent bite to eat to complement it, without paying a fortune and without having to dress up and go somewhere where you can’t let your hair down and laugh out loud! We found this place in the middle of Southernhay and opened in November 2006 after a refurb. And we’ve never really looked back!

Help me, Jemma! I’m a wine dummy who needs to buy one really good but inexpensive red, and one white, from the supermarket... Pick a smart label and spend about £8 minimum (even better if there’s a deal on!). Go for an Argentinian malbec for the red perhaps – very juicy and gluggable, quite full bodied, with soft ripe tannins which will be excellent with juicy red meat. For the white, don’t be boring and go for pinot grigio or New Zealand sauvignon. I’d suggest being adventurous and trying something Spanish, like a rueda or a white rioja – they’re delicious, dry, food-friendly, a nice weight, and often rather good value. Yours is a very romantic establishment. Ever witnessed any marriage proposals? We’ve had a few, actually, over the years! Sometimes we’ve been warned in advance and we’re just waiting for the wink to bring out the bubbles.


Wine is a crucial part of the Rendezvous experience. How did you first become interested in it? My family are all into wine and my sister has an amazing wine knowledge. She’s worked in wine for years, teaching, consulting, writing and judging so she’s been instrumental in teaching me and helping to shape Rendezvous’ wine list, certainly in the early days. Now I can stand on my own feet having tasted, studied (and drunk it) for some years myself. We’re pretty relaxed about it. Wine is meant to be fun, not pretentious! 62 I EXETER LIVING I

What’s guaranteed to sell out quickly when you put it on the menu? Our menu changes daily, but seared scallops always sell like hot cakes, no matter what we put them with!

When you’re eating out elsewhere in Exeter, where do you like to go? I love Steak ’n’ Sushi, Harry’s, Pasha and the Hourglass amongst others, but it really depends on my mood. Often I’ll just go out for drinks. Doctor Ink’s is a favourite. What’s your favourite foodie fact? If it swims, it slims… A mantra I really should follow more. But with my chefs producing such lovely food, I have no chance of slimming!

For more:




RIVER EXE CAFÉ Floating in the middle of the Exe Estuary, just off Starcross and accessible only by water taxi from Exmouth marina, River Exe Café spells summer for all of us round these parts. It was a popular co-winner of our hotly contested Restaurant category – here, general manager Jane Walter shares her winning ways…

Co-director Dave Foa (right) with Charles Swales at the 2017 Exeter Living Awards

How did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award? The entire team at REC were immensely proud. It was fantastic to get gratification for all the effort and hard work that is put in by all staff. There were a lot of great names and fantastic competitors associated with Exeter Living and everyone felt honoured to be a finalist and winner.

It’s nearly time to re-open for 2018! What do you have to do to the restaurant in terms of preparation/maintenance? There were major alterations to River Exe Cafe last winter, which many customers enjoyed last season. This season, the major work has been on the Puffin Water Taxis. However, 1 April may bring some pleasant surprises on the restaurant itself, too!

Why do you think River Exe Café won? REC is a unique setting that attracts visitors from far and wide and encourages people to visit Exmouth, Exeter and the surrounding towns and villages. Not only this, but the restaurant works tirelessly to support local suppliers using good quality local produce, wines and spirits. Led by head chef Chris Dayer, the venue is like no other: sitting on the deck eating quality seafood and watching the sunset… perfect. All this, coupled with a fantastically talented and hard-working team, obviously paved the way to the Award.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced by being on the water, and how did you get around it? The fact that everything that we take out to the restaurant must return. All of the food and drinks items as well as the recycling, food and sanitary waste. We also have to transport all our water from the quay in Exmouth over to the restaurant, and this has to be transported all day in the Puffin Taxi to ensure water levels remain high. The small kitchen means that we can only hold low stock levels on the restaurant, which have to be replenished as the day goes on. We like to think of these things as adventures that make the restaurant what it is.


When, why and how did River Exe Café start life? River Exe Café was the mastermind of David Foa and Paul Craven, the directors. They felt that there was the need for a place where those enjoying watersports on the River Exe could get some food and a hot drink. From that moment on, work began and, in 2010, two flat-bed barges were transported from Stoke to Exmouth to form the skeleton of the building that exists now. Each year, the restaurant has improved and developed to become what you experience today. It is, however, great that the water users still visit the café today, enjoying a hot chocolate to warm them up. You open from April to September. What do you all do for the rest of the year? Many of our staff use the time wisely to go and travel the world, while a core team works through the winter ensuring administrative tasks are complete, and then gets prepared for the start of the next season. Others work tirelessly to service the Puffin Water Taxis and work on improvements to the restaurant itself. The winter always flies by for us.

What are the team’s own favourite dishes on the River Exe Café menu? Paul, a director of REC, likes scallops to start followed by the fish and chips. I like the butternut squash served with Tuscan bean chilli, samphire and basmati rice. A popular choice with others is the roasted monkfish served on a green lentil and parsnip salsa, and crispy duck with a light curry sauce. Delicious! What’s your favourite fishy fact? A male emperor angelfish lives together with up to five female mates. If the emperor angelfish dies, one of the females turns into a male fish and becomes the leader of the group.

For more: I EXETER LIVING I 63




STAY GLASSY: This fine, four-bedroom detached house in West Hill was built in 2015; among its sleek, contemporary stylings are this double height window framing the pretty, south-facing garden. Guide price ÂŁ650k; Redferns, 1 Broad Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1BR 01404 814306; I EXETER LIVING I 65






We’re in Heavitree again – it’s the new St Leonards, you know By K I T T Y K A N E 67 II EXETER CLIFTONLIVING LIFE I I 113



ust us, or are the benefits of living close to a hospital largely underrated in the world of homeowning one-upmanship? Yes, swimming pools, good school catchment areas and range cookers are all worth bragging about, but we’d swap any of them for a gaff from which – if the car/ civilisation as we know it broke down – we could drag ourselves, or a loved one, to A&E on foot. The handsome and imposing, Grade II-listed Heavitree Park House is that gaff – just 10 minutes’ walk or so from the RD&E. However, as we shall explain, this is just one of numerous wonderful things about the place. Supermodel looks are another. At the end of a private drive, this elegant, bright white, symmetrical Regency pile has enough wow factor to render even the sniffiest visitors speechless with awe. Then there’s its location, the perfect blend of city convenience and suburban quiet. Less than two miles from the city centre, and with lots of great shops and other amenities round the corner, Heavitree Park – the street after which this house is named – is a verdant loop close to Heavitree Fore Street, with a private park in the middle, across which several rooms in this place enjoy uninterrupted views. (NB: this is not to be confused with the wonderful Heavitree Pleasure Gardens, slightly to the north and offering tennis courts, paddling pools, skate park and basketball court.) Also in Heavitree Park House’s favour is an enviable amount of living and sleeping space, replete with high ceilings, decorative cornicing and other such deeply desirable Georgian features, and decorated so tastefully they require very little, if any, tweaking from the new 68 I EXETER LIVING I

Clockwise, from top left: kick back in the games room; modern chic in the kitchen; one of the bedrooms; the high-ceilinged sitting room retains some gorgeous period cornicing


£850K guide price




reception rooms


walled garden


private park to access

owners. An impressive sitting room and dining room, both with twin sash windows to the front and views over that private park, are joined on the ground floor by a sleek, contemporary, kitchen/breakfast room with composite granite work tops and pelmet lighting, and two sash windows overlooking the rear garden – plus a separate utility room, which will be welcome news to the Get Washing Machines Out Of The Kitchen brigade (hello, Kirstie Allsopp). You’ll also find a bright, good-sized games room and a snug, for informal lolling about, plus a convenient downstairs study/home office and a loo. Upstairs, there are five bedrooms – the master comes with an en-suite – a large family bathroom, and a further shower room which should take some of the stress out of the early morning bathroom rush hour. A south-facing, well-maintained walled garden, mainly laid to lawn with a large patio area, delivers plenty of secluded space to relax and entertain in the summer months, and a smart, red brick, detached double garage with ample parking space completes the package. Just kidding! There’s considerably more. Namely, a fabulous, separate two-bedroom apartment – 3b Heavitree Park House, as it’s known to the postman – which is currently rented out to tenants but which, if you don’t fancy being a landlord, could be made easily accessible from the main house, if you wanted to return it to the bosom of the main house. Wilkinson Grant & Co, Exeter The Old City Library 1 Castle Street Exeter EX4 3PT 01392 427500;


Howell Road, Exeter - Guide £975,000


Earls Park, St Leonards - Guide £800,000

client service. Their no “ Excellent nonsense approach, without any of the

fluff that other agents are prone to, was much appreciated. Kept in touch at all times without being pushy or aggressive. And good advice where needed and wanted. Highly recommend.


Bradninch, Exe Valley - Guide £725,000

moved six times over the last “ We’ve 40 years and the Exeter office have been

by far the best estate agents we’ve ever used. Thank you for all your enthusiasm, help, care, professionalism and friendship. SOLD

Cowley, Exeter - Guide £825,000

Celebrating a record year

If you are thinking of buying or selling please don’t hesitate to contact us. Savills, Sterling Court, 17 Dix’s Field, Exeter, EX1 1QA 01392 455755 |


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hauffeur-driven Jaguar? Or a Rolls, perhaps? When it comes to a luxury bucket list, being ferried about like Princess Margaret in The Crown ranks pretty high for many of us. Well, Stephen Poat here can actually make it happen. Book a cream tea at Deer Park and you have the option of upgrading to a private pick-up and drop-off by the resident car curator and chauffeur, in one of owner Nigel Wray’s classic and vintage beauties (also available for wedding car hire). *Fetches cat eye sunglasses* What does your job involve, in a nutshell? I see myself as life support for the cars. In addition to curating the collection, this involves their essential maintenance, training other drivers and overseeing the restoration of the fleet. Then there’s meeting customers and introducing them to the cars – each one has a different character. What makes a good chauffeur? When I’m driving, I am always empathic towards each vehicle, so adjust my driving technique to suit the car. I’m always aware that I’m in charge of the customer’s experience, so I ensure I take their lead. Some may want to chat and ask questions, whereas others may not want to engage. Above all, it is essential to maintain a calm façade at all times – no heckling or road-rage! What’s your favourite classic car to drive and why? Ooh, that’s a tricky one! Each car is charming in its own way. The Rolls Royce is the most challenging to drive because of its age, weight and size. The Jaguar XK50 is certainly the most exciting, due to the brutal nature in which it charges down the road – it’s an animal! It never fails to take people’s breath away. What’s the most unusual pick-up/drop-off you’ve ever had? I like the fact that no two rides are the same. The one that meant the most to me was last year when collecting someone who was older than the Rolls Royce – he was 99 years old. It was a real honour and a privilege to look after him. On the way to the Deer Park, he sat in the back, but on the way home he wanted to ride in the front with me so he could see and feel what was going on. He’s having his 100th birthday at Deer Park this year and he has requested to do exactly the same ride again! Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever had in the back of your vehicle? We’ve had Poirot in the back of the Chevrolet! But we treat all of our experience-seekers as VIPs.



Rolls Royces, Jaguars and Chevrolets – all tools of the trade for Deer Park Country House Hotel’s resident car boffin What piece of music would you put on at the end of a trying day? Red Red Wine or Bittersweet Symphony. Who’s your celebrity crush? Vicki Butler-Henderson or Sabine Schmitz. What has been your proudest moment? Many years ago, I was taught how to make a Rolls Royce Phantom tick, which is a real art. So, when I visited Deer Park as a guest and saw someone trying to get one to start, I knew this was my moment. I was told my efforts would fruitless – mechanics had tried to start the engine without success, so it had just become a beautiful ornament. But I rolled up my sleeves and gave it a go. He fired up and purred with delight – wow, what a sound! It’s such a privilege to work with such beautiful cars as my job. It’s a passion and a labour of love. What’s your earliest childhood memory? It was my first ride in a Ferrari Dino 246 in silver at the age of three. That’s what got me hooked on cars.

What issue, more than any other, makes you want to get up on a soapbox? Ah, it pains me to see beautiful vintage cars caked in mud, or lying under inches of dust. What’s your most treasured possession? My bengal cat named Audi. At the time, my other half said, ‘That’s the only chance you’ll have at getting one on the drive!’ If you had a superpower, what would it be? I’d like to be able to upload experiences into others – a rapid transfer of data. It would be amazing – I could share driving training in an instant. We’d better let you get on… What are you doing right after this? Finishing the essential service on the Rolls. Can’t you smell the oil?

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Exeter Living - Issue 223  

Exeter Living - Issue 223