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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Homes Issue 228/June 2018/£3



Now Playing 10 years of Phonic FM

Busby & Fox: Your new favourite Exeter shop


So you want to be a property developer? And! SUNBATHING / BRIDWELL PARK / BEST BEACH BUYS





What’s on the horizon for Exmouth this summer, and beyond?

Shell yeah! If this issue’s cover makes you crave a day at your local seaside, join the club. British seaside resorts hold a special place in the hearts of those who grew up on these shores – but they haven’t always been treated with the love and attention they deserve. Exmouth’s one of them. But there’s a sense it’s proudly coming into its own again, thanks to the influx of young families attracted by its house prices, the rising popularity of the ‘staycation’, and our zeitgeisty nostalgia for stripey deckchairs, rock-pooling and Mr Whippy. Investment is being made; fresh visions being sought. You’ll get a taster for what’s to come with East Devon District Council’s pop-up entertainment zone this summer – surf to page 16 for all the details. Oh, we even went shopping and found you some flip flops, a beach towel, aftersun and posh cider (see page 40), so what are you waiting for? We’ll meet you under the fourth palm tree along. Anna Britten, Editor Follow us on Twitter: @ExeterLiving

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



Editor Anna Britten

9 Spotlight

Exe Regatta, Wyvern 18, 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 Emma Solley Contributors Julie Reid, Jonathan Taylor, Roxanne Duris, Kitty Kane Advertising manager Joss Phillips Account manager Paula Miller Senior sales executive Craig Wallberg

13 Julie Reid

On everyone in Devon going barmy when the sun shines

15 Jonathan Taylor Caravan-based awkwardness for our single dad


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

16 Exmouth Express

Oh, we do love to be beside the seaside


Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

28 What’s On Awesome art, thrilling theatre, musthear music and more

34 Super Phonic


Our 10th anniversary celebration of Phonic FM

SHOPPING 39 Shopping Intro A bed for the apple of your eye

40 Ed’s Choice Heading to Exmouth beach? Here’s your kit


43 Try Five

57 Business Insider

A bounty of books by local authors and illustrators

Exciting tidings from Exeter’s business whizzes

44 Special Shop

60 Meet the Winners

72 The Big Build Up

So you wanna be a property developer? Get the lowdown from local experts

52 Seen!

48 Restaurant


90 Lives

Poor, poor reviewer having to spend an afternoon eating at Gidleigh Park...

Look, everybody, Bridwell Park is on the market!


62 Property Showcase

© 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:


How Exeter Corn Exchange and Exeter Phoenix were crowned best Arts bods in the city

Everyone’s falling in love with Busby & Fox

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

Who have we spotted hobnobbing around town lately? Victoria Byron, ace Exeter illustrator

On the cover This image, by Devonbased photographer Nigel Hicks, comes from his latest book Beautiful Devon, published by Aquaterra Publishing, and available through all good book shops and online: www.nigelhicks. com/beautiful_devon. html.



TAKING THE STAGE The critically-acclaimed artistic director and joint CEO of the Mercury Theatre in Colchester has been appointed Exeter Northcott Theatre’s new artistic and executive director. Daniel Buckroyd will lead Exeter’s flagship theatre from autumn this year, having overseen a recent period of rapid development and artistic and commercial success at the highly-regarded Essex venue, which was short-listed for The Stage Regional Theatre of the Year Award 2017. His impressive CV includes everything from Shakespeare to premieres of new plays, while his version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs received no less than five nominations for the 2018 Great British Pantomime Awards. Says Lucy Studholme, chair of Exeter Northcott’s trustees: “We received a large number of strong applications for this post, and Daniel Buckroyd’s was exceptionally compelling. He will build on all that has been achieved at the Northcott over the last four years, and will make a significant contribution to Exeter’s growing reputation as a thriving creative and cultural centre. We are greatly looking forward to welcoming him and his family to Devon.” “I am thrilled to be joining the Northcott team at this hugely exciting time for the theatre,” Daniel adds. “I have followed the Northcott closely ever since I directed my first professional production there some years ago, and am delighted to have been given this opportunity.”

Welcome to Exeter, Daniel!

Sponsors for this year’s River Exe Regatta gather at Topsham Sailing Club with its commodore Peter Williams (far left)


BOATS, BOATS, BOATS Lifejackets on, everybody! The River Exe Regatta casts off on 23-24 June and we’re all invited Nothing makes us want to chuck in the nine-to-five, buy a Musto jacket and literally sail off into the sunset than the sight of the River Exe and Exe Estuary filling up with colourful sails on a certain weekend in June. The River Exe Regatta sees Topsham Sailing Club, the Exe and Lympstone Sailing Clubs, Starcross Yacht Club and Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club joining forces for Devon’s finest annual celebration of sailing. This year’s watery shindig takes place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June with helmsmen of monohulls, multihulls and cruisers being invited to enter and put their sailing skills to the test. But wait! You don’t have to be a seasoned sailor to watch the races, soak up the atmosphere and join in the nautical fun, which includes a Caribbean-themed party

night at Topsham Sailing Club on Saturday 23 June. Explains Peter Williams, commodore of Topsham Sailing Club: “The River Exe Regatta is the highlight in the calendar of many competitive sailors in the area, but it’s not all about the racing. “We’re encouraging junior sailors to develop their skills in a ‘Swallows and Amazons’ adventure up the river, as well as holding a dinghy cruise for non-racing sailors too. “The River Exe offers an exciting variety of opportunities to get out on the water, whether you’re a seasoned sailor or are just looking for a leisurely weekend kayak. “The Regatta celebrates all that sailing encompasses as a fantastically social sport that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.” I EXETER LIVING I 9



STANDING WITH AN ARMY Music and the military mix at Wyvern 18 Photo by Matt Austin

If you’ve ever wondered what’s behind the towering wall and metal gates of Wyvern Barracks on Topsham Road, this summer’s your chance to find out – and enjoy some live music in the process. The Exeter military base – home of the reservist battalion 6 Rifles – is to host Wyvern 18, three evenings of open-air concerts, food and drink, ‘a military village’ and displays on 5, 6 and 7 July. “I’ve been in command of the battalion for the last 18 months,” says commanding officer of 6 Rifles, Lt Col Jon Penhale. “But I’ve spoken to people outside, whether that’s the city council, the county council, businesses or employer networks, and nobody has any idea of what goes on behind the big red-brick wall of Wyvern Barracks, or even that it still functions as an army base in 2018. So I thought, why not spin this on its head and invite people in, and showcase what the army is good at, who we are, what we’re about, what we’ve achieved in the last 100 years, and why we’re relevant today in the 21st century.” The concerts – which will feature Exeter acoustic roots/folk duo Show of Hands, Dartmoor folk choir The Lost Sound, the Army Cadet Force band and other local groups – will tell the story of Wyvern Barracks and its soldiers, from 1918 to the present day, with audiences encouraged to sing along to well-known World War II songs including Pack Up Your Troubles and It’s A Long Way to Tipperary. For more


SEVEN DEADLY SINS In our regular mini Q&A with visiting and local performers, actor BRYONY DAVIES, bares her wicked soul LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today? A makeover, because I just woke up and caught myself in the mirror and wow, I look so rough from last night. Whoops. GREED: What should you be cutting down on (non-food and drink!)? Dry shampoo. I hardly wash my hair. It makes it look grey and I’m sure I’ve got a receding hairline. And no, I wouldn’t look good bald, I’ve got a round head. GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? Crisps. Every time I eat crisps they have to be a different flavour to last time. I can eat any crisps but am currently enjoying


Rib N Saucy Nik Naks, salt and vinegar Squares and Chilli Heatwave Doritos. It’s not unusual for me to eat a 250g bag in one sitting. SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now? Running. I started recently for the first time ever, but it’s taking ages to increase the distance. I want to be able to enter a marathon soon, because that would be an awesome achievement, and I also want to raise money for my favourite charity. But I still can’t get my head around how you actually manage to run for that length of time. WRATH: What/who makes you angry? Not getting responses from job applications. I just think if you advertise a position and receive applications you can send a blanket email saying ‘received’. Not hearing makes you feel like you aren’t a worthy person. ENVY: Who are you jealous of? Daisy and Charlie Cooper (BBC Three’s This Country) because they are two siblings that thought ‘f*** it’ and made their own show. They stuck to their gut and made something that is so uniquely theirs, which is hilarious and full of heart. They are so funny and down to earth and I want to be that.

PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement? Being a member of Barrel Organ! I’m so proud of all of the work we have done together, since day one. Anyone’s Guess How We Got Here by Barrel Organ Theatre is at Exeter Phoenix 18-19 June;

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













If you can handle the man-boobs, says Julie, there’s no better place to be than Devon when the clouds lift


evon is beautiful in the sun. OK, most places are beautiful in the sun, but when it gets above 20 degrees I’d much rather be on a Devon beach than a rush hour tube in London, wedged underneath a sweaty armpit with sandaled toes being spiked by rogue stiletto heels, or having to wait in a two-mile queue to pay to swim in Hyde Park’s open air pool. At home in Sidmouth I can grab my bikini at a moment’s notice, leg it down to the beach and jump in the cooling sea without having to buy a ticket. In the summer, ‘there doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city, all around people looking half dead, walking on the sidewalk hotter than a match head’ – or so The Lovin’ Spoonful sang.



It can get tense and stifling trying to get anywhere in crowds or traffic jams and I do understand why people who have travelled for miles to get out of the cloying urban sprawl have little patience trying to then locate the perfect spot to relax in the sun, instead just hurling themselves out of the car and putting their deckchairs in the nearest open space available. I have seen people sitting in car parks, on street verges and on concrete steps, relieved just to have fresh air and sea views. Like deserters from battle, they visibly sigh with relief when they open the car door. Being English, we feel we need to catch every ray of sun that nature has to offer. If the sun’s out, I’m out. After all we only get around 40 days of it a year, and about half of those are accompanied by a force 10 gale. Therefore, we need to make the most of those days when the heat is on, the sky is blue and the air is calm. That’s why you won’t see a shred of unnecessary clothing on anyone in Devon when the sun is shining. Men drive around Exeter topless, man-boobs obviously not yet considered terrifying enough to be illegal. Women walk through Exmouth town centre in G-string bikinis, and the gentlemen in Budleigh take off their bow ties (yes, even the nudists). The sun also has the effect of convincing everyone they are a pro-surfer/kayaker/paddleboarder, even if they’ve never done it before. This makes going in the sea quite precarious for other people. Carefully doing doggy paddle you’re suddenly confronted with an overstuffed, pissed-up granddad steaming towards you on an out-of-control Fatyak, screaming at his uninterested grandson: “This is how you do it, Tucker!!” When I visit other, hotter, countries, people always wonder why I would want a tan. In LA they all hide from the sun and wear factor 120 cream daily. They don’t know what overcast means! My friend there sends photos of her kids at Christmas in their garden wearing tiny summer dresses, having water-fights with cloudless skies behind them. By December here, my kids and I have been barricaded in our house for months trying to avoid floods and freezing temperatures, sundresses only a distant memory. If we visit my friends in California, I am constantly looked at for having a tan. It would appear that only the homeless and manual workers are forced to submit their skin to the harmful rays of the sun. “She’s English,” my friend is forced to explain to bemused passers-by, if I stand and try to catch the warm light on my face. “They have to get it whenever they can.” 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 13




PAST TENTS It’s half-term and Jon is bargaining over bedroom arrangements in Bodmin…


fter a few minutes of tossing and turning, it becomes clear that my night’s sleep is largely behind me. Now, lying twisted like a question mark in the pre-dawn gloom, I listen to the rain. This is day two of our Cornish beach holiday. And it all began like this: “I’m taking the children to St Ives for half-term,” Holly and Huck’s mum says. “Do you want to join us? I’ve booked a three-bed caravan for us – you could sleep in that silly one-man tent you bought when we first got together.” I wince at the memory of rugged ideas of adventure that never happened, cringe for the singularly bad message the tent purchase sent Mum and feel chagrined at an invite that places a condition upon the sleeping arrangements. “I’m not sure I can come,” I say, in a disappointed voice. This is completely untrue; this is my opening bargaining position. I want to join them, but be in the caravan. “Come or don’t come,” she says. “It’s up to you.” This is Mum’s opening negotiating position. And her closing one. Agreeing to take two cars, Holly and Huck join Mum, while I take


all the beach kit – at least for this part of the holiday, I am in the driving seat. Nearing Bodmin, I realise my fuel-mileage calculations are slightly off. At a busy petrol forecourt – with luck that I usually see other drivers profit from – I anticipate, correctly, the quickest queue. The driver in front exits her car, looks at her fuel cap and realises it is not on the same side as the pump. As I say to myself, ‘Madam, these overhanging hoses will reach either side,’ she returns to her car to ponder her next move; I have no choice but to wait. I reach for my phone and look at a weather app’s local three-day forecast: three little clouds with rain shooting diagonally out of them. A petrol stop becomes a coffee stop. My phone rings. It’s Mum. “Where are you?” she asks. “I had to stop for fuel,” I reply. “Is that with hazelnut syrup?” the barista asks. “I thought you were getting fuel,” Mum says, with little to disguise her annoyance. “Have you seen the weather forecast?” I reply. “I’m not sure it’s tent weather…” “We’ve arrived,” she says. “OK,” I say. “I’ll ring you when...” There is a beep and a silence. My phone says ‘call ended’. I arrive half an hour later. Ahead, I see Mum next to her car double-thumbing her phone, eyebrows knotted together. “I was just texting you,” she says moments later, smiling. As twilight gives way to dawn, I tire of listening to the rain and get out of my make-shift sofa bed in the caravan – Mum was only half-serious about the tent. A few years have passed since I last made Mum morning tea. Entering her room while she remains asleep suddenly feels thoroughly ill-judged. “Morning!” I say. “Tea.” I place the mug by her bed. The duvet cover, abruptly pulled over her head, distorts the voice, but not the tone. “What are you doing?” she muffles. “Err, I brought you tea.” “What?” she cries. “I haven’t got my make-up on yet – get out!” Holly and Huck bundle into the bedroom with excited squeals. The duvet flaps down. “I suppose you think that’s funny?” I think about my answer carefully. “A bit,” I reply. “You,” she says, reaching for her tea, “are irredeemable. I hope you brought your tent...” Jonathan Taylor is a single dad-of-two based in St Leonards, Exeter. For more, Facebook: @aol3t







EXMOUTH EXPRESS Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside. And we know we’ll like it even more this summer, as Exmouth’s regeneration gathers pace with a new, free pop-up attraction on the seafront

Wor d s by A N NA BR I T T E N

F We’re not saying Exmouth is set to be the new Rio de Janeiro – but then again, we’d hesitate to bet against it…

or many of us, Exmouth has plenty going for it already, thank you. Two miles of nice sandy beaches and a resplendent promenade fringed with palm trees, the hilly beginnings of the Jurassic Coast, a pretty town centre, the Exe estuary with its rich wildlife, and plenty of independent businesses helping to drive the economy. Yet Exmouth arguably remains underrated by the rest of the world – especially its tropical seafront, which right now is in the early stages of an extensive permutation to make it among the buzziest in the UK. And, excitingly, as of the day this magazine hits the streets, you’ll be able to sample a taster of the new-look Exmouth. See, East Devon District Council have transformed the tired old Queen’s Drive area, formally home to a play facility and boating pond, into a new, lively, free attraction, consisting of three distinct themes – food, play and performance – designed to attract locals and visitors in their flip-flopped droves. The Queen’s Drive Space, to use its official name, includes a dinosaur-themed free play park offering a multitude of activities for youngsters. There’s also a food village, run by Taste of the West and featuring a varied and colourful rotation of quality, local food and drink producers, and a pop-up bar from gastropub stars The Oddfellows. A giant open air screen will showing films and live streams from the Royal Opera House – beginning on Tuesday 12 June with an evening performance of Swan Lake live from London. A stage will also w I EXETER LIVING I 17



allow live music performances. And all with a view of those waves rolling in and out. Find out more at The pop-up is a mere taster of what’s on the horizon for Exmouth over the next few years – the Council’s three-phase development of the nine-acre site on Queen’s Drive, involving relocation of the car park and realignment of the road, a proposed new watersports centre by Grenadier Estates, and a ‘fresh vision’ from Wayne Hemingway, of coastal regeneration specialists Hemingway Design, who was behind Margate’s famous Dreamland regeneration in 2015. Says Wayne Hemingway: “A new generation is realising that the British coastline has so much going for it and that crowded Mediterranean beaches don’t hold a light to the unspoilt beauty of beaches like Exmouth. There is a real opportunity for the town to look forward with confidence.” (Calling all Exmouth-based creatives with a passion for the seafront – you’re invited to email with your ideas). To take the temperature of Exmouth on the brink of summer 2018, we asked a cross-section of locals for their opinions. How do you think has Exmouth changed over the last few years? Exmouth has grown hugely over the last 17 years since we have been here as a business. I feel it has become a destination place to visit. The town is thriving and has lots of local businesses. Kelly Barnes, Krispies Fish & Chips Exmouth has changed a lot over the last few years; the town has an ever-growing population and has seen much investment and redevelopment to meet its changing needs. The 18 I EXETER LIVING I

Above: Once a working commercial dock, Exmouth Quay is now a colourful, contemporary marina with sought-after new housing

SIMPLY THE FEST Exmouth Festival’s back! Here’s what’s going down Ice creams all round! The 22nd annual Exmouth Festival is back from 25 May-3 June, with live music, workshops, activities and entertainment centred around the Imperial Recreation Ground, but also embracing six other venues, including Exmouth Library. The fun starts with four days of free musical events with sizeable headliners – The Blockheads are confirmed for Sat 26 May – supported by local acts. Look out too for West Country Traditions Day, formerly held in The Strand, which celebrates folk, crafts, Morris and more. Entry is free, but to keep it that way, the Festival relies on donations – so please give what you can to support this brilliant event, and keep it free for years to come.

town has done a great job of modernising to meet the new demands whilst still maintaining the traditional charm and community of a Devonshire seaside town. I think Exmouth has a great future ahead! Darren Marsh, Brandon Care Ltd There is a period of change in Exmouth and it becomes increasingly harder to compete with the draw of the larger department stores, restaurants and coffee houses Exeter has to offer. But I see this as a time for independent businesses and perhaps more bespoke shops to enter the town and create a place to shop away from those larger stores, to keep things local with quality offerings along with the plans on the seafront. We have exciting times ahead. Elliott Martin, MPS Windows What are your favourite places to eat, drink and shop in Exmouth? Eat: Spoken – the burgers are incredible! Drink: Franklins – Matt’s Cocktails are to die for. Shop: I love Scarlet and Zanzibar. Kelly Barnes, Krispies Fish & Chips “Head to Namaste, on High Street, mmmm! Curry, spicy or not and lots of other far eastern delights.” Andrew Fuller, The Velvet Marionette Exmouth has many great places to eat and drink like the unique River Exe Café but also The Grapevine, Rockfish and Oddfellows have been great additions to the town. However The Grove pub on the seafront is a great place to stop after a long walk on the beach. Darren Marsh, Brandon Care Ltd

OUT OF TOWN something is better than nothing. If it brings people to the town then we have to take the positives from the situation we are currently in. Kelly Barnes, Krispies Fish & Chips And are you looking forward to the future developments there by Wayne Hemingway, who also revived Margate’s seafront? I personally see the future plans as exciting and a real opportunity for Exmouth to stand out as an attraction for both local residents and those visiting from nearby locations and holidaying families. If the balance of the new plans and the voice of both sides of the debate are listened to a lovely space for all to enjoy can be achieved. I think it is important for Exmouth to be a place that stands out for the next generation and have the facilities to be proud of and inspire generations of watersports lovers! Elliott Martin, MPS Windows

My favourite restaurant is The Chronicle. Great food great service and great price. Highly recommended Nicola Askew, Strands Hair Queen’s Drive this summer will have a new children’s play area, lots of street food, live music and cinema, etc. Do you think this is good news for the town? In short, yes! Creating an attraction for all to enjoy and a reason to get together outside, engage with the people we share this town with and encourage those visiting from out of the area to experience what we have to offer is important – it helps our economy grow and encourages people to visit again. Elliott Martin, MPS Windows

EXETER TO EXMOUTH: GETTING THERE By bike: Just over 10 miles on the easy-peasy National Cycle Route 2 along the River Exe and Exe Estuary By bus: The number 57 Stagecoach Gold bus, which on a Saturday night runs later than the train! By train: Journey time’s as little as 22 minutes from Exeter Central By car: Down the A376 for about half an hour – warning, gets congested, especially when the sun’s out

Change can be good and shouldn’t be feared, unless of course that change is not properly planned and discussed. Hopefully everyone is working towards a single, collective goal. Exmouth is a big town and people choose to live here all year round, facilities need to be of use to local people, not just visitors. Also it would be nice to think that before things were knocked down, a decision on what will be replacing them was in place. In Bournemouth, things like the Winter Gardens were knocked down 10 years ago and still they cannot decide what to build there and the site is just a car park; I would hate for something like that to happen here. Andrew Fuller, The Velvet Marionette w

This is fantastic news for the town. New ideas for providing entertainment will always be beneficial. It will encourage people to come into the town centre and seafront to make use of all the great facilities. Darren Marsh, Brandon Care Ltd I thinks it’s always good to make changes when it’s needed especially for the younger generation. I have a seven-year-old boy so anything that he could benefit from is good with me. I think this could be exciting for Exmouth. Bringing families out to enjoy the festivities. Let’s hope Exmouth feel the same! Nicola Askew, Strands Hair I think that’s a very difficult question to answer, people have suffered loss of family businesses in the last couple of years due to the ongoing battle on the seafront. However I think having

New horizons: photo by Emma Solley I EXETER LIVING I 19


Hot property: Exmouth beach huts

As long as the development does the town justice and doesn’t take away the spirit of Exmouth then I’m excited to see what happens. Kelly Barnes, Krispies Fish & Chips I am looking forward to the future developments in particular the watersports centre, which will provide a hub to encourage and promote further uptake in sporting activities which will have benefits for many. Darren Marsh, Brandon Care Ltd What one thing would make Exmouth even better? Exmouth could benefit from lower business rates... We are losing long existing small businesses in favour of the bigger chains and I feel sad to see empty shops. Perhaps more support for the small business owners would help. Nicola Askew, Strands Hair All money generated from parking within one mile of the beach, given back to the town. They could use it to make the town really sparkle, or just fill in the potholes. Andrew Fuller, The Velvet Marionette For me it would have to be better use of the Strand, it’s a huge space which can often be wasted. The Exmouth Festival is a hugely successful free event, so maybe more paid events making use of the Strand area Kelly Barnes, Krispies Fish & Chips In one nutshell, what makes Exmouth special? The people and community make Exmouth special. When the sun comes up on a summer’s day you can feel the buzz in air! Kelly Barnes, Krispies Fish & Chips Exmouth is a lovely, growing town, with a friendly population, Nicola Askew, Strands Hair Once you get here everything in the centre is within easy walking distance, the town, parks, marina, beach... Park the car, walk and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Andrew Fuller, The Velvet Marionette Exmouth is made special by the wonderful mix of people who come to the town, All are brought together by the natural beauty that the town and all of East Devon has to offer. Darren Marsh, Brandon Care Ltd For more: 20 I EXETER LIVING I


Support these local shops and services in the seaside town SHOPPING Caramel Clothing 17-18 Strand, Exmouth EX8 1AF 01395 272624; Exmouth Cycle Hire 1 Victoria Rd, Exmouth EX8 1DL 01395 225656 Exmouth Indoor Market 12 Strand, Exmouth EX8 1AB; 01395 264347 Scarlet 11 Strand, Exmouth EX8 1AB; 01395 225252 Velvet Marionette 20 High Street, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 1NP 07526 177750; Zanzibar 18 Rolle St, Exmouth EX8 1NJ; 01395 225872 E AT I N G A N D D R IN KI N G Bumble & Bee Manor Gardens, Exmouth EX8 1BB Bumble & Sea Orcombe Point, Exmouth (both) 07791 229741; The Chronicle 3 Chapel Hill, Exmouth EX8 1NY 01395 488015; Franklins Strand, Exmouth EX8 1BR; 01395 263086 The Grapevine (incorporating Ruby Kitchen) 2 Victoria Rd, Exmouth EX8 1DL 01395 222208; Krispies Fish & Chips 57 Exeter Rd, Exmouth EX8 1PX 01395 278823; Namaste Himalaya 8 High St, Exmouth EX8 1NN 01395 222831;

The Oddfellows (closing July) High St, Exmouth EX8 1NP 01395 277030; Redwing Bar & Dining Church Rd, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5JT 01395 222156; River Exe Café Catch water taxi from Exmouth Marina 07761 116103; Rockfish Pier Head, Exmouth EX8 1DU 01395 272100; Saveur 9 Tower St, Exmouth EX8 1NT 01395 269459; Spoken 43 Strand, Exmouth EX8 1AL 01395 265228; H A IR & B E AU T Y Strands Hair, 47 Strand, Exmouth EX8 1AL; 01395 271663; Reflexetions Pilot Wharf, Pier Head, Exmouth EX8 1XA; 01395 222700; CARE HOMES Sheridan House/Brandon Care 10C Douglas Avenue, Exmouth EX8 2BT 01395 276676; Manor Lodge Residential Care Home 8 Portland Avenue, Exmouth EX8 2BS 01395 266691; H O M E & G A R D EN Exmouth Bed and Pine 69-71 Exeter Rd, Exmouth EX8 1QD 01395 271920; MPS Windows Unit 1B Swift Units, Pound Lane, Exmouth EX8 4NP; 01395 268712; Green Thumb Lawn 01823 672021;

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HAPPY FATHERS DAY Why not thank the special man in your life with a refreshing treatment from SKIN SOUTHWEST?


e are seeing a significant increase in male customers looking to improve their appearance and increase their confidence. Men have a particular appetite for natural looking results that don’t necessarily make them look younger but subtly enhance their appearance. Here are the top five reasons men come to see us and some of the ways we treat them: • Love handles: Cryosculpt: a non-invasive treatment that targets specific and stubborn areas of fat that can be difficult to shift even after hours in the gym. • Tired appearance: Endymed 3Deep: a radio frequency treatment used to lift and tighten the face, giving a refreshed and healthy looking appearance.

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25 May – 25 June

Great Expectations at Exeter Northcott; Violinist Sophie Rosa takes part in Semper Fidelis at Exeter Cathedral; Faslane wades into the nuclear debate at Exeter Phoenix


EXETER ILLUSTRATORS: BE INSPIRED Enjoy work in a variety of styles from the talented collective. Welcome Cafe, Haven Banks, Exeter Quay; Facebook: exeterillustrators UNTIL 17 JUNE

ANOTHER SPRING Contemporary art by Andreas Angelidakis, Forensic Architecture, David Birkin, Layla Curtis, Kennardphillipps and Steffi Klenz, curated by Dr Jean Wainwright. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

contemporary names. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; UNTIL 4 NOVEMBER

PETER RANDALL-PAGE AT CASTLE DROGO Drawings and prints by the Royal Academician, inspired by Rorschach ink blots and the natural world. NT Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton; www. 26 MAY-16 JUNE

WORKING THE LAND Works on an agricultural theme from Debbie Lush, Tony Williams and Alison Stewart. Hybrid Gallery, 51 High Street, Honiton;


POP ART IN PRINT A V&A exhibition featuring works from artists including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein as well as famous


RALEIGH 400 See John Everett Millais’s famous painting The Boyhood Of Raleigh (it normally lives in Tate Britain),


alongside other Raleigh-related exhibits on loan from RAMM. Fairlynch Museum, 27 Fore St, Budleigh Salterton;

Multi-award winning craft event in the South West, celebrating the best of British designer-making. Mill Marsh Park, Bovey Tracey;

1-3 JUNE

ART @ DARTS Five top West Country painters – Ray Balkwill, Judy Hempstead, Penelope Timmis, Jo Vollers and Tony Williams – exhibit their work as part of this new venture for the award-winning farm shop. The Estuary Room, Darts Farm, Topsham; 2 JUNE-25 AUGUST

THG OPEN 2018 Bi-annual open competition for professional and amateur artists of the South West. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street, Honiton; 9-11 JUNE


Theatre, Comedy & Dance 27 MAY

BALLET CENTRAL Central School of Ballet’s touring company showcase works by world-renowned choreographers. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; 28 MAY-2 JUNE

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL Touring musical starring Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton as welder/virtuoso hoofer Alex Owens. Northcott Theatre, Stocker

W H AT ’ S O N


Road, Exeter; 30 MAY

TWIST Thriller set in 1990s Hampstead by Miles Tredinnick, performed by Baroque Theatre Company. Cygnet Theatre, Friars Gate, Exeter; 31 MAY

THE WINTER’S TALE One of five outdoor theatre shows for all ages in association with Plough Arts Centre, Torrington. Here, The Festival Players do the Bard. RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington; 1 JUNE

THE MAGIC GARDEN Interactive children’s theatre from Boo To A Goose. 11.30am and 2.30pm. RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington; 5 JUNE

FASLANE Jenna Watt’s highly personal, award-winning show about the two sides of the Trident debate. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 5-9 JUNE

IOLANTHE Sasha Regan’s all-male version of the Gilbert & Sullivan love story between fairies and the House of Lords. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; 10 JUNE

BARRY CRYER & COLIN SELL: STRICTLY COME JOKING Songs and jokes from the selfdescribed ‘Ant and Dec of the Sanatogen set’. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; 13-14 JUNE

DAVID BADDIEL: MY FAMILY: NOT THE SITCOM The comedy A-lister’s smash hit, Olivier-nominated show airs his family secrets with honesty and humour. Northcott Theatre, Stocker

Cup winners: Admire the work of the best designer-makers in the South West at The Contemporary Craft Festival from 9-11 June

Road, Exeter; 16 JUNE

UGLY DUCKLING Northern Ballet presents the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale in a childfriendly retelling. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; 18-19 JUNE

ANYONE’S GUESS HOW WE GOT HERE Highly rated two-hander described as “part Thelma And Louise and part Stranger Things”. See Spotlight, page 10. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 19-23 JUNE

GREAT EXPECTATIONS Nichola McAuliffe stars as Miss Havisham in this new national touring production. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter; 22 JUNE

ROMEO AND JULIET Actors on bikes The

HandleBards are back with their riotous take on the Shakespeare tragedy. Chapter House, Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter;


PHONIC FM 10TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT See page 34. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


WUTHERING HEIGHTS Hotbuckle Productions deliver Emily Brontë’s passionate tale of love on the moors. RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington;

Music & Opera


HUMAN CARGO Show about emigration, slavery and transportation from storyteller Matthew Crampton and US folk musician Jeff Warner. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

29 MAY

JERRON ‘BLIND BOY’ PAXTON Acclaimed US musician putting a modern spin on 1920s-30s jazz, blues, folk and country. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;


BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN One of Nashville’s most acclaimed singer/songwriters. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; 16 JUNE


GRUFF RHYS The Welsh musician and Super Furry Animals frontman tours fifth album Babelsberg. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

SEMPER FIDELIS Concert organised by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Violinist Sophie Rosa joins The Exeter Symphony Orchestra and Exeter Philharmonic Choir. I EXETER LIVING I 29


W H AT ’ S O N

Exeter Cathedral; 16-30 JUNE

EAST DEVON MUSIC FESTIVAL The former Honiton Festival brings an eclectic mix of UK and international classical artists (including Tasmin Little at Deer Park Hotel) to the town. Various venues, Honiton; 19 JUNE

HAWKSMOOR CELEBRATORY CONCERT SERIES: ELLA RUNDLE & JOHN PAUL EKINS The cellist and pianist perform Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Brahms. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

Other Events UNTIL 28 MAY

ART WEEK EXETER Seven days of fascinating and original contemporary

art across the city, from the biggest venues, such as Exeter Cathedral, to lesser known ones including Studio 36. Various venues, Exeter; UNTIL 3 JUNE

EXMOUTH FESTIVAL Live music, children’s activities, theatre, arts and crafts, workshops, food and drink and more – see also page 18. Various venues including Imperial Recreation Ground, Exmouth; 26-27 MAY

RIVER COTTAGE FOOD FAIR Fun, foodie weekend. River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster; 1 JUNE

FAMILY ADVENTURE DAY Join the East Devon education ranger for den building, campfiremaking and so on.


WANT MORE? Sign up now for the Exeter Living

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.)

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

EMILY MACAULAY shares the latest from Exeter Library For me it’s cream on top. The more the better. The jam provides the base and then the clotted cream just gets built into the biggest mound possible. But then, I am an Essex girl so I am unaffected by the Devon/Cornwall divide (and I started having cream teas in Somerset... what way do they do theirs anyway?). There’s a point to this drool-inducing start. We have a series of author events coming up at Exeter Library and the ticket price includes a cream tea, handmade by the Real Food Café based in the library. So, if you like books and reading, enjoy events and like your food ethically sourced and scrummy, look no further. Coming up, we have An Evening of Crime with Mark Billingham and Martyn Waites (resident of Exeter) on 28 June from

Holyford Woods; 9 JUNE

6-8pm. Mark will be discussing his new Tom Thorne thriller The Killing Habit in conversation with Martyn who will be chatting about his latest book The Old Religion. Tickets for both events are available in the library or via Eventbrite (incurs booking fee). Did I mention it includes a cream tea?! For more:


CHILDREN’S HOSPICE SOUTH WEST’S RAINBOW RUN Support the local children’s hospice with a 5k run/walk/ jog through colourful paint explosions. Westpoint Centre, Devon Showground, Clyst St Mary; 10 JUNE

OPEN FARM SUNDAY Quickes Farm, Burrow Farm and West Town Farm are among those locally that will be throwing their gates open to the public.

Jane Corry. Look out, too, for a literary walk and a poetry open mic. Kennaway House, Sidmouth; 22 JUNE

DAVID OLUSOGA: BLACK AND BRITISH The historian and BBC Civilisations presenter celebrates RAMM’s new Africa display and re-opened World Cultures galleries by telling the story of black British history from Roman Britain and through both World Wars. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; 23-24 JUNE

15-17 JUNE

THE SIDMOUTH LITERARY FESTIVAL Fourth outing for the seaside bookworm bonanza – this year’s guest authors include Nicholas Parsons, Kate Adie, Nicci French and Exeter’s own bestselling

EXE REGATTA Annual weekend of races on the Exe Estuary. See also Spotlight, page 9. Exe, Lympstone and Topsham Sailing Clubs and Starcross Yacht clubs;

SUPER PHONIC As Exeter’s independent, commercial-free radio station Phonic FM celebrates its 10th birthday, ANNA BRITTEN hears from one of its directors, Paul Giblin, and chair David Treharne, about playing what they want, and the future of radio itself Photo s by V E N E T I A NOR R I NGT ON

having a local voice and a no-playlist policy attracts people who want more than wallpaper music



for a month every spring. We were so excited by that month on air that when the spring 2007 festival ended, a small group of us established a company which applied for one of Ofcom’s community radio licences to go on air all year round. We secured start-up grants from Exeter City Council, the Arts Council, Awards for All, Ofcom itself, then harnessed the energy created by Vibraphonic and widened our scope to spread beyond the festival’s original jazzy vibes to cover the all aspects of the city’s art and culture. We were ready to go on air on 15 February 2008, initially housed in a temporary studio in the Media Centre part of the Phoenix before moving into our basement studio in July that year. How has the station evolved since its inception? Hugely and often unexpectedly! Some shows have depended on the total commitment of the presenters. Genres now exist that didn’t in 2008. There are currently nine presenters that have been with the station since day one, which shows how much we have changed.

Clockwise from opposite: live on air; presenter Chris Norton; Paul Giblin on the steps of Phonic’s home, Exeter Phoenix

NOW PLAYING What’s top of David Treharne’s playlist? Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett God Had A Girlfriend – Roswell Rudd Younger Men Grow Older – Ritchie Havens Favourite new release: Living in Twilight – Ariel Pocock And Paul’s? Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd Echoes – Pink Floyd Favourite new release: Cromlech Chronicles II – Sendelica Listen to Phonic FM on 106.8FM


blast of Miles Davis, a local theatre company promoting their new Shakespeare production, a burst of Northern Soul, a round-table discussion with local businesswomen – these are just a few examples of what you might hear at any given time on Exeter’s community radio station – or ‘sound alternative’ – Phonic FM, which marks ten years on the airwaves this summer. (Of course they’re throwing a party. Read on for all the details...) Commercial-free and created for the city and beyond, the station reaches an estimated monthly audience of 10,000 in its core broadcast area and between 2,000 and 2,500 online. If you haven’t appeared on Phonic FM in some guise yourself, says one of its directors, Paul Giblin, “the nature of Exeter’s community means most people seem to know someone who’s been on!” With chair (and broadcaster) David Treharne, he tells us more…

Where do you get your funding from? Our initial funding came from Exeter City Council, Ofcom’s community radio fund, Devon County Council, the Arts Council England, and the Heritage Lottery Awards for All scheme. Other funding partners have since included John Lewis, Healthwatch Devon and others for particular projects. For the last five years the vast majority of our income has come from our annual station membership fee and by members organising fundraising events, usually at Exeter Phoenix. The hard cash generated by these events has been coupled with donations of IT and other equipment from organisations such as Exeter University. w

How was Phonic FM born? Paul Giblin: Phonic FM has its roots in Vibraphonic FM, which was established as part of the city’s old Vibraphonic Festival. With support from Exeter City Council and other festival sponsors a group of music and arts activists set up a temporary studio and broadcast I EXETER LIVING I 35



Clockwise from above: ssshhh!; chair and presenter David Treharne begins his Tuesday afternoon Edge Of Jazz show; nobody tells presenters what they can play; mixing it up

The biggest challenges you’ve faced over the 10 years? Undoubtedly the financial one and the restriction we have placed on ourselves by members deciding that our station will remain advertisement-free. This makes for great broadcasting with no compromises but remains a real challenge – and it’s incredible to think that a committed group of people have kept us on air for a whole year without a single broadcast advertisement! Maintaining our ancient equipment is part of that financial challenge, especially as everything always seems to break at once. How can radio fight back against on-demand music streaming? David Treharne: Why bother? Phonic provides the kind of listener interaction that lets us know that having a local voice and a no-playlist policy attracts people who want more than wallpaper music. If you don’t like the programme that’s on, there’s usually something completely different along in another two hours. What have been your top Phonic FM moments? PG: There have been so many great moments over the last decade but if I had to settle on just three they would be: how we enabled a paralysed presenter with locked-in syndrome to produce a series of shows; the thrill of hosting a sell-out event with poet Linton Kwesi Johnson which we used as a platform to promote two local poets; and most recently listening to The Pride Show going into great detail about this year’s festival in a way other stations simply could not do because of playlist and commercial 36 I EXETER LIVING I

commitments. These three examples are all uniquely Phonic and would not have happened without the passion our presenters bring to the airwaves. DT: Where else could I play a 14-minute Grant Green track and have someone get in touch whilst it’s playing to ask me to play it again when it ends. (I didn’t!). As well as being fun, what’s the purpose of your 10th anniversary takeover of the Phoenix on 9 June? DT: The purpose of the Phonic Takeover day is to celebrate our achievements and showcase not only our own talent but the city’s culture we are so firmly embedded in. That’s why we have decided to make it a completely free, socially inclusive event. Come along and meet the faces behind the airwaves and join in the fun! Anything else you want to mention? PG: Absent friends. Those who had shows and aren’t here for our 10th. Phonic has had some wonderfully talented people who for one reason and another are no longer with us. Thanks and/ or RIP.

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter


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Children’s bedrooms ain’t what they used to be. There was a time when stylish children’s sleeping chambers were the exclusive preserve of fairy tales and American movies. Well, we don’t know if it’s the kids or their parents poring over Pinterest and the Farrow & Ball colour chart, but today even the least aesthetically bovvered child has at least a string of LED lights and some stencilling on the wall. And when it comes to beds for little ones, it actually makes sense to give it some thought. “Let’s face it”, says Mark Tremlett, founder of Topsham-based bed and mattress experts Naturalmat, “the better your child sleeps, the better you do!”

“Developing a range to support children as they grow was a priority and our beds and mattresses are hand made here in Devon using natural materials from sustainable sources, free from the nasty chemicals found in many synthetic mattresses. Our range is breathable and gives the most natural and supported night’s sleep for your children.” This is their ‘Carrick’ solid timber frame bed with its pleated headboard, here in Romo Linara Confetti fabric (but it can be customised to match your child’s decor) – small single from £750 for the bed, £1,070 for bed with mattress. Peng. I EXETER LIVING I 39


3 2










Folding cool bag, £12 Lukewarm lemonade? No, thanks. This’ll keep your beach snacks ’n’ drinks fridge-fresh From Quay Presents, Kings Wharf/The Quay, Exeter;

Five Get Beach Body Ready (Quercus), £7.99 Poor old Dick (password: ‘bumbrainjulian’) agrees to book a lads’ holiday to Marbella... From Crediton Community Bookshop, 100 High Street, Crediton; www.creditoncommunity

‘Ice’ aftersun gel, £9.50 for 58ml An aloe vera gel with cooling peppermint and healing lavender. Also brilliant on the temples for headaches From Aromatika, 86 Queen Street, Exeter;

Ashridge artisan elderflower cider, £3.49 Definitely cracking open one of these at the Queens Drive Space open air cinema. (Drink responsibly, obvs) From Chandos Deli, 1 Roman Walk, Exeter;

Animal Swish Placement flip flops, £16.99 Comfy footwear’s a must when hunting down the perfect spot on the beach From Otter Garden Centre, Gosford Road, Ottery St Mary; www.













Davy J bikini, £95 (top), £55 (bottoms) This amazing Newton Abbot-based label makes elegant but tough swimwear from 100% regenerated nylon yarn from waste including old fishing nets From Davy J;

Aveda after-sun hair masque, £24 Contains various natural organic oils to rescue your hair from the ravages of the sun From Amanda Marsden, 75 Queen Street, Exeter; www.amandamarsden.

Exeter Chiefs beach towel, £26.99 Show your tireless allegiance to the lads even while lying comatose on Sandy Bay From Exeter Chiefs, Sandy Park; www.exeterchiefs.

Tablet case, £15 Keep sand out of your gadget with this – the sail stiched number 38 and Quba Sails flag logo might just convince someone you’re a real yachtie From Quba Sails;

Ria Menorca sandals, £55 These classic, authentic Menorcan leather sandals will take you stylishly from pub to promenade and back again. Loads of colours! From Casa Magnolia, 38 The Square, Chagford; LIVING IEXETER CLIFTON LIFE II 41 69

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NEW BOOKS BY LOCAL AUTHORS These Exeter folks have your summer reading covered The Dead Ex Jane Corry (Penguin, £7.99) Exeter-based Corry is a Sunday Times bestselling author and this is her third psychological thriller. Anyone who’s ever wished evil upon a treacherous ex and their new squeeze will root immediately for narrator Vicki as she struggles to figure out if she might just have unwittingly murdered her scumbag former hubby, David. It’s another twisty-turny cracker and if anyone’s come up with a better elevator pitch this year than “He cheated. He lied. He died” we’ve yet to hear it.

The Wombles’ Guide to Life: Words of Wisdom from Wimbledon Common Tess Read (Random House, £5.99) If you’re a fan of Elisabeth Beresford’s affable yet species-ambiguous mammals-turned1970s TV stars, this welcome re-print, by Exeter writer, a cappella choirmistress and Exeter Living contributor Tess, is for you. Discover the story behind Orinoco, Tobermory, Madame Cholet, Great Uncle Bulgaria etc, and be inspired by their aheadof-their-times eco-activism and vegan ways.

I Am The Parent Who Stayed Nina Farr (Practical Inspiration Publishing, £10.99) Essential manual for single parents, from the Exeter leadership coach, author and TEDx speaker (herself a former lone parent to two small children). “It’s hard to be left taking care of your family all by yourself,” she says. “You can figure out how to pick up all the broken pieces of your life and put them back together again. Discover how to parent on your own with skill, courage and artistry.” It’s useful, inspiring and full of love. Says one reviewer: “a beacon to guide you out of the fog.”

Alfie’s Night Out Conor Magee and Victoria Byron (RAMM, £7.99) Something for a little human in your life? Created in honour of RAMM’s 150th anniversary, and for sale in its shop, this sees Devon writer Magee and Exeter-based illustrator Byron (see also page 90) team up to tell the charming, Night At The Museuminspired tale of a stuffed sparrow named Alfie, who is on display in the museum, and comes to life when all the visitors have gone home. So, for that matter, do all his fellow exhibits… Suitable for ages 4-10.

Paulette: A Memoir Martin Sorrell (Impress Books, £12.99) Martin Sorrell taught French at Exeter University until 2012 and is a respected translator and writer. who still lives in the city. This is a moving and perceptive biography of his remarkable mother and her journey from a childhood in rural France during WWI, to Spain at the start of the Civil War, and onto England and marriage, against a backdrop of political and personal turmoil. Funny, sad and deeply personal; some are already calling it a masterpiece. I EXETER LIVING I 43

BUSBY & FOX From the kitchen table to a burgeoning lifestyle brand – Emma Vowles shows ANNA BRITTEN around her new Busby & Fox store in Exeter

Photo s by E M M A SOL L E Y

Flower girl: Emma Vowles


Clockwise, from above: The shop’s currently semiconcealed by restoration works at the Royal Clarence, but Emma is unfazed – she really wanted this spot, which was formerly occupied by Ridgways Shoes; shiny summer sandals; there’s nothing here we don’t want


ome shops seem blessed from day one. Tasteful new lifestyle store Busby & Fox is one of them – fantastic location in Cathedral Yard facing Exeter’s busiest landmark; pretty, baywindowed period shopfront; and an impossible-to-fake integrity to its look, feel and stock. It is, in other words, an easy shop to fall in love with. “I think that women have an innate radar and just find us,” says owner Emma Vowles. Emma is a Dittisham girl who trod the wellworn path from Devon to That London (where she worked in fashion and floristry) and then back again. On her return she married her childhood sweetheart and in 2006, with three daughters aged under four, started a floristry business from her kitchen table. Emma Vowles Flowers rapidly became the go-to wedding flower business in the county, its organic/ informal/vintage-y style grabbing national press attention (she was named one of the Harpers Bazaar website’s top 15 florists in the country). Over the next 12 years, the first Busby & Fox shop opened in Totnes – adding vintage and Scandi homewares, accessories and then clothing by select European labels into the floral mix – followed by one in Truro, another in Kingsbridge, and then this, the fourth Busby &


Fox store, which opened in March. Emma’s old friend – no less than Sophie Cornish, co-founder of Not On The High Street – became business partner a year ago (Kate Lynas, Sophie’s former PA, now serves as head of trade and marketing). Emma also bagged Freddie, a charismatic local retail veteran, as shop manager. “All of our staff are all a real asset to the company,” says Emma, “and I feel really privileged to have them.” w I EXETER LIVING I 45



Cool labels are sourced from across Europe, including Otto d’Ame (Italy), Humanoid and Rino and Pelle (Holland), Sita Murt (Spain), Harris Wilson and Leon & Harper (France) and Star Mela (UK)

The old interior was ripped out to reveal exposed brickwork, and concrete beams and floor, all now whitewashed. Changing rooms and panelling were added at the back

Manager Freddie will make you a brew while talking capsule wardrobes…

Imagine you’re visiting a classy friend in their gorgeous, shabby-chic farmhouse. Now imagine they’ve invited you to rummage around in their dressing room and help yourself to one of their surplus kimono tops, linen sundresses, soft leather handbags, boho necklaces or handmade French soaps. That’s what being in Busby & Fox feels like. “Our core target is the grown-up woman,” explains Emma. “She’s 40 to 70. She’s working, she’s parenting, she’s on the go. Busby & Fox offers something that is not high street, which is slightly different, is beautifully cut, has an edge, which fits and suits all body shapes – from skinny jeans to floaty bohemian dresses. Not high fashion but fashionable.” And the name? “Busby was my maternal grandfather’s name: John Busby Jarvis. He was so funny, he was a bit like a David Walliams version of a grandfather. Fox, was my husband’s idea – it’s an indigenous creature of where we live, it’s cunning, it’s solid. So: it’s the family, and it’s home.” Recent developments include a website launch and menswear offering, and Emma and Sophie are currently looking at other locations in the South West – to “spread the Busby & Fox love.” And love, from what we can see, really does come into it. “Customers are our joy,” says Emma. Right on cue, one stylish customer in her 60s hands the team some freshly-picked strawberries. “We all love it and wish them well,” she says. “And I’ve just bought a pair of leather trousers. I thought if Madame Macron in France can do it, why not me?” Busby & Fox, 21 Cathedral Yard, Exeter; 46 I EXETER LIVING I


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




Gidleigh Park The world-famous Dartmoor destination reminds you eating out is never just about the food, says ANNA BRITTEN Photo s by E M M A SOL L E Y


reats matter. Whoever you are, whatever your annual income. We crave treats when life feels at its most enormous – to coax ourselves through bad days or bleak years, and to celebrate anything from a rekindled friendship to a milestone birthday. Treats are no trifling matter. It shouldn’t even need saying. So, as you know, the food at Gidleigh Park very much constitutes a treat. Fortunately, the revered Dartmoor hotel and restaurant understands what a responsibility comes with that term. Some fine dining establishments do not. They make you feel at best self-conscious, at worst like you’re pushing your luck crossing the threshold in that shirt, then hand you a bill that makes you sob. Most unforgivably, they fail to sweat the small stuff – and what are treats if not someone, somewhere, sweating the small stuff for you? Gidleigh’s thoughtfulness first makes itself felt half a mile away, on the winding single track lane leading to it: “Keep heart,” it reads, “you are still en route.” True enough, that distinctive black-and-white Tudorstyle manor soon appears, surrounded by 54-acres of rural Devon lushness. Owned, like the Royal Clarence in Exeter, by Andrew and Christina Brownsword, it’s one of the Relais & Châteaux family of luxury hotels round the world. Chris Simpson, a youthful Lancastrian, has been executive chef here since the beginning of the year, stepping into the shoes of Michael Caines, who first bagged the place two Michelin stars with his classic French style, and his shortlived successor, the more experimental Michael Wignall, who held onto them. Having won his former employer, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall, two Michelin stars, Simpson has credentials in spades. Following champagne on the terrace – yes, of course we boasted about this on social media – we adjourn to the oakpanelled, white tableclothed dining room, quietly elegant but comparatively plainly decorated as these things go. And we prepare to sink into the seven course tasting menu. As you’d expect from a chef who’s worked in a fish restaurant for seven years, sea creatures feature heavily. Amuse-bouches of a fruity crab soup, and scallop slices with radish and ginger dressing bode very well indeed, as does


the sommelier’s wine suggestion. We’ve lazily asked for “a white wine that will work with everything we’re going to eat” – the chosen biodynamic Domaine de Souch Jurançon Sec 2013 is complex, dry, sunshine yellow and perfect. Course one is veal sweetbread with pickled mushrooms and a sourdough crumb – the latter giving the soft, snowy meat an almost roast potato-ish crispy coating. But the small details punch through just as keenly, like the silky mushroom purée. They’ve remembered E’s dietary requirements, too, and tweaked every element of the menu for her; her crab tart with hollandaise sauce is impeccable. Next, sole, two ways: a steamed slab, resting Stonehengelike on a fried morsel, joined by a scattering of still-pink brown shrimps and a dreamlike wild garlic mousse. I am still thinking about it weeks later. The earthy, gamey flavours of slightly smoked Anjou squab (said to be the prince of the squab scene – apologies to the young pigeons of Devon), tender and ruby coloured, are complemented by its bacon crumb, a light and summery pea puree and onion dressing. Each course, we discover, is a sensible size and delivers just enough novelty (we want at least one thing we have to Google, but we need familiarity too). And still, the delicacies come. Now, Cornish turbot – firm and fresh, accompanied by broad beans and leeks, celeriac sauce and pickled apple slices, all sprinkled with truffle. Closing the savoury line-up comes perfectly pink, salt chamber-aged fillet of Cumbrian beef (the method is said to concentrate the meat’s flavour) with parmesan-laced potato terrine, cauliflower puree, ox tongue and kale. Two showstopper puddings apiece present as dusk threatens to fall – a blood orange curd with a crisp crème brulee crust on top of shortbread and a rhubarb sorbet that is the pure essence of that tart, earthy root. Also, a superdense, intense and barely sweet warm chocolate tart joined by yoghurt sorbet and caramelised salted pistachios. This is characterful, comprehensible food that captures the spirit of the West Country, the serving of which leaves you feeling cosseted, and cushioned from your daily life. We knew we’d like it. We didn’t think we’d like it this much. Since it’s our first visit, we survey a handful of Exeter’s most sybaritic eater-outers to check we haven’t been brainwashed by the sunshine and bubbles. Yep, everybody feels the same way. We hear stories of fortieths and wedding days, of thank you lunches and first-night-out-without-thebaby dinners – all perfect in every way. So treat yourself. Allow four hours; remember forever.

DINING DETAILS Gidleigh Park Hotel, Chagford, Newton Abbot TQ13 8HH; 01647 432367; Opening times Mon-Sun 12noon-2pm and 7-9pm (afternoon tea 3.30-5pm) Prices Remarkably good value compared to rivals. Three course lunch £65; seasonal three course lunch with a glass of champagne £49 (until 3 June, must be booked); three course dinner £125; seven course tasting menu £145 Vegetarian/vegan choice There are vegetarian à la carte menus and the kitchen goes above and beyond for any dietary issues Disabled access Excellent Wine list Oenophile heaven – the wine cellar accommodates over 1,300 bins and 13,000 bottles from around the world Service/atmosphere Posh but cuddly I EXETER LIVING I 49



3 T H E C L AYC U T T E R S A R MS Chudleigh Knighton, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 0EY Tel: 01626 853345 | Email: e c l a yc u tte rs .c o .u k



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Our guide to some of the best places for an outdoor pint or prosecco in Exeter and beyond

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With far reaching views over the beautiful Teign valley, why not come and join us for a beer in a proper Devon pub?


Church Road, Hennock Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9QB -------Phone: 01626 836584 Email: Web:



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Ferry Road, Topsham, Nr Exeter, EX3 0JN Tel: 01392 873653


age Hou In n

Drewe Arms






T he P



Broadhembury, EX14 3NF T: 01404 841267 E:


THE WEARY TRAVELLER Station Road, Cullompton, Devon, EX15 1BQ Telephone: 01884 32317


5 10 A warm and inviting pub with a large private beer garden where everyone is welcome, included 4 legged friends!

Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 11:30 - 23:00





12 10


Set midway between Cullompton and Exeter, The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon has 5 acres of stunning beer garden, plenty of shade and unrivalled views of the beautiful Devon countryside. Web: Tel: 01884 277288

Soak up the summer sun with a glass of wine or a bite to eat in the alfresco paradise of the wine bar’s beautiful walled gardens. A firm favourite for discerning diners and wine lovers alike since 2006.

38-40 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon EX1 1PE • 01392 270222

Were you there?

Richard and Julie-Ann Clements (In Ex Design)



WINNER’S DINNER 2018 A baker, a beauty therapist and a teacher walked into a bar… Yep, the Exeter Living Awards drew to an official close with the usual mingletastic Winners’ Dinner, this time at the Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel. Over a drinks reception and dinner, in the Gate House Restaurant, the champs of 12 April toasted their well-earned success, and each other

Kelly Forrester (Clear Property), Matt Phillips and Lily Otton (IT Champion) and Andrew Green (Clear Property)

Photos by Jess Farmer – Perspectives Photography

Charlotte Tregedeon (Exeter City Football Club) and June Hutchings (Exeter City Council – Lost Weekend) Faye and Matthew Rowbury (Daisy Café)

Emma Parkin and Katie Wenning (Emma’s Bread)

Meriel Fishwick and Oly Watts (FORCE Cancer Charity) 52 I EXETER LIVING I

Claire and Ben Jordan (The Bear Trail)


Jemma Mitchell (Rendezvous) and Joe Caley

Sophie Sowden and Charlotte Farrell (Five Cedars Health & Beauty)

David Allen (The Ring Of Bells), Craig Wallberg (MediaClash), Binka Caven (The Ring Of Bells) and Craig Townsend (City Community Trust)

Jane Ingham (MediaClash) with Katie-Jane Stewart and Daniel Willers (Yellow Mouse Studios)

Faye and Yvan Williams (The Oddfellows)

Kerry Burnham, Jill Williams, Julia Gardner and Andy Rawlinson (Exeter Mathematics School) I EXETER LIVING I 53


SOCIETY Continued from page 53 Joss Phillips (Exeter Living) with Chris Phillips and Helen Coombes (both Exeter Corn Exchange)

Olivia Champion (BioSystems Technology) and Alex Champion

TEEPEE TREATS The first May bank holiday weekend got underway in gourmet style for guests of the Exeter Food Festival VIP launch in the Dart’s Farm teepees in Northernhay Gardens. The event, sponsored by Prydis, welcomed sponsors, exhibitors and guests with canapés by Dartmoor Kitchen, and drinks by Salcombe Gin, Luscombe Drinks and Otter Brewery. Fed and watered, many then partied into the night at the Exeter Beats gig by Mad Dog Mcrea.

Melissa Stewart (Crumbs Magazine) and Graham Bradshaw (Cornish Seasalt)

John Lee, Lauren Cook and Mike Haines (Mole Avon, Crediton)

Michael Caines (Lympstone Manor), Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Robson and Karime Hassan (Exeter City Council)


Jack Maunder, Marcus Street, Oliver Atkins and Moray Law (Exeter Chiefs)


QUIZZICAL ASSAULT You could hear the cogs whirring as Exeter’s brainiest battled it out at the 15th annual Really Big Quiz, organised by chartered accountancy firm Simpkins Edwards and held at the Corn Exchange. Thrillingly, a single point separated victors On Your Marks from second place ATASS, who were last year’s winners – and a record £9,174 was raised for Age UK Exeter, helping to support the work of over 280 volunteers and 100 staff who deliver services and support to over 12,000 elderly and frail in the local area every week.

‘The Equizy Partners’ (WBW Solicitors) Winners: ‘On Your Marks’ (St Marks Church)

3rd Place: ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ (First Data Bank)

PLAYING TO THE GALLERY RAMM’S World Cultures galleries has just reopened as part of the museum’s 150th birthday celebrations. Guests got a preview of the exciting redisplay of the African collections, and a new family area inspired by the galleries and the cultures they represent, which will open at the end of May. Live music came from Chartwell Dutiro and his band. Camilla Hampshire, museum manager, says: “People will be able to see many more objects, including several which have not previously been displayed. These include an incredibly rare shrine drum from Central Africa and a number of high-status items acquired by colonial traders such as Richard Dennett, which enable us to explore the stories of our colonial past, both good and bad. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of The Wolfson Foundation, The Arts Council’s Designation Scheme and the RAMM Development Trust, without whom this refurbishment would not have been possible.” Photos by Rob Coombe

2nd place: ATASS/ Oxygen House

Camilla Hampshire (RAMM), Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Robson and guests

RAMM’s Ruth Gidley, Prem Sivlal Hindu Temple and Faith Stafford Ubuntu Counselling

Chartwell Dutiro and band

Tony Eccles (RAMM) and Ian Nicoll (University of Exeter) I EXETER LIVING I 55


E X E T ER A N D E AS T D E VO N G E T TO WO R K “See that sky, kids? That’s the limit!” Dr Sally Basker with competition entrants



THE BIG THREE Lamarr, Turing and Newton: three immortal science names for three new buildings at Exeter Science Park


topping out ceremony has been held for Exeter Science Park’s new grow-on buildings, which have been named in honour of three of the biggest names in science. Designed by LHC Architecture + Urbanism, working for NPS South West Property Consultants, and built by Kier Construction, the new buildings will provide 27,000 square feet of office and laboratory space and are expected to bring over 200 new jobs to the site. They represent the first phase of a wider strategy for the Science Park which sets out a target for over 3,000 people employed in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) businesses on the site by 2034. Pupils from five local primary schools entered a competition to name the new buildings by submitting short essays on three inspirational scientists. “We felt that the naming of the buildings had to fall to the next generation of scientists, engineers and

mathematicians,” says Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, who judged the competition, “and I was so impressed with all the students’ entries.” Eventually, Cranbrook Education Campus student Amalie Hill, aged nine, was chosen as the winner, with her choices of Hedy Lamarr, the inventor and Hollywood actress who patented an idea that later became integral to WiFi and GPS technology; renowned mathematician, astronomer and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton; and Alan Turing, known as the ‘father of computer science’ and creator of the codebreaking Enigma machine during World War II. All the children who entered the competition visited Exeter Science Park for a site tour and a certificate presentation. Award-winning US film director, Alexandra Dean, who directed Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story sent a personalised video message of congratulations to Amalie and her classmates.

“WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT IF WE COULD RE-INVENT THE SOLAR PANEL THE WAY ELON MUSK REINVENTED THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE?” Who’s thinking laterally about renewable energy? Find out on page 58


Square feet of office space that Exeter Science Park’s three new buildings will provide See opposite I EXETER LIVING I 57


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

LAND OF THE RISING VISITOR NUMBERS Exeter-based independent travel company Nomadic Travel has reported a huge spike in interest in trips to Japan, with bookings surging ahead this year for this uniquely distinctive destination. With the extra attention being given to the country due to the Rugby World Cup taking place in 2019, consultants at the city centre agency are finding enquiries for tailor-made itineraries are higher than they have ever been. “It is wonderful to see the rise in interest for Japan, particularly after it was so badly affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which was a massive setback for its inbound tourism,” says Rob Hitchings, Nomadic Travel MD. “Since that time visitor numbers have slowly recovered, but lately there has been a marked increase in

enquiries. People are wishing to see all aspects of this amazingly diverse nation – ultra-modern Tokyo and ancient Kyoto are as popular as ever but discerning clients are also arranging visits to include seeing the snow monkeys in Yudanaka, staying in traditional ryokans on the island of Hirado, exploring Hakone National Park and admiring the incredible snow sculptures at the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. “We expect to see enthusiasm for Japan continue to grow once the 2019 World Cup rugby tournament has occurred, as it will showcase this wonderful country to a huge viewing audience. Right now is a good time to travel before demand really takes off.” For more:

Snow monkeys in Japan

MOVERS, SHAKERS, ETC Exeter-headquartered Michelmores has announced that Paul Beanland and Tom Stenner-Evans have become partners at the law firm while Tim Richards becomes managing partner… Libraries Unlimited, based at Exeter Library, has appointed Daniel Clark to lead its new programme of arts and cultural events across Devon’s libraries… Tony Fisher becomes the new head of commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton’s (LSH) Exeter office at Pynes Hill Court… Kitsons Solicitors has appointed Nicholas Johnson and Rhodri Davey as its new joint managing partners succeeding James Cross (all pictured)... Lightfoot has announced the appointment of Kevin Hennelly as its new head of sales.

CATCHING THE SUN “At the beginning of the year, we had this idea: wouldn’t it be great if we could reinvent the solar panel in Exeter in the same way that Elon Musk reinvented the electric vehicle?” says Chloe Uden. “What if solar panels could be beautiful?” The Exeter-based creative has now launched a new business called Art and Energy, which seeks to explore solar energybased art works with a view to a more sustainable future for the city. The start-up is being supported by Exeter City Futures – the Exeter City Councilpartnering organisation that’s exploring ways to make the city greener and more 58 I EXETER LIVING I

pleasant to live in – and teaming up with Exeter University, Exeter College, Exeter Community Energy and Welsh solar energy equipment supplier GB Sol. Says Chloe: “This could be a first for Exeter. You know what solar panels look like, right? Well, think again! “The black rectangular solar panels we are all used to are about to change. Did you know that they can incorporate colour, curves and flowing lines? Did you know the tech is fairly easy to work with? Solar photovoltaics could be an art material of the future!” For more:

Chloe Uden (right) with collaborator Naomi Wright


BEDTIME STORY The UK’s leading baby sleep brand The Gro Company, which is based at Matford Court, has collaborated with British artist Rob Ryan on a new bedding collection. In his playful, fantastical style – which you may have seen in gracing magazines including Vogue, books by the likes of Louis de Bernières, and homewares – Ryan has created an original piece of artwork telling the tale of two young birds snuggling down in their nest for a good night’s sleep. The Gro Company has transformed this into three different prints – A Summer’s Day, Spring Morning and Night Fall – across nine products, including the bestselling Grobags and Grosnugs, which are exclusively available at Mothercare. This new partnership follows Gro’s hugely successful collaborations with Orla Kiely and Anorak. The Gro Company was founded in Exeter in 2000, underwent a management buyout in 2013 and in January was acquired by Mayborn, parent company of Tommee Tippee, in a £22m deal.

Hey, babezzzzzzz....

For more:

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter addresses the audience at the club’s End of Season Dinner

EXETER CHIEFS NEWS Sam Simmonds’ brilliant on-field performances this season were duly rewarded at the Exeter Chiefs End of Season Dinner as he was crowned the club’s Player of the Year. At a packed out Sandy Park, the England international beat off the challenge of fellow forwards Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill to land the prestigious award. In what has been a remarkable 12 months for the 23-year-old, not only has he become a Premiership champion for the first time, but his dazzling on-field displays have taken him to international status, where he has won seven caps since the autumn. It was his dramatic, last-gasp try that booked Exeter’s place in last May’s Premiership final, whilst this season he has continued to flourish in club colours, helping himself to 15 tries in all competitions. On a night to remember for the Torquayborn forward, he also collected the club’s Young Player of the Year accolade, beating off younger brother Joe and fellow forward Sam Skinner, It caps a fine week for Simmonds, who has also been shortlisted for the RPA’s Player of


MARK STEVENS brings you the latest from inside Sandy Park

the Year and Young Player of the Year, as well as the Land Rover Discovery of the Season at the upcoming Premiership Rugby awards. Other award winners on the night were Charlie Wright, who picked up the Community Player of the Year, Will Chudley picked up the Try of the Season award for his score in the away game at Northampton Saints, and the long-serving Carl Rimmer, who was awarded the Team Man of the Year. As well as the awards, chief executive Tony Rowe OBE and director of rugby Rob Baxter both addressed the audience of over

600 people; Kai Horstmann and Thomas Waldrom conducted a Q&A with international stars Simmonds, Don Armand, Nic White and Harry Williams, whilst the crowd were later entertained by the band New Heroes. The evening, as always, raised funds for the club’s official charity, the Exeter Foundation, which in the end benefited to the tune of over £28,000 thanks to the hugely successful Live Auction, Silent Auction and Raffle. For more: I EXETER LIVING I 59




EXETER CORN EXCHANGE We thought this might happen. The judges of this year’s Exeter Living Awards were so thoroughly spoiled for choice when it came to the Arts category, they insisted on picking two winners. Here, Dave Lewis, events, facilities and markets manager at Exeter City Council, explains how Exeter Corn Exchange became one of them

This lot were definitely the loudest table on the night...

So how did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award? We loved it! We attended the Awards in hope rather than expectation. When it was announced our reaction probably gave away how pleased we were. Apologies to the nearby tables! Why do you think Exeter Corn Exchange won? It has to be because of our programme primarily; the judges know how varied that is. We offer people a chance to engage with the arts in a venue they have probably known for most or all of their lives. Once people make that choice it becomes a very good habit to have and all venues in the city benefit from thereon in. We also manage to run the venue at a small financial surplus with no external funding – people probably won’t know how unusual that is, but it is far from the usual situation and I guess the judges knew that.

Do you find that big star names need persuading to tour this far South West? I don’t think acts are reluctant to come to the South West. We do manage to persuade a lot of big names to come to the Corn Exchange especially from the comedy world. We do that by developing positive relationships with national promoters, agents and the artists themselves. They know we will look after them at the Corn Exchange.


You praised your staff when on stage collecting your Award. Tell us a bit about the team spirit at Exeter Corn Exchange... We have a very small team. I have been involved for more than 25 years now but the venue doesn’t get my whole time. Mostly I concentrate on programming and budgeting, so Sian (the venue manager), Chris, Tracy, Julie and Hannah (our apprentice) do just about everything else. This includes event management, marketing, box office, administration, health and safety, facility managements, accounts… We all love working together and we all love seeing the venue succeed. We also have a team of casual staff looking after the bar, catering and front of house. Four of them attended the awards evening with us but all of them won this award and we would have loved to have them all on stage. That might have turned a few heads. What big shows can we look forward to at Exeter Corn Exchange over the next 12 months? 60 I EXETER LIVING I

Ross Noble, Henning Wehn, Ruby Wax, Dan Snow, Sarah Millican, Simon Reeve, Vienna Festival Ballet and The Drifters, to name a few.

Who’s been your favourite visiting performer in the past few years? That is difficult really but we love working with the people from the Banff and Ocean Film Festivals. The Ukulele Orchestra are always a pleasure and my own personal favourite is an artist I first saw live in 1976, John Otway.

And is there anyone who won’t be welcome back? Our belief is that if people in Exeter want to see a show then, as a City Council venue, we need to try to make it happen. We did have an unpleasant experience with an older London-based comedian recently, but best not to say any more than that I think!

What are you proudest of at Exeter Corn Exchange? Seeing the venue develop, especially over the last 15 years. Because of the support of some key people within the Council (both councillors and officers), we have managed to turn the venue round from what was once simply a large community hall to one which now punches above its weight and plays an important part in Exeter’s arts and entertainment scene. Also, I met my wife here! For more:


Patrick Cunningham accepts the Exeter Phoenix gong



EXETER PHOENIX Offering an all-you-can-eat buffet of quality contemporary art, music and performance, courses and workshops, club nights and a fantastic café, it was little wonder the hyper-cool Exeter Phoenix was named jointwinner of the Exeter Living Award for Arts back in April. Here, venue boss Patrick Cunningham recalls the big night… So how did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award? The atmosphere at the Awards ceremony was fantastic, and it was an honour to be nominated alongside so many of Exeter’s best-loved establishments. Hearing Exeter Phoenix announced as winners was an absolute delight, and there was a real buzz when I brought our Award into the office the next day. I’m very proud of the team who work so tirelessly to keep Exeter Phoenix thriving and it was a really wonderful moment to see their hard work being acknowledged and rewarded with our very own Exeter Living Award! Why do you think Exeter Phoenix won? When you meet people who live in Exeter, it feels like everyone in Exeter has had some connection to Exeter Phoenix in the past at some point. Popping in for a coffee, discovering a new band, enjoying our galleries, watching theatre, visiting our cinema. There really is something for everyone here, and we’re always open to new ideas if people want to bring new ideas to the table.

such a variety of activity can pose challenges, but it also provides wonderful opportunities to discover something new in a welcoming environment. It’s not been the easiest time for the arts, this past decade. How have you managed to thrive? We’ve managed to thrive thanks to our wonderful customers. Last year we really got to know our community through our ‘You Make Exeter Phoenix…’ fundraising appeal, and we can’t stress enough how we only thrive and survive because of this support. Every time you visit our building to grab a coffee or catch a show, you’re helping keep creativity thriving in Exeter.



Exeter Phoenix presents live music, art, performance, workshops, film and a café – which of these poses the most challenges and why? The biggest challenge is the balancing act of presenting all of these things under one roof! Being home to

What plans do you have for Exeter Phoenix over the next 12 months? This summer it’s all change at Exeter Phoenix! Thanks to funding awarded by Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation we are making some major improvements to our main foyer, toilets, auditorium seating and gallery space. We can’t wait to share our new-and-improved look with you later

in the year. What’s your number one favourite memory of life at Exeter Phoenix? Well, accepting our Exeter Living Award is certainly up there! For more: I EXETER LIVING I 61






BRIDWELL PARK KITTY KANE can hardly contain her excitement that one of Devon’s most illustrious stately homes is on the market 63 II EXETER CLIFTONLIVING LIFE I I 113




e’ve all been there. Spotted what we thought was the perfect house only to find – damn! – it doesn’t have a helicopter hangar. Well, Bridwell Park has one. It’s near the astro-turf tennis court. Yes, we do mean that Bridwell Park – the stunning Georgian house, deer park and wedding venue near Uffculme. It’s been home since 1997 to Lord Ivar Mountbatten and family, and is soon to be home of some other lucky so-and-so. The Grade I-listed Georgian mansion was built for original owner Richard Hall Clarke between 1774 and 1779. The Clarke family held onto it for the next 200 years, and it was extensively, meticulously restored in partnership with English Heritage after a fire in the late 1980s. The house sits regally at the centre of about 117 acres’ worth of land, including, on three sides, a late 18th century landscape park dotted with English oaks, through which herds of fallow and red deer roam freely. It gazes out over a large ornamental lake, and Culm Valley beyond, and is reached via two formal drives from separate wrought iron gated entrances. Tempting as it is to simply list bullet points of Bridwell’s most jaw-dropping features, we shall attempt a more linear, logical approach. Stay close and don’t wander off – you could easily get lost. Let’s start with the main house, with its hipped slate roof and classical, painted stucco elevation. To save our word count, just assume pretty much everything that follows comes with high ceilings, some of the most gorgeous plasterwork and cornicing we’ve ever seen, and the adjective “stunning” attached. From an oval entrance hall, you can wander through drawing room, dining room, morning room, library, a large kitchen with pantry and utility room, and a study. There’s also a conservatory and two loos. Up the stairs, from a deep red wallpapered staircase 64 I EXETER LIVING I

Above, clockwise from top, left: the stable block; the stunning staircase hallway; hold your own mini-Wimbledon, why don’t you?; one of the zillion bedrooms Opposite, from top: lashings or space for parties; meet the local community...


10-18 bedrooms


private chapel

£5M guide price



DOZENS of deer

hallway, you’ll reach a galleried landing off which you’ll reach the master bedroom suite (bedroom, bathroom and dressing room), two further bedrooms with ensuite, a fourth bedroom and a family bathroom. On the second floor are six more bedrooms – all but one of them with ensuite; there’s also a shower room – and in the basement are offices, and a cinema, wine cellar, butler’s pantry (with a dumb waiter up to the ground floor), store room and cloakroom. Behind the main house is an enclosed brick courtyard and an original Grade II-listed stable block that’s been converted into two four-bedroom flats, and two double garages (with planning permission to be converted into living accommodation) – plus actual stables, for actual horses, with shower room and laundry room attached. To the north of the main house is The Orangery, formerly containing an indoor swimming pool and currently a great party space with catering and bar facilities. There’s an attractive four-bedroom, two-bathroom Entrance Lodge by the eastern gate, with a rather lovely garden and planning permission for a two-storey extension. And last but not least, a Gothic-style chapel built in 1809, with dark volcanic rubble walls and a medieval timber roof, to house a collection of Captain Cook memorabilia. Really. Think a place like this should work for its upkeep? Because Bridwell Park, the Chapel and the Orangery certainly do that – they’re all currently licensed by Devon County Council to hold civil ceremonies (up to March 2021) and the vendors have run a successful wedding business from here for years. The village of Uffculme is along the road, with Tivvy about eight miles to the west and Exeter some 17 miles, for those times you need something from the outside world. It’s probably a quick round trip if you’re in the chopper… Knight Frank, Country Department 55 Baker Street, London, W1U 8AN 020 8012 3483;



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KEEP YOUR BUSINESS LOCAL WITH WOLLEN MICHELMORE Moving house is stressful enough, without the added worries caused by cheap, far-flung conveyancers or virtual agents. RICHARD PHILLIPS of Exeter-based WOLLEN MICHELMORE LLP explains why it always pays to choose your help locally...


he buying and selling of property is the single biggest investment an average person shall make in their lifetime and often the most stressful. Working with a small team in our Exeter office, we strive to go that extra mile with our clients to guide them through this process to ensure their transaction progresses as smoothly as possible.

The Wollen Michelmore residential conveyancing team in Exeter deals with a range of residential transactions, including leaseholds and freeholds and comprises of: Richard Phillips – Partner Stephen Morgan – Consultant Daisy Otton – Paralegal Megan King – Paralegal

While a client may assume this is normal practice for conveyancers, a recent transaction showed me otherwise and highlighted the value and benefit of our local personal approach over other services currently on offer. On this transaction I was instructed on both a sale and purchase for a young family who were upgrading their home. Our clients had instructed a local estate agent to list their property. Whereas their buyer chose a conveyancing firm in North Yorkshire and their sellers had instructed an online estate agent to market their property. My clients were open about their anxiety at the outset of the transaction, they were overwhelmed with paperwork and just wanted the transition to run smoothly. During our initial meeting I reassured them of the process and how we would always be on hand to help. By instructing a local solicitor, not only could they meet face to face, but they also had direct contact via the telephone or email. I’d like to think this immediately put some fears to rest and helped to build a trusting relationship. The transactions progressed as expected, although at times I struggled to reach my buyers solicitor in North Yorkshire. My clients had requested a preference for email communication but if any questions arose they knew they could pick up a phone or, pop into the local office. I know this was not the case for the buyers who experienced communications problems with their conveyancer, such as constantly being held in a telephone queue with the recorded message of ‘your call is important to our company’. This instance alone demonstrated the huge benefit of using a local respected law firm. Another frustrating example during this transaction was the effects of using an online estate agent. When all parties were deciding

on a suitable completion date, we hit the usual difficulties of modern life with issues such as; arranging leave from work, childcare commitments, holidays or unavailable removal firms. Our agent was willing to help with the various scenarios but the selling agent was nowhere to be found. It seems that the online agent, having deducted their fee at the listing stage, had no further involvement from then on. The lack of presence presented even further delays on the day of completion; as with no physical agent present we were left in an uncomfortable situation where the buyer had to meet their seller direct at the new home to collect the keys. The moving day can be stressful enough without the added inconvenience caused in these instances. At Wollen Michelmore, we ensure the transaction is dealt with efficiently and accurately as you would expect and complimented further by ensuring you are kept involved, informed and supported from start to finish. When you use a conveyancer, you must always consider price vs quality. Take time to think about the conveyancing services being offered elsewhere and at what cost this cheaper service may impact you and the biggest investment you are likely to make.

For more information about how we can help you, call us on 01392 274006 or visit I EXETER LIVING I 69

p r o p e r t y a d verti s ing f e at u re

Meet the conveyancer Whether you’re buying or selling a house – or both at once – you need a calm, communicative and experienced solicitor on your team. Here are some of Exeter’s very best...

Judith Park

Joanne Hayes

Ashfords LLP 01392 333707

Ford Simey LLP 01392 260124

What is the secret of good conveyancing? Communication, communication, communication! Moving house is a huge upheaval and unlike any other purchase is dependent on external factors. The move cannot go ahead until everyone in the chain is ready. Good communication and proactivity are key to ensuring that everyone is aware of what is happening and expectations are managed.

What attracted you to this particular field? I enjoy client contact and the fast pace of conveyancing. It means that we get to know our clients and achieve the required result for them, often much faster than in other areas of the law, which is very satisfying.

What advice would you give to a vendor? Instruct your solicitor when you put the property on the market rather than waiting until you find a buyer. This means that you will be ‘sale ready’ once an offer is received. What advice would you give to a buyer? Choose a good conveyancer, have a survey and (if you can) be patient; it will happen. If renting, do not give notice on your tenancy without discussing first with your conveyancer. What is your favourite part of the job? Completion – mission accomplished! Happy client = happy conveyancer.

When appointing a firm, what is the number one question you should ask? Whether you will have continuity in terms of the person with overall responsibility for your transaction and whether you will be able to easily contact them. My clients appreciate that they can pick up the phone and call me or email me when they need advice, an update or just want some reassurance. What might we be surprised to learn about you? Before I became a solicitor I used to be a junior nursing sister on the intensive care unit of a major London teaching hospital. Describe your ideal day? Sitting on a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean sipping champagne!


Keeley Taylor-Keeves

Peter Gaywood

What does your firm offer that others don’t? We pride ourselves on being an approachable and personal firm of solicitors, providing guidance and support that’s in our client’s best interests, without complicated legal jargon, to make the process of buying or selling a property as stress-free as possible.

When appointing a law firm what is the number one question you should ask? Rather than one question, I think you need to speak with the person you would be dealing with and gauge how you think they would look after you.

Veitch Penny LLP 01392 278381

At what point should you look to appoint somebody? In short – early! Particularly when you are selling your property. As soon as you’ve put your house on the market we can provide the preliminary legal paperwork for you to complete. The instant you agree a sale we can then send out the initial paperwork to your buyer’s solicitors and get the legal process underway. How do you spend your time at work? My day is spent taking a proactive role communicating and keeping clients updated whether via email, telephone or face to face meetings in between progressing files as soon as practically possible to keep the transaction moving.

Crosse + Crosse Solicitors LLP 01392 678683

At what point should you look to appoint somebody? Once you have a property or transaction in mind, it is good to get an idea of the likely budget involved and whether there are aspects or additional points to consider which the conveyancer identifies. How do you spend your time at work? Dealing with client matters and also handling departmental organisation and compliance. What has been your proudest accomplishment so far? Becoming a partner. What one piece of advice would you give to anybody buying a new home? When buying a property where a chain is involved, obtain as much information on the chain as you can, particularly if you have your own timescale requirements.

a dvertising f e ature p r o p e r t y

Jonathan Ogley

Ogley Spanish Property Law 01392 275704 What is conveyancing? Transferring and formally registering change of legal ownership (“Title”) of property to a different person. What attracted you to this particular field? I deal just with Spanish properties and associated legal matters. I saw a need for British people to receive accurate, specialist advice and help on Spanish matters in their own language with a standard of service expected of British lawyers. If you would like more information plaese just email me What is the biggest misconception surrounding what you do? That UK law and procedures are the same as Spanish law and procedures. How do you spend your time at work? Considering, advising and preparing all Spanish documentation very carefully, to avoid as many unforeseen pitfalls as possible and to achieve the right result for my clients. What one piece of advice would you give to anybody buying a new house in Spain? Instruct a competent and experienced lawyer to make searches and advise you before you commit or part with any money. Do not simply leave your UK brain on the runway when you land in Spain.

Cyndy Walker

Nick Conner

Louise Peters

What attracted you to this particular field? When I bought my first house on my own, I realised how allconsuming it becomes – it is all you think about! I understand how important this is and I want our team here to be the people that buyers and sellers know they can rely on to ensure their house sale or purchase is as stress-free as possible. Whilst there can never be any guarantee that all will go as your client wishes, if you are able to keep them updated as the matter progresses, you will be helping your client.

What attracted you to this particular field? The chance to have a positive impact on people’s lives on a daily basis. As well as residential conveyancing I also undertake commercial property work and enjoy working with a wide range of clients on varying work types.

What is the secret of good conveyancing? Being proactive and responsive. Buying a house is a huge decision and I believe that everyone involved should be up-to-speed.

Cartridges Law 01392 286770

When appointing a firm what is the number one question you should ask? “Will you keep me informed about the process and how easy are you to contact?” At what point should you look to appoint somebody? Many sellers appoint a conveyancer once a sale has been agreed and this is fine. However, you may find you save some time if you make enquiries and find a conveyancer you know you would like to instruct before a sale has been agreed so you can instruct them immediately a sale has been agreed. What is the biggest misconception surrounding what you do? That all we do is fill in forms all day –there’s a lot of technical skill involved in the conveyancing process!

Tozers LLP 01392 667693

When appointing a firm what is the number one question you should ask? Rather than focusing on one question, I would instead focus on having a good conversation with your proposed solicitor to see if you would work well together. The process is collaborative and the relationship is key. What is the biggest misconception surrounding what you do? That the job is easy and routine. Every day is different and the same applies to properties and indeed clients; no transaction is the same. What have been your career highlights so far? Leafing through original conveyance documents signed by Agatha Christie as part of a property sale was good fun; there is a certain romance to a bundle of old title deeds tied with a pink ribbon. What one piece of advice would you give to anybody buying a new house? Never hand in your notice on rented accommodation until your solicitor tells you to.

Michelmores 01392 687441

What key bit of advice would you give to a vendor? Don’t choose the estate agent that values your house the highest. I would always recommend you talking to your conveyancer first, before instructing an estate agent, as they will be able to recommend good local estate agents based on their, and their clients’ experiences. What is the biggest mistake that can be made in property transactions? Make sure your conveyancer pays attention to the detail. We provide a comprehensive legal report on the property and we will flag any potential issues immediately. It can make the difference between a buyer believing they have bought their ideal property, and realising they are unable to make it into their dream home as they are not allowed to make any alterations due to a restrictive covenant that should have been picked up at an early stage. If you were not a lawyer what would you be doing? A farmer! I have a small-holding with chickens and pygmy goats. They are hilarious and constantly bring me joy. I EXETER LIVING I 71



THE BIG BUILD UP So you want to be a property developer? ROXANNE DURIS talks to Exeter’s hard hat brigade to find out why, and how, they do what they do…


uy some land. Build a couple of houses on it. Flog them for a tasty profit. Repeat until retiring to a private Caribbean island at 40. Sounds ridiculously easy and a sure-fire money-spinner, doesn’t it? Certainly, plenty of people who know one end of a concrete pump from another (or think they do) are jumping on the housebuilding and property development bandwagon – but what does it really involve? We dragged four of the region’s busiest off their building sites to shed some light on the matter… What do you most enjoy about building/ developing homes? The satisfaction of a happy homeowner. Whether it’s a first-time buyer purchasing their first home or a retired couple looking for a property to suit their lifestyle, we relish the enjoyment of knowing they are beginning a new chapter in their lives and that we are a part of that journey. Annie Williams, Redrow West Country It’s extremely satisfying to be able to drive through a location and recognise a Devonshire Homes scheme knowing how much time effort and pride everyone within the business has




saying that we do all within our powers to ensure the buying process is as stress-free as possible. We meet with our customers several times, building up a close relationship to ensure this is achieved. Walking into a completed home with our customers for the first time, and seeing how delighted they are with the finished product, for me is the most enjoyable part. Simon Green, Westhaven Homes At Burrington Estates New Homes we pride ourselves on creating new communities where everyone will love to live and it’s such a joy to see the excitement of new homeowners on move in day. Behind the scenes there is a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the drive and ambition of the team through delivering beautiful new schemes and first class customer service! Colin Palmer, Burrington Estates

The Museum in Bishopsteignton, by Exeter Chiefs players Julian Salvi and Moray Low’s new company, Tomahawk Homes

How do you go about finding the right land? Close relationships have been built up with leading estate agencies and development land specialists in the South West over the last ten years. They know exactly what we look for, and bring to my attention any new opportunities, as and when they arise. I also keep a keen eye on the local authorities’ planning pages, sometimes dealing direct with land owners. As soon as I am made aware of a new opportunity, that may be suitable, I will visit the land, local area and carry out market research. This is then followed by an in depth, desktop appraisal, to put a value against the land. I like to get a good feel of the local area and you may see me walking around the w

contributed from the initial concept culminating with the finished home ready to be filled with lifelong memories. And how, on a bigger scale, the homes that we’ve carefully considered and built become new, thriving communities, enhancing the locations that surround our new neighbourhoods. Tony Lane, Devonshire Homes With MMA, you get a complete project, managed from start to finish. Our clients are usually high net-worth individuals who are often in the process of retiring, relocating, or sometimes just looking to invest. Many of our clients are based either overseas or in other parts of the UK and the properties that they are looking to develop or renovate are, in the main, historic or are architecturally sensitive. These properties allow myself and the team to bring to the project a level of expertise and skills that respect the heritage and use innovative thinking to ‘problem solve’ the client brief so that we create “homes that really want to be lived in”. Mike Martin, Mike Martin Associates (MMA) The appreciation we receive from a happy customer is the most satisfying part of the business. Buying a house is one of the biggest investments of a person’s lifetime. It goes without

The Copse, Dawlish, by Redrow I EXETER LIVING I 73



village or town in question, talking to the locals and perhaps having lunch in the local pub. It’s always a good way to understand what life is like in the area! From first looking at an opportunity, successfully bidding on it, and starting onsite, can take anything up to two years. It’s a lengthy process, especially with the planning. I consider many things when looking at potential sites, with key points being edge of village location where possible, how desirable the area is, and what are the transport links like. I like our sites to be within 30 minutes of major towns or cities. Simon Green, Westhaven Homes Location, location, location remains true today. It is important for us that every piece of land we acquire makes the most of what is readily available for potential homeowners, for example good travel links, access to local shops and schools, so that we can curate a new local community. Our team of land specialists and extensive network of consultants are always looking for new development opportunities, whether the plot is available today or in a few years to come, this will vary depending on planning position. Where other developers may choose land that is available now, we are dedicated to ensuring that the land we select is the absolute best location for our homeowners. David Matthews, Burrington Estates

The Kenn by Burrington Estates 74 I EXETER LIVING I



There are various factors that we consider when looking at purchasing a site, including existing infrastructure in the locality, highly desirable cities, towns, and villages with a great range of schools and amenities and areas where housing is needed. The length of time this takes varies on a site-by-site basis. Ultimately, the key thing we look for is to buy a site where you can imagine building quality homes and thriving communities for our future customers. Annie Williams, Redrow West Country It is all about location, location, location. It can take anywhere between two months to two years to find the right site. We never rush into it as it’s vital that the location for our new homes fits our criteria, one example of which being lower density to maximise plot size and value, back to back with our core house types. The land should be surrounded by the right amenities with good transport links so that the new community we build can thrive and develop. We are a West Country home builder, so all our land is within the region. If possible, we look for brownfield sites, land that has been previously used for industry and ideally five to seven acres in size. Tony Lane, Devonshire Homes


How much of your time is spent dealing with planning issues? Which planning restrictions would you lift, if you had the power? A substantial amount of my time, probably over 35%, is spent dealing with planning and the issues surrounding new sites as between the chairman and myself we lead the land and development team. Undoubtedly within the construction industry there is a frustration with how long the planning process can take. The government is promoting home ownership and actively pushing for an increase in housing supply. If I had the power, I would encourage the government to ringfence the funding of planning and legal services. This would help smaller house builders to take forward the technical aspects of the planning application and the approval process, potentially making it a smoother and faster process for the likes of Devonshire Homes. Tony Lane, Devonshire Homes I would say a considerable amount, made worst by short-staffed, unresponsive planning departments. It’s a major issue for us; the planners have no idea of what it’s like to deal with their officers as projects progress. Mike Martin, Mike Martin Associates (MMA) We want to ensure that our developments are delivered in the right way that not only benefit

Above: A beautiful interior from one of Mike Martin Associates’ architecturally sensitive period renovations Below: Tony Lane, managing director of Devonshire Homes

existing communities but enhance them too – which is why planning regulations are so important. That said, changes to the application for reserved matters [the information excluded from the initial outline planning application] would aid developers and local authorities in the planning process. If planning officers were given more authority, we would be able to speed up the process of approval and delivery on site. David Matthews, Burrington Estates We continually deal with planning issues throughout the process from the initial stages of identifying land for development all the way through to obtaining planning approval and nailing down the finer details of a development. In terms of restrictions, we would make changes that make the whole planning process more efficient – which ultimately means we can build homes faster. Annie Williams, Redrow West Country Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with a wide range of consultants that deal with most of the planning issues for me. Their expertise is invaluable, when dealing with the minefield of the planning process. The amount of reports we must provide, like energy statements, transport statements, ecology and archaeology surveys, to name but a few, is very time consuming, and sometimes not necessary. I would love to be able  I EXETER LIVING I 75



to fine-tune this part of the planning process, if powers were permitted! Simon Green, Westhaven Homes A report by Lloyds Bank in January showed that fewer and fewer young adults in the UK are joining the construction industry. How can the housebuilding industry reverse this, and how are you tackling it? Burrington Estates New Homes are proud supporters of the Home Building Skills Partnership which aims to tackle this very issue. We offer training, support and promote careers within the house building industry, especially for young adults, and are committed to developing new talents in the construction industry.” Colin Palmer, Burrington Estates Housebuilders need to embrace the National Apprenticeship Service and encourage more young people into the construction industry. Housebuilders not only need to recruit more apprentices, but they need to ensure that a clear growth programme is in place for the apprentice from the very beginning so that they can develop their career. At Devonshire Homes, we support apprentices across all sectors of the business whether they are out on site or they’re office-

based within our HR team. Tony Lane, Devonshire Homes




Left: Annie Williams, head of sales at Redrow West Country



MIKE MARTIN ASSOCIATES (MMA) 07836 782801; REDROW 01392 796075; TOMAHAWK HOMES WESTHAVEN HOMES 07813 768773; ANCILLARY SERVICES AVALON PLANNING Planning and heritage consultancy 01392 581150;

We are connecting with young people at an early stage. We run health and safety visits at primary school age, which encourage questions and undertake many events in both schools and colleges to interact with young people considering a role within the industry. 20% of our workforce in the West Country are trainees, apprentices and graduates, and Redrow is proud across the country to have many senior members of staff who have risen to their position from a junior level, thanks to our ongoing investment in their training and development. Annie Williams, Redrow West Country We advocate an approach that invites young people to get involved, and experience a way of working that has the highest of standards at the heart of its reason to trade, and welcome anyone who has the ambition and keenness to learn, knowing that the experience they will gain and the skills they will learn from our key craftspeople will equip them in a manner that earns them respect for the quality they will want to deliver. Mike Martin, Mike Martin Associates (MMA) Westhaven only have four direct employees. We have been fortunate enough to take on an apprentice site manager, who is currently studying with Westhaven, under the CITB Construction Skills scheme. This is a great opportunity for young adults joining the construction industry. We do encourage our contractors to take on apprentices, and it’s good to see that most of them have. It certainly feels like I am seeing a few more, younger people onsite, especially over the last year. Better apprenticeship wages and less theory-based learning would encourage more people to the industry. It’s good to see most of the national house builders are supporting trade apprenticeships, but greater incentives for smaller house builders would be good to see. More certainly needs to be done. Simon Green, Westhaven Homes

AIIR ROOFING Family-run roofing service 01884 821514; IN EX DESIGN Architects, interior designers and landscape designers 01395 233807; TP WAINWRIGHT General contractors 01392 811759; WT HILLS Chartered Quantity Surveyors 01392 218010;

P R O P E R T Y D E V E L O P M E N T a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e

IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR Some of the finest new developments in Devon – from a village pub to luxury seaside apartments – are being designed and built by family-run property developers EAST DEVON ESTATES


ast Devon Estates Ltd is a family-run property development business spanning the whole of Devon, delivering a diverse selection of new build homes, ranging from affordable, first-time buyer flats in Mid Devon to bespoke luxury apartments in the South Hams, and even the development of a new build, local public house in conjunction with a village community in East Devon. Run by father and son team Paul and Spencer Brinton, they have a keen interest in designing and delivering outstanding high quality properties that incorporate the latest technology, with Paul’s wife Janet keeping a keen eye on the administrative side of the business. Both Paul and Spencer have spent their entire careers in the building trade, working from the ground up, learning their craft, and started their business together in 2012. Specialising in new builds across Devon, here are some of their most recent projects: Oceana in Kingswear has just been launched to the market by The Coastal House estate agents, in this picturesque village on the banks of the River Dart. Oceana comprises a two-bedroom apartment with balcony and a three-bed duplex with stunning entertaining space on the terraces that overlook the river and surrounding countryside. Built in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Oceana blends into the surrounding scenery with its cladded exterior and discreet curved roof line, providing luxury contemporary living with the added benefits of parking and garage. Not new to Kingswear, Paul and Spencer understand well the intricacies of building on the hills surrounding the river, having already built and sold The Bridge and Sails and Inglewood apartment buildings. To arrange a viewing of Oceana, please contact The Coastal House on 01803 752321 or email The Nightjar in Aylesbeare is close to Paul’s heart, and his involvement in developing

“paul and spencer have spent their entire careers in the building trade” 84 I EXETER LIVING I

his own local, alongside creating six high specification three- and four-bedroom houses in the village where he lives has been a more personal project than most. Breathing new life into the area as well as providing much needed homes in the village, the Nightjar is now a destination pub and vibrant community hub for the village where he’s lived for 15 years. Tarka Court in North Tawton is the focus for the year ahead, and will see the second phase being completed, comprising 10 two-bed flats and two one-bed flats targeting the first-time buyer and help-to-buy market. This exciting project, being managed by Spencer, will be the seventh successful project over their six years working together. Paul says: "Working with family can be challenging, but with clarity of focus in terms of what you want to achieve, and communication, we have made it work, and I continue to enjoy it six years on." With the years of experience and combined vision and talents of the trio, East Devon Estates has developed a business tailored to building new, good quality, eco-friendly properties.

For more information on their current projects, visit:, email:

P R O P E R T Y a d v e r t i s i n g f e at u r e

A Simple Formula for House Selling By Louisa Hooper, head of new homes, Jackson-Stops


o the old adage goes, ‘If you have the right property, in the right place, for the right price, it will sell’. “Nothing could be truer,” says Louisa Hooper, head of new homes at Jackson-Stops, than for Westhaven Homes at their recent development at Barton Meadows, Thorverton, where every home sold ‘off-plan’ well in advance of build; boy do we wish there were more! Now shortlisted for a prestigious Michelmore Property Award (Residential Project of the Year – 35 units and under), Barton Meadows was considerately designed to appeal to even the most discerning buyer, with a blend of traditional and contemporary facades. With spacious, modern interiors, boasting premier specifications, including underfloor heating to the ground floor, Siemens or Neff integrated appliances to the kitchen, oak stairs and doors as well as a choice of flooring throughout, it provided a wonderful opportunity for a buyer to put their own stamp on a brand new home in a thriving community.

With the success of Barton Meadows, Westhaven Homes are now finalising details for their next exciting development at Cheriton Fitzpaine. Just 28 homes are being planned for this village scheme of three- and four-bedroom homes, which is due to start during autumn this year with first completions anticipated from spring 2019. So, with so many new homes being built in the current market, what makes Westhaven Homes stand out from the crowd? In a nutshell, says managing director, Simon Green, “we understand every buyer's needs are different, and we can be flexible in our approach, allowing them to put their own personal touch to their home, making it truly theirs. Our attention to detail and quality during construction complements our principles to produce a dream home.” Based at Sampford Peverell, Devon, Westhaven Homes Ltd was established in April 2008, and is dedicated to developing a unique collection of bespoke, individually designed family homes, reflecting both a traditional and contemporary feel in

the beautiful West Country landscape. Westhaven’s locations are handpicked to ensure their properties work perfectly in their environment. They pride themselves on using the highest quality materials and professional craftsmanship to provide your dream home. The experienced team work closely with every buyer to ensure buying a new home is an exciting and personal journey.

To register your interest for advanced information on Westhaven Homes' next development at Cheriton Fitzpaine, contact Jackson-Stops on 01392 229922 or email


BUILDING CONTRACTORS T.P.WAINWRIGHT LIMITED is a long established family based company working in and around Exeter and the surrounding area. Having completed a large number of varying projects, we can say that we have the experience / skills and expertise needed to realise the construction or renovation project that you have in mind. But we’re not just about bricks and mortar. We’re very much aware that we’re building our customers’ future.

We look forward to hearing about how we can help with your project. Just call us on 01392 811759 or send us an e-mail

T.P.WAINWRIGHT LIMITED. 4 SANSON CLOSE, STOKE CANON. EXETER EX5 4AQ Tel: 01392 811759 / 08454590996 / 07977218783

Hills incorporating hartQS are an established professional practice providing Quantity Surveying services from their Exeter base throughout the South West. We have a vast experience and knowledge of high profile bespoke residential and commercial projects with state of the art green credentials. Regulated by the RICS we offer a full range of pre and post contract Quantity Surveying services for construction projects including refurbishments, alterations and new builds of any size. WHY USE A QUANTITY SURVEYOR? When you engage a Chartered Quantity Surveyor (QS), or Construction Cost Consultant as they are sometimes known, on a building project you are able to utilise the training and experience of a regulated professional to aid and guide you through the different phases of a project, helping to control costs and minimise risk of going over budget. Quotes from satisfied clients… “You have provided costing estimates and assessments which have proven to be detailed, clear and accurate throughout the project.” ------“I consider that your relationship with the contractor has been appropriate, being robust where necessary but also being fair-minded.”

Tel: 01392 218010 | Email: Website: or

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07944 580 775




xeter-based illustrator Victoria originally hails from Yorkshire and taught art for nine years before discovering a passion and talent for children’s book illustration. A member of the local collective Exeter Illustrators, her clients include Oxford University Press and she’s recently illustrated a children’s book, Alfie’s Night Out, for RAMM’s 150th anniversary. You’ll also have seen her charming images illustrating Jonathan Taylor’s column in Exeter Living. Whereabouts in Exeter do you live, and what makes it special? St David’s, near the Iron Bridge. Every morning I have a cup of tea in bed, looking out at green leafy St Bartholomew’s Cemetery and yet am five minutes from the benefits of city life, Exeter Picturehouse, bars, cafés and restaurants. Tell us a bit about Exeter Illustrators. We are a group of working, professional and award-winning commercial artists. The group was set up in 2016 when one of the group realised there were several talented illustrators living in Exeter and the rest is history. Being part of a group is great as illustration can be quite a lonely profession. How would you describe your illustration style in one sentence? Inspired by nature and memories of my childhood. What piece of music would you put on at the end of a trying day? Something soothing like Billie Holiday or Alison Moyet. What’s your favourite piece of clothing? A pair of purple velvet jeans. I have long since not been able to fit in them but I still love them, and they sit in my bottom drawer. What job would you be terrible at? Anything that involved reading maps or finding my way around. I have a terrible sense of direction. If you had a spare five minutes in the day, what are you most likely to fill it with? If I’m honest, I would have a sneaky peak at Facebook. Who’s your celebrity crush? Alexander Armstrong.


When she’s not drawing, here’s what fills the local illustrator’s days What has been your proudest moment? My first solo exhibition at RAMM based on my children’s book Alfie’s Night Out. It is fabulous seeing my work on such a large scale. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? When I first met up with Exeter Illustrators, just as I was sitting down to introduce myself, I sat down and fell off my chair. It was even more embarrassing because no-one laughed. They looked horrified and then we had to have a normal, grown up conversation. Luckily they seem to have forgotten. What’s your earliest childhood memory? Standing under an apple tree and my grandmother, holding me in her arms, pointing out a tiny face on one of the apples. When did you last cry, and why? I cried and cried over a beautiful novel called A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I still want to cry when I think about it now. What issue, more than any other, makes you want to get up on a soapbox? The misuse of power and wealth. The Grenfell Tower fire, Windrush scandal, companies making millions from destroying rainforests and polluting the oceans… Don’t get me started. What’s your most treasured possession? My children: they are my greatest creations. Share a secret/underrated part of the city that you love. I love walking my dog at Ludwell Valley Park.


There is a big sweeping hill that looks out over Exeter, which is beautiful on a sunny or a misty day. I really enjoy seeing the seasons change over the year: at the moment there are lots of yellow buttercups and the trees are blossoming with life. Who would play you in a film about your life? Hayley Mills. One of my favourite films is Whistle Down The Wind. Favourite places to eat, drink and shop in Exeter and the surrounding area? The Welcome Café (on the quay), Café Espresso and Herbies; all small, independently run businesses serving freshly prepared food, much nicer than a restaurant chain. If you had a time machine, which era would you return to and why? I’m very nostalgic and if I had a time machine I would revisit the 1970s – if only for the children’s television. It was a good time to be a child with lots of freedom and playtime. We’d better let you get on… What are you doing right after this? I’m working on a painting for Exeter Illustrators’ forthcoming Be Inspired 2018 exhibition at the Welcome Café.

See Victoria’s Alfie’s Night Out sketchbooks at RAMM until 2 September, and her work for the Exeter Illustrators: Be Inspired exhibition at Welcome Café, Haven Banks, Exeter until 3 June

Exeter Living - Issue 228  
Exeter Living - Issue 228