Exeter is the principal city of the county of Devon in the southwest of England, a train journey of just over four hours from London. With Norman elements dating from the 12th century, Exeter Cathedral is in the center of the city. A selection of hotels is located nearby with many of them housed in historic buildings. Exeter is set just inland on the River Exe before it joins the English Channel. Seaside towns like Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton are a 30-minute drive away.
Set in a coaching inn dating from 1769, the ABode Exeter is located in the Exeter Cathedral Yard, a few steps from the Cathedral itself. The hotel restaurant, Michael Caines at ABode Exeter, serves a fine-dining menu featuring dishes like tartlet of Devon quail and loin of local venison. An eight-course tasting menu is also available. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, which includes fine art, local history and botany exhibits, is a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
St Olaves Hotel & Treasury Restaurant
A five-minute walk from Exeter Cathedral, St Olaves Hotel is housed in a fine Georgian townhouse from 1827 featuring a walled garden. The 15 rooms are decorated in Victorian style, and come with homemade biscuits and chocolates. The Treasury Restaurant serves contemporary English cooking with Mediterranean influences in a room that combines traditional detailing with modern furnishings. Just down the street from St Olaves, the Mama Stone club features regular live music. For a quirky English pub experience, visit the Fat Pig, a five-minute walk away.
City Gate Hotel
The City Gate Hotel has 14 rooms above a family-friendly pub set in a Victorian building a five-minute walk from the Cathedral. Exeter Central Rail Station is a couple of minutes’ away by taxi. The pub, which has a beer garden and a conservatory, serves English and European dishes and a selection of traditionally brewed ales. Alternative nearby dining options include Herbie’s Vegetarian Restaurant and Tiger Bills, which serves Thai food, and an American grill menu.
Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel
The Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel lies a 10-minute walk from the Cathedral and is set in a modern building with traditional styling. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and fitness center. Cloisters restaurant serves contemporary international dishes. Restaurants within a five-minute walk include Carluccio’s, offering Italian food, and La Tasca, which serves Spanish dishes and features a tapas menu. Just around the corner from the hotel, the Barnfield Theater stages light opera, ballet and drama.
- front of exeter cathedral image by green308 from Fotolia.com