Every now and then everyone needs a retreat. Some time away to take a step back, destress and breath. For the boyfriend and I the place for us to do that is Exeter. We both met at University in Exeter so it’s a place that we know well and that holds some fond memories.
As we’re regular visitors to Exeter we’ve been making our way around the vegan scene, which has much improved since we were at University. Here’s the best of what we’ve tried to date.
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Set in Cathedral Yard you’ll get beautiful views of the Cathedral and the square if you nab a seat by the window. In terms of food they offer both vegetarian and vegan food, but everything is clearly labelled. You’ll find salads, sandwiches and vegan quiche, amongst cakes and other sweet treats. We tried their carrot and walnut cake as well as their beetroot and raspberry cake with a pot of early grey and oat milk. Both cakes were moist (I hate that word, but they were!) and fragrant. We will be back again for sure.
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If you’re looking for a place to have a Vegan Sunday Roast then Firehouse is the place to go. It’s what J. K. Rowling based the Leaky Cauldron on in Harry Potter and it’s also an old haunt of mine from University days. Think dark wood, fair lights, giant pizzas and wine bottle candlestick holders. It has a spooky, yet romantic feel to it, but best you experience it yourself. As well as Sunday Roast during the week you can choose from a range of vegan pizzas, but I warn you that their pizzas are enormous, so best to share.
Check out their menu here.
Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party is a chain, but they also have a number of vegan options on their menu suitable for breakfast such as mushrooms on sourdough toast, vegan full cooked breakfast and avocado on toast amongst others. There are a few cakes available too including a coffee and walnut cake, which I adore, although it can be a bit hit and miss on how dry it is.
The Boathouse Café – Topsham
You’ll find the Boathouse Café in a little village called Topsham which is a 15 minute train journey from Exeter’s main station, Exeter St. David’s. At the Boathouse you’ll find vegan crêpes, galettes and more. I went for a vegan cheese, mushroom and tomato galette which was absolutely scrumptious. The first that I’ve had since going vegan and I adored it. However they do do the sweet variety too and they have a variety of plant based milks for you to choose from for your tea or coffee.
The Café – Topsham
Although there are no vegan options on the menu, simply ask and they’ll make you an all vegan cooked breakfast. No hassle. No fuss. A great breakfast option if you’re staying in the area.
The Galley Restaurant – Topsham
The Galley. How to describe the Galley? Now it is a fish restaurant, however their chef is fantastic and they’re more than happy to pull together a vegan feast just for you. It’s a place to visit for a special occasion as it is pricey, but let them know that you’re vegan when you call to book and they will sort you out a delicious meal. You can read a full review here.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the vegan delights of Exeter and the surrounding area. In fact I have a bit of a bucket list, which I intend to work my way through each time we go back, which includes:
- The Farmers’ Union
- The Rabbit Vegan Cafe
- The Hidden Treasure Tea Room
- The Flat
Exeter has definitely upped it’s vegan game over the last couple of years and i’m sure that each time i visit they’ll be a new place that i can add to this list. If you’ve got any other vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant recommendations for Exeter then let me know in the comments below.