Recently, I went to the River Exe Café on a work social – Devon’s only floating café! Situated upon the Exe estuary, this award-winning café serves locally sourced food and drink along with stunning views of the river. I was looking forward to our visit as it’s somewhere that I have always wanted to go but just haven’t got round to visiting. I mean, where else in England can you find a floating café?!
Firstly, unless you own your own boat, you have to take a water taxi to get to the café and booking is essential so make sure you are organised! After a short 15 minute ride, we pulled up to the café which didn’t look like anything special from the outside but when you stepped onto the raft, the café was dotted with nice wooden tables and you could smell the seafood in the air.
As I enjoyed my glass of Chardonnay against the backdrop of the setting sun, we were provided with soft bread for the table with some oil and vinegar. I love it when restaurants do this as it’s something so simple but just adds a nice touch – and we were all starving!
To start, I went for a bowl of Classic Moules Mariniere (mussels served in a garlic sauce) which had been caught right in Exmouth. I remember going on holiday to France when I was younger and without fail, every night I had mussels in garlic sauce for my dinner – I was absolutely obsessed with them! In France they were everywhere but I find in England, it isn’t a common dish to see on the menu so I haven’t had mussels since then! For this reason, I was pretty excited to be reunited with one of my favourite seafood dishes and the River Exe Café didn’t disappoint. Honestly, these mussels just made me feel like I was back in France again! They were all a good size, really juicy and succulent, and were drenched in a gorgeous, creamy, garlic sauce. The garlic was very strong which I just loved and it added to the flavour superbly.
For my main course, I went for the Beer Battered Fish served with mushy peas, chips and tartar sauce. I could tell that the fish was of really good quality and it wasn’t too oily and greasy like takeaway fish and chips. If I was being picky, for me the batter could have been a lot crispier but I guess that’s just personal taste. As a big fan of mushy peas, I was keen to dig in and they were very tasty. They had been flavoured with a touch of mint which added a nice touch. The tartar sauce complimented the fish nicely and the chips were nice and chunky and hot! I hate it when restaurants don’t get chips right and serve them too cold but these were perfect.
For once, I didn’t have a pudding because I was just too stuffed! After enjoying the last of our drinks, we rode the taxi back to Exmouth. Watching the sun set over the estuary was stunning and topped off the evening perfectly. I would thoroughly recommend paying a visit to the River Exe Café. You are guaranteed to eat great quality food and receive friendly service from the staff. It offers a unique dining experience and it’s something a bit different if you are bored of going to the same old restaurants all the time.
To find out more, visit their website: www.riverexecafe.com