Dining Devon Recommended

The Farmer’s Union, Clock Tower


EE RecommendsSundays are usually the worst time to even consider going out for food, especially if you are as anti-social as I am..

It is normally the same time that everyone else tries to go out, and as a result you end up having to fight for tables and waitress attention, moreso, than any other time of the week. But this day was different.  We were so hungry, it didn’t matter if the kids were screaming, or anything else for that matter. We needed to eat!  But then when its the wrong side of pay day, and you can’t afford to spend over the odds for a greasey carvary that has sat under a hot lamp for hours the options are not overly attractive.

But one option that I came across in the week, was The Farmer’s Union on the Clock tower roundabout in Exeter.  It is one of those pubs that has always been a pub, ever since anyone can remember.  At one point it was the offices for the Ministry of Agriculture, and which also housed the ‘Farmers Club’, and later the National Farmers Union had their offices there too.

Recently it has had a new lease of life and is now under the management of ‘Your Friendly Pub Co’, not entirely sure if this is a pub chain or the name of the company who just run the pub? The website doesn’t give much hint as to whether this is a chain pub or not,  but given this is the first time I have heard of them, I am going to assume not. http://thefarmersunion.co.uk/

The decor has been touched up, it looks and feels fresh and revived.  The piano is still in the corner, and they advertise free pool on Sundays.  It is one of the nicest pubs to sit in given the warm homely atmosphere.  Our visit was on a Sunday lunchtime and we found the service was excellent, attentive staff all very friendly and eager to please.  No apathy or attitude.  Although the pub was busy, there was no feeling of panic or being rushed, it was as an experience something I would repeat again and again.

Previous visits to this pub have been disappointing before the new owners took over. Apathetic staff, expensive and uninspiring food the sort of stagnant malaise that you get from a place that has clearly lost the passion.  But the new owners have put the passion back in to their food.  This was apparent from the delicious ‘Proper Job’ all day breakfast which we enjoyed for £3.99.  OK, so you’re getting a little less than something you’d get for slightly more in the Matford Diner, but given Wetherspoons used to do a £3.99 breakfast back in the day The Farmer’s Union have hit the spot with this one.  There is a big need for a cheap all-day breakfast and given the average price for a breakfast in Exeter seems to hit the £5.50 and above mark, its a niche that is now covered.

Pros: Nice atmosphere, cheap menu, friendly staff

Cons: So cheap you want more, and more. Could have more live music nights?

16-18 Queen’s Terrace | Exeter | Devon | EX4 4HR | Tel: 01392 279955

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