Spring Launch Party: The Gatehouse Bar and Restaurant at The Southgate Hotel


The part of the invitation that led me to believe that I should have dressed in something other than a shirt and my combat trousers was ‘Drinks Reception’ and ‘Southgate Hotel’.  The part of my brain that led me to think that this would be appropriate should really be scooped out, as this was definitely an event for a suit & tie. Thankfully I wasn’t refused entry, and asked to leave quietly.

The organisers also managed to get the name of the blog wrong on our name tags, I only realised halfway through the evening.  So, for the duration of this post Eating Exeter is now ‘Exeter Eating’.

So what are they launching?

I had the honour of being invited to the Launch Party for The Gatehouse Bar and Restaurant on Thursday evening.

Mercure Hotels who own The Southgate Hotel have just refurbished the hotel, and most importantly they’ve refurbished the restaurant and bar.  Serving contemporary British cuisine including seafood, they are catering for a wide range of tastes.

The decor is inspired by Exeter’s history with The Exeter Book playing a key part in the inspiration of the design of the glass panelling and the carpet.  The comedy moment of the evening was learning that the carpet was ‘multi-lingual’ (spot the plebs in the corner chuckling to themselves at this fact).  But no less respect for the design and thought that went in to the interior.

Otter Brewery, Luscombe Drinks and Pebblebed Wines were represented, giving out free samples to party guests (Otter Bright is still my tipple of choice at the moment).

Was there food?

Absolutely; and if the samples were anything to go by, then we are going to be spoilt with having an amazing restaurant on our doorstep.

Personal favourites were the Creedy Carver Chicken Skewers with a BBQ sauce and the Jack’s Burgers sliders.  Also Saffron seasoned Chilli Shrimp was to die for and they even had oysters, but alas I am not the world’s biggest seafood fan so I veered away from them and the sushi.

And the macarons….oh those macarons…

The Gatehouse Bar & Restaurant is open for business now, its a definite opening highlight of the year for this blog and deserves a good go.

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Author: Chris

He may look very complicated, but he is in fact very simple. He runs on sausages and beer. Co-founder of Eating Exeter. Librarian at Exeter College.

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