Exeter Golf and Country Club, Topsham Rd, Exeter, EX2 7AE
01392 874139 Lunch menu: One course (£9.95), two courses (£12.00) or three courses (£15.00)
To a lot of Exonians (excluding the 4,500 members who currently pay money to use their lovely facilities) the Exeter Golf and Country Club is a little bit of a mystery. Like me, most residents of Exeter have been here for a wedding or two, maybe a conference or to use the wonderful spa facilities. The sumptuous Georgian building (take a peek at the club’s history here) that overlooks some of the nicest greenery in Exeter, is home to the Wear Park Restaurant. Last year Adam Little (ex-Harry’s Grill) was appointed as Head Chef. Adam brought some of his team from Harry’s as well; the winning combination that attracted diner’s to their previous haunt is back to weave the same magic at the Exeter GCC.
But did you know that the gorgeous Wear Park Restaurant is also open to non-members as well?
We were invited down have a some lunch and take peek at this hidden temple of fine food, admire the greens and peer at the golf caddies. I’ve only ever tried to play Golf twice, both times I managed to lose the ball, annoy other golfers and chew a large hole in an exquisitely manicured green. So the idea of going to a golf club had me slightly worried that I might need to get my ‘Bluffer’s Guide to Golf’ out, but thankfully it isn’t all greens and golf carts at the Exeter GCC.
The Club has two restaurants. The Hub is their family space where families can go and eat cheaply, children are allowed to be themselves and there is an attractive kid friendly menu on offer, no problem. Many families will come and use the facilities multiple times a week and have their evening meal at the club after the kids have had their lessons and Mum & Dad have been at the gym or catching some squash in one of their courts. Then for those nicer meals, there is the Wear Park Restaurant.
The lunch menu is fantastic value, choose from one course (£9.95), two courses (£12.00) or three courses (£15.00) OR one of the light bites from the other side of the menu. Alternatively why not drop in for Afternoon Tea? There is even a Prosecco Afternoon Tea available which just sounds decadently nice.
When we arrived, we were taken over to the Restaurant (located on the ground floor of the large Georgian house) by a lovely lady from reception as we had no idea where we were meant to be. The Georgian propensity for the neo-classical gives the building quite an imposing feeling, but the warm welcome we received was in contrast to the austere yet beautiful architecture.
Adam has created a really nice lunch menu to tempt members and non-members alike. We were looked after by the lovely Richard, the Food and Drinks Manager at the Wear Park who gave us a insight in to life at this busy restaurant. As we waited in the lounge area, we were able to order our food as we sat in comfort with our coffees. As this was a Saturday lunchtime, I couldn’t quite bring myself to start on the wine quite yet.
Although the temptation to have a full three course meal sat on my shoulder for quite a while, I managed to keep it at bay (one has to think of the waistline) so I went for a main and a pudding. I started things off with a Pan Fried Fillet of Salmon which came served with beautiful butter boiled vegetables, and Tori went for the Chicken Chasseur with Fondant Potato. The Salmon skin was crisped perfectly, the flesh flaked with little effort from me and tasted amazing. Tori commented on the fact her chicken was beautifully moist.
The service throughout the dinner brilliant, we didn’t wait too long before our next course arrived.
For the pudding I stuck to the classic Sticky Toffee Pudding (with clotted cream) and Tori, being the chocolate fiend she is endulged in a Chocolate Delice with Stewed Cherries. My pudding was soft where it should have been, with a sweet butterscotch sauce and a creamy dollop of clotted cream which was a gorgeous addition. Tori’s chocolate delice looked like it should have been heavy, but it was light and smooth and inspired many happy noises from her side of the table.
Whether it was the opulent surroundings, the fact it was a Saturday or possibly the beginning of a lifetime’s addiction to Prosecco, Tori took the plunge and had a Blueberry Prosecco cocktail to finish the whole thing. And I had a cup of tea…it is a well known fact I know how to party.
These fizzy cocktails are a new addition to the menu with exciting combinations available, the strawberry and blueberry liquers that are used have real fruit within the spirit which give it a wonderful fruity nose.
Wear Park Restaurant also do a Sunday Lunch menu, but if you want to try it out, best book in advance! And that goes for other times as well. The venue and the value add a special something to the experience for diners, so why not give it a go? It is not just members who can experience the exquisite dining and surroundings of this proper hidden gem.
Exeter Golf and Country Club,