Catch Up Over Cocktails at Turtle Bay, Exeter – by Lauren Heath

On the back of a recent announcement from Turtle Bay that they had introduced booking and waiter service for their cocktail tables rather than turning up hopeful of a seat but having to queue at the bar, we jumped at the chance to give it a try for ourselves.

In fact, to put it to the test, we booked it for a Dining Devon team meeting, now that we’re a trio, on a Thursday evening after work (Thirsty Thursday right? Thursdays are the new Fridays? Any excuse..). We all jumped on our respective public transport options and met at the Exeter branch in the Queen Street Dining Quarter.

We were quickly seated at our tall table near the bar and had a great chat with branch manager Michal, who loves being able to interact with the customers rather than hide behind the office door.

Throughout the evening we enjoyed cocktails including Espresso Martini (Espresso shots, dark rum, Kahlua & vanilla syrup), Roots Culture (Uncle Wray overproof rum, served with strawberry, pomegranate syrup, lime & lemonade) and Tobago Tea (Rum, tequila, vodka, gin, triple sec & fresh lemon, mango & lemonade). These were ordered on the cusp of Happy Hour so we enjoyed double the delight.

After a good days’ work we were pretty peckish too so went for some ‘Cutters’ – Inspired by beach shack & street vendors across the Caribbean islands, these great tasting dishes are perfect for a starter or order some to share with friends and family.

We went for a bit of everything and tried the Beef Patty, Crispy Chilli Squid, Jerk Glazed Pit Ribs, Duck Rolls and Sweetcorn Fritters. All items had their own variation of Caribbean flavour and spice but the tender squid and earthy duck rolls were certainly particular favourites with the Sweetcorn fritters knocking our socks off and claiming top spot, we ordered another portion

Sweet corn, spring onion, coriander & scotch bonnet fritters with West Indian hot sauce, pickled onion & herb salad – these were crunchy, sweet, and beautifully spicy.

There was a good vibe in the restaurant, although the music may have been a tad loud for those of us that wanted to have a good conversation but was certainly a good ‘evening out’ environment.

With a few more cocktails swished down including Strawberry Daquiri (Havana Especial, blended with strawberry & fresh lime), Beachcombers Zombie (Overproof, dark, white, & golden rums, absinthe, pomegranate syrup & tropical juices) we ventured off our separate ways ready to face frantic Friday, after a good night’s sleep first of course..

To find out more about Turtle Bay’s bookable cocktail tables, read our recent news post or visit their website.

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