I am always on the lookout for new independent cafés and restaurants and I had heard good things from Chris (Editor DD) about a new Delicatessen and Café Bar which opened up in October.
He had visited not long after it had opened and when your fellow foodie chum recommends somewhere to go, even just for a good cup of coffee and a bite, it’s always good to go and check it out for yourself.
I visited just before Christmas when Ebdons were launching their exciting new Cocktail Menu. Cocktails were all £5 on this particular night just for the launch. I took a friend along with me and we headed into Exeter by train and planned to combine our trip with a visit to the Christmas Market.
Ebdons Refreshments is located in Sidwell Street, Exeter, just a little way up from John Lewis. It’s a cosy relaxing place, quirky even. I loved the décor, the rustic looking menus, especially the one on the wall, the music and the whole ambience of the place.
There was a good choice of Cocktails that the Barman had been working on for the Menu, and most likely had a great time testing them out we thought – we would have liked to have tried them all!
I like whisky (and most other spirits to be honest) so I went for a Pear Drop, feeling slightly nostalgic and liking the sound of the Infused Pear and Cinnamon Whisky which Ebdons make themselves (you can see the jars above the bar).
Also in this cocktail went Gomme (a syrup) and Egg White. My friend, more of a Gin lover, went for Clover Club, made with Plymouth Gin, Raspberry Syrup (also made in-house) Lemon Juice and Egg White.
The Cocktails arrived in glasses I’m sure I would have found in my Mum’s drinks cabinet which added more to the character of the bar. Both cocktails were delicious and whilst sipping, chatting and relaxing we decided we would share a meat and cheese platter (£10) as we hadn’t eaten yet and seeing the lovely selection of local Devon charcuterie and cheeses in the deli counter, we couldn’t resist.
We were in for a bit of a treat. A large plate arrived with a wonderful selection of cheeses and meats, along with olives, jelly and bread. Nibbling, drinking, relaxing and chatting – just what I like to do of an evening.
Of course, we then needed to try another cocktail as our glasses were empty and this time, I went for an Espresso Martini (having a love of this drink following my visit to Black Cow Vodka Distillery earlier in the year).
This wasn’t a traditional Espresso Martini, it was made with Barti Ddu Rum, Kahlua, Gomme and two shots of Espresso. A lovely twist on a classic – which is what Ebdons are trying to do with their short Cocktail Menu, using great spirits, infusions and ingredients.
My companion decided to try the Dark and Stormy, which was a longer drink and Rum based, made with Barti Dhu Rum, Lime Juice, Bitters, Gomme and a bottle of Umbrella Ginger Beer. That was particularly pleasant and the Ginger Beer worked really well with it and was delightfully refreshing.
Feeling warm and full, we then went off to visit the Christmas Market. Yes, we could have stayed a little longer to sample some more of Ebdons Refreshments.
Several people were popping in for Coffee, some for Cocktails and there was a party of eight who had reserved a table to celebrate a Birthday. I can see myself making my way up to Sidwell Street next time I am in Exeter to sample their Coffee (keeping it local using Voyager Coffee from Buckfastleigh), homemade soups, stews and deli platters.
There is a great selection of European Wine and a range of craft beers on draught and in bottles. An inviting place to go for Coffee, Lunch, Brunch or Dinner, nibbles pre or post visit to the cinema, meeting friends, getting together and enjoying local produce and drinks.
If you haven’t time to sit in and eat which is a better option, you can get a takeaway. Bookings are welcome for food and drink as well as its regular menu, a fixed price or bespoke meal can be easily arranged for groups of four or more people.
Where is it? Ebdons Refreshments, 174 Sidwell Street, Exeter EX4 6RH
Contact information: Poppy Harrison 01392 758140
Opening times: 8am – 10.30pm (10am to 10pm on Sundays)