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10 dinner date ideas for Valentine's Day in Exeter

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: January 14, 2013

Photo: GRW Photography

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If you want to ensure that romance is on the menu this Valentine’s Day then don’t miss out on booking a table at one of Exeter’s many fantastic restaurants.
From the Michelin-starred influence of Michael Caines at the ABode Hotel, to the quirky cool and cocktails of the Oddfellows gastro bar, there are any number of top places to choose from.
Whether your partner is hooked on seafood or has a taste for fine dining you are sure to find somewhere to send pulses racing on February 14.
One restaurant that pushes all the right buttons on Valentine’s Day is the award-winning Jack In The Green at Rockbeare. Specialising in innovative seasonal dishes made with locally sourced produce it was named fifth in Budweiser’s top gastro pubs of 2012.
For the February 14 celebrations chef Matt Mason has created a stunning eight course menu showcasing his acclaimed brand of modern British cooking.
From shellfish bisque with Somerset cider brandy to Venison saddle with fondant potato, pickled salsify and sweet pepper, those lucky enough to get a table are in for a real treat.
Proprietor Paul Parnell said: “We do it every year and we are always full. We have a lot of people that come back year on year and it isn’t just young people we have couples in their 80s as well which is nice to see.
“I just think it is a day that should be celebrated and made a bit more special. Lots of people do the chocolates and roses and hearts thing but we just concentrate on offering great food and great service.”
As well as the fine food, guests can also choose to have their meal matched with specially selected wines to add to their experience. These can be matched for the whole meal for individual courses. Another draw for diners is the restaurant’s atmosphere which manages to be refined yet relaxed.
Paul said: “It is a lovely intimate atmosphere so we don’t do anything different to usual but it is a really lovely place to eat. We also have seven chefs working flat out to make sure that our guests have a really special night. The tasting menu is fantastic and we only have one sitting on Valentine’s Day to ensure it is a nice leisurely meal and people can enjoy themselves.”
For more information on the Jack In The Green and our pick of the other top Valentine’s restaurants in Exeter check out our list below.


  • The Jack In The Green, Rockbeare, Nr Exeter, EX5 2EE, 01404 822 240.
  • Style: Gastro pub/restaurant.
    Valentine’s Day: Eight course set menu, or an extra £27.50 per person with matching wines.
    Price: £57.50 per person.
    Try: Venison saddle with fondant potato, pickled salsify and sweet peppercorn sauce.

    The acclaimed Jack In The Green pushing the boat out with a special eight course extravaganza this Valentine’s Day.
    The exciting menu showcases the sublime skills of head chef Matt Mason that have seen the gastro pub/restaurant featured in the Michelin and Good Food guides.
    Fresh local produce, flare and attention to detail are the trademarks of dishes that include Cornish crab salad with avocado and lime and medallion of West Country beef fillet with cep butter, toasted brioche, liver parfait and morel mushrooms.

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  • The Magdalen Chapter, Magdalen Street, Exeter, EX2 4HY, 01392 281000.
  • Style: Modern British.
    Valentine’s Day: Three course menu (available February 14, 15 and 15).
    Price: £35 per person.
    Try: Grilled monkfish with saffron roast potatoes and Romesco sauce.

    Described as a ‘contemporary wonderland’ in the Alastair Sawday’s Guide this stunning restaurant is guaranteed to impress your Valentine’s date.
    Set in an iconic building the restaurant serves up stunning seasonal dishes combining classic and modern techniques.
    On February 14, 15 and 15 there is a special three course menu designed to ensure love is in the air.
    With its theatre-styled kitchen and glass fronted windows, opening up onto the terrace and walled garden there are few more atmospheric places to visit this Valentine’s Day.
    Head chef Ben Bulger is also the reigning Devon Life ‘chef of the year’.

  • MC Cafe, Bar and Grill at the ABode Hotel, Cathedral Yard, Exeter, EX1 1HD, 01392 319955.
  • Style: Modern British.
    Valentine’s Day: Five course set menu.
    Price: £37.50 per person.
    Try: Trio of corn fed chicken terrine, parfait and sautéed liver with raisin puree and mustard mayonnaise.

    For a refined yet relaxed Valentine’s dinner book at a table at the Abode’s MC Cafe Bar and Grill.
    The venue is offering a stunning five course menu for £37.50, combining local ingredients with a dash of Michael Caines’ style.
    Dishes on offer include salmon and ginger fishcake and braised feather blade of beef with creamed potatoes, watercress puree shallots and braised carrots.

  • The Oddfellows, 60 New North Road, Exeter, EX4 4EP, 01392 209050.
  • Style: Gastro bar.
    Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s menu tbc.
    Price: Usual mains from £13.95 to £16.25.
    Try: Local pork belly with cheddar and leek potato and leek croquette, root vegetable puree, baked apple and Thatcher’s cider jus.

    If you are looking for a laid-back yet stylish and Valentine’s destination then head for Oddfellows.
    The cool gastro bar combines old and new decor to great effect to offer one of the coolest and most eclectic venues in the city.
    The modern British menu is served in a dining area complete with theatre-style open kitchen.
    And the highlight of any visit is sure to be the SpeakEasy cocktail lounge upstairs - a little oasis of indulgence offering a range of contemporary and classic cocktails to suit your personal tastes.


  • The Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter EX6 7UX, 01392 832121.
  • Style: Modern British.
    Valentine’s Day: Three course menu.
    Price: £18.95 per person.
    Try: Pan-seared fillet of West Country beef With chorizo crushed potatoes and a rich red wine reduction.

    For a delicious Valentine’s meal that won’t break the bank check into the Court Hotel in Kennford.
    From February 10-14 the restaurant is serving up a special three course menu blending local produce and more exotic ingredients.
    Dishes like scallops with horseradish infused celeriac purée, salmon in a truffle scented spinach cream and the duo of white and dark chocolate mousse are sure to set pulses racing.

  • Carluccio’s, Bedford Street, Exeter, EX1 1GJ, 01392 410492.
  • Style: Italian restaurant.
    Valentine’s Day: Opera dinner (February 19).
    Price: £35 per person.

    When it comes to creating a romantic atmosphere it is hard to beat the intoxicating combination of fine food and good music.
    If your partner is happy to delay your Valentine’s celebrations for five days you can enjoy a magnificent night of opera and Italian food at Carluccio’s.
    For one evening only the restaurant is offering a three course meal accompanied by live performances of songs from the grand operas of Verdi and Puccini to the romantic musicals of South Pacific and West Side Story.

  • Michael Caines at the ABode Hotel, Cathedral Yard, Exeter, EX1 1HD, 01392 319955.
  • Style: Modern British.
    Valentine’s Day: Seven course set menu.
    Price: £72 per person.
    Try: Glazed Creedy Carver duck breat with orange confit, honeyed swede puree, pak choi and spice jus.

    For the full Michael Caines-inspired fine dining experience this Valentine’s Day head to the restaurant bearing his name at the Abode.
    One of the city’s most popular places to eat out the seven course menu being served up on February 14 bears all the classic hallmarks of the local boy made good behind it.
    Kicking-off with Champagne and canapés you will be taken on a voyage of taste, texture and temperature from the starter of French onion soup with Gruyere tortellini to the desert of spiced poached pineapple with a mango and lime sorbet and toffee popcorn.

  • @Angelas, 38 New Bridge Street, 01392 499038.
  • Style: Modern French.
    Valentine’s Day: Usual a la carte menu.
    Price: Mains £17-£27.
    Try: Herbed monkfish in a puff pastry crust with a lemon buerre blanc.

    Extended in June last year @Angelas has lost none of the intimate charm that makes it a truly special place to visit on Valentine’s Day.
    But you better be quick as the Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant has already started taking bookings for February 14.
    The food on offer is a heady mix of local ingredients and sumptuous French-style cooking.
    Dishes to look out for include the starter of smoked salmon and Lyme Bay crab roulade, the main of honey roasted pork tenderloin and the dark and white chocolate cheesecake desert.

  • The HH, London Rd, Broadclyst, Exeter, EX5 3ET, 01392 461472.
  • Style: Modern British.
    Valentine’s Day: Six course menu (available February 14, 15, and 16).
    Price: £49.95 per person.
    Try: Fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef with root vegetable terrine and steamed beef and ale pie.

    The HH in Broadclyst is ensuring love is in the air this Valentine’s Day with a very special six course taster menu guaranteed to set hearts aflutter.
    The restaurant is renowned for its warm welcome, stylish decor and innovative use of local produce.


  • The Galley, 41 Fore Street Topsham, Exeter, Devon EX3 0HU, 01392 876078.
  • Style: Seafood.
    Valentine’s Day: Daily menu.
    Price: mains £15.95 to £18.95.
    Try: Sea Bream with Exmouth crab risotto, roast red pepper, truffle and wild mushrooms.

    If your partner is a lover of seafood then the Galley in Topsham offers the ideal Valentine’s dining experience.
    Situated overlooking Topsham Quay with stunning views over the River Exe its location is second to none.
    And with an ever-changing daily menu depending on what has been caught that morning you are guaranteed the freshest fish anywhere in the UK.

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