One thing I was not prepared for when I came to university was quite how much of my student loan would be used to fund a newfound – and possibly excessive – coffee habit. (Although, according to some questionable research, drinking coffee actually makes you ‘more intelligent’, which is good enough for me).
A student’s need for coffee is well-documented: it provides the necessary caffeine hit when the early morning lectures and late-night deadlines get too much, as well as the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a slice of cake. Most importantly, though, it is a reason to socialise; if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Friends, it’s that there’s no better place to bond than in a coffee shop.
So, as the run-up to Freshers’ week begins, here is a round-up of some of the best coffee spots Exeter has to offer:
1. The Glorious Art House, 120 Fore Street
A quirky & brightly painted café that doubles as an art gallery, the Glorious Art House provides the perfect escape from a somewhat less colourful continuum of deadlines and responsibilities. Their menu offers a range of coffees, teas and luxury drinks, all beautifully served in what has to be the most impressive collection of Anthropologie mugs I’ve ever seen. A special mention must also go to their selection of homemade cakes – displayed cannily on the counter as you enter the coffee house, they are almost impossible to resist.
2. Artigiano, 248 High Street
Artigiano is conveniently placed right in the centre of the city’s main shopping area and has earned itself the well-deserved title of “most popular café” in Exeter. Whilst it can get pretty busy in there, the huge interior offers more than enough space – there is plenty of seating outside as well, where you can sip on your coffee in the sun (weather permitting). If you’re feeling hungry, there is a seemingly endless selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries to choose from. The café also transforms into a bar in the evenings, with weekly live music and no shortage of cocktails and wine.
Follow them on Twitter here : @artigianoexeter.
3. The Plant Café, 1 Cathedral Yard
The Plant Café has become one of my personal favourites, serving a wide array of “lovingly handmade” vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan food alongside a variety of hot and cold drinks. Particular selling points are their generous helpings and friendly atmosphere. Located on the Cathedral Green at the heart of Exeter, this is one of the city’s prettiest spots to grab a coffee (and a snack!) – they even have a stash of blankets that they suggest you take out onto the green for a picnic.
Follow them on Twitter here : @theplantexeter.
4. The Exploding Bakery, 1B Central Crescent, Queen Street
Tucked away beside Exeter Central station is one of the city’s favourite coffee spots: primarily a bakery, there is now a small café attached where you can sip your coffee and watch as their cakes, pastries and breads are baked right in front of you (or, in other words, keep an eye out for a second helping if there’s a new batch fresh from the oven).
5. Devon Coffee, 88 Queen Street
Summed up rather sweetly in their own words, this little café sells “nice coffee, made by nice people”. Characterized by their warm, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, Devon Coffee is widely regarded as one of Exeter’s best independent coffee shops.
Follow them on Twitter here : @coffeedevon.