Southernhay House Hotel
, 36 Southernhay East, Exeter.
Perfectly situated on a pretty square just a short stroll away from Exeter Cathedral, Southernhay House Hotel is a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse with a romantic ambience. It’s an independently-owned boutique hotel offering a range of luxury rooms, a chic cocktail bar and a dining room with an interesting menu served by friendly waiters.
The hotel was originally the home of Major-General William Kirkpatrick from 1805-1813, a bohemian character who worked for the East India Company. This heritage is mixed with modern city chic so the antique paintings of sultans and admirals are neatly contrasted with a glistening swanky cocktail bar. In front of the hotel are the Southernhay Gardens while behind there stands the pretty private garden of Southernhay House.
The bar is renowned as one of ‘The’ places to enjoy a cocktail in Exeter. Whether you choose a classic martini or the hotel’s own Isca Negroni made with local Exeter gin, or indeed a glass of wine or a pint of beer, you’ll revel in a place that is popular with locals and residents alike. If you start to feel peckish, the bar menu includes sourdough open sandwiches, a short list of mouthwatering snacks and main courses and some classic puddings.
The Club Room restaurant is augmented by the private dining room for up to 14 which brings out all the Georgian style of Southernhay House. The breakfast choices are bountiful ranging from a full English to soft-boiled eggs with ‘soldiers’. There’s a wider choice of eggs too, along with kippers, porridge, field mushrooms, croissants, granola, fruit compote, buttermilk pancakes, tea, coffee and fresh toast.
The guest rooms are simply divided into Luxury, Larger, Comfy and Intimate according to their size. They all share the same elegant Georgian style, brought up-to-date as is befitting of a boutique hotel. Each room has a seating area, double bed, flatscreen TV, a tea and coffee tray, radio, docking station, minibar and looks out on either the private garden or Southernhay Gardens. As the rooms get bigger so do the beds and the bathrooms, until at the top of the scale the Luxury rooms have king or super-king beds and roll-top baths, some in the room.
There’s much to see and do in Exeter, from the underground tunnels to the soaring medieval cathedral, the historic quayside to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, the riverside walks to the Rougemont Castle. To ensure that nothing is missed, the Red Coat Guided Tours are highly recommended. Beyond the city, Dartmoor is on the doorstep and a drive down the banks of the River Exe will lead to Topsham, Exmouth, Dawlish and the whole South Devon coast.