The pretty port of Topsham, just outside Exeter city centre, is a beautiful oasis of quirky gift shops, boutiques, exclusive homewares and antique shops. Topsham is also home to some damn fine eateries and an amazing ten pubs. Architecturally stunning, this is where every young career couple in Exeter wish to live, it's very community spirited and has a lovely atmosphere, a safe haven where the kids can go to the local pool and play in the park. Topsham has a rich and varied history. First documented as a Roman settlement, it was granted a Charter as a town on 22nd August 1300 by Edward I, developing into a major British port and shipbuilding centre that in its heyday rivalled London. There are Dutch houses from the maritime past, and fine examples of Georgian and Edwardian architecture. In the year 2000 they celebrated their 700th year, when the Queen visited and went to a pub for the first time!
Drakes Wine Bar & Ale House - The town's hub
Arguably the most popular pub in town, there is a great atmosphere, a large bar area serving London Pride, Otter and guest ales, wines by the glass and bar food. Upstairs is a Tudor-style restaurant that seats up to 30 and can be hired out for private functions. The food orients toward homemade pub classics including the fiercely popular lasagne and steaks. All the ingredients come from local suppliers.
The Galley - Celebrity restaurant with rooms
Award winning seafood restaurant with rooms housed in a grade II listed building, Master Chef of Great Britain and TV chef Paul da Costa Greaves works hard to provide innovative menus, from Tapas through to haute cuisine, specialising in vegetarian and West Indian dishes. The Galley holds a great deal of character, with the interior being exposed brickwork, beams & open fireplaces, and has an irresistible reputation to go with it!
Darts Farm Village - A celebration of local produce
Just outside of town and a must visit, the centre incorporates a supermarket of local and organic produce where you can choose from produce supplied by up to 200 different local food producers. There are specialist Westcountry groceries, not forgetting Gerald David (award winning butchers), Green Valley Cyder (traditional cider makers). There is a restaurant, art gallery, bakery and deli, fishmongers and florists. There are also some celebrated retailers such as Aga and Fired Earth.
Saffron at Denleys - Contemporary Indian/Wine bar
Strangely this is a wine bar that has given a concession to one of Exeter's best Indian restaurants called Chadni, here called Saffron. This contemporary Indian has just hit the headlines by flying a takeaway out to loyal customers whilst they were in Dubai. There is also live music here.
La Petite Maison - Small house with a big heart
Taste of The West Southwest Restaurant of The Year, a wonderful, bright, Mediterranean bistro run by husband and wife Doug and Liz. This intimate restaurant is full with regular appreciators of their work, a blue and white theme runs through and the tables are gleaming with fresh linen and quality glasses. Local artists' work adorns the walls. The quality is 'just so', everything is made on the premises, with the onus on seasonal, local produce with a good vegetarian choice.
Il Giardino - Smart, upmarket italian
This authentic Italian is run by ex-London restaurateurs Angelo Lenarduzzi and Jo Butler. A fairly new restaurant that is on course to become one of Exeter's hottest. The beautifully decorated restaurant shows understated class with rich furniture, seagrass floors, a conservatory and dreamy gardens. There is a certain sense of occasion when you walk in. Chef Angelo works day and night to produce classic northeastern Italian dishes from the finest ingredients and everything is home made -- pasta, breads, desserts.
There is a pay & display at the swimming pool, limited on-street parking and a larger free car park at the recreation ground.
Nat West-- corner of Fore St and Victoria Rd.
Sowton & Topsham Cab Co 01392 879 090.
The Lighter Inn -- Great pub on the Quay with plenty of table seating for al fresco on sunny days.
The Globe Hotel is a 17th-Century Coaching House that has a CAMRA recommended bar.
Places of interest:
Visit Topsham Museum.
Try these websites for Topsham and Exeter
Stuart Line Cruises operate regular River Exe boat trips from Exmouth to Topsham. For further information call Ian Stuart on (01395) 279693.
More Cornwall and Devon Neighbourhood Watch Areas Braunton (2006) | Brixham (2006) | Bude (2006) | Cathedral Yard, Exeter (2006) | Chapel Street, Penzance (2006) | Dartmouth (2006) | Gandy Street, Exeter (2006) | Honiton (2006) | Kingsbridge (2006) | Launceston (2006) | Liskeard (2006) | Looe (2006) | Lostwithiel (2006) | Mevagissey (2006) | Perranporth (2006) | Princesshay Centre, Exeter (2006) | Shaldon (2006) | Southside Street, Plymouth (2006) | St Ives (2006) | St Mawes (2006) | Topsham (2006) - Woolacombe (2006)