Here are the best date spots in Exeter for Valentine’s Day

See you all at Firehouse x

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and chances are you’ll be roped into marking the occasion somehow. While Exeter is by no means renowned for romance – seagulls and pasties don’t exactly get my heart pounding – that’s not to say it doesn’t have its fair share of swoon-worthy date spots. Whether you’re happily cuffed or woefully single, looking to switch up your rotation or simply romanticise your life, here are some date spots you’re bound to fall in love with.

1. Old Firehouse

Nothing screams romance like a candle shoved in the top of an empty wine bottle. Beloved by Exeter students and locals alike, Old Firehouse strikes a careful balance between classy and casual, combining fairy-lit ambience with a cheeky assortment of fruity beers. Nab a table in the corner, cosy up with a drink and see where the night takes you.

2. Grow Coffee House

A personal favourite of mine, Grow Coffee House is the perfect place for a chilled coffee date, provided you can bat off the humanities girlies all clamouring for a table. Located on South Street, Grow has a fun bohemian vibe, complete with sprawling house plants and guitars mounted on the walls. First date, friend date, solo date: this place can do it all.

3. Sacred Grounds

As the Galentine’s girlies descend on Boston Tea Party, do yourself a favour: venture out of the city centre and explore Exeter’s vibrant independent quarter. Tucked away in McCoy’s Arcade on Fore Street, Sacred Grounds serves speciality coffee and tasty plant-based food that goes beyond your bog standard avocado toast. Afterwards, spend some time browsing through the indie bookshop Bookbag or hunt for some vintage gems in The Real McCoy.

4. Mango’s

Alternatively, if the thought of forgoing your £11 avo toast for a day is simply too much to bear, wander down to the quayside. Nestled in one of the Quay’s original cellars, you’ll find Mango’s Café and Bar. Cosy, charming and just the perfect level of basic, it’s the perfect place for a spot of afternoon tea with your girlies or an atmospheric brunch date with your significant other.

5. Bootlegger

Feeling particularly bougie? Cash to burn? Take a trip down to Bootlegger for a rare night of refinement. For those of you who haven’t been, Bootlegger is a speakeasy-style bar that harks back to the Prohibition era. If you’re lucky, you’ll be serenaded by local musicians as you sip your overpriced cocktails. But if you can’t on Valentine’s Day then when can you?

6. On the Waterfront

Enjoy a romantic riverside stroll before stopping off at On the Waterfront for dinner. Definitely on the spennier side, On the Waterfront has it all: yummy pizzas, deals on cocktails and a killer view. If you’re looking to splash out this Valentine’s Day, this is the place for you.

7. Jolly Pottery

Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a homemade Valentine’s gift. If crafting is your love language, you’ll love Jolly Pottery on Fore Street. A fun and wholesome date idea or simply an opportunity to bond with your besties, pottery painting is fun, silly and endlessly therapeutic. Alexa, play “Little Life” by Cordelia.

8. Kin Khao Café

Possibly slightly rogue, but I stand by it. If you’re on the hunt for some tasty Thai food, then look no further. If you live in the St James’s area, you’ve probably walked past Kin Khao Café dozens of times, but trust me when I say it’s well worth a visit. Located on Well Street, this restaurant makes a nice change from the chains and doesn’t break the bank.

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