Southernhay House

Chic foodie hotel in the centre of Exeter

Internal doors in stately homes were designed to open inwards, so that ladies and gentlemen of the house wouldn’t be unexpectedly caught out by servants coming into the room.

But while surprises weren’t desirable in the Georgian times when Southernhay House was built, they’re certainly on the menu nowadays. It’s packed with fresh and seasonal British and European classics and the food charms through its use of colour, chic presentation and winning flavour combinations. The menu includes zingy and perfectly matched combinations: a punchy Southernhay slaw pairing beautifully with pear, pickled walnuts and stilton.

The food is very locally sourced, with meat and vegetables from farms around Exeter and south Devon, fish from Brixham and shellfish from the sea around Burgh Island, where you’ll find Southernhay’s sister hotel.

The sense of foodie fun is complemented by the slightly bohemian feel which pervades the whole building. The elegant dining room with its funky glass chandeliers and wonderful array of portraits sits happily alongside a very cool cocktail bar where you’ll discover a collection of mobile phones in an antique cabinet.

Along with the creative food offering, it is the Georgian surrounds and touches of eccentricity that make Southernhay House somewhere truly special. And with its ten individual bedrooms waiting upstairs, diners could be very tempted to stay a little longer.

Sample menu


Oak smoked salmon, capers, dill, honey and mustard vinaigrette, £7


Garden pea and asparagus risotto with shaved parmesan, £13


Dark chocolate tart, Caramac sauce, vanilla ice cream, £7.65

Insider’s tips

Just round the corner from Southernhay and tucked away in Barnfield Crescent is the Gloss Gallery – call in and let Lucinda talk you through the prints, pictures and jewellery on display; you can always find a quirky and interesting present there.

Restaurants nearby

The Galley, Topsham

The Galley is a find for beautiful cooking and exacting standards of service, majoring in fresh seafood, often straight from the River Exe

Meater Block

Jo Rees roadtests the Meater Block – life changing piece of barbie kit or another gadget that’ll end up at the back of the cupboard?

36 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1NX

01392 439000

Chef: Tim Hall

Owner: Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark

Bedroom rate: from £150

Bedrooms: 10

  • Dogs welcome (outside only)
  • Wifi
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Private dining available
  • Gluten free options
  • Wedding venue
  • Exclusive use



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