The bustling city streets of central Exeter are a real joy to explore. There’s been so much rejuvenation in the city in recent years which had brought a renewed energy and a host of smart high-end high street names, without the city losing its Devon charm. With its imposing Cathedral still at its heart and a cool chilled vibe it’s a place which I am always happy to pop back for the day or for a lazy weekend.
Just a short walk out of the main shopping areas you’re quickly surrounded by wide, quiet Victorian residential streets. Here, nestled in a former 19th century artists workshop is Harry’s Restaurant, a popular dining spot, which has been family run for over 25 years. Named after the famous sculptor Harry Hems who worked here, the building is packed with heritage and a smart and delicious modern menu.
We arrived for lunch on a sunny May Sunday and we were immediately struck by the lively and welcoming atmosphere. Buzzing with families it felt like the perfect spot for us to get together and enjoy a meal in friendly surroundings.
The menu is on safe ground with its offering of grills, burgers, salads and familiar mains and while it might not appear too adventurous on paper, the dishes are pretty outstanding.
We kicked off with starters and nibbles including olives, some lovely breads and houmous which the kids adored and a plate of nachos which while was a little on the small side, was perfectly adequate for us to all tuck into.
The kids loved the milkshakes, especially the Reese’s chocolate shake which was very well received by our 11 year old.
The main courses were really impressive, especially my roasted squash gnocchi which was packed with flavour and perfectly put together with hazelnuts and sage adding to the taste.
The generously sized seared tuna steak from the grills menu came with sautéed potatoes and a potent chimichurri butter. Mr G loved this dish, as did my daughter.
While there’s no separate kids menu, the staff were more than happy to suggest dishes for the children and it was great to hear that could make changes to the dishes to suit the little one’s tastes, including the boys sharing a large dish of sizzling veggie fajitas.
We loved the side of rock fries too with Parmesan and truffle oil. These were a brilliant take on a simple dish and were so tasty and quickly gobbled up.
It was good to hear that Harry’s is supporting local farms and producers too, using ingredients from nearby sources wherever possible.
Harry’s website says that the portions are plentiful and they’re not at all wrong. We opted to share a rhubarb frangipane with ginger ice cream for dessert which was heavenly and has inspired me to try and recreate it at home.
From the welcome, to the atmosphere and food Harry’s was an ideal spot for lunch which every single member of the family enjoyed from beginning to end.
You can find out more about Harry’s restaurant at their website.
We were guests of Harry’s for the purpose of this review but our views are our own.