When I left Devon for London, all those years ago, I vowed I wouldn’t come back. I was after a fast pace life and Devon was far from it. Fast forward nearly a decade and corresponding to our move to Exeter has come a re-birth in the county. For a while, younger businesses with fresh ideas have been slowly weaving their way into the sleepy ways of the city. Waking and shaking it up a bit.
With Covid hitting profits for all businesses this year, owners have really had to think outside the box when it comes to delivering alternative experiences. Cue Exeter’s latest proposal – the dining pod. A trend that swept across London, is also doubling up as a safer way to dine out with family or friends (Covid Tier permitting, of course).
Spotting that one of our favourite cafe’s on the quay was going to be having it’s very own pod. I immediately booked us in for one of the earliest spots available to experience it for ourselves. We already know and love the food at Mango’s, but the pod is really such a lovely touch. Split between Mango’s in the daytime and On The Waterfront in the evening, time slots are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
We had the dining pod to ourselves on the most glorious autumn day. It was freezing outside, and tropical within the pod. But we didn’t let that stop us from having a lovely time. We popped along with my parents and brother and even took the dogs along with us. Dog biscuits and water was lovingly provided for the furrier guests and jugs of iced water were brought to the table for us.
Lit by hallogen bulbs and a cosy electric fire place, the pod has flowers hanging from the ceiling a carpeted floor, baskets of blankets, pumpkins and flowers littering the walls. It’s undeniably pretty and the view is the best from all the pods, looking out over the quay.
With food and drinks ordered, we settled in enjoying our bubble. Even with people bustling about outside and stopping every so often to take a photo, it still felt undeniably private.
My brother and I both went for the Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad, Ben went for the Goats Cheese and Red Onion Tart (one of my favourites) and my parents went for the Chorizo and Brie and Coronation Chicken sandwiches with a side of Smashed Avo on Toast. The food is always fabulous and we spent a lovely few hours eating, chatting and enjoying the cosy pod.
I would highly recommend for any occasion, or just a little romantic evening out for a couple. We’re already booking back in with friends and Ben and I have said we’d like to go back just the two of us too!
Pods are available to book directly with the following restaurants until the end of December (potentially longer!)