Rendezvous Wine Bar, Exeter

Obviously, one of the best parts about a parental visit is the chance to test out another of Exeter’s restaurants. We always try and go somewhere different, and this time it was the turn of Rendezvous Wine Bar, a total hidden gem down in Southernhay.

First, though, our late reservation (8:45) meant that we had plenty of time to indulge in a pre-dinner cocktail at the Magdalen Chapter. Their cocktail list has grown massively from what I remember, so I struggled big time to choose, and eventually decided on a pomegranate bellini. An unusual choice from me, but it was really good!

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My dad, the resident cocktail expert, impulsively ordered a raspberry & cinnamon martini. He regretted it immediately when it arrived – SO PINK! – but we all tried it and I thought it was delicious.

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Rory had the only non-pink drink of the evening with his Maker’s Sours, which packed quite a punch.

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Cocktailed up and with the parents having been made acquainted with Rory and Mae, we headed out into the wind and rain to nearby Rendezvous. I’ve walked past this place loads and it’s only really recognisable from the outside by the fairy lights on the railings, which I love. The actual restaurant is downstairs in a basement and inside it’s all low ceilings, candlelight and cosiness.

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Their menu changes daily, which is something I always like to see, and it’s all locally sourced. Gold star for them!

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We managed to sample most of the starters, I think – I can’t check because the menu has, of course, since changed! I believe this was a duck liver terrine…

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Mae & I split the tapas-y sharing platter. The hummus especially was fab!

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Mushroom & chestnut soup for Rory, with some artistic olive oil drizzling…

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And some sort of pate for mummy – sorry, I can’t remember at all what it was!

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These starters were perfectly portioned so that we weren’t too full by the time our mains arrived, which I was very glad about because the steak I’d ordered was great. Everyone was very keen to pass the camera around for pictures so we have photos galore!

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Rory opted for the duck, with fondant potatoes & cauliflower, which I was a little bit jealous of – I LOVE duck.

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Here’s dad’s lamb (I think it was lamb!)

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And finally, mum and Mae both had seatrout.

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Everything tasted as good as it looked and by this point I was feeling very happy we’d picked Rendezvous. Things got even better when the dessert menu came out. We’d seen a couple of creme brulees go past and knew that somebody just had to have it…

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It was on fire! Amazing! Mum said it tasted just as impressive, and in the background there you can just see Mae’s honey and lavender pannacotta. I tried some, but it was definitely too lavender-y for my tastes! I was quite happy with my chocolate mousse, served with honeycomb – perfect way to end the meal!

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I was really, really impressed with Rendezvous, actually. Everyting was perfectly sized and portioned, everything tasted great, and there was a lovely homely, friendly atmosphere throughout the whole evening. I’d definitely recommend and I’d definitely go again – with their ever-changing menu & extensive wine list, there’s every reason to!

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