ABode Exeter and Michael Caines Restaurant – Review

Having grown up in Devon all my life, previously The Royal Clarence Hotel in my mind was always the most highly regarded establishment in Exeter, mainly for its unrivalled location in the Cathedral Yard overlooking the city`s impressive Cathedral. Back in the day Michael Caines was recognised as `the celebrity chef` and was noted for his efforts in grand dining at Gidleigh Park, as word of mouth spread amongst local foodie types, this restaurant is considered one of the finest in the country, and holds not just 1… but 2 Michelin stars!

The Cathedral Yard

ABode Exeter Entrance

It was no surprise Michael Caines would play a hand in revamping The Royal Clarence Hotel into what is now the city`s most exciting venue, ABode Exeter. The hotel carries on a tradition of excellence and quality, offering guests` modern contemporary design and understated elegance. The 53 bedrooms have been rated Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable and Fabulous depending on their amenities and they have been designed with a sense of luxury and relaxation so each guest can enjoy an ideal night’s sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

We stayed in one of the Desirable bedrooms, which had a modern compact open plan en-suite bathroom with freestanding bath that took precedence within the space, an large enclosed monsoon wet room and separate toilet. Our room had an amazing view overlooking the 12th century gothic Cathedral and although centrally situated within the hustle and bustle it still felt a tranquil place to relax (thanks to the double glazing on the windows!). The room featured lovely ABode touches including a Vi-Spring bed, which was super comfy and ensured we got an amazing nights sleep, luxury ABode toiletries to pamper ourselves with, a personal DVD player and a state-of-the-art LCD television.


After the disappointing England Algeria world cup game we headed straight to the restaurant to enjoy a fabulous a la carte dining experience. We started with a chilled glass of champagne and contemplated the tasting menu, which we ultimately opted for so as to try out as many delicacies as possible in one sitting – so many to choose from.

We didn`t have to wait long before the first course arrived, the terrine of ham hock and confit duck liver followed by sauté Brixham john dory with crushed olive potato, tomato and tarragon shellfish sauce. Both dishes were delicious and cooked to absolute perfection. Five further gorgeous courses followed, all of which could have been works of art in how they were presented. We’ve sampled many tasting menus but this experience balanced the palate superbly, there was enough food but didn’t leave us feeling ridiculously full and we loved that the dishes included tasty local produce.

But what really stole the show was the incredibly friendly yet professional level of customer service from all the staff. In fact, The ABode Exeter should open its own hospitality training program to show some of the luxury hotels in the area how its done properly! Nothing was too much hassle for the team and they made us feel very welcome throughout the entire experience making our stay a really memorable one for all the right reasons.

So, to round up – if you are looking for a unique culinary experience (and/or somewhere to stay) in Exeter then you really can`t go wrong with Michael Caines Restaurant and hotel at ABode Exeter. Fantastic experience that rates as one of our best to date.

Michael Caines

Why not treat someone special to a night at ABode Exeter to experience sheer and utter indulgence. Based on two people sharing, the Sheer Indulgence package includes an overnight stay in a Desirable room, dinner for two in the Michael Caines Restaurant, a bouquet of flowers and petit fours in your room on arrival and breakfast. You’ll be able to enjoy a pre-dinner glass of MC Champagne followed by a delicious set three-course dinner in the Michael Caines Restaurant. Alternatively, you can enjoy that glass of champagne on the following morning to accompany either a continental champagne breakfast in your room or a full English breakfast at your leisure. Sheer Indulgence package in a Desirable room, from £198- a bargain if you ask us!

Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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