The Oddfellows Exeter – Keeping It Quirky

The Oddfellows Exeter – Keeping It Quirky

Written by Joff Alexander-Frye

Photos supplied by Oddfellows

The Oddfellows Exeter, on New North Road, is one of those places that, once you walk in, you’re not really sure that you want to leave. The quirky British-themed Gastro Pub was founded by the passionate and unique Yvan and Faye Williams in 2006, with the addition of the wonderfully quaint upstairs Speakeasy Cocktail Lounge in 2008. Since then, they have established themselves as one of the gems in the burgeoning food and drink scene of Exeter and, indeed, the South West.

It is hard to put your finger on what exactly makes The Oddfellows Exeter so special. That might be because there is so much that they have got right! From their locally sourced ethical produce and expertly crafted food and drink offering to their eclectic décor and warm service, there ain’t no party like an Oddfellows party! And it really does offer something for pretty much everyone.

Ethical Cuisine

In a world where having a social cause is increasingly important in business, it is worth noting that Yvan and Faye are about as far away from the sometimes-cut-throat corporate world of pub chains. The Oddfellows Exeter is an independent business (and a successful one at that), but the way that they do business is equally as important to them, particularly when it comes to reducing their environmental impact as a business. With the target of operating as a ‘zero-to-landfill’ operation, all of their waste is recycled and their food waste is composted too. Furthermore, they intentionally choose as many products as they can which are produced and grown close to home. This ensures that ingredients are fresh, that food miles are reduced and also that the local economy is boosted, rather than buying from national wholesalers or faceless organisations. The ‘circular’ economy of South West food and drink is truly alive and kicking and The Oddfellows are more than playing their part.

Seafood chowder at The Oddfellows Exeter.

Respecting your food

In England, as in many parts of the world nowadays, humans no longer need to eat meat to survive harsh winters. Meat is now a luxury, a pleasure and a choice for those of us who like to eat it. At The Oddfellows they believe that all animals who give up their lives to feed us should be given the care and respect they deserve. A beginning that allows time in the sun, with freedom to play. Then a quick, calm end.

Such is their care and attention to detail when sourcing their meat, that they can trace the provenance of all of their meat and can ensure it comes from suppliers who hold the same value for animals and share the same high standards for ethical meat production. Yvan and Faye are so confident in their supply chain, in fact, that they are happy to provide a list of their suppliers if customers would like to know more. Yvan commented,

“In our open kitchen we champion all grub that our fair island has to offer and our Head Chef enjoys nothing more than taking advantage of the plentiful bounty which the beautiful English seasons and climate produces.”

Close up of steak topped with tenderstem broccoli.

Quenching your thirst

So. That’s the food sorted. What about the liquid menu? Well, you won’t be surprised to hear that The Oddfellows have taken time to carefully select their selection of wines, beers and spirits. They have an awesome craft beer list, are Cask Marque accredited for their local ales, are in The Good Beer Guide and, word on the street, is that they got just a little bit tipsy choosing their current wine list. It turns out that the selection is so good that it is very difficult to have only one!

In terms of cocktails, a lot of places nowadays profess to be experts at making them but serve something far from specialist. After all, how good can a 2-for-£10 cocktail really be? At The Oddfellows, their libations are a little bit special. They take their mixology seriously, but also like to have a bit of fun with it. Using local ingredients, freshly squeezed citrus and premium spirits to add the required edge, their scientific approach to making cocktails make them some of the best around. Don’t be misled by their adventurous cocktail menu though. If you are more of a traditionalist, they will happily make one of the classics for you (and standing on their head too).

The well-stocked bar at The Oddfellows Exeter.

Our Staff

Faye expanded,

“We only employ intelligent and well-informed industry folk. On top of that, our staff are well trained and are constantly improving and learning. That’s not to say we don’t ever fluff it up, but we do our very best, every day to give our guests the best of us. Being a small independent company, we strive to look after our staff and our staff to all look after each other. We feel we get the best out of one another when we work as a team to achieve a common goal; excellence. Not to be confused with stuffiness or stiffness mind you. We are a pretty relaxed bunch, but with high standards.”

AND THE REST… On top of all of this, The Oddfellows have pop up kitchens from local culinary talent, host open mic nights, comedy nights, awesome bands and DJ’s when they’re feeling particularly in the mood for a knees-up. Additionally, families looking for a cosy corner to settle into will be met with a warm welcome. Dogs are welcome too. And the increasingly discerning palettes of Exeter’s foodies (and drinkies, if that’s a thing?) are sure to find something to satisfy their appetites and whet their whistles. Whether for lunch, dinner or an epic Sunday Roast, you won’t be disappointed!

To find out what all the fuss is about, why not visit The Oddfellows Exeter for yourself. 60 New North Road, Exeter. Visit their website, email exeter@theoddfellowsbar.co.uk or call 01392 209050

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